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Article

Climatic Controls on Mean and Extreme Streamflow Changes Across the Permafrost Region of Canada

Watershed Hydrology and Ecology Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, University of Victoria, 2472 Arbutus Rd., Victoria, BC V8N 1V8, Canada
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Academic Editor: Enrique Morán Tejeda
Water 2021, 13(5), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050626
Received: 22 January 2021 / Revised: 19 February 2021 / Accepted: 23 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
Climatic change is affecting streamflow regimes of the permafrost region, altering mean and extreme streamflow conditions. In this study, we analyzed historical trends in annual mean flow (Qmean), minimum flow (Qmin), maximum flow (Qmax) and Qmax timing across 84 hydrometric stations in the permafrost region of Canada. Furthermore, we related streamflow trends with temperature and precipitation trends, and used a multiple linear regression (MLR) framework to evaluate climatic controls on streamflow components. The results revealed spatially varied trends across the region, with significantly increasing (at 10% level) Qmin for 43% of stations as the most prominent trend, and a relatively smaller number of stations with significant Qmean, Qmax and Qmax timing trends. Temperatures over both the cold and warm seasons showed significant warming for >70% of basin areas upstream of the hydrometric stations, while precipitation exhibited increases for >15% of the basins. Comparisons of the 1976 to 2005 basin-averaged climatological means of streamflow variables with precipitation and temperature revealed a positive correlation between Qmean and seasonal precipitation, and a negative correlation between Qmean and seasonal temperature. The basin-averaged streamflow, precipitation and temperature trends showed weak correlations that included a positive correlation between Qmin and October to March precipitation trends, and negative correlations of Qmax timing with October to March and April to September temperature trends. The MLR-based variable importance analysis revealed the dominant controls of precipitation on Qmean and Qmax, and temperature on Qmin. Overall, this study contributes towards an enhanced understanding of ongoing changes in streamflow regimes and their climatic controls across the Canadian permafrost region, which could be generalized for the broader pan-Arctic regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: climatic controls; multiple linear regression; permafrost region; streamflow extremes; trend analysis; variable importance analysis climatic controls; multiple linear regression; permafrost region; streamflow extremes; trend analysis; variable importance analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shrestha, R.R.; Pesklevits, J.; Yang, D.; Peters, D.L.; Dibike, Y.B. Climatic Controls on Mean and Extreme Streamflow Changes Across the Permafrost Region of Canada. Water 2021, 13, 626. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050626

AMA Style

Shrestha RR, Pesklevits J, Yang D, Peters DL, Dibike YB. Climatic Controls on Mean and Extreme Streamflow Changes Across the Permafrost Region of Canada. Water. 2021; 13(5):626. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050626

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shrestha, Rajesh R., Jennifer Pesklevits, Daqing Yang, Daniel L. Peters, and Yonas B. Dibike. 2021. "Climatic Controls on Mean and Extreme Streamflow Changes Across the Permafrost Region of Canada" Water 13, no. 5: 626. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050626

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