2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 331-2
Presentation Time: 1:55 PM


SANKEY, Joel B., U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, KREITLER, Jason, Western Geographic Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road MS-531, Menlo Park, CA 94025, HAWBAKER, Todd J., USGS, Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center, PO Box 25046, MS 516, Denver, CO 80225, MCVAY, Jason, Northern Arizona University, Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics Lab, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, VAILLANT, Nicole, USDA Forest Service, Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Prineville, OR 97754 and LOWE, Scott, Boise State University, Department of Economics, Boise, ID 83725, jsankey@usgs.gov

Increased sedimentation following wildland fire can negatively impact water supply and water quality. Understanding how future changes in fire frequency, extent, and location will affect watersheds and the ecosystem services they supply to communities is of great societal importance in the USA and throughout the world. In this work we predict variability in post-fire sediment yield at a watershed scale as a function of future wildfire conditions throughout the western USA through 2050. Our predictions are based on future fire probabilities, climate change scenarios, and differing GIS-based implementations of watershed sediment yield models. We assess the uncertainties of our predictions and compare predictions based on the GEOWEPP (Geo-spatial interface for the Water erosion Prediction Project), InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) Sediment Retention, and InVEST Sediment Delivery Ratio models. Predictions indicate that sediment yield from post-fire hillslope erosion may increase dramatically in coming decades as a function of increased wildfire for many watersheds across the western USA.