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The Hydrologic Regime of the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park
Nov 1, 2003
The hydrologic regime of the modern Snake River is substantially different from the estimated natural flow regime and from the regulated flow regime that existed prior to 1957, based on analysis of the record of stream flow near Moran, immediately downstream from Jackson Lake Dam, and comparison with the unregulated flow regime, as estimated by the Bureau of Reclamation. Today's late spring floods are much lower and late summer flows are much higher than if the dam did not exist. Today's fall and winter flows are approximately what they would be if there were no dam, and they are much higher than prior to 1957 when base flows were very low. Today's flood regime is much lower than those prior to 1957 but occur in a more "natural" season. Analyses were based on three techniques: traditional comparison of mean daily and instantaneous stream flow, continuous wavelet analysis, and analysis using the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration software. The utilization of mean daily discharge data and the Bureau of Reclamation's estimated unregulated stream flow represent new contributions to the study of stream flow alteration in Grand Teton National Park.
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