Using streamflow characteristics to explore permafrost thawing in northern Swedish catchments
2012 (English)In: Hydrogeology Journal, ISSN 1431-2174, E-ISSN 1435-0157, Vol. 21, no 1, 121-131 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The recent and rapid warming of the Arcticleads to thawing of permafrost, which influences andchanges subsurface water-flow systems in such landscapes.This study explores the utility of catchments as“sentinels of change” by considering long-term dischargedata from 17 stations on unregulated rivers in northernSweden and analyzing trends in annual minimum dischargeand recession flow characteristics. For the catchmentsconsidered, the annual minimum discharge hasincreased significantly (based on the Mann Kendall test ata 95% confidence level) in nine of the catchments anddecreased significantly in one catchment. Consideringchanges in recession-flow characteristics, seven catchmentsshowed significant trends consistent with permafrostthawing while two catchments showed significanttrends in the opposite direction. These results aremechanistically consistent with generic physically basedmodeling studies and the geological setting, as thecatchments considered span the spatial limit of permafrostextent. This study illuminates the potential for usinghydrologic observations to monitor changes in catchmentscalepermafrost. Further, this opens the door for researchto isolate the mechanisms behind the different trendsobserved and to gauge their ability to reflect actualpermafrost conditions at the catchment scale.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 21, no 1, 121-131 p.
Groundwater–permafrost interactions, Groundwater/surface-water relations, Streamflowtrends, Sweden, Climate change
Research subject Physical Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85211DOI: 10.1007/s10040-012-0932-5ISI: 000314333600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-85211DiVA: diva2:582917