Cold Creek

Cold Creek in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. Photo by Catalina Segura.

Today, August 18, 2023, the fire is burning over Cold Creek. Here’s something interesting about Cold Creek: Cold Creek has more water in the summer than would be estimated for the size of its watershed. In fact, water from Cold Creek flows into Lookout Creek and makes up about 80% of the flow of Lookout Creek during the dry summer months. Where is that cold water coming from, and how does it keep flowing during the dry season? To find out, researcher Catalina Segura and her team used water isotope ratios and found that the water from Cold Creek comes from plumbing deep in the mountains. It’s likely that the water from Cold Creek comes from snowpack high in the Cascades range, outside of the ridgeline that defines the boundary of Cold Creek and possibly the boundary of the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. 

First posted August 18, 2023