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Water 2017, 9(6), 446; doi:10.3390/w9060446

Effects of Thinning on Flow Peaks in a Forested Headwater Catchment in Western Japan

1
Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 811-2415, Japan
2
Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
3
Kasuya Research Forest, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 811-2415, Japan
4
Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
5
Center for Research in Isotopes and Environmental Dynamics, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 18 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
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Abstract

This study examined the changes in rainfall-runoff characteristics in the year prior to and after intensive thinning of 50% in number in a steep headwater catchment, covered with 46-year-old Japanese cedar and cypress in western Japan. The magnitude of event peak flow, event quick flow, event water yield, and event response time did not change after thinning. Because 70% of rainfall events had multiple flow peaks, relationships between each flow peak and the rainfall just prior to that peak were also analyzed. The increases in accumulated quick flow, flow rise and flow drop were significant after thinning. The flow drop following each flow peak increased, and led to a lower initial flow in subsequent peaks, resulting in no increase in peak size. The flow peaks in events with over 30 mm rainfall amount and over 2 mm/h average rainfall intensity showed significant increases in flow peak, flow rise, flow drop, and accumulated quick flow, which suggests that the catchment exhibited more shallow flow paths during large rainfall amounts after thinning. No changes were identified using event-based analysis, but changes in flow peaks were detected, which indicates the importance of examining all flow peaks when investigating rainfall-runoff characteristics of headwater catchments. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest thinning; headwater; flow peaks; event peak flow; conifer plantation forest thinning; headwater; flow peaks; event peak flow; conifer plantation
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, H.; Kasahara, T.; Otsuki, K.; Tateishi, M.; Saito, T.; Onda, Y. Effects of Thinning on Flow Peaks in a Forested Headwater Catchment in Western Japan. Water 2017, 9, 446.

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