Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics

First Advisor

Michael Kerwin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Keables

Third Advisor

J. Michael Daniels

Fourth Advisor

Hillary B. Hamann


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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Katrina Leona Marzetta


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

172 p.


Geography, Climate change