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Thermokarst lake, hydrological flow and water balance indicators of permafrost change in Western Siberia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 464, 459-466 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Permafrost, mainly of discontinuous type, that underlies the tundra and taiga landscapes of the Nadym and Put river basins in northwestern Siberia has been warming during the recent decades. A mosaic of thermokarst lakes and wetlands dominates this area. In this study we tested the hypothesis chain that permafrost thawing changes thermokarst lake area and number, and is then also reflected in and detectable through other associated hydrological changes. Based on indications from previous studies, the other hydrological changes in a basin were expected to be decreasing intra-annual runoff variability (quantified by decreasing maximum and increasing minimum runoff) and systematically decreasing water storage. To test this hypothesis chain, we mapped thermokarst lake changes using remote sensing analysis and analyzed both climate (temperature and precipitation) and water flow and balance changes using available monthly data records. This was done for the whole Nadym and Pur river basins and a smaller sub-basin of the former (denoted 7129) with comparable data availability as the whole river basins. The results for the 7129 sub-basin show all the indicators (thermokarst lake and other hydrological) changing consistently, as could be expected in response to permafrost thawing that alters the connections between surface and subsurface waters, and leads to overall decreases in water (including ground ice) storage within a basin. Over the Nadym and Pur basins, the relative area influenced by similar permafrost thawing and associated lake and hydrological effects appears (yet) too small to be clearly and systematically reflected in the basin-average indicators for these large basins.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 464, 459-466 p.
Keyword [en]
Permafrost, Thermokarst lakes, Hydrological cycles and budgets, Catchments, Climate change, Water storage change
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82993DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.07.037ISI: 000309783700037OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82993DiVA: diva2:574165
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007-8393
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2012-12-04 Created: 2012-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Arctic Water System Change and its Interactions with Permafrost and Ecosystem Changes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arctic Water System Change and its Interactions with Permafrost and Ecosystem Changes
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change and various changes in the landscape itself, such as permafrost thaw, may trigger and mediate substantial changes in the inland water system of the Arctic. Many climate change responses in the Arctic landscape and ecosystems are then related to alterations in the hydrological system. The nature of all these change interactions is not well understood. This thesis aims to improve our understanding of changes in the Arctic inland water system and their interactions with permafrost and ecosystem changes. Investigation of the spatial coverage of systematic hydrological monitoring data and observation data for hydro-climatically related ecosystem shifts, such as large-scale lake-area change, shows that this overlap is small. Yet some monitoring hotspot areas exist, where such data overlap and can be used to improve our understanding of linked hydrological, permafrost and ecosystem changes in the Arctic under climate change. Analysis of lake-change patterns in such hotspot areas indicates permafrost thaw as a main change driver/mediator of some change patterns. However, clear indication of basin-wide influence of permafrost thaw on hydrological discharge dynamics was only found in two relatively small out of total six investigated permafrost basins of different scales. Further, both permafrost and non-permafrost basins exhibit large-scale lake-area changes. A salient change pattern emerging across all investigated basins is an opposite direction of runoff change to that of precipitation change. This contrast is explainable by apparent evapotranspiration changes that may be due to observed changes in surface water (lake) area and associated water-storage changes. Patches of local lake-area change can thus add up to considerable large-scale effects on evapotranspiration and runoff changes. Overall, this thesis shows that linking water system change to permafrost and ecosystem changes is essential for advancing our understanding of Arctic environmental change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 2014. 22 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 46
Keyword
Arctic, climate change, monitoring, ecosystem shifts, hydrology, hydro-climatic change, permafrost
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108269 (URN)978-91-7649-015-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-21, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2014-10-30 Created: 2014-10-16 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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