Hydrology and Water Resources

DENDROHYDROLOGY - the reconstruction and study of past and present hydrologic phenomena, including water supply, river flow, and flood frequencies

Current & Recent Projects Involving
Tree Rings, Streamflow, Droughts & Floods

Dr. David Meko (LTRR) , Dr. Katie Hirschboeck (LTRR) & Dr. Connie Woodhouse (School of Geography & Development & LTRR) explore the many ways that tree rings can be used to investigate critical issues of water availability, streamflow fluctuations, and the impact of climatic variability and change on water resources.

A 1244-yr reconstruction of Colorado River flows at Lees Ferry for California Dept. of Water Resources identifies sustained drought in mid-1100s. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has routed the reconstruction through river management models to explore resilience of system to climate variation.

The North American Monsoon Project (with co-PIs Ramzi Touchan, Steve, Leavitt, and Chris Castro, and graduate students Dan Griffin and Brittany Ciancarelli) is a National Science Foundation-funded project to develop a network of latewood width and isotope chronologies to reconstruction past variability in summer precipitation in the US Southwest.

Flow reconstruction of Salt and Verde Rivers, AZ, reveals 1996 and 2002 as driest two years since mid-1300s. More than 60% of 300 sampled trees missing 2002 ring. Funding by Salt River Project.

Canyon Hackberry trees along Santa Cruz River record mix of influences, including groundwater fluctuations and effluent from treatment plants. Funding by National Park Service.

TreeFlow is a comprehensive web resource on tree-ring reconstructions of streamflow and climate for the western US, providing access to reconstruction data as well as information on data development and applications. While the primary users of streamflow reconstructions are water resource professionals, people in many other sectors and disciplines may find the data useful. Many of the reconstructions were developed as a part of one of our project, but others have been contributed by other researchers. TreeFlow web page development was funded by NOAA Climate Program Office, For more information, see: http://treeflow.info

The Flood Hydroclimatology Project is compiling a database of the climatic causes of flooding in Arizona for use by flood hazard managers.  Funding by NOAA through CLIMAS.