Logging effects on snow, soil moisture, and water loss

TitleLogging effects on snow, soil moisture, and water loss
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1959
AuthorsAnderson, H. W., and Gleason C. H.
Conference Name27th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 27th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1959
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationReno, Nevada
KeywordsLogging effects, Runoff, Snowmelt, Soil moisture

The results of studies in California on the effects of various types of logging on the water yield from snow are reported. The studies were made on an 18.7 acre strip cutting 300 feet wide and 2500 feet long, on a 17.1 acre block cutting 800 feet wide and 1800 feet long, and on a commercial diameter limit cutting. The controls were natural openings and forest stands. All three methods of logging increased maximum snow accumulation and decreased annual water losses. At maximum depth the strip cutting showed 10 inches more water than the un-cut forest, block cutting and the commercial cutting showed 5 to 7 inches more. The rate of snow melting was greater in the commercial cutting areas than in the un-cut forest. Small amounts of snow remained longer in the un-cut forest. Summer soil moisture losses in soils 48 inches deep, were decreased by logging while the annual water yield from precipitation was increased.