Daniel M. Johnson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography



Physical Description

1 online resource (138 p.)


Goose Lake (Calif. and Or.) -- Water level




A water budget model was developed to estimate year-end lake volumes of Goose Lake, Oregon-California, to determine whether an accurate reconstruction of lake volumes/levels could be made with several synthesized or partial volumetric components. Components evaluated were the lake level/volume observations, precipitation, streamflow, and evaporation during the data-rich study period, 1946 to 1975. By regressing estimated year-end volumes against actual volumes (using actual volumes as the input at the beginning of each year) a correlation coefficient of 0.97 was obtained. By letting the series' year-end volumes be substituted for the following years' antecedent volumes a systematic error was created, identical in time and degree to irrigation consumptive use in the basin. The consideration of this additional component improved the self-generating series. The interaction of the components described by the model was then fed into a reconstruction model which used regression equations relating precipitation and runoff to annual tree-ring width indices. In this manner, a long-term synthetic runoff and precipitation record was developed for the basin for the period 1422 to 1964. Trends in the model output for the recent period (1830 to present) closely parallel recorded observations of lake level/volume although the range of reconstructed volumes was not as extreme as actually occurred. Nevertheless, the "actual" versus "synthesized" lake level series (1946 to 1964) were fairly well correlated (r=0.75), being significant to the 0.99 level. The study shows that tree rings are useful in the reconstruction of hydrologic and climatologic phenomena and are especially sensitive to changes in available water supply but do not show the high interannual variation seen in both precipitation and streamflow. Additionally, the tree ring record appears to be more sensitive to drought than to dry conditions in the basin and is therefore not well suited to determining the recurrence interval of high-water conditions.


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