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Snow Melt

Spring Runoff

4-4-14 spring runoff 004With snow rapidly melting, spring runoff is very apparent everywhere you look. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey studied the timing and volume of river flows for 27 rivers in New England several years ago. Although this year may be the exception, they found that in the last 30 years the peak flow date has advanced by one to two weeks. Snowmelt runoff has the most effect on spring rivers flows, and these peak flow dates correlate with the change in last-frost dates, lilac bloom dates, lake ice-out dates and spring air temperatures, indicating that these New England spring geophysical and biological changes all were caused by a common mechanism — temperature increases.

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