Date of Award
Michael Kerwin, Ph.D.
Climate change, Colorado, Dendroclimatology, Reservoirs, Water resources
Meteorological observations from 1894 through 2010 suggest that 17 historically large snow events occurred in the mountains of Colorado within Denver's water supply region. Of these 16 events, 14 can be identified in precipitation sensitive tree ring records as positive climatic pointer years. If these storms were to occur today, they would have the potential to fill reservoirs in Denver Water's supply system, even after years of sustained drought. These "drought busters" have the potential to refill Dillon Reservoir by increasing average yearly inflow up to 146% of the previous year's inflow. Such drought busters can help Denver recover from droughts that will most likely increase in frequency and severity in the near future. However, drought busters cannot be precisely predicted because past positive climatic pointer years used for calibration may be falsely identified due to certain climatic patterns and the biological responses of trees.
Marzetta, Katrina Leona, "Colorado's Large Snow Events' Impact on Tree Ring Growth and Dillon Reservoir" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 403.
Received from ProQuest
Katrina Leona Marzetta
Geography, Climate change