Using SST, PDO and SOI for Streamflow Reconstruction

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Syeda Saria Bukhary1, Ajay Kalra2 and Sajjad Ahmad1, (1)University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, United States, (2)Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL, United States
Recurring droughts in southwestern U.S. particularly California, have strained the existing water reserves of the region. Frequency, severity and duration of these recurring drought events may not be captured by the available instrumental records. Thus streamflow reconstruction becomes imperative to identify the historic hydroclimatic extremes of a region and assists in developing better water management strategies, vital for sustainability of water reserves. Tree ring chronologies (TRC) are conventionally used to reconstruct streamflows, since tree rings are representative of climatic information. Studies have shown that sea surface temperature (SST) and climate indices of southern oscillation index (SOI) and pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) influence U.S. streamflow volumes. The purpose of this study was to improve the traditional reconstruction methodology by incorporating the oceanic-atmospheric variables of PDO, SOI, and Pacific Ocean SST, alongwith TRC as predictors in a step-wise linear regression model. The methodology of singular value decomposition was used to identify teleconnected regions of streamflow and SST. The approach was tested on eleven gage stations in Sacramento River Basin (SRB) and San Joaquin River Basin (JRB). The reconstructions were successfully generated from 1800-1980, having an overlap period of 1932-1980. Improved results were exhibited when using the predictor variable of SST along with TRC (calibration r2=0.6-0.91) compared to when using TRC in combination with SOI and PDO (calibration r2=0.51-0.78) or when using TRC by itself (calibration r2=0.51-0.86). For future work, this approach can be replicated for other watersheds by using the oceanic-atmospheric climate variables influencing that region.