Does the USGS have streamflow records that are appropriate for use in the study of climate variation?

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Episode Number: 92

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Location Taken: US

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is an interesting one.

Does the USGS have streamflow records that are appropriate for use in the study of climate variation?

For streamflow records to reflect variations in climate there needs to be an absence of any other major causes that would radically alter streamflow patterns during that time. Such processes would be primarily induced by human activity, either intentionally or unintentionally.

An effort was undertaken to identify and assemble USGS records of daily mean discharge that were judged to be relatively free of anthropogenic effects. The resulting collection of stations is called the Hydroclimatic Data Network or HCDN. The HCDN consists of 1,659 sites throughout the United States and its territories, totaling 73,231 water years of daily mean discharge values.

For more information about this network, visit pubs.usgs.gov/of/1992/ofr92-129.

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to usgs.gov/podcasts. If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at corefacts@usgs.gov or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

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