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Runoff Report 1999..... Unfrozen Soil

The condition of the soil is very important for the first stage of the runoff. A cold winter causes the soil to freeze. The ground cannot absorb snow water from the first runoff stage. The result is a faster surface flow. The snow water is faster transported into the lake causing a faster initial level increase. Over time the condition of the soil will change and snow water will be stored under the surface. This leads to a reduced lake inflow for a period of time. The lake can drain more water than it takes in, which can be confused with a temporary break in the runoff. Warm temperatures during this phase will minimize such an effect pushing the lake level even faster up.

A mild winter keeps the soil unfrozen. The water from the snowmelt is absorbed by the ground and slowly released by the subsurface flow. The effect on the lake is a slower and more constant raise during the first stage. The time span is larger for the first stage.

As mentioned before the mild winter of 1998 / 1999 kept most of the soil unfrozen. Therefore, the lake level increase during the initial stage was slow, noticeable slower than in previous years.

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Copyright (C) 2003 Bernhard Kramer, Sicamous, BC - Canada