Special Issue "Effects of Climate Change on Mountain Hydrology - Recent Trends and Challenges"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Daniele Bocchiola
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic of Milan, Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: water resources; hydrology; climate change; avalanche risk
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The hydrology of mountain areas is terribly affected today in the face of transient climate change. Increasingly more erratic patterns of precipitation, and temperatures therein result into more rapid and more intense dynamics, falling out upon hydrology, water resources, soil erosion, and flood dynamics. Ice bodies are also largely affected, with ice cover shrinking and seasonal snowpack changing, thus reducing water storage. Permafrost dynamics may also be affected. Hydropower production may also depend on the hydrological cycle in the mountain areas, and climate change may hamper energy supply.

Accordingly, on the one hand, mountains and cold environments are undergoing radical changes, affecting landscapes, ecosystems, and the environment, while on the other hand, ever increasing water-related risk is posed to local populations and users.

As such, scientists are called to investigate a changing mountain hydrology under transient climate change, by monitoring and modeling snow/ice dynamics, and hydrological cycles. The Special Issue thus welcomes contributions covering present and prospective mountain hydrology under present and future climate, including but not limited to:

  • Monitoring techniques for snowpack, and snow dynamics, ice bodies. This includes conventional and innovative methods, such as instruments, devices, methods, for local measurements, and remote sensing of snow cover, ice cover, ice flow, permafrost dynamics, etc.;
  • Monitoring techniques for stream flow measurement in mountain areas, soil erosion, and sediment transport;
  • Assessment of recent trends in mountain hydrology worldwide;
  • Modeling tools for depicting mountan hydrology under present and prospective climate, including water resources availability, flood dynamics, soil erosion, sediment transport, and effects on hydropower production;
  • Scenarios of modified mountain hydrology in response to modified climate hereforth;
  • Models and methods to assess countermeasures for changing mountain hydrology.

Dr. Daniele Bocchiola
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mountain hydrology
  • water resources
  • floods
  • sediment transport
  • soil erosion
  • snow
  • glaciers
  • permafrost
  • climate change
  • monitoring/modeling
  • hydropower

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Physical Modeling of Snow Gliding: A Case Study in the NW Italian Alps
Climate 2021, 9(12), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9120171 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Snow gliding, a slow movement downhill of snow cover, is complex to forecast and model and yet is extremely important, because it drives snowpack dynamics in the pre-avalanching phase. Despite recent interest in this process and the development of some studies therein, this [...] Read more.
Snow gliding, a slow movement downhill of snow cover, is complex to forecast and model and yet is extremely important, because it drives snowpack dynamics in the pre-avalanching phase. Despite recent interest in this process and the development of some studies therein, this phenomenon is poorly understood and represents a major point of uncertainty for avalanche forecasting. This study presents a data-driven, physically based, time-dependent 1D model, Poli-Glide, able to predict the slow movement of snowpacks along a flow line at the daily scale. The objective of the work was to create a useful snow gliding model, requiring few, relatively easily available input data, by (i) modeling snowpack evolution from measured precipitation and air temperature, (ii) evaluating the rate and extent of movement of the snowpack in the gliding phase, and (iii) assessing fracture (i.e., avalanching) timing. Such a model could be then used to provide hazard assessment in areas subject to gliding, thereby, and subsequent avalanching. To do so, some simplifying assumptions were introduced, namely that (i) negligible traction stress occurs within soil, (ii) water percolation into snow occurs at a fixed rate, and (iii) the micro topography of soil is schematized according to a sinusoidal function in the absence of soil erosion. The proposed model was then applied to the “Torrent des Marais-Mont de La Saxe” site in Aosta Valley, monitored during the winters of 2010 and 2011, featuring different weather conditions. The results showed an acceptable capacity of the model to reproduce snowpack deformation patterns and the final snowpack’s displacement. Correlation analysis based upon observed glide rates further confirmed dependence against the chosen variables, thus witnessing the goodness of the model. The results could be a valuable starting point for future research aimed at including more complex parameterizations of the different processes that affect gliding. Full article
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Article
Glacio-Nival Regime Creates Complex Relationships between Discharge and Climatic Trends of Zackenberg River, Greenland (1996–2019)
Climate 2021, 9(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9040059 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 999
Abstract
Arctic environments experience rapid climatic changes as air temperatures are rising and precipitation is increasing. Rivers are key elements in these regions since they drain vast land areas and thereby reflect various climatic signals. Zackenberg River in northeast Greenland provides a unique opportunity [...] Read more.
Arctic environments experience rapid climatic changes as air temperatures are rising and precipitation is increasing. Rivers are key elements in these regions since they drain vast land areas and thereby reflect various climatic signals. Zackenberg River in northeast Greenland provides a unique opportunity to study climatic influences on discharge, as the river is not connected to the Greenland ice sheet. The study aims to explain discharge patterns between 1996 and 2019 and analyse the discharge for correlations to variations in air temperature and both solid and liquid precipitation. The results reveal no trend in the annual discharge. A lengthening of the discharge period is characterised by a later freeze-up and extreme discharge peaks are observed almost yearly between 2005 and 2017. A positive correlation exists between the length of the discharge period and the Thawing Degree Days (r=0.52,p<0.01), and between the total annual discharge and the annual maximum snow depth (r=0.48,p=0.02). Thereby, snowmelt provides the main source of discharge in the first part of the runoff season. However, the influence of precipitation on discharge could not be fully identified, because of uncertainties in the data and possible delays in the hydrological system. This calls for further studies on the relationship between discharge and precipitation. The discharge patterns are also influenced by meltwater from the A.P. Olsen ice cap and an adjacent glacier-dammed lake which releases outburst floods. Hence, this mixed hydrological regime causes different relationships between the discharge and climatic trends when compared to most Arctic rivers. Full article
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Article
Future Hydrology of the Cryospheric Driven Lake Como Catchment in Italy under Climate Change Scenarios
Climate 2021, 9(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9010008 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2106
Abstract
We present an assessment of climate change impact on the hydrology of the Lago di Como lake catchment of Italy. On one side, the lake provides water for irrigation of the Po valley during summer, and on the other side its regulation is [...] Read more.
We present an assessment of climate change impact on the hydrology of the Lago di Como lake catchment of Italy. On one side, the lake provides water for irrigation of the Po valley during summer, and on the other side its regulation is crucial to prevent flood risk, especially in fall and winter. The dynamics of lake Como are linked to the complex cryospheric hydrology of its Alpine contributing catchment, which is in turn expected to change radically under prospective global warming. The Poli-Hydro model is used here to simulate the cryospheric processes affecting the hydrology of this high-altitude catchment. We demonstrated the model’s accuracy against historical hydrological observations, available during 2002–2018. We then used four Representative Concentration Pathways scenarios, provided by three Global Circulation Models under the AR6 of IPCC, to project potential climate change until 2100. We thereby derived daily series of rainfall and temperature, to be used as inputs for hydrological simulations. The climate projections here highlight a substantial increase in temperature at the end of the century, between +0.61° and +5.96°, which would lead to a decrease in the total ice volume in the catchment, by −50% to −77%. Moreover, there would be a decrease in the contribution of snow melt to the annual lake inflow, and an increase in ice melt under the worst-case scenarios. Overall, the annual Lake inflows would increase during autumn and winter and would decrease in summer. Our study may provide a tool to help policy makers to henceforth evaluate adaptation strategies in the area. Full article
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