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Annual water balances of the glacierised Tarfala valley catchment, Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The calculation of annual water balances is a valuable tool for quantifying the available water resources and understanding the hydrological regime of a catchment and is based on the concept that water inputs to the catchment should be balanced by the water leaving the catchment as outputs and storage changes within the catchment. The process also presents the opportunity to identify sources of error in monitoring programmes and improve the quality and continuity of observational datasets. This is important for developing robust climate and hydrological models as these models depend on detailed knowledge of physical hydrological processes for their development and high quality, continuous time series of hydrological and climatic observations for their calibration and validation.  A disparity exists between a relative scarcity of data from mountainous, glacierised and high latitude catchments and their importance for water supplies and sensitivity to climatic changes. The Tarfala catchment, northern Sweden, provides a valuable opportunity to contribute to the understanding of the hydrology of these environments due to an extensive programme that constitutes hydrological, meteorological and glaciological monitoring. Annual water balances were calculated for the Tarfala catchment for a total of 29 years between 1969 and 2009. As result, the relative magnitudes, trends and relationships associated with the water balance components during these years have been determined and the continuity of the records of precipitation and runoff have been improved. Total precipitation (1969-2009) and runoff (1980-1999) have increased significantly and an increasing but insignificant trend is identified in runoff over the whole study period. A positive relationship between precipitation and runoff, alongside a coefficient of variation of runoff (standard deviation divided by mean) of 0.2 suggest that precipitation has a larger control on runoff than would be expected for the level of glacierisation. A negative relationship is found between storage change and mean June-August air temperature. The calculated mean error function is relatively small and comparable to other water balance studies but large error function values in individual years indicate significant shortcomings in the measurement and calculation of water balance components. Following identification of the sources of error, including a systematic error in the runoff component, recommendations are made for monitoring programme improvement and further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 76 p.
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138785OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138785DiVA: diva2:1068831
Supervisors
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Available from: 2017-01-30 Created: 2017-01-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf