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Figure 1. Storage capacity of the Sierra Nevada snowpack in comparison to dams and reservoirs. Information from the California Department of Water Resouces.

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Presentation on theme: "Figure 1. Storage capacity of the Sierra Nevada snowpack in comparison to dams and reservoirs. Information from the California Department of Water Resouces."— Presentation transcript:

1 Figure 1. Storage capacity of the Sierra Nevada snowpack in comparison to dams and reservoirs. Information from the California Department of Water Resouces. MAF = million acre feet of water.

2 Figure 2. Average precipitation and snow water equivalent (SWE) in the Sierra Nevada (from Bales et al., 2006). Precipitation data are for 1961 to 1990 and SWE data for 1951 to 2003.

3 Figure 3. Predicted changes in evapotranspiration for forested watersheds in the Sierra Nevada as a function of precipitation inputs and reductions in forest cover. Predictions are based on Zhang et al (eq.8). The range of annual precipitation represent the reported gradient observed in the Sierra Nevada (Kattelman et al. 1983). 90% canopy cover represents an estimate of the maximum tree cover observed in a Sierran headwater watershed. 60% and 30% represent modest and intense vegetation manipulations

4 Figure 4. Snow covered area (SCA) for water year 2005, an above-average snow year, for the Kings River basin. Data are lumped by 300-m elevation band. Fitted curves show patterns of snowmelt, with each successively higher elevation band melting out 2-4 weeks later than the next lower band (from Bales et al., 2010). Data based on fractional SCA mapping of MODIS data, and are corrected for snow under canopy Water year day, 2005

5 Figure 5. Water year basin-average precipitation and discharge for one mixed-conifer, headwater catchment, elevation m (from Bales et al., submitted). O N D J F M A M J J A S

6 Figure 6. Water yield for 8 headwater catchments ranging in size frm49 to 228 ha. for 4 water years. Lower catchments are mixed rain-snow, and higher-elevation catchments are snow dominated. All are in mixed-conifer forest (from Hunsaker et al., submitted).

7 Figure 7. Simplified forest energy balance. 1 = insolation (incoming shortwave radiation); 2 = reflection (of shortwave radiation due to albedo or reflectivity of vegetation, soil, and water surfaces); 3 = longwave radiation emitted by the Earth; 4 = longwave radiation reflected back to Earth from greenhouse gases including water vapor and CO2; = net radiation. Radiation inputs into the forest may be transformed into sensible heat (5), resulting in warming of the environment, latent heat (6, the energy consumed in evapotranspiration), or metabolic heat (7, the energy stored in biochemical reactions). Although it is not shown, understory vegetation also contributes to these processes. (Ref: NRC, 2008).

8 Figure 8. Simplified forest water balance. runoff, or infiltration excess (Horton) overland flow; 5 = subsurface flow, or lateral subsurface flow; 6 = groundwater recharge; 7 = groundwater flow; 8 = saturation excess overland flow; 9 = discharge or streamflow; 10 = evapotranspiration; 11 = precipitation intensity; 12 = peak flow or peak discharge. Although it is not shown, understory vegetation also contributes to these processes. (Ref: NRC, 2008).

9 Figure 9. Time series of observed and simulated SWE at paired forest and clearing sites. Aptal is in Switzerland, m, 47 o 3’ N, 3-11 o slope and 25-m spruce and fir in forested plot. Fraser is in Colorado, 2820 m, 39 o 53’ N, 17 o slope and ~27-m spruce and fir in the forested plot. Adapted from Ellis et al. (2010).

10 Figure 10. Snow depth relative to canopy, based on 27 continuous sensors at Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, water year Adapted from Bales et al. (in press). D J F M A M

11 Figure 11. Characteristics for a plot in a lower montane coniferous forest, Yosemite National Park, 1582 m elevation. Temperature minima and maxima are mostly above freezing. Water supply (rain plus snowmelt, open circles) exceeds evaporative demand (potential evapotranspiration or PET, closed circles) from October to early May. Values calculated from PRISM climatological means (1971–2000). From Lutz et al. (2010) Assumed soil-water capacity is 8 cm, annual precipitation 107 cm, annual water deficit 28 cm and annual actual ET 41 cm. From soil storage

12 Figure 12. Water supply and ET for CZO catchment, 1900 m mean elevation, Sierra National Forest. Area below the ET line but above the precipitation + snowmelt line form subsurface storage. Adapted from Bales et al. (submitted). Precipitation + snowmelt ET From subsurface storage

13 Figure 13. Visualization of wall-and-step forest treatments, suggested as the best technique for maximizing snow accumulation and delaying melt (from Anderson 1963).

14 Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R Figure 14. Locations of the potential study watersheds in the headwaters of the North and Middle Forks of the American River. Also shown is the watershed boundary of the each fork and two high elevation reservoirs, French Meadows and Hell Hole. Elevations in this map peak at 2750-m along the crest of the Sierra in the east, with the major rivers draining towards the west, exiting the region shown at about 700-m, flowing down towards the Sacramento Delta. French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R

15 Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R Figure 15. Geologic features in the study region. Andesites (volcanic origin) from the Cenzoic period overlay a mix of older sections of granitic and metamorphic bedrock, with some glacial deposits at the bottom of higher elevation valleys. The volcanic period at the end of the Eocene created much of the landscape and soils present today, with glacial influences above 1450-m. French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R

16 Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R Granite Chief ChiefWildernessGranite Wilderness Figure 16. Land ownership in the American River headwaters. Privately held lands of interest around potential study watersheds are display.

17 Figure 17. General vegetation map of study area. Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R Granite Chief ChiefWildernessGranite Wilderness

18 Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R Granite Chief ChiefWildernessGranite Wilderness Figure 18. Soils in the lower elevation ( 1675-m) the Tallac-Smokey-Meiss association is predominant, having soils that can range from shallow to deep with sandy loam to gravelly loam texture with low water holding capacity.

19 Figure 19. Soils in the lower elevation ( 1675-m) the Tallac-Smokey-Meiss association is predominant, having soils that can range from shallow to deep with sandy loam to gravelly loam texture with low water holding capacity. Soils on this map are organized by Map Unit Symbol, and are too numerous to display here. A legend and index of soil names within the potential study catchments are included as an appendix. Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R Granite Chief ChiefWildernessGranite Wilderness

20 Little Bald Mt Cr Rubicon R French Meadows Hell Hole Bear Trap Cr Rice Cr Dolly Cr Cottonwood Cr Ellis Cr Frazier Cr North Fork American R Onion Cr Middle Fork American R Granite Chief ChiefWildernessGranite Wilderness Figure 20. Soils in the candidate catchments overlain on geology map. See Figure 15 for index of geologic features. A legend and index of soil names within the potential study catchments are included as an appendix.

21 Figure 21. Onion Creek a) topography, b) geology, c) soils, d) vegetation class, e) vegetation density, and f) land ownership.

22 Figure 22. Dolly and Rice Creeks a) topography, b) geology, c) soils, d) vegetation class, e) vegetation density, and f) land ownership.

23 Figure 23. Distribution of vegetation density for Onion, Rice and Dolly Creek catchments.

24 Figure 24. Onion Creek elevation, aspect and slope.

25 Figure 25. Onion Creek aerial photograph. Data from xxxx.

26 Appendix 1. Legend of soils by Map Unit Symbol for Figure 19. These are only soils within the potential study catchments and do not encompass the entire region.


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