Evaluation of short-term changes of hydrological response in mountainous basins of the Vitim Plateau (Russia) after forest fires based on data analysis and hydrological modelling
Other literature type
Semenova, O. M.
Lebedeva, L. S.
Nesterova, N. V.
Vinogradova, T. A.
Twelve mountainous basins of the Vitim Plateau (Eastern Siberia, Russia) with
areas ranging from 967 to 18 200 km<sup>2</sup> affected by extensive fires in 2003
(from 13 to 78% of burnt area) were delineated based on MODIS Burned
Area Product. The studied area is characterized by scarcity of
hydrometeorological observations and complex hydrological processes. Combined
analysis of monthly series of flow and precipitation was conducted to detect
short-term fire impact on hydrological response of the basins. The idea of
basin-analogues which have significant correlation of flow with "burnt"
watersheds in stationary (pre-fire) period with the assumption that fire
impact produced an outlier of established dependence was applied. Available
data allowed for qualitative detection of fire-induced changes at two basins
from twelve studied. Summer flow at the Amalat and Vitimkan Rivers (22 and
78% proportion of burnt area in 2003, respectively) increased by
40–50% following the fire.The impact of fire on flow from the other
basins was not detectable.The hydrological model Hydrograph was applied to
simulate runoff formation processes for stationary pre-fire and
non-stationary post-fire conditions. It was assumed that landscape properties
changed after the fire suggest a flow increase. These changes were used to
assess the model parameters which allowed for better model performance in the