Originally Posted by heliodorus04
Dan, can you explain what Beetle Kill is and why it increases runoff.
Oh, wait, dead trees don't suck up water into their roots, thus, more water flowing from snow to creek/river?
What about wood? Should we expect more?
There was an April 7 or 8 article in the Denver Post "Amid dead pines, the seeds of new growth," which quoted Lee MacDonald of CSU with the 30-percent more runoff number. The reasons Lee provided were: (1) roots no longer absorb water, (2) the denuded branches no longer serve as a platform for snow that never reaches the ground before evaporating (less sublimation).
Also: Dead trees don't use water, while live trees lower ground water tables and more-or-less empty the soil moisture reservoir by late fall. Where there are live trees, the ground water table and soil moisture reservoir act as a sponge that soaks up a portion of snowmelt each spring. If all the trees are dead, the sponge is already wet the snow melts and contributes to runoff right away, losing less water to the ground. ya dig? We've been seeing examples of this in Summit County.
And yes, there will be more wood because: historically high flows dislodge trees and wood from the bank and dead trees are more suseptible to falling over and floating downstream than their live and well anchored counterparts.