Blue River at Dillon, CO

The Blue River at Dillon gage measures a key component of Denver Water's water supply. A reconstruction for this gage was first developed by Connie Woodhouse in 2002, and then re-calibrated in 2004 using new tree-ring chronologies that end in 2002. The 2004 re-calibration is shown below. This reconstruction was used in analyses described in Woodhouse and Lukas (2006).


Woodhouse, C.A. and J.J. Lukas. 2006. Multi-century tree-ring reconstructions of Colorado streamflow for water resource planning. Climatic Change 78: 293-315.

Calibration & Validation 


A forward stepwise regression procedure was used to calibrate the observed flow record with a pool of potential predictors consisting of ~30 tree-ring chronologies from Colorado. The residual chronologies, with the low-order autocorrelation removed, were used. Three predictor chronologies were selected by the stepwise procedure for the reconstruction model for Blue River at Dillon. Validation statistics were computed using a leave-one-out (cross-validation) approach. Further details are provided in Woodhouse and Lukas (2006).

Predictor Chronologies: Dillon (CO), Pump House (CO), Cochetopa Dome (CO)

Statistic Calibration Validation
Explained variance (R2) 0.63  
Reduction of Error (RE)   0.59
Standard Error of the Estimate 36,981 AF  
Root Mean Square Error (RMSE)   37,941 AF

(For explanations of these statistics, see this document (PDF), and also the Reconstruction Case Study page.)


Figure 1. Scatter plot of observed and reconstructed Blue River annual flow, 1916-2002.

Figure 2. Observed (black) and reconstructed (blue) annual Blue River annual flow, 1916-2002. The observed mean is illustrated by the dashed line.

Long-Term Reconstruction 

Figure 3. Reconstructed annual flow for the Blue River (1437-2002) is shown in blue. Observed flow is shown in gray and the long-term reconstructed mean is shown by the dashed line.


Figure 4. The 10-year running mean (plotted on final year) of reconstructed Blue River flow, 1437-2002. Reconstructed values are shown in blue and observed values are shown in gray. The long-term reconstructed mean is shown by the dashed line.