Other Sources for Streamflow and Hydroclimatic Reconstructions

NOAA Paleoclimatology Branch, World Data Center for Paleoclimatology - Hydroclimate Reconstructions


General Tree-Ring Resources

Tree Ring Page at NOAA Paleoclimatology Branch
Access to the International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB) and other tree-ring databases and information sources.

The Science of Tree-rings Web Pages 
Put together by Henri Grissino-Mayer at the University of Tennessee, these extensive pages have almost everything you need to know about tree-ring science.

Crossdating Demo 
Paul Sheppard of the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (LTRR) has an online demo for practicing the crossdating technique ("skeleton plotting") widely used to date tree rings. 

Selected tree-ring research units

NOAA RISA programs sponsoring paleohydrology research

California Applications Program (CAP) (Scripps/UCSD)

Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) (U. of Arizona)

Western Water Assessment (U. of Colorado)

References on Tree Rings and Climate/Streamflow

(See the individual basin home pages for the subset of these references specific to that basin)


Latest streamflow reconstructions (archived on TreeFlow)

Barnett, F.A., T.A. Watson, G.A. Tootle and S.T. Gray. In Press. Upper Green River Basin (USA) streamflow reconstructions. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering.

Griffin, R.D. 2007. A 600-Year Streamflow History in the Salinas Valley Reconstructed from Blue Oak Tree Rings. M.A. Thesis. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. 67 pages.

LTRR-SRP-II (2008) The Current Drought In Context: A Tree-Ring Based Evaluation of Water Supply Variability for the Salt-Verde River Basin Final Report.

Meko, D. M. 2001. Reconstructed Sacramento River System Runoff From Tree Rings. Report prepared for the California Department of Water Resources, July 2001.

Meko, D.M., Woodhouse, C.A., Baisan, C.A., Knight, T., Lukas, J.J., Hughes, M.K., and Salzer, M.W. 2007. Medieval Drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Geophysical Research Letters 34, L10705.

Stahle, D.W., M.D. Therrell, M.K. Cleaveland, D.R. Cayan, M.D. Dettinger and N. Knowles. 2001. Ancient blue oaks reveal human impact on San Francisco Bay salinity. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. 82(12): 141, 144-145.

Watson, T. A., F. A. Barnett, S. T. Gray, and G. A. Tootle. 2009. Reconstructed Streamflows for the Headwaters of the Wind River, Wyoming, United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 45(1):224-236.

Woodhouse, C.A., S.T. Gray, and D.M. Meko. 2006. Updated streamflow reconstructions for the Upper Colorado River basin. Water Resources Research 42(5): W05415

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.


Previous streamflow reconstructions

LTRR-SRP-I (2005) A Tree-Ring Based Assessment of Synchronous Extreme Streamflow Episodes in the Upper Colorado & Salt-Verde-Tonto River Basin Final Report.

Meko, D.M., and Graybill, D.A., 1995, Tree-ring reconstruction of Upper Gila River discharge: Water Resources Bulletin, v. 31, no. 4, p. 605-616.

Meko, D.M., M.D.Therrell, C.H.Baisan, and M.K Hughes, 2001. Sacramento River flow reconstructed to A.D. 869 from tree rings: Journal of the American Water Resources Association 37(4): 1029-1040.

Smith, L.P., and Stockton, C.W. (1981) Reconstructed streamflow for the Salt and Verde Rivers from tree-ring data. Water Resources Bulletin, v. 17, no. 6, p. 939-947.

Stockton, C.W. and G.C. Jacoby. 1976. Long-term surface water supply and streamflow levels in the upper Colorado River basin. Lake Powell Research Project Bulletin No. 18, Inst. of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 70 pp.

Woodhouse, C.A. 2001. A tree-ring reconstruction of streamflow for the Colorado Front Range. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 37: 561-570.


Analyses and Applications of Streamflow Reconstructions

Barnett, T. P., and D. W. Pierce.  2009.  Sustainable water deliveries from the Colorado River in a changing climate.

 Proceedings of the National Academy of 
Sciences (PNAS), 106, 7334– 7338, doi:10.1073/pnas.0812762106.

Earle, C.J., 1993. Asynchronous droughts in California streamflow as reconstructed from tree rings. Quaternary Research 39: 290-299.

Gangopadhyay, S., Harding, B., Rajagopalan, B., Lukas, J., and Fulp, T. 2009. A Non-Parametric Approach for Paleohydrologic Reconstruction of Annual Streamflow Ensembles. Water Resources Research 45, W06417.

Gedalof, Z., D.L. Peterson and N.J. Mantua. 2004. Columbia River flow and drought since 1750. Journal of the American Water Resources Association.40: 1579 - 1592.

Graham, N. E., and M. K. Hughes. 2007. Reconstructing the medieval Mono Lake low stands. The Holocene, 17, 1197-1210

Graumlich, L.J., M.F.J. Pisaric, L.A. Waggoner, J.S. Littell, and J.C. King. 2003. Upper Yellowstone River Flow and Teleconnections With Pacific Basin Climate Variability During the Past Three Centuries. Climatic Change 59(1-2):245-262.

Gray, S.T., and G.J. McCabe. In review. Combined water balance and tree-ring approaches to understanding the potential hydrologic effects of climate change on the Yellowstone River. Water Resources Research.

Graybill, D.A., Gregory, D.A., Funkhouser, G.S., and Nials, F.L. (2006) Long-term streamflow reconstructions, river channel morphology, and aboriginal irrigation systems along the Salt and Gila Rivers, In: Environmental Change and Human Adaptation in the Ancient Southwest, edited by Jeffrey S. Dean and David E. Doyel. University of Utah Press.

Hardman, G. and O.E. Reil. 1936. The Relationship Between Tree Growth and Stream Runoff in the Truckee River Basin. California-Nevada Bulletin 141, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station. Reno, Nevada.

Jain, S., C.A. Woodhouse, M.P.Hoerling. 2002. Multidecadal streamflow regimes in the interior western United States: implications for the vulnerability of water resources. Geophysical Research Letters, 29: 2036-2039.

Lewis, K.J., and D.L. Hathaway. 2002. New Mexico climate and hydrology: Is the Historic Record Valid for Predictive Modeling? Hydrologic Science and Technology. 19, no. 1-4: 57.

Lewis, K.J. and D.L. Hathaway. 2002. Using Paleo-Climate Records to Assess the Current Hydrology of the New Mexico Middle Rio Grande. Southwest Hydrology. 1, no. 2: 20.

Meko, D. M., C.W. Stockton, and W.R. Boggess. 1995. The tree-ring record of severe sustained drought, Water Resources Bulletin, 31, 789-801.

Meko, D.M. and C.A. Woodhouse. 2005. Tree-ring footprint of joint hydrologic drought in Sacramento and Upper Colorado River basins, western USA. Journal of Hydrology, 308, 196-213.

Rice, J., Woodhouse, C., and Lukas, J. (2009). Science and decision-making: Water management and tree-ring data in the western United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 45(5): 1248-1259. (Abstract)

Saito, L., F. Biondi, J.D. Salas, A.K. Panorska, and T.J. Kozubowski. 2008. A watershed modeling approach to streamflow reconstruction from tree-ring records. Environmental Research Letters 3: 024006 (6pp); doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/2/024006

Woodhouse, C.A. 1999. Artificial neural networks and dendroclimatic reconstructions: an example from the Front Range, Colorado, USA. The Holocene 9: 521-529.

Woodhouse, C.A. 2000. Extending hydrologic records with tree rings. Water Resources Impact 2:25-27.

Woodhouse, C.A., 2004. A Paleo Perspective on Hydroclimatic Variability in the Western United States. Aquatic Sciences 66:346-356.

Woodhouse, C.A. and J.J. Lukas. 2006. Drought, Tree Rings, and Water Resource Management in Colorado. Canadian Water Resources Journal 31(4): 1-14.

Woodhouse, C.A. and J.T. Overpeck. 1998. 2000 years of drought variability in the central United States. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 79: 2693-2714.


Other Hydroclimate Reconstructions (Drought, Precipitation, Snowpack)

Cook, E. R., D. M. Meko, D. W. Stahle, and M. K. Cleaveland. 1999. Drought reconstructions for the continental United States, J. Climate, 12(4): 1145-1162.

Cook, E.R., C.A.Woodhouse, C.M. Eakin, D.M. Meko, and D.W. Stahle. 2004. Long-term aridity changes in the western United States. Science, 306, 1015-1018.

Garfin, G. M., and Hughes, M. K. 1996. Eastern Oregon Divisional Precipitation and Palmer Drought Severity Index from Tree-Rings. Report to the U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Research Station. USDA Forest Service Cooperative Agreement PNW 90-174.

Gray, S.T., C. Fastie, S.T. Jackson, and J.L. Betancourt. 2004. Tree-ring based reconstructions of precipitation in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming since A.D. 1260. Journal of Climate, 17:3855-3865.

Gray, S.T., L.J. Graumlich, and J.L. Betancourt. 2007. Annual precipitation in the Yellowstone National Park Region since A.D. 1173. Quaternary Research, 68:18-27.

Gray, S.T., S.T Jackson, and J. L. Betancourt. 2004. Tree-ring based reconstructions of interannual to decadal-scale precipitation variability for northeastern Utah since 1226 AD. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 40 (4), 947–960.

Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 1996. A 2129-year reconstruction of precipitation for northwestern New Mexico, USA. In: J.S. Dean, D.M. Meko, and T.W. Swetnam, eds., Tree Rings, Environment, and Humanity. Radiocarbon, 1996: 191-204.

Grissino-Mayer, H.D., C. H. Baisan, K. A. Morino, and T. W. Swetnam. 2002. Multi-century trends in past climate for the Middle Rio Grande Basin, AD 622–1992. Final Report, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 58 pp.

Hughes, M.K. and G. Funkhouser. 2003. Frequency-dependent climate signal in upper and lower forest border tree rings in the mountains of the Great Basin. Climatic Change 59: 233-244.

Hughes, M. K. and L. J. Graumlich. 1996. Climatic variations and forcing mechanisms of the last 2000 years. Volume 141. Multi-millenial dendroclimatic studies from the western United States. NATO ASI Series, pp. 109-124.

Ni, F., T. Cavazos, M. K. Hughes, A. C. Comrie, and G. Funkhouser. 2002. Cool-season precipitation in the Southwestern USA since AD 1000: Comparison of linear and nonlinear techniques for reconstruction. International Journal of Climatology, 22: 1645-1662.

Pederson, G.T., S.T. Gray, D.B. Fagre, and L.J. Graumlich. 2006. Long-Duration Drought Variability and Impacts on Ecosystem Services: A Case Study from Glacier National Park, Montana. Earth Interactions, Volume 10, Paper 4, January 2006.

Smith, W.P. 1986. Reconstruction of precipitation in northeastern Nevada using tree rings, 1600-1982. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 25: 1255-1263.

Touchan, R., C. A. Woodhouse, D. M. Meko, and C. Allen. In Press. Millennial precipitation reconstruction for the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, reveals changing drought signal. International Journal of Climatology. (Abstract)

Woodhouse, C.A., and P.M. Brown. 2001. Tree-ring evidence for Great Plains drought. Tree-Ring Research 57:89-103.

Woodhouse, C.A. 2003. A 431-year reconstruction of western Colorado snowpack from tree rings. Journal of Climate 16: 1551-1561.