Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Hudson, R. 2001. Roberts Creek Study Forest: preliminary effects of partial harvesting on peak streamflow in two S6 creeks. Forest Research Extension Note EN-007, Vancouver Forest Region.
Organization FLNRO
URL https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/rco/research/hydroreports/EN007.pdf
Abstract/Description or Keywords This study investigated the effect of partial logging
systems on peak flows in small creeks in the
Roberts Creek Study Forest. Two partial logging
systems were tested: variable retention (VR) and
strip shelterwood.
The analysis followed the paired watershed approach;
paired peak flows in the two treatment
creeks are compared with those of the control
creek, before and after treatment, to detect changes
in peak flow that are attributable to logging. A
peak flow is defined as the maximum instantaneous
flow resulting from an individual storm.
Streamflow data was subjected to regression analysis.
Study results indicate that the application of
partial logging systems on small creeks results in
statistically significant increases in peak flows. The
magnitude of the increase is proportional to the
forest canopy removed, expressed as a percentage
of the watershed area of the creek. The peak
flow increases are most consistent for “large”
flows above a return interval of 0.5 years. The
VR treatment results in a large variability in its
effect on peak flow compared with the strip
shelterwood treatment. Although there is not yet
enough data to show it statistically, there appears
to be a difference between the two treatments that
goes beyond the proportion of the canopy that is
removed. Strip shelterwood appears to result in
less extreme increases in peak flows compared
with VR treatment, especially with regard to rainon-snow
The study results provide evidence to support the
use of strip shelterwood or other patch treatments
as a means of mitigating against large changes in
peak flow, and helping to control the variability
of peak flow increases due to rain-on-snow conditions.
Although the study was carried out on S6
creeks, the results are relevant to larger creeks such
as S2 and S3.
Information Type report
Regional Watershed sunshine coast
Sub-watershed if known Roberts Creek
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name
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