32 Views · 96 Downloads · ☆☆☆☆☆ 0.0

Distinguishing human and climate-induced contributions to the Columbia River hydrology

PUBLISHED June 19, 2023 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.54985/peeref.2306p9354115)



Pradeep Naik1 , David Jay2
  1. Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India
  2. Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA

Conference / event

World Water Week, September 2010 (Stockholm, Sweden)

Poster summary

Most hydrologic trends result from a combination of climatic and human influences, and analyses of hydrologic changes often do not differentiate these factors. Here, we separate human and climate influences on the Columbia River hydrologic cycle and sediment discharge. Human influences include water withdrawal for irrigation, flow regulation, reservoir manipulation, mining and deforestation. The Columbia’s streamflow and sediment discharge are strongly correlated with large-scale climate patterns, particularly the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) and PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation). The mean annual average Columbia River virgin flow at The Dalles has decreased ~16.5%, 8-9% due to climate change and 7-8% due to water withdrawal for irrigation. Climate impacts on the sediment discharge are larger than on streamflow because sediment discharge increases more than linearly with flow. Total sediment and sand transports have decreased >50% and >70% respectively, only a fraction of which is due to climate change.


Streamflow, Sediment discharge, Climate change, El Nino Southern Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Flow regulation

Research areas

Environmental Sciences, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Earth Sciences, Ocean Sciences


No data provided


No data provided

Supplemental files

No data provided

Additional information

Competing interests
No competing interests were disclosed.
Data availability statement
The datasets generated during and / or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Creative Commons license
Copyright © 2023 Naik et al. This is an open access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Naik, P., Jay, D. Distinguishing human and climate-induced contributions to the Columbia River hydrology [not peer reviewed]. Peeref 2023 (poster).
Copy citation

Discover Peeref hubs

Discuss science. Find collaborators. Network.

Join a conversation

Ask a Question. Answer a Question.

Quickly pose questions to the entire community. Debate answers and get clarity on the most important issues facing researchers.

Get Started