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River Flows: Average Year, 2015 and 2017

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River Flows: Average Year, 2015 and 2017

Postby postholer » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:13 pm

So, I've been tinkering around with river flow data as it's sorely missing from the postholer site. The objective is to build a relationship with the snow data so that hikers will at least have some information of how the spring melt is progressing.

Yes, loads of fun here at postholer.com! :)

What's really interesting, there seems to be no avoiding the melt as it peaks at different times. For instance, the Kern seems to peak around May 1st and the Merced about June 1st. I assume that at peak melt, snow is melting at both high and low altitudes. But it really makes me question the idea that early season hikers are missing the worst of the melt. For the southern sierra that doesn't seem to be the case. One thing seems certain, all the rivers peak before June 15th in an average year.

Oh well, this is all new to me at the moment.

With that, here are some preliminary graphs showing the melt in roughly south to north order for the historical average, 2015 (very dry year) and 2017 (very wet year).

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Re: River Flows: Average Year, 2015 and 2017

Postby gg-man » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:42 pm

Have you been able to correlate the stream flow with melt rate meaning higher stream flows would show higher rate of melt at points within the drainage of the stream? Also, you can really see the effect of weather on the stream flows within Yosemite in 2017. That is driving the huge variation day to day.
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Re: River Flows: Average Year, 2015 and 2017

Postby postholer » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:44 am

gg-man wrote:Have you been able to correlate the stream flow with melt rate meaning higher stream flows would show higher rate of melt at points within the drainage of the stream? Also, you can really see the effect of weather on the stream flows within Yosemite in 2017. That is driving the huge variation day to day.


The elephant in the room is, you don't know *when* the melt will occur on a seasonal basis. However, using a weather forecast you might be able to tell if a melt period or a lull in the melt period will occur. THAT would be extremely helpful, I think.

That's the other problem, knowing exactly where in the drainage the melt is occuring. I've gathered all the locations of lake, stream and spring gauges (huge), all the basin data (huge). I've determined the closest non-dam gauges to the trail, grouped by sub-basins. I've also gotten the initial data for these stations but have not graphed it yet, as I'm trying to automate all this as I go.

Your insight is very helpful Malto, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know. Your feedback is very useful!

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