Streamflow variability and hydroclimatic change at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM), USA
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Seasonal variations in streamflow and the associated hydrologic extremes impart significant temporal structure to watershed-scale chemical fluxes. Consequently, a careful characterization of the episodic-to-seasonal and longer-term streamflow variations is a first step toward developing a comprehensive view of the temporal dynamics of watershed processes in a changing climate. Here we analyze a nearly two-decade-long streamflow record for the East Bear subwatershed within the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) (USA) to understand the envelope of streamflow variability by season, with a particular focus on the high flow events that have a disproportionately large impact on the biogeochemical processes and fluxes. Interannual and longer-term variations in a number of derived statistical metrics of hydrologic variability are examined. Our analysis shows substantial interannual and longer-term variability in seasonal flow volumes and peak flows. Furthermore, a long, unimpaired streamflow record for the Narraguagus River (a proximate watershed to the BBWM) is examined with a view to understand the relative coherence in hydrologic variability, as well as quantifying the decadal and longer-term hydrologic variations in this region. We find that the streamflow variability in the two watersheds shows similarity in all seasons. A moving window analysis to assess the changing flood potential over time indicates upward trends in the recent decades. Spring season (March–May) flood estimates show a near-monotonic trend over the 1949–2008 record. Finally, empirical relationships between streamflow and large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns highlight the regional and global climatic drivers of hydrologic extremes in this region, including impacts from remnants of Atlantic hurricanes.
- Cleveland, W. S. (1979). Robust locally weighted regression and smoothing scatterplots. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 74, 829–836. CrossRef
- Collins, M. J. (2009). Evidence for changing flood risk in New England since the late 20th century. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 45, 279–290. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2008.00277.x. CrossRef
- Dominguez, F., & Kumar, P. (2005). Dominant modes of moisture flux anomalies over North America. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 6, 194–209. CrossRef
- Dudley, R. W., & Hodgkins, G. A. (2005). Trends in timing, magnitude, and duration of summer and fall/winter streamflows for unregulated coastal river basins in Maine during the 20th century. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5021, 26 pp.
- Hodgkins, G. A., Dudley, R. W., & Huntington, T. G. (2003). Changes in the timing of high river flows in New England over the 20th century. Journal of Hydrology, 278, 242–250. CrossRef
- Hornberger, G. M., Bencala, K. E., & McKnight, D. M. (1994). Hydrological controls on dissolved organic carbon during snowmelt in the Snake River near Montezuma, Colorado. Biogeochemistry, 25(3), 147–165. CrossRef
- Hornberger, G. M., Germann, P. F., & Beven, K. J. (1991). Throughflow and solute transport on an isolated soil block in a forested catchment near Orono, Maine. Journal of Hydrology, 124, 81–99. CrossRef
- Kistler, R., et al. (2001). The NCEP–NCAR 50-year reanalysis: Monthly means CD-ROM and documentation. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82, 247–267. CrossRef
- Laudon, H., & Norton, S. A. (2010). Drivers and evolution of episodic acidification at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. doi:10.1007/s10661-010-1526-0.
- Likens, G. E. (2004). Some perspectives on long-term biogeochemical research from the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. Ecology, 85(9), 2355–2362. CrossRef
- Mo, K. C., & Berbery, E. H. (2004). Low-level jets and the summer precipitation regimes over North America. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, D06117. doi:10.1029/2003JD004106. CrossRef
- Navrátil, T., Norton, S. A., Fernandez, I. J., & Nelson, S. J. (2010). Twenty-year inter-annual trends and seasonal variations in precipitation and stream water chemistry at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine, USA. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. doi:10.1007/s10661-010-1527-z.
- Norton, S., Kahl, J., Fernandez, I., Haines, T., Rustad, L., Nodvin, S., et al. (1999). The Bear Brook Watershed, Maine (BBWM), U.S.A. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 55, 7–51. CrossRef
- Pellerin, B., Fernandez, I., Norton, S., & Kahl, J. (2002). Soil aluminum distribution in the near-stream zone at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 134, 189–204. CrossRef
- Poff, L. N., Allan, J. D., Bain, M. D., Karr, J. R., Prestegaard, K. L., Richter, B. L., et al.(1997). The natural flow regime: A paradigm for river conservation and restoration. BioScience, 47, 769–784. CrossRef
- Slack, J. L., & Landwehr, J. M. (1992). USGS Open-File Report 92-129, Hydro-Climatic Data Network: A U.S. Geological Survey stream flow data set for the United States for the study of climate variations, 1874–1988. Technical Report, U.S. Geological Survey.
- Streamflow variability and hydroclimatic change at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM), USA
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume 171, Issue 1-4 , pp 47-58
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Hydrologic change
- Watershed fluxes
- Climate change
- Bear Brook Watershed in Maine
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5711, USA
- 2. Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5790, USA
- 3. Department of Earth Science, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5790, USA