Environmental dating tracers (3H, 3He, 4He, CFC-12, CFC-11, SF6) and the natural response of spring (hydrochemistry, water temperature, and hydrodynamics) were jointly used to asses mixing processes and to characterize groundwater flow in a relatively small carbonate aquifer with complex geology in South Spain. Results evidence a marked karst behavior of some temporary outlets, while some perennial springs show buffer and delayed responses to recharge events. There is also a general geochemical evolution pattern, from higher to lower altitudes, in which mineralization and the relation Mg/Ca rises, evidencing longer water-rock interaction. The large SF6 concentrations in groundwater suggest terrigenic production, while CFC-11 values are affected by sorption or degradation. The groundwater age in the perennial springs deduced from CFC-12 and 3H/3He point out to mean residence times of several decades, although the difference between both methods and the large amount of radiogenic 4He in the samples indicates a contribution of old groundwater (free of 3H and CFC-12). Lumped Parameter Models and Shape-Free Models were created based on 3H, tritiogenic 3He, CFC-12, and radiogenic 4He data in order to interpret the age distribution of the samples. The resulting groundwater-age distributions evidence the existence of two mixing components, with an old fraction ranging between 160 and 220 years. Some dating parameters derived from the mixing models and their correlation to physicochemical parameters permits to explain the hydrogeochemical processes occurring within the system. All these results prove that large time residence times are possible in small alpine systems with a clear karst behavior when the geological setting is complex, and they highlight the importance of applying different approaches, including groundwater dating techniques, to completely understand the groundwater flow regime within this type of media.
Mine reclamation in the Athabasca oil sands region Canada, is required by law where companies must reconstruct disturbed landscapes into functioning ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and lakes that existed in the Boreal landscape prior to mining. Winter is a major hydrological factor in this region as snow covers the landscape for 5 to 6 months and is ~25% of the annual precipitation, yet few studies have explored the influence of winter processes on the hydrology of constructed watersheds. One year (2017-2018) of intensive snow hydrology measurements are supplemented with six years (2013-2018) of meteorological measurements from the constructed Sandhill Fen Watershed to: 1) understand snow accumulation and redistribution, snowmelt timing, rate and partitioning, 2) apply a physically-based model for simulating winter processes on hillslopes and 3) evaluate the impact of soil prescriptions and climate change projections on winter processes in reclaimed systems. The 2017-2018 snow season was between November and April and SWE ranged between 40-140 mm. Snow distribution was primarily influenced by topography with little influence of snow trapping from developing vegetation. Snow accumulation was most variable on hillslopes and redistribution was driven by slope position, with SWE greatest at the base of slopes and decreased towards crests. Snowmelt on hillslopes was controlled by slope aspect, as snow declined rapidly on west and south-facing slopes, compared to east and north-facing slopes. Unlike results previously reported on constructed uplands, snowmelt runoff from uplands was much less (~30%), highlighting the influence of different construction materials. Model simulations indicate that antecedent soil moisture and soil temperature have a large influence on partitioning snowmelt over a range of observed conditions. Under a warmer and wetter climate, average annual peak SWE and snow season duration could decline up to 52 % and up to 61 days, respectively while snowmelt runoff ceases completely under the warmest scenarios. Results suggest considerable future variability in snowmelt runoff from hillslopes, yet soil properties can be used to enhance vertical or lateral flows.
The Arctic is warming at an unprecedented rate. One relatively under researched process is how seasonally frozen soils and changes thereof affect the water cycle. As frozen soils thaw, flow pathways within a watershed open, allowing for enhanced hydrologic connectivity between groundwater and rivers. As the connectivity of flow paths increase, the storage-discharge relationship of a watershed changes. The objective of this study is to quantify trends and spatio-temporal differences in the degree of linearity in the storage-discharge relationships for sixteen watersheds within Northern Sweden throughout the years of 1950 and 2018. We demonstrate a clear increase in non-linearity of the storage-discharge relationship over time for all catchments with twelve out of sixteen watersheds (75%) having a statistically significant increase in non-linearity. Springs have significantly more linear storage-discharge relationships than summer for twelve watersheds (75%), which supports the idea that seasonally frozen soil with a low degree of hydrological connectivity have a linear storage-discharge relationship. For the period considered, spring showed the greater change in storage-discharge relationship trends than summer, signifying changes in recessions are occurring during the thawing period. Separate storage-discharge analyses combined with preceding winter conditions demonstrated that especially cold winters with little snow yield springs and summers with more linear storage-discharge relationships. We show that streamflow recession analysis shows ongoing hydrological change of an arctic landscape as well as offers new metrics for tracking the change across arctic and sub-arctic landscapes.
Crowd-based hydrological observations can supplement existing monitoring networks and allow data collection in regions where otherwise no data would be available. In the citizen science project CrowdWater, repeated water level observations using a virtual staff gauge approach result in time series of water level classes. To investigate the quality of these observations, we compared the water level class data for a number of locations where water levels were also measured and assessed when these observations were submitted. We analysed data for nine locations where citizen scientists reported multiple observations using a smartphone app and stream level data were also available. At twelve other locations, signposts were set up to ask citizens to record observations on a form that could be left in a letterbox. The results indicate that the quality of the data collected with the app was higher than for the forms. A possible explanation is that for each app location, most contributions were made by a single person, whereas at the locations of the forms almost every observation was made by a new contributor. On average, more contributions were made between May and September than during the other months. Observations were submitted for a range of flow conditions, with a higher fraction of high flow observations for the data collected with the app. Overall, the results are encouraging for citizen science approaches in hydrology and demonstrate that the smartphone application with its virtual staff gauge is a promising approach for crowd-based water level class observations.
Gully erosion is a significant source of fine suspended sediment (<63µm) and associated nutrient pollution to freshwater and marine waterways. Researchers, government agencies, and monitoring groups are currently using monitoring methods designed for streams and rivers (e.g., autosamplers, rising stage samplers, and turbidity loggers) to evaluate suspended sediment in gullies. This is potentially problematic because gullies have unique hydrological and operational challenges that differ to those of streams and rivers. Here we present a laboratory and field-based assessment of the performance of common suspended sediment monitoring techniques applied to gullies. We also evaluate a recently-described method; the pumped active suspended sediment (PASS) sampler, which has been modified for monitoring suspended sediment in gully systems. Discrete autosampling provided data at high temporal resolution, but had considerable uncertainty associated with the poor collection efficiency (25 ± 10%) of heavier sediment particles (i.e., sand). Rising stage sampling, while robust and cost-effective, suffered from large amounts of condensation under field conditions (25-35% of sampler volume), thereby diluting sample concentrations and introducing additional measurement uncertainty. The turbidity logger exhibited low uncertainty (< 10%) when calibrated with suspended sediment concentration data from physically collected samples, however, this calibration approach needs to be performed on a site-specific basis to overcome the error associated with the impact of different particle size distributions on the turbidity measurement. The modified PASS sampler proved to be a reliable and representative measurement method for gully sediment water quality, however, the time-integrated nature of the method limits its temporal resolution compared to the other monitoring methods. We recommend monitoring suspended sediment in alluvial gully systems using a combination of complementary techniques (e.g., PASS and RS samplers) to account for the limitations associated with individual methods.
A new flow for Canadian young hydrologists: Key scientific challenges addressed by research cultural shiftsCaroline Aubry-Wake1, Lauren D. Somers2,3, Hayley Alcock4, Aspen M. Anderson5, Amin Azarkhish6, Samuel Bansah7, Nicole M. Bell8, Kelly Biagi9, Mariana Castaneda-Gonzalez10, Olivier Champagne9, Anna Chesnokova10, Devin Coone6, Tasha-Leigh J. Gauthier11, Uttam Ghimire6, Nathan Glas6, Dylan M. Hrach11, Oi Yin Lai14, Pierrick Lamontagne-Halle3, Nicolas R. Leroux1, Laura Lyon3, Sohom Mandal12, Bouchra R. Nasri13, Nataša Popović11, Tracy. E. Rankin14, Kabir Rasouli15, Alexis Robinson16, Palash Sanyal17, Nadine J. Shatilla9, 18, Brandon Van Huizen11, Sophie Wilkinson9, Jessica Williamson11, Majid Zaremehrjardy191 Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada2 Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA3 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, Montreal QC4 Department of Natural Resource Science, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada5 Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada6 School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Ontario, ON, Canada7 Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada8 Centre for Water Resources Studies, Department of Civil & Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada9 School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.10 Department of Construction Engineering, École de technologie supérieure, Montreal, QC, Canada11 Department of Geography & Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada12 Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada13 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, McGill University, Montréal, Qc, Canada14 Geography Department, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada15 Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dorval, QC, Canada16 Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON17 Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan.18 Lorax Environmental Services Ltd, Vancouver, BC, Canada.19 Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Informative/Abstract:Estimating streamflow is time and labour intensive due to the necessity of developing a rating curve. The development of a rating curve involves acquiring at least thirty in-field measurements of streamflow across a wide range of flow levels, which can be costly and impractical in remote regions with limited seasonal access. Here we showcase an automated system which accurately estimates streamflow multiple times each day, greatly facilitating the development of rating curves for remote or seasonally inaccessible sites. The system uses an emerging technique referred to as particle image velocimetry (PIV) to track the movement of objects and flow structure features on the mobile water surface to generate velocity vector grids. Velocity grids were used to calculate streamflow and facilitate the development of a rating curve. This represents the first use of an automated PIV system to estimate streamflow in small streams (< 5 m wide) and the first system to automatically distribute particles for facilitated PIV analysis.Keywords: Particle Image Velocimetry, Streamflow Monitoring, Automated Systems, Particle TracerFunding: This research was funded through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Canada-Ontario Agreement Fund, and the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology.
Seasonal suspended sediment transfer in glaciated catchments is responsive to meteorological, geomorphological, and glacio-fluvial conditions, and thus is a useful indicator of environmental system dynamics. Knowledge of multifaceted fluvial sediment-transfer processes is limited in the Arctic–a region sensitive to contemporary environmental change. For two glaciated sub-catchments at Lake Peters, northeast Brooks Range, Alaska, we conducted a two-year endeavor to monitor the hydrology and meteorology, and used the data to derive multiple-regression models of suspended sediment load. Statistical selection of the best models shows that incorporating meteorological or temporal explanatory variables improves performances of turbidity- and discharge-based sediment models. The resulting modeled specific suspended sediment yields to Lake Peters are: 33 (20-60) Mg km-2 yr-1 in 2015, and 79 (50-140) Mg km-2 yr-1 in 2016 (95% confidence band estimates). In contrast to previous studies in Arctic Alaska, fluvial suspended sediment transfer to Lake Peters was primarily influenced by rainfall, and secondarily influenced by temperature-driven melt processes associated with clockwise diurnal hysteresis. Despite different sub-catchment glacier coverage, specific yields were the same order of magnitude from the two primary inflows to Lake Peters, which are Carnivore Creek (128 km2; 10% glacier coverage) and Chamberlin Creek (8 km2; 23% glacier coverage). Seasonal to longer term sediment exhaustion and/or contrasting glacier dynamics may explain the lower than expected relative specific sediment yield from the more heavily glacierized Chamberlin Creek catchment. Absolute suspended sediment yield (Mg yr-1) from Carnivore Creek to Lake Peters was 28 times greater than from Chamberlin Creek, which we attribute to catchment size and sediment supply differences. Our results are useful for predicting changes in fluvial sediment transport in glaciated Arctic catchments.
The young water fraction (Fyw), the proportion of water younger than 2-3 months, was investigated in soil-, ground- and stream waters in the 0.56 Km2 sub-humid Mediterranean Can Vila catchment. Rain water was sampled at 5-mm rainfall intervals. Mobile soil water and groundwater were sampled fortnightly, using suction lysimeters and two shallow wells, respectively. Stream water was dynamically sampled at variable time intervals (30 minutes to 1 week), depending on flow. A total of 1,529 18O determinations obtained during 58 months were used. The usual hypothesis of rapid evapotranspiration of summer rainfall could not be maintained, leading to discard the use of an “effective precipitation” model. Soil mobile waters had Fyw up to 34%, while in ground and stream were strongly related to water table and discharge variations, respectively. In stream waters, due to the highly skewed flow duration curve, the flow-averaged young water fraction (F*yw) was 22.6%, whereas the time-averaged Fyw was 6.2%. Nevertheless, both F*yw and its exponential discharge sensitivity (Sd) showed relevant changes when different 12-month sampling periods were investigated. The availability of Sd and a detailed flow record allowed us to simulate the young water fraction that would be obtained with a virtual thorough sampling (F**yw). This showed that underestimation of F*yw is associated with missing the sampling of highest discharges and revealed underestimations of F*yw by 25% for the dynamic sampling and 66% for the weekly sampling. These results confirm that the young water fraction and its discharge sensitivity are metrics that depend more on precipitation forcing than on physiographic characteristics, so the comparisons between catchments should be based on mean annual values and inter-annual variability. They also support the dependence of the young water fraction on the sampling rate and show the advantages of flow-weighted F*yw. Water age investigations should be accompanied by the analysis of flow duration curves. In addition, the simulation of F**yw is proposed as a method for checking the adequacy of the sampling rate used.
Water transit time and young water fraction are important metrics for characterizing catchment hydrologic function and understanding solute transport. Hydrological and biogeochemical processes in karst environments are strongly controlled by heterogenous fracture-conduit networks. Quantifying the spatio-temporal variability of water transit time and young water fractions in such heterogeneous hydrogeological systems is fundamental linking discharge and water quality dynamics in the karst critical zone. We used a tracer-aided hydrological model to track the fluxes of water parcels that entered a karst catchment as rainfall, time-stamping each hour of rain input individually. Using this approach, the variability of transit times and water age distributions were estimated in the main landscape units in the karst catchment of Chenqi in Guizhou Province, Southwest China. The estimated mean young water (i.e <~2 months old) fractions were 0.39, 0.31 and 0.10 for output fluxes from the hillslope unit, catchment outlet and slow flow reservoirs (matrix and small fractures), respectively. Marked seasonal variability in sources of runoff generation and associated hydrological connectivity between different conceptual stores were the main drivers of young water fraction dynamics in each landscape unit. The water age and travel time distributions were strongly influenced by the water storage dynamics reflecting catchment wetness conditions. Even though the contribution of young water to runoff was greater, the older water turnover was generally accelerated at moderately high flows during wet season.
In this study, data from MODIS land surface temperature product level 3 (MOD11A2) were used to investigate the spatiotemporal variation of Eurasian lakes water surface temperature (LWST) from 2001 to 2015, and to examine the most influencing factors of that variation. The temperature of most lakes in the dry climate zone and in the equatorial climatic zone varied from 17 to 31°C and from 23 to 27 °C, respectively. LWSTs in the warm temperate and cold climatic zones were in the range of 20 to 27 °C and -0.6 and 17 °C, respectively. The average daytime LWST in the polar climate zone was -0.71°C in the summer. Lakes in high latitude and in the Tibetan Plateau displayed low LWST, ranging from –11°C to 26°C during the nighttime. Large spatial variations of diurnal temperature difference (DTD) was observed in lakes across Eurasia. However, variations in DTDs were small in lakes located in high latitude and in tropical rainforest regions. The shallow lakes showed a rapid response of LWST to solar and atmospheric forcing, while in the large and deep lakes, that response was sluggish. Results of this study demonstrated the applicability of remote sensing and MODIS LST products to capture the spatial-temporal variability of LWST across continental scales, in particular for the vast wilderness areas and protected environment in high latitude regions of the world. The approach can be used in future studies examining processes and factors controlling large scale variability of LWST.
Taking hydrophilic and water-repellent soils from the Guishui River Basin as the research object, one-dimensional infiltration experiments were conducted to study the effects of soil water repellency on cumulative infiltration (CI) and the infiltration rate (IR). The test results show that, for the hydrophilic soil (HS) sample, the CI increases monotonously with time and the IR decreases monotonously. For the water-repellent soil (W-RS), however, the following characteristics were observed: (1) There is an inflection point in the CI and a sudden increase in IR. Larger values of the initial soil water content produce an earlier and more significant inflection point in CI, and a larger peak value of IR. (2) The post-peak stable IR is greater than that the pre-peak value, ignoring the beginning of rapid infiltration, and the overall IR presents a single peak. The applicability of various water infiltration models was analyzed for the two soil types. Numerical analysis suggests the following conclusions: (1) For both HS and W-RS, the Kostiakov function, Gamma function, and Beta function (BF) models exhibit good applicability. (2) For W-RS, the Gauss function model not only reflects the monotonous decrease in IR, but also produces a steady IR in the initial stage, a gradual increase before the peak value, and a gradual decrease after the peak value. Similarly, the BF model reflects the monotonous decrease in IR. A piecewise BF can also reflect the U-shaped change in rapid infiltration before the inflection point, as well as the gradual increase and right-skewed distribution curve of W-RS infiltration before and after the inflection point. The BF model achieves the best simulation accuracy and has the widest applicability.
The Irtysh River is the main water resource of eastern Kazakhstan and its upper basin is severely affected by spring floods each year, primarily as a result of snowmelt. Knowledge of the large scale processes that influence the timing of these snow-induced floods is currently lacking, but critical for the management of water resources in the area. In this study, we evaluated the variability in winter-spring snow cover in five major sub-basins of the Upper Irtysh basin between 2000 and 2017 as a possible explanatory factor of spring flood events, assessing the time of peak snow cover depletion rate and snow cover disappearance from the MODIS MOD10A2 dataset. We found that on average, peak snow cover retreat occurs between 22 March and 14 April depending on the basin, with large inter-annual variations but no clear trend over the observation period. In contrast, the annual peak snow cover depletion rate displays a weak increasing trend over the study period and exceeded 5900 km2 day-1 in 2017. The timing of snow disappearance in spring shows significant correlations of up to 0.82 for the largest basin with winter indices of the Arctic Oscillation over the region. The primary driver is the impact of the large scale pressure anomalies upon the mean spring (MAM) air temperatures and resultant timing of snow cover disappearance, particularly at elevations 500-2000 m above sea level. This suggests a lagged effect of this atmospheric circulation pattern in spring snow cover retreat. The winter Arctic Oscillation index could therefore be incorporated into long-term runoff forecasts for the Irtysh. Our approach is easily transferable to other similar catchments, and could support flood management strategies in Kazakhstan and other countries.
Manually collected snow data are often considered as ground truth for many applications such as climatological or hydrological studies. However, there are many sources of uncertainty that are not quantified in detail. For the determination of water equivalent of snow cover (SWE), different snow core samplers and scales are used, but they are all based on the same measurement principle. We conducted two field campaigns with 9 samplers commonly used in observational measurements and research in Europe and northern America to better quantify uncertainties when measuring depth, density and SWE with core samplers. During the first campaign, as a first approach to distinguish snow variability measured at the plot and at the point scale, repeated measurements were taken along two 20 m long snow pits. The results revealed a much higher variability of SWE at the plot scale (resulting from both natural variability and instrumental bias) compared to repeated measurements at the same spot (resulting mostly from error induced by observers or very small scale variability of snow depth). The exceptionally homogeneous snowpack found in the second campaign permitted to almost neglect the natural variability of the snowpack properties and focus on the separation between instrumental bias and error induced by observers. Under such measurement conditions, the uncertainty in bulk snow density estimation is about 5% for an individual instrument and is close to 10% among different instruments. Results confirmed that instrumental bias exceeded both the natural variability and the error induced by observers, even in the case when observers were not familiar with a given snow core sampler.
The FAO Water Productivity Open Access Portal (WaPOR) offers continuous actual evapotranspiration and interception (ETIa-WPR) data at a 10-day basis across Africa and the Middle East from 2009 onwards at three spatial resolutions. The continental level (250m) covers Africa and the Middle East (L1). The national level (100m) covers 21 countries and four river basins (L2). The third level (30m) covers eight irrigation areas (L3). To quantify the uncertainty of WaPOR version 2 (V2.0) ETIa-WPR in Africa, we used a number of validation methods. We checked the physical consistency against water availability and the long term water balance and then verify the continental spatial and temporal trends for the major climates in Africa. We directly validated ETIa-WPR against in-situ data of 14 eddy covariance stations (EC). Finally, we checked the level consistency between the different spatial resolutions. Our findings indicate that ETIa-WPR is performing well, but with some noticeable overestimation. The ETIa-WPR is showing expected spatial and temporal consistency with respect to climate classes. ETIa-WPR shows mixed results at point scale as compared to EC flux towers with an overall R2 of 0.61, and a root mean square error of 1.04 mm/day. The level consistency is very high between L1 and L2. However, the consistency between L1 and L3 varies significantly between irrigation areas. In rainfed areas, the ETIa-WPR is overestimating at low ETIa-WPR and underestimating when ETIa is high. In irrigated areas, ETIa-WPR values appear to be consistently overestimating ETa. The soil moisture content, the input of quality layers and local advection effects were some of the identified causes. The quality assessment of ETIa-WPR product is enhanced by combining multiple evaluation methods. Based on the results, the ETIa-WaPOR dataset is of enough quality to contribute to the understanding and monitoring of local and continental water processes and water management.
Numerous socio-economic activities depend on the seasonal rainfall and groundwater recharge cycle across the Central American Isthmus. Population growth and unregulated land use changes resulted in extensive surface water pollution and a large dependency on groundwater resources. This work combines stable isotope variations in rainfall, surface water, and groundwater of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras to develop a regionalized rainfall isoscape, isotopic lapse rates, spatial-temporal isotopic variations, and air mass back trajectories determining potential mean recharge elevations, moisture circulation patterns, and surface water-groundwater interactions. Intra-seasonal rainfall modes resulted in two isotopically depleted incursions (W-shaped isotopic pattern) during the wet season and two enriched pulses during the Mid-Summer Drought and the months of the strongest trade winds. Notable isotopic sub-cloud fractionation and near-surface secondary evaporation were identified as common denominators within the Central American Dry Corridor. Groundwater and surface water isotope ratios depicted the strong orographic separation into the Caribbean and Pacific domains, mainly induced by the governing moisture transport from the Caribbean Sea, complex rainfall producing systems across the N-S mountain range, and the subsequent mixing with local evapotranspiration, and, to a lesser degree, the eastern Pacific Ocean fluxes. Groundwater recharge was characterized by a) depleted recharge in highland areas (72.3%), b) rapid recharge via preferential flow paths (13.1%), and enriched recharge due to near-surface secondary fractionation (14.6%). Median recharge elevation ranged from 1,104 to 1,979 m asl. These results are intended to enhance forest conservation practices, inform water protection regulations, and facilitate water security and sustainability planning in the Central American Isthmus.