An Annual Streamflow Reconstruction of the Red River, Kentucky Using a White Pine (Pinus Strobus) Chronology
C. Andrew Day, Jeremy Sandifer

Using tree ring data (dendrochronology) a reconstruction of the historical annual stream flow of the Red River Basin of Kentucky was performed. Tree ring widths provide a surrogate record of the past climate and hence stream flow of a particular area, with thicker rings corresponding to wetter periods and thinner rings corresponding to drier conditions. This type of research is common in river basins across the western USA which are prone to serious droughts and flooding on annual and decadal scales. However, little research has been conducted in this manner in the eastern USA, Kentucky in particular, despite the potential for intermittent dry and wet periods over time. The use of the Daniel Boone National Forest is the focus of this study due to the well documented past flooding and drought events of the Red River during the 20th Century. The technique provided a reconstructed record from 1713 up to the end of the observed period in 1999. The results show that there has been a decrease in the number and frequency of prolonged wet and dry periods, although there has been an increase in the extreme wet and dry conditions during the later observed record which suggests a shift in the hydroclimatological regime of the river basin.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jges.v3n1a1