Impact of Temperature on Columbia River Winter Floods

by Daniel J. Barcellos, Corps of Engineers, Portland, OR, USA,
George D. Holmes, Corps of Engineers, Portland, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


During the course of an extensive study of the Columbia River drainage to evaluate a major levee system near Portland Oregon, it was noted that flood runoff produced by winter storms with large amounts of precipitation was not properly reconstituted. Analysis of the model output resulted in the conclusion that the determination of areal distribution of precipitation as rain or snow was the underlaying reason for failure to reconstitute runoff. The key parameter in determining this distribution of rain and snow is temperature as effected by elevation. Further investigation lead to a number of conclusions about the impacts of temperature on Columbia River winter flood runoff and the implications regarding future levee design floods.

Subject Headings: Floods | Rivers and streams | Winter | Temperature effects | Runoff | Levees and dikes | Precipitation | Snow | Oregon | United States

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