Dr. David Scott

Recent Research

Innovative Approaches to Paired Catchment Analysis, 2016: Forest Restoration for Recovery of Ecosystem Services in South-Central Chile, 2016; Visiting Scientist, Southern University of Chile (Universidad Austral de Chile) and InFor (Forestry Research Institute of Chile):

During his time as a visiting scientist in Valdivia, Chile, Dr. Scott collaborated in studies of the effects of timber plantations on streamflow, and particularly on the importance of riparian reserves on streamflow quantity.

Testing the H60 concept in the Interior Watershed Assessment Procedure by process hydrology studies; 2004 – 2007

The H60 is a concept used in the Interior Watershed Assessment Procedure (IWAP; MoF 1999) by which the upper altitudinal zone within a watershed is weighted for its assumed contribution to peak flows.  The approach assumes that there is a direct and immediate link between snowmelt and surface flow, there being little lag in delivery of water from the snowpack to the stream.  However, work with stable isotopic tracers in water, namely deuterium and oxygen-18 (18O) in other parts of the world, have demonstrated that there may be a considerable storage capacity within catchments, and long lags between the entry of water into the soil and its emergence as part of streamflow.  This project used tracers and water chemistry to test some of the assumptions in the H60 concept. It aimed to determine the location in the watershed that makes the dominant contribution to the water in the peak hydrograph by using chemical means.  The key uncertainty being studied was the lag between snowmelt and water entering the stream channel. Results of the work were ambiguous, though there were some clear indications that snowmelt floods were largely comprised of current water (rather than stored water).

Evaluation of Fire Site Rehabilitation Methods in Terms of Controlling Erosion and Sedimentation; 2004 – 2007.

Flooding and soil erosion are two of the hazardous consequences of wildfires, and are of particular concern in the wildland/urban interface. This study examined the effectiveness of post-fire rehabilitation measures in reducing soil losses after the wildfires of 2003 in the Southern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Bark mulch, straw mulch, needle cast and grass seeding are the treatments being studied.  Sediment yield off hill-slope plots is measured with the use of silt fences and related to rain events.

Characterization of Fire-Induced Water Repellent Soils in the Southern Interior of BC, 2004 – on-going.

This project aimed to study the following aspects of fire-induced water repellency in the Southern Interior of British Columbia:

  1. The extent and severity of fire-induced water repellency in soils of sites burned in the wildfires in the southern interior of BC during the summer of 2003.
  2. Relate water repellency to potential environmental control variables such as vegetation type, soil characteristics, elevation and moisture regime of the site, in order to be able to predict the risk of fire-induced repellency developing on different sites.
  3. Measure the effect of fire on soil erodibility, aggregate stability and soil organic matter content.
  4. Measure the recovery of soil wettability with time after the burn, and determine the seasonal re-occurrence pattern of repellency and its relationship to soil wetness.