Special Issue "Hydrology of the Arctic Region"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alexander Shiklomanov
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Earth Systems Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
Interests: hydroclimatology; climate change; hydrological processes in cold regions; hydrological modeling; permafrost hydrology; monitoring of hydrological processes in the Arctic

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Arctic system is experiencing the effects of global change, especially atmospheric warming, to a degree equal to or greater than that in any other region on the planet. Arctic water and energy cycles are embedded deeply into these changes and in defining both the Arctic and Earth system response. A broad spectrum of observational evidence suggests a potentially intensified high latitude water cycle and significant changes in different components of Arctic hydrology, including changes in river flow and river biogeochemistry, permafrost degradation and melting of glaciers, lengthened 
ice-free period in lakes and rivers, disappearance of 
lakes, and reductions in snow cover and river/lake ice thickness. This Special Issue invites papers focusing on the quantification of contemporary changes in various components of the Arctic hydrological system and on assessment of the potential causes of these changes through analysis of various data (ground, field, remote sensing) and/or numerical modeling. We also invite publications discussing and analyzing future changes in Arctic hydrological processes in different scales from local to regional and continental.

Dr. Alexander Shiklomanov
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Arctic
  • permafrost
  • snow hydrology
  • river flow
  • thermokarst lakes
  • hydrological process
  • river ice
  • river biogeochemistry
  • water cycle

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Impact of Meteorological Factors on Thermokarst Lake Changes in the Beilu River Basin, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China (2000–2016)
Water 2021, 13(11), 1605; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111605 - 06 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Variations in weather conditions have a significant impact on thermokarst lakes, such as the sub-lake permafrost thawing caused by global warming. Based on the analysis of Landsat sensor images by ENVI TM 5.3 software, the present study quantitatively determined the area of the [...] Read more.
Variations in weather conditions have a significant impact on thermokarst lakes, such as the sub-lake permafrost thawing caused by global warming. Based on the analysis of Landsat sensor images by ENVI TM 5.3 software, the present study quantitatively determined the area of the thermokarst lakes and the area of the single selected thermokarst lake in the Beilu River Basin from 2000 to 2016. In an effort to explore the reason for changes in the area of thermokarst lakes, this work used Pearson correlation to analyze the relationship between the area of thermokarst lakes and precipitation, wind speed, average temperature, and relative humidity as obtained from the weather station Wudaoliang. Furthermore, this study used multiple linear regression to comprehensively study the correlation between the meteorological factors and changes in the thermokarst lake area. In this case, the total lake-area changes and the single-area changes exhibited unique patterns. The results showed that the total lake area and the single selected lake area increased year by year. Furthermore, the effects of the four meteorological factors defined above on the total area of typical thermokarst lakes are different from the effects of these factors on the single selected thermokarst lake. While the total area of specific thermokarst lakes exhibited a time lag in their response to the four factors, the surface area of the selected thermokarst lake responded to these factors on time. The dominant meteorological factor contributing to total lake area variations of typical thermokarst lakes is the increasing annual average temperature. The Pearson correlation coefficient between the total area and the annual average temperature is 0.717, suggesting a statistically significant correlation between the two factors. For the selected thermokarst lake, the surface area is related to annual average temperature and wind speed. As a result, wind speed and average temperature could infer the variation law on the thermokarst lake due to the linear fitting equation between area and significant meteorological factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology of the Arctic Region)
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Article
Coastal Erosion of Arctic Cultural Heritage in Danger: A Case Study from Svalbard, Norway
Water 2021, 13(6), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13060784 - 13 Mar 2021
Viewed by 689
Abstract
Strong cultural heritage management relies on a thorough evaluation of the threats faced by heritage sites, both in the present and in the future. In this study, we analysed the changes in the position of Hiorthhamn shoreline (Svalbard), which is affecting coastal cultural [...] Read more.
Strong cultural heritage management relies on a thorough evaluation of the threats faced by heritage sites, both in the present and in the future. In this study, we analysed the changes in the position of Hiorthhamn shoreline (Svalbard), which is affecting coastal cultural heritage sites, for a period of 93 years (1927–2020). Shoreline changes were mapped by using maps, ortophotos, drone images, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), and topographic surveys. Also, TLS was used to 3D document the endangered coastal cultural heritage sites. Detailed sedimentological and morphological mapping was made in the field and from the newly acquired drone images in order to understand shoreline-landscape interaction and to depict changes occurring from 2019 to 2020. Short-term (2019–2020) and long-term (1927–2020) shoreline erosion/accretion was made with the help of the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) and prompted a subdivision of three sectors, based on change pattern. Compared to a previous long-term analysis (1927–2019), this year’s average erosion rate analysis (expressed by the EPR parameter) for the 93-year period is −0.14 m/yr. This shift in mean development is due to a newly formed spit-bar in Sector 2. Referring strictly to Sector 1, where the protected cultural heritage objects are located, the erosion rate increased from the previous analysis of –0.76 m/yr to −0.77 m/yr. The shoreline forecast analysis highlights that half of the protected cultural heritage objects will likely disappear over the next decade and almost all the cultural heritage objects analysed in this study will disappear in roughly two decades. This shows the great danger the Arctic’s cultural heritage sites is in if no mitigation measures are undertaken by the local authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology of the Arctic Region)
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Communication
A Model of Ice Wedge Polygon Drainage in Changing Arctic Terrain
Water 2020, 12(12), 3376; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123376 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 596
Abstract
As ice wedge degradation and the inundation of polygonal troughs become increasingly common processes across the Arctic, lateral export of water from polygonal soils may represent an important mechanism for the mobilization of dissolved organic carbon and other solutes. However, drainage from ice [...] Read more.
As ice wedge degradation and the inundation of polygonal troughs become increasingly common processes across the Arctic, lateral export of water from polygonal soils may represent an important mechanism for the mobilization of dissolved organic carbon and other solutes. However, drainage from ice wedge polygons is poorly understood. We constructed a model which uses cross-sectional flow nets to define flow paths of meltwater through the active layer of an inundated low-centered polygon towards the trough. The model includes the effects of evaporation and simulates the depletion of ponded water in the polygon center during the thaw season. In most simulations, we discovered a strong hydrodynamic edge effect: only a small fraction of the polygon volume near the rim area is flushed by the drainage at relatively high velocities, suggesting that nearly all advective transport of solutes, heat, and soil particles is confined to this zone. Estimates of characteristic drainage times from the polygon center are consistent with published field observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology of the Arctic Region)
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Article
Recent Trends in Freshwater Influx to the Arctic Ocean from Four Major Arctic-Draining Rivers
Water 2020, 12(4), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12041189 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Runoff from Arctic rivers constitutes a major freshwater influx to the Arctic Ocean. In these nival-dominated river systems, the majority of annual discharge is released during the spring snowmelt period. The circulation regime of the salinity-stratified Arctic Ocean is connected to global earth–ocean [...] Read more.
Runoff from Arctic rivers constitutes a major freshwater influx to the Arctic Ocean. In these nival-dominated river systems, the majority of annual discharge is released during the spring snowmelt period. The circulation regime of the salinity-stratified Arctic Ocean is connected to global earth–ocean dynamics through thermohaline circulation; hence, variability in freshwater input from the Arctic flowing rivers has important implications for the global climate system. Daily discharge data from each of the four largest Arctic-draining river watersheds (Mackenzie, Ob, Lena and Yenisei; herein referred to as MOLY) are analyzed to identify historic changes in the magnitude and timing of freshwater input to the Arctic Ocean with emphasis on the spring freshet. Results show that the total freshwater influx to the Arctic Ocean increased by 89 km3/decade, amounting to a 14% increase during the 30-year period from 1980 to 2009. A distinct shift towards earlier melt timing is also indicated by proportional increases in fall, winter and spring discharges (by 2.5%, 1.3% and 2.5% respectively) followed by a decrease (by 5.8%) in summer discharge as a percentage of the mean annual flow. This seasonal increase in discharge and earlier pulse onset dates indicates a general shift towards a flatter, broad-based hydrograph with earlier peak discharges. The study also reveals that the increasing trend in freshwater discharge to the Arctic Ocean is not solely due to increased spring freshet discharge, but is a combination of increases in all seasons except that of the summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology of the Arctic Region)
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