Accompanying Data to Hampton & Basu (2020) "A novel Budyko-based approach to quantify post-forest-fire hydrologic response and recovery timescales"

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Created: Aug 08, 2019 at 4:14 p.m.
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Recent increases in the incidences of wildfires have necessitated the development of methodologies to quantify the effect of these fires on streamflows. Climate variability has been cited as a major challenge in revealing the true contribution of disturbance to streamflow changes. To address this, we developed an annual Budyko “decomposition” method for (1) statistical change detection of hydrologic signatures post-fire, (2) separating climate-driven and fire-driven changes in streamflow, and (3) estimating hydrologic recovery timescales after fire. We demonstrate the use of this methodology for 8 watersheds in Southern California with high interannual variability in precipitation. We show that while traditional metrics like changes in flow or runoff ratio might not detect a disturbance effect due to confounding climate signals, the Budyko framework can be used successfully for statistical change detection. The Budyko approach was also found to be robust in detecting changes in highly burned catchments (>40% burned area ratio), while changes in less burned and unburned catchments were insignificant. We further used the Budyko approach to quantify the contribution of fire-driven versus climate driven changes in streamflow and found that fire contributed to an average increase in streamflow on the order of 80 mm yr-1. Finally, we estimated hydrologic recovery timescales that varied between 5 to 45 years for our catchments. We found a significant linear relationship between recovery time and burned area, with about 4 years of recovery time per 10% of the watershed burned.

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Hampton, T. B. (2020). Accompanying Data to Hampton & Basu (2020) "A novel Budyko-based approach to quantify post-forest-fire hydrologic response and recovery timescales", HydroShare,

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