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Comment on “Peak flow responses to clear-cutting and roads in small and large basins, Western Cascades, Oregon: A second opinion” by R. B. Thomas and W. F. Megahan Public Deposited

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  • Thomas and Megahan [1998] provide a thoughtful reanalysis of our earlier paper [Jones and Grant, 1996]. Thomas and Megahan [1998] (hereinafter referred to as T&M) reacted to three assertions made by Jones and Grant [1996] (hereinafter referred to as J&G): (1) "forest harvesting has increased peak discharges by as much as 50% in small basins and 100% in large basins" (p. 959), (2) "the major mechanism responsible for [increased peak discharges in patch clear-cut and roaded basins] is the increased drainage efficiency of basins attribut­able to the integration of the road/patch clear-cut network with the preexisting stream network" (p. 972), and (3) "the statis­tical analysis strongly suggests that the entire population of peak discharges is shifted upward by clear-cutting and roads; we see no reason to expect the biggest storms to behave differently from the rest of the population" (p. 972). We believe T&M's reanalysis of our data confirms and, in some cases, strengthens the conclusions of the original paper, while highlighting critical areas for future work. Seemingly contradictory findings of J&G and T&M are a direct result of different decisions about sample sizes, critical statistical signif­icance levels, and data transformation; these decisions may tip the balance between findings of "significance" or "nonsignifi­cance" in statistical analyses of a single data set. In this com­ment we examine the objectives and conceptual approaches of the two studies and differences and similarities in statistical approaches, findings, and interpretation of findings.
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  • Jones, J. A., and G. E. Grant (2001), Comment on “Peak flow responses to clear-cutting and roads in small and large basins, Western Cascades, Oregon: A second opinion” by R. B. Thomas and W. F. Megahan, Water Resources Research, 37(1), 175–178, doi:10.1029/2000WR900276.
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  • 37
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  • 1
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