Canadian Forest Service Publications

Development of a low-flow hazard model for the Fraser basin, British Columbia. 2009. Carver, M.; Weiler, M.; Stahl, K.; Scheffler, C.; Schneider, J.; Naranjo, J.A.B. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2009-14. 25 p.

Year: 2009

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31188

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Abstract

The province of British Columbia, Canada, is currently experiencing the largest mountain pine beetle outbreak ever recorded in North America. The most recent surveys indicate that widespread mortality of pine trees has occurred in over 10 million ha of forest (an area roughly the size of Iceland) and the outbreak continues to kill mature pine in the province. The epicentre of the current outbreak is in the Fraser River drainage basin (230,000 km2), where roughly 8 million ha of forest have been affected, approximately 35% of the drainage area. Due to the infestation's area and associated salvage harvest operations, the potential exists for widespread and significant local and regional hydrologic impacts within the basin. However, the scale and physiographic heterogeneity of the Fraser River basin precludes both direct observation and extrapolation of hydrologic impacts observed from a limited number of stand-level and small basin experiments. A low-flow hazard model was developed for third-order catchments within the Fraser River watershed. Baseline and mountain pine beetle-infestation and harvest scenarios were modeled for seven catchments for direct comparison with the Variable Infiltration Capacity modeling results. The model is to be used in risk-based hydrology modeling to produce a comprehensive knowledge of mountain pine beetle-infestation effects on the hydrology of the Fraser River watershed and its major sub-basins in British Columbia, Canada.