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Title: Hydrology and climatology of the Caribou-Poker Creeks research watershed, Alaska
Authors: University of New Hampshire. Water Resources Research Center.
Institute of Northern Forestry (U.S.)
Haugen, Richard K.
Slaughter, Charles W.
Howe, Karen E.
Dingman, S. L.
Keywords: Climate
Cold Regions
Frozen ground
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 82-26.
Description: CRREL Report
Abstract: The Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed is a small (101.5-km^2) drainage basin located 48 km northwest of Fairbanks, Alaska. Elevations within the watershed range from 210 to 826 m, and approximately 28% of its area is underlain by permafrost. Climatic differences between the watershed and Fairbanks are primarily due to the higher elevation of the watershed. Generally the watershed climatic sites are warmer in winter and cooler in summer than Fairbanks. Within the watershed the greatest temperature contrasts exist in winter, when the valley-bottom sites are beneath the regional air temperature inversion, and the higher sites are above it. From May through September the total precipitation averages 270 mm, 1.47 times that received at Fairbanks. The annual precipitation is about 1.7 times that of Fairbanks. The historical precipitation record at Fairbanks indicates that summer precipitation was below the long-term normal in eight of the eleven years of watershed measurements (1969-1980); no climatic extremes occurred during this period. An analysis of annual streamflow data showed an inconsistency of baseflow recessions from year to year. The runoff-rainfall ratio for individual summer storms averaged 0.35 for Caribou Creek. Comparisons of spot discharge measurements of predominantly permafrost and non-permafrost subwatersheds showed that permafrost-dominated watersheds have a much "flashier" response to precipitation than non-permafrost watersheds. A comparison of the annual flow distribution of the watershed indicated that Caribou Creek has lower summer and higher winter discharges per unit area than the Chena or Salcha Rivers. The temporal variability of the flow of Caribou Creek is low compared with small- and moderate-sized streams in New England.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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