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The influence of climate and permafrost on catchment hydrology
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The cycling of water in the landscape is influenced by climate change on different time scales and in different directions regarding warming or cooling trends. Along with a changing climate, also the landscape and subsurface conditions, such as permafrost extent, may change in a long-term perspective. Permafrost and hydrology are intimately connected but the interactions between them are poorly understood, and the hydrological response to climate change is complex. The first part of this thesis investigates the effects of different drivers of future changes in hydrological flow and water storage components in the present day temperate Forsmark catchment in Sweden. The role of taliks and their influence on the exchange of deep and shallow groundwater in permafrost environments are also studied. This is done by a simulation sequence where the site is exposed to the landscape, climate and permafrost changes expected from site-specific numerical modeling. In the second part of this thesis, present day periglacial hydrological processes are studied in the Two Boat Lake catchment in western Greenland by field and model investigations of the site. The presence of a through talik below the Two Boat Lake, and data from a deep bedrock borehole into the talik, enable studies of the hydrological interactions between the lake and the talik. The spatial and temporal variability of the different water balance components of the catchment are quantified and the interactions between the surface water and the supra- and sub-permafrost groundwater are analyzed.

The results show that the investigated changes in climate and permafrost influence hydrology more than the investigated landscape changes. Under permafrost conditions, the general direction of the exchange between deep and shallow groundwater may change relative to unfrozen conditions. The simulation studies of Forsmark show that the relative topography between taliks governs the recharging and discharging conditions, which is consistent with results from Two Boat Lake. The lake is located at high altitude relative to other taliks and hydraulic measurements indicate recharging conditions. The talik recharge is small compared to other water balance components and does not influence the lake level, which instead is found to be controlled by evapotranspiration and water inflow from the active layer. This is concluded from numerical simulations that take into account and combine evapotranspiration with other surface and subsurface hydrological processes. This thesis highlights the need to integrate surface and subsurface process modelling in order to quantitatively understand and represent the dynamics and complexity of hydrological interactions in periglacial catchments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University , 2016. , 44 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 56
Keyword [en]
Hydrology, Periglacial, Greenland, Forsmark, Talik, Permafrost Hydrology
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Hydrology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124058ISBN: 978-91-7649-390-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-124058DiVA: diva2:920947
Public defence
2016-06-03, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-11 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2017-02-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Influences of shifts in climate, landscape, and permafrost on terrestrial hydrology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Influences of shifts in climate, landscape, and permafrost on terrestrial hydrology
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 117, D05120Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study has simulated the terrestrial hydrology associated with different climate, landscape, and permafrost regime scenarios for the field case example of the relatively well characterized coastal catchment of Forsmark, Sweden. The regime scenarios were selected from long-term simulation results of climate, topographical, shoreline, and associated Quaternary deposit and vegetation development in this catchment with a time perspective of 100,000 years or more and were used as drivers for hydrological simulations with the three-dimensional model MIKE SHE. The hydrological simulations quantify the responses of different water flow and water storage components of terrestrial hydrology to shifts from the present cool temperate climate landscape regime in Forsmark to a possible future Arctic periglacial landscape regime with or without permafrost. The results show complexity and nonlinearity in the runoff responses to precipitation changes due to parallel changes in evapotranspiration, along with changes in surface and subsurface water storage dynamics and flow pathways through the landscape. The results further illuminate different possible perspectives of what constitutes wetter/drier landscape conditions, in contrast to the clearer concept of what constitutes a warmer/colder climate.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76137 (URN)10.1029/2011JD016429 (DOI)000301498500001 ()
Note

5

Available from: 2012-05-10 Created: 2012-05-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Exchange and pathways of deep and shallow groundwater in different climate and permafrost conditions using the Forsmark site, Sweden, as an example catchment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exchange and pathways of deep and shallow groundwater in different climate and permafrost conditions using the Forsmark site, Sweden, as an example catchment
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2012 (English)In: Hydrogeology Journal, ISSN 1431-2174, E-ISSN 1435-0157, Vol. 21, no 1, 225-237 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study simulates and quantifies the exchange and the pathways of deep and shallow groundwaterflow and solute transport under different climate and permafrost conditions, considering the example field case of the coastal Forsmark catchment in Sweden. A number of simulation scenarios for different climate and permafrost condition combinations have been performed with the three-dimensional groundwater flow and transport model MIKE SHE. Results show generally decreasing vertical groundwater flow with depth, and smaller vertical flow under permafrost conditions than under unfrozen conditions. Also the overall pattern of both the vertical and the horizontal groundwater flow, and the water exchange between the deep and shallow groundwater systems, change dramatically in the presence of permafrost relative to unfrozen conditions. However, although the vertical groundwater flow decreases significantly in the presence of permafrost, there is still an exchange of water between the unfrozen groundwater system below the permafrost and the shallow groundwater in the active layer, via taliks. ‘Through taliks’ tend to prevail in areas that constitute groundwater discharge zones under unfrozen conditions, which then mostly shift to net recharge zones (through taliks with net downward flow) under permafrost conditions.

Keyword
Groundwater flow, Numerical modelling, Permafrost hydrology, Climate change
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82882 (URN)10.1007/s10040-012-0906-7 (DOI)000314333600017 ()
Available from: 2012-11-29 Created: 2012-11-29 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Hydrological and meteorological investigations in a periglacial lake catchment near Kangerlussuaq, west Greenland - presentation of a new multi-parameter data set
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydrological and meteorological investigations in a periglacial lake catchment near Kangerlussuaq, west Greenland - presentation of a new multi-parameter data set
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2015 (English)In: Earth System Science Data, ISSN 1866-3508, E-ISSN 1866-3516, Vol. 7, no 1, 93-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Few hydrological studies have been conducted in Greenland, other than on glacial hydrology associated with the ice sheet. Understanding permafrost hydrology and hydroclimatic change and variability, however, provides key information for understanding climate change effects and feedbacks in the Arctic landscape. This paper presents a new, extensive, and detailed hydrological and meteorological open access data set, with high temporal resolution from a 1.56 km(2) permafrost catchment, with a lake underlain by a through-talik close to the ice sheet in the Kangerlussuaq region, western Greenland. The paper describes the hydrological site investigations and utilized equipment, as well as the data collection and processing. The investigations were performed between 2010 and 2013. The high spatial resolution, within the investigated area, of the data set makes it highly suitable for various detailed hydrological and ecological studies on catchment scale. The data set is available for all users via the PANGAEA database, http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.836178.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119262 (URN)10.5194/essd-7-93-2015 (DOI)000356934300007 ()
Available from: 2015-08-13 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Data evaluation and numerical modeling of hydrological interactions between active layer, lake and talik in a permafrost catchment, Western Greenland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Data evaluation and numerical modeling of hydrological interactions between active layer, lake and talik in a permafrost catchment, Western Greenland
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2015 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 527, 688-703 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates annual water balance conditions and their spatiotemporal variability under a wide variety of atmospheric driving conditions in the periglacial permafrost catchment of Two Boat Lake in Western Greenland. The study uses and combines a comprehensive hydrological multi-parameter dataset measured at the site with site conceptualization and numerical model development, application and testing. The model result reproduces measured lake and groundwater levels, as well as observations made by time-lapse cameras. The results highlights the importance of numerical modeling that takes into account and combines evapotranspiration with other surface and subsurface hydrological processes at various depths, in order to quantitatively understand and represent the dynamics and complexity of the interactions between meteorology, active layer hydrology, lakes, and unfrozen groundwater below permafrost in periglacial catchments. Regarding these interactions, the water flow between the studied lake and a through talik within and beneath it is found to be small compared to other water balance components. The modeling results show that recharge and discharge conditions in the talik can shift in time, while the lake and active layer conditions in the studied catchment are independent of catchment-external landscape features, such as the unfrozen groundwater system below the permafrost and the nearby continental-scale ice sheet.

Keyword
Permafrost hydrology, Talik, Water balance, Climate, Greenland, Periglacial
National Category
Civil Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-120071 (URN)10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.05.026 (DOI)000358629100059 ()
Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-09-01 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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