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Runoff and peakflows after clearcutting and the establishment of a new plantation in an experimental catchment, southern Chile

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Bathurst


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The hydrological effects of plantation clearcutting and reforestation were studied in a 34.4 ha experimental catchment localized in an area with rainy temperate climate in southern Chile. Monthly, annual and summer runoffs and peakflows were analyzed comparing the pre and post-harvesting conditions. During the first four years after clearcutting an important increase in annual runoff was observed, but after eight years of development of the new plantation a recovery towards pre-harvesting levels is being noticed. Summer runoffs also increased after plantation harvesting and the effect was still noticeable six years after the forest operation, but since the seventh summer period low flows became similar to those from the pre-harvesting condition. Peakflows also increased after clearcutting but the effect was higher in low magnitude rain storms. Although this increase is still noticeable eight years after the intervention, peakflows from the pre and post-harvesting conditions in the study catchment would only differ for events with return periods lower than 10 years.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Iroumé A, Palacios H, Bathurst J, Huber A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bosque

Year: 2010

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Pages: 117-128

Print publication date: 01/01/2010

ISSN (print): 0304-8799

ISSN (electronic): 0717-9200

Publisher: Universidad Austral de Chile


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