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Water 2017, 9(6), 403; doi:10.3390/w9060403

Gridded Snow Water Equivalent Reconstruction for Utah Using Forest Inventory and Analysis Tree-Ring Data

1
Department of Plants, Soils and Climate and the Utah Climate Center, Utah State University, 4820 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA
2
USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 507 25th Street, Ogden, UT 84401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luc Lambs
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract

Snowpack observations in the Intermountain West are sparse and short, making them difficult for use in depicting past variability and extremes. This study presents a reconstruction of April 1 snow water equivalent (SWE) for the period of 1850–1989 using increment cores collected by the U.S. Forest Service, Interior West Forest Inventory and Analysis program (FIA). In the state of Utah, SWE was reconstructed for 38 snow course locations using a combination of standardized tree-ring indices derived from both FIA increment cores and publicly available tree-ring chronologies. These individual reconstructions were then interpolated to a 4-km grid using an objective analysis with elevation correction to create an SWE product. The results showed a significant correlation with observed SWE as well as good correspondence to regional tree-ring-based drought reconstructions. Diagnostic analysis showed statewide coherent climate variability on inter-annual and inter-decadal time-scales, with added geographical details that would not be possible using courser pre-instrumental proxy datasets. This SWE reconstruction provides water resource managers and forecasters with better spatial resolution to examine past variability in snowpack, which will be important as future hydroclimatic variability is amplified by climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate variability; dendrochronology; Forest Inventory and Analysis; paleohydrology; snow water equivalent; tree rings; water resource management climate variability; dendrochronology; Forest Inventory and Analysis; paleohydrology; snow water equivalent; tree rings; water resource management
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Barandiaran, D.; Wang, S.-Y.S.; DeRose, R.J. Gridded Snow Water Equivalent Reconstruction for Utah Using Forest Inventory and Analysis Tree-Ring Data. Water 2017, 9, 403.

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