WorldWideScience

Sample records for high alpine catchments

  1. High resolution climate scenarios for snowmelt modelling in small alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, M.; Peleg, N.; Burlando, P.; Jonas, T.

    2017-12-01

    Snow in the Alps is affected by climate change with regard to duration, timing and amount. This has implications with respect to important societal issues as drinking water supply or hydropower generation. In Switzerland, the latter received a lot of attention following the political decision to phase out of nuclear electricity production. An increasing number of authorization requests for small hydropower plants located in small alpine catchments was observed in the recent years. This situation generates ecological conflicts, while the expected climate change poses a threat to water availability thus putting at risk investments in such hydropower plants. Reliable high-resolution climate scenarios are thus required, which account for small-scale processes to achieve realistic predictions of snowmelt runoff and its variability in small alpine catchments. We therefore used a novel model chain by coupling a stochastic 2-dimensional weather generator (AWE-GEN-2d) with a state-of-the-art energy balance snow cover model (FSM). AWE-GEN-2d was applied to generate ensembles of climate variables at very fine temporal and spatial resolution, thus providing all climatic input variables required for the energy balance modelling. The land-surface model FSM was used to describe spatially variable snow cover accumulation and melt processes. The FSM was refined to allow applications at very high spatial resolution by specifically accounting for small-scale processes, such as a subgrid-parametrization of snow covered area or an improved representation of forest-snow processes. For the present study, the model chain was tested for current climate conditions using extensive observational dataset of different spatial and temporal coverage. Small-scale spatial processes such as elevation gradients or aspect differences in the snow distribution were evaluated using airborne LiDAR data. 40-year of monitoring data for snow water equivalent, snowmelt and snow-covered area for entire

  2. Bacterial GDGTs in Holocene sediments and catchment soils of a high Alpine lake: application of the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Niemann

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available A novel proxy for continental mean annual air temperature (MAAT and soil pH, the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer, is based on the temperature (T and pH-dependent distribution of specific bacterial membrane lipids (branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers – GDGTs in soil organic matter. Here, we tested the applicability of the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer to sediments from Lake Cadagno, a high Alpine lake in southern Switzerland with a small catchment of 2.4 km2. We analysed the distribution of bacterial GDGTs in catchment soils and in a radiocarbon-dated sediment core from the centre of the lake, covering the past 11 000 yr. The distribution of bacterial GDGTs in the catchment soils is very similar to that in the lake's surface sediments, indicating a common origin of the lipids. Consequently, their transfer from the soils into the sediment record seems undisturbed, probably without any significant alteration of their distribution through in situ production in the lake itself or early diagenesis of branched GDGTs. The MBT/CBT-inferred MAAT estimates from soils and surface sediments are in good agreement with instrumental values for the Lake Cadagno region (~0.5 °C. Moreover, downcore MBT/CBT-derived MAAT estimates match in timing and magnitude other proxy-based T reconstructions from nearby locations for the last two millennia. Major climate anomalies recorded by the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer are, for instance, the Little Ice Age (~14th to 19th century and the Medieval Warm Period (MWP, ~9th to 14th century. Together, our observations indicate the quantitative applicability of the MBT/CBT-paleothermometer to Lake Cadagno sediments. In addition to the MWP, our lacustrine paleo T record indicates Holocene warm phases at about 3, 5, 7 and 11 kyr before present, which agrees in timing with other records from both the Alps and the sub-polar North-East Atlantic Ocean. The good temporal match of the warm periods determined

  3. Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter; Stutenbecker, Laura; Bakker, Maarten; Silva, Tiago A.; Schlunegger, Fritz; Lane, Stuart N.; Loizeau, Jean-Luc; Girardclos, Stéphanie

    2018-01-01

    hillslope erosion by rainfall on snow-free surfaces, and increased meltwater production on snow-free glacier surfaces. Despite the rise in air temperature, changes in mean discharge in the mid-1980s were not statistically significant, and their interpretation is complicated by hydropower reservoir management and the flushing operations at intakes. Overall, the results show that to explain changes in suspended sediment transport from large Alpine catchments it is necessary to include an understanding of the multitude of sediment sources involved together with the hydroclimatic conditioning of their activation (e.g. changes in precipitation, runoff, air temperature). In addition, this study points out that climate signals in suspended sediment dynamics may be visible even in highly regulated and human-impacted systems. This is particularly relevant for quantifying climate change and hydropower impacts on streamflow and sediment budgets in Alpine catchments.

  4. Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Costa

    2018-01-01

    concentration through hillslope erosion by rainfall on snow-free surfaces, and increased meltwater production on snow-free glacier surfaces. Despite the rise in air temperature, changes in mean discharge in the mid-1980s were not statistically significant, and their interpretation is complicated by hydropower reservoir management and the flushing operations at intakes. Overall, the results show that to explain changes in suspended sediment transport from large Alpine catchments it is necessary to include an understanding of the multitude of sediment sources involved together with the hydroclimatic conditioning of their activation (e.g. changes in precipitation, runoff, air temperature. In addition, this study points out that climate signals in suspended sediment dynamics may be visible even in highly regulated and human-impacted systems. This is particularly relevant for quantifying climate change and hydropower impacts on streamflow and sediment budgets in Alpine catchments.

  5. Simulating the influence of snow surface processes on soil moisture dynamics and streamflow generation in an alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wever

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of flood risks in alpine, snow-covered catchments requires an understanding of the linkage between the snow cover, soil and discharge in the stream network. Here, we apply the comprehensive, distributed model Alpine3D to investigate the role of soil moisture in the predisposition of the Dischma catchment in Switzerland to high flows from rainfall and snowmelt. The recently updated soil module of the physics-based multilayer snow cover model SNOWPACK, which solves the surface energy and mass balance in Alpine3D, is verified against soil moisture measurements at seven sites and various depths inside and in close proximity to the Dischma catchment. Measurements and simulations in such terrain are difficult and consequently, soil moisture was simulated with varying degrees of success. Differences between simulated and measured soil moisture mainly arise from an overestimation of soil freezing and an absence of a groundwater description in the Alpine3D model. Both were found to have an influence in the soil moisture measurements. Using the Alpine3D simulation as the surface scheme for a spatially explicit hydrologic response model using a travel time distribution approach for interflow and baseflow, streamflow simulations were performed for the discharge from the catchment. The streamflow simulations provided a closer agreement with observed streamflow when driving the hydrologic response model with soil water fluxes at 30 cm depth in the Alpine3D model. Performance decreased when using the 2 cm soil water flux, thereby mostly ignoring soil processes. This illustrates that the role of soil moisture is important to take into account when understanding the relationship between both snowpack runoff and rainfall and catchment discharge in high alpine terrain. However, using the soil water flux at 60 cm depth to drive the hydrologic response model also decreased its performance, indicating that an optimal soil depth to include in

  6. Flash floods in small Alpine catchments in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breinl, Korbinian; Di Baldassarre, Giuliano

    2017-04-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of hazardous meteorological and hydrological events in numerous mountainous areas. The mountain environment is becoming more and more important for urbanization and the tourism-based economy. Here we show new and innovative methodologies for assessing intensity and frequency of flash floods in small Alpine catchments, in South Tyrol (Italy), under climate change. This research is done within the STEEP STREAMS project, whereby we work closely with decision makers in Italian authorities, and the final goal is to provide them with clear guidelines on how to adapt current structural solutions for mitigating hazardous events under future climate conditions. To this end, we develop a coupled framework of weather generation (i.e. extrapolation of observations and trained with climate projections), time series disaggregation and hydrological modelling using the conceptual HBV model. One of the key challenges is the transfer of comparatively coarse RCM projections to small catchments, whose sizes range from only about 10km2 to 100km2. We examine different strategies to downscale the RCM data from e.g. the EURO-CORDEX dataset using our weather generator. The selected projections represent combinations of warmer, milder, drier and wetter conditions. In general, our main focus is to develop an improved understanding of the impact of the multiple sources of uncertainty in this modelling framework, and make these uncertainties tangible. The output of this study (i.e. discharge with a return period and associated uncertainty) will allow hydraulic and sediment transport modelling of flash floods and debris flows.

  7. A free tool integrating GIS features and workflows to evaluate sediment connectivity in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crema, Stefano; Schenato, Luca; Goldin, Beatrice; Marchi, Lorenzo; Cavalli, Marco

    2014-05-01

    The increased interest in sediment connectivity has brought the geomorphologists' community to focus on sediment fluxes as a key process (Cavalli et al., 2013; Heckmann and Schwanghart, 2013). The challenge of dealing with erosion-related processes in alpine catchments is of primary relevance for different fields of investigations and applications, including, but not limited to natural hazards, hydraulic structures design, ecology and stream restoration. The present work focuses on the development of a free tool for sediment connectivity assessment as described in Cavalli et al. (2013), introducing some novel improvements. The choice of going for a free software is motivated by the need of widening the access and improving participation beyond the restrictions on algorithms customization, typical of commercial software. A couple of features further enhance the tool: being completely free and adopting a user-friendly interface, its target audience includes researchers and stakeholders (e.g., local managers and civil protection authorities in charge of planning the priorities of intervention in the territory), being written in Python programming language, it can benefit from optimized algorithms for high-resolution DEMs (Digital Elevation Models) handling and for propagation workflows implementation; these two factors make the tool computationally competitive with the most recent commercial GIS products. The overall goal of this tool is supporting the analysis of sediment connectivity, facing the challenge of widening, as much as possible, the users' community among scientists and stakeholders. This aspect is crucial, as future improvement of this tool will benefit of feedbacks from users in order to improve the quantitative assessment of sediment connectivity as a major input information for the optimal management of mountain areas. References: Cavalli, M., Trevisani, S., Comiti, F., Marchi, L., 2013. Geomorphometric assessment of spatial sediment connectivity in

  8. Analytical solutions for recession analyses of sloping aquifers - applicability on relict rock glaciers in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauritsch, Marcus; Birk, Steffen; Hergarten, Stefan; Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Winkler, Gerfried

    2014-05-01

    Rock glaciers as aquifer systems in alpine catchments may strongly influence the hydrological characteristics of these catchments. Thus, they have a high impact on the ecosystem and potential natural hazards such as for example debris flow. Therefore, knowledge of the hydrodynamic processes, internal structure and properties of these aquifers is important for resource management and risk assessment. The investigation of such aquifers often turns out to be expensive and technically complicated because of their strongly limited accessibility. Analytical solutions of discharge recession provide a quick and easy way to estimate aquifer parameters. However, due to simplifying assumptions the validity of the interpretation is often questionable. In this study we compared results of an analytical solution of discharge recessions with results based on a numerical model. This was done in order to analyse the range of uncertainties and the applicability of the analytical method in alpine catchment areas. The research area is a 0.76 km² large catchment in the Seckauer Tauern Range, Austria. The dominant aquifer in this catchment is a rock glacier, namely the Schöneben Rock Glacier. This relict rock glacier (i.e. containing no permafrost at present) covers an area of 0.11 km² and is drained by one spring at the rock glacier front. The rock glacier consists predominantly of gneissic sediments (mainly coarse-grained, blocky at the surface) and extends from 1720 to 1905 m a.s.l.. Discharge of the rock glacier spring is automatically measured since 2002. Electric conductivity and water temperature is monitored since 2008. An automatic weather station was installed in 2011 in the central part of the catchment. Additionally data of geophysical surveys (refraction seismic and ground penetrating radar) have been used to analyse the base slope and inner structure of the rock glacier. The measured data are incorporated into a numerical model implemented in MODFLOW. The numerical

  9. Water erosion and climate change in a small alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berteni, Francesca; Grossi, Giovanna

    2017-04-01

    WATER EROSION AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN A SMALL ALPINE CATCHMENT Francesca Berteni, Giovanna Grossi A change in the mean and variability of some variables of the climate system is expected to affect the sediment yield of mountainous areas in several ways: for example through soil temperature and precipitation peak intensity change, permafrost thawing, snow- and ice-melt time shifting. Water erosion, sediment transport and yield and the effects of climate change on these physical phenomena are the focus of this work. The study area is a small mountainous basin, the Guerna creek watershed, located in the Central Southern Alps. The sensitivity of sediment yield estimates to a change of condition of the climate system may be investigated through the application of different models, each characterized by its own features and limits. In this preliminary analysis two different empirical mathematical models are considered: RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation; Renard et al., 1991) and EPM (Erosion Potential Method; Gavrilovic, 1988). These models are implemented in a Geographical Information System (GIS) supporting the management of the territorial database used to estimate relevant geomorphological parameters and to create different thematic maps. From one side the geographical and geomorphological information is required (land use, slope and hydrogeological instability, resistance to erosion, lithological characterization and granulometric composition). On the other side the knowledge of the weather-climate parameters (precipitation and temperature data) is fundamental as well to evaluate the intensity and variability of the erosive processes and estimate the sediment yield at the basin outlet. Therefore different climate change scenarios were considered in order to tentatively assess the impact on the water erosion and sediment yield at the small basin scale. Keywords: water erosion, sediment yield, climate change, empirical mathematical models, EPM, RUSLE, GIS

  10. Water and Sediment Output Evaluation Using Cellular Automata on Alpine Catchment: Soana, Italy - Test Case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasculli, Antonio; Audisio, Chiara; Sciarra, Nicola

    2017-12-01

    In the alpine contest, the estimation of the rainfall (inflow) and the discharge (outflow) data are very important in order to, at least, analyse historical time series at catchment scale; determine the hydrological maximum and minimum estimate flood and drought frequency. Hydrological researches become a precious source of information for various human activities, in particular for land use management and planning. Many rainfall- runoff models have been proposed to reflect steady, gradually-varied flow condition inside a catchment. In these last years, the application of Reduced Complexity Models (RCM) has been representing an excellent alternative resource for evaluating the hydrological response of catchments, within a period of time up to decades. Hence, this paper is aimed at the discussion of the application of the research code CAESAR, based on cellular automaton (CA) approach, in order to evaluate the water and the sediment outputs from an alpine catchment (Soana, Italy), selected as test case. The comparison between the predicted numerical results, developed through parametric analysis, and the available measured data are discussed. Finally, the analysis of a numerical estimate of the sediment budget over ten years is presented. The necessity of a fast, but reliable numerical support when the measured data are not so easily accessible, as in Alpine catchments, is highlighted.

  11. Influence of Slope-Scale Snowmelt on Catchment Response Simulated With the Alpine3D Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauchli, Tristan; Trujillo, Ernesto; Huwald, Hendrik; Lehning, Michael

    2017-12-01

    Snow and hydrological modeling in alpine environments remains challenging because of the complexity of the processes affecting the mass and energy balance. This study examines the influence of snowmelt on the hydrological response of a high-alpine catchment of 43.2 km2 in the Swiss Alps during the water year 2014-2015. Based on recent advances in Alpine3D, we examine how snow distributions and liquid water transport within the snowpack influence runoff dynamics. By combining these results with multiscale observations (snow lysimeter, distributed snow depths, and streamflow), we demonstrate the added value of a more realistic snow distribution at the onset of melt season. At the site scale, snowpack runoff is well simulated when the mass balance errors are corrected (R2 = 0.95 versus R2 = 0.61). At the subbasin scale, a more heterogeneous snowpack leads to a more rapid runoff pulse originating in the shallower areas while an extended melting period (by a month) is caused by snowmelt from deeper areas. This is a marked improvement over results obtained using a traditional precipitation interpolation method. Hydrological response is also improved by the more realistic snowpack (NSE of 0.85 versus 0.74), even though calibration processes smoothen out the differences. The added value of a more complex liquid water transport scheme is obvious at the site scale but decreases at larger scales. Our results highlight not only the importance but also the difficulty of getting a realistic snowpack distribution even in a well-instrumented area and present a model validation from multiscale experimental data sets.

  12. Atmospheric deposition as a source of carbon and nutrients to an alpine catchment of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.; Schmidt, S. K.; Cawley, K.

    2012-08-01

    Many alpine areas are experiencing deglaciation, biogeochemical changes driven by temperature rise, and changes in atmospheric deposition. There is mounting evidence that the water quality of alpine streams may be related to these changes, including rising atmospheric deposition of carbon (C) and nutrients. Given that barren alpine soils can be severely C limited, atmospheric deposition sources may be an important source of C and nutrients for these environments. We evaluated the magnitude of atmospheric deposition of C and nutrients to an alpine site, the Green Lake 4 catchment in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using a long-term dataset (2002-2010) of weekly atmospheric wet deposition and snowpack chemistry, we found that volume weighted mean dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were 1.12 ± 0.19 mg l-1, and weekly concentrations reached peaks as high at 6-10 mg l-1 every summer. Total dissolved nitrogen concentration also peaked in the summer, whereas total dissolved phosphorus and calcium concentrations were highest in the spring. To investigate potential sources of C in atmospheric deposition, we evaluated the chemical quality of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and relationships between DOM and other solutes in wet deposition. Relationships between DOC concentration, fluorescence, and nitrate and sulfate concentrations suggest that pollutants from nearby urban and agricultural sources and organic aerosols derived from sub-alpine vegetation may influence high summer DOC wet deposition concentrations. Interestingly, high DOC concentrations were also recorded during "dust-in-snow" events in the spring, which may reflect an association of DOM with dust. Detailed chemical and spectroscopic analyses conducted for samples collected in 2010 revealed that the DOM in many late spring and summer samples was less aromatic and polydisperse and of lower molecular weight than that of winter and fall samples. Our C budget estimates for the Green Lake 4 catchment

  13. Climate-scale modelling of suspended sediment load in an Alpine catchment debris flow (Rio Cordon-northeastern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diodato, Nazzareno; Mao, Luca; Borrelli, Pasquale; Panagos, Panos; Fiorillo, Francesco; Bellocchi, Gianni

    2018-05-01

    Pulsing storms and prolonged rainfall can drive hydrological damaging events in mountain regions with soil erosion and debris flow in river catchments. The paper presents a parsimonious model for estimating climate forcing on sediment loads in an Alpine catchment (Rio Cordon, northeastern Italian Alps). Hydroclimatic forcing was interpreted by the novel CliSMSSL (Climate-Scale Modelling of Suspended Sediment Load) model to estimate annual sediment loads. We used annual data on suspended-solid loads monitored at an experimental station from 1987 to 2001 and on monthly precipitation data. The quality of sediment load data was critically examined, and one outlying year was identified and removed from further analyses. This outlier revealed that our model underestimates exceptionally high sediment loads in years characterized by a severe flood event. For all other years, the CliSMSSL performed well, with a determination coefficient (R2) equal to 0.67 and a mean absolute error (MAE) of 129 Mg y-1. The calibrated model for the period 1986-2010 was used to reconstruct sediment loads in the river catchment for historical times when detailed precipitation records are not available. For the period 1810-2010, the model results indicate that the past centuries have been characterized by large interannual to interdecadal fluctuations in the conditions affecting sediment loads. This paper argues that climate-induced erosion processes in Alpine areas and their impact on environment should be given more attention in discussions about climate-driven strategies. Future work should focus on delineating the extents of these findings (e.g., at other catchments of the European Alpine belt) as well as investigating the dynamics for the formation of sediment loads.

  14. Identification of groundwater nitrate sources in pre-alpine catchments: a multi-tracer approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoewer, Myriam; Stumpp, Christine

    2014-05-01

    Porous aquifers in pre-alpine areas are often used as drinking water resources due to their good water quality status and water yield. Maintaining these resources requires knowledge about possible sources of pollutants and a sustainable management practice in groundwater catchment areas. Of particular interest in agricultural areas, like in pre-alpine regions, is limiting nitrate input as main groundwater pollutant. Therefore, the objective of the presented study is i) to identify main nitrate sources in a pre-alpine groundwater catchment with current low nitrate concentration using stable isotopes of nitrate (d18O and d15N) and ii) to investigate seasonal dynamics of nitrogen compounds. The groundwater catchment areas of four porous aquifers are located in Southern Germany. Most of the land use is organic grassland farming as well as forestry and residential area. Thus, potential sources of nitrate mainly are mineral fertilizer, manure/slurry, leaking sewage system and atmospheric deposition of nitrogen compounds. Monthly freshwater samples (precipitation, river water and groundwater) are analysed for stable isotope of water (d2H, d18O), the concentration of major anions and cations, electrical conductivity, water temperature, pH and oxygen. In addition, isotopic analysis of d18O-NO3- and d15N-NO3- for selected samples is carried out using the denitrifier method. In general, all groundwater samples were oxic (10.0±2.6mg/L) and nitrate concentrations were low (0.2 - 14.6mg/L). The observed nitrate isotope values in the observation area compared to values from local precipitation, sewage, manure and mineral fertilizer as well as to data from literature shows that the nitrate in freshwater samples is of microbial origin. Nitrate derived from ammonium in fertilizers and precipitation as well as from soil nitrogen. It is suggested that a major potential threat to the groundwater quality is ammonia and ammonium at a constant level mainly from agriculture activities as

  15. Modelling and simulation of floods in alpine catchments equipped with complex hydropower schemes

    OpenAIRE

    Bieri, Martin; Schleiss, Anton; Frankhauser, A.

    2010-01-01

    The simulation of run-off in an alpine catchment area equipped with complex hydropower schemes is presented by the help of an especially developed tool, called Routing System, which can combine hydrological modelling and operation of hydraulic elements. In the hydrological forecasting tool tridimensional rainfall, temperature and evapotranspiration distributions are taken into account for simulating the dominant hydrological processes, as glacier melt, snow pack constitution and melt, soil in...

  16. Analysis of streamflow variability in Alpine catchments at multiple spatial and temporal scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Ciria, T.; Chiogna, G.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine watersheds play a pivotal role in Europe for water provisioning and for hydropower production. In these catchments, temporal fluctuations of river discharge occur at multiple temporal scales due to natural as well as anthropogenic driving forces. In the last decades, modifications of the flow regime have been observed and their origin lies in the complex interplay between construction of dams for hydro power production, changes in water management policies and climatic changes. The alteration of the natural flow has negative impacts on the freshwater biodiversity and threatens the ecosystem integrity of the Alpine region. Therefore, understanding the temporal and spatial variability of river discharge has recently become a particular concern for environmental protection and represents a crucial contribution to achieve sustainable water resources management in the Alps. In this work, time series analysis is conducted for selected gauging stations in the Inn and the Adige catchments, which cover a large part of the central and eastern region of the Alps. We analyze the available time series using the continuous wavelet transform and change-point analyses for determining how and where changes have taken place. Although both catchments belong to different climatic zones of the Greater Alpine Region, streamflow properties share some similar characteristics. The comparison of the collected streamflow time series in the two catchments permits detecting gradients in the hydrological system dynamics that depend on station elevation, longitudinal location in the Alps and catchment area. This work evidences that human activities (e.g., water management practices and flood protection measures, changes in legislation and market regulation) have major impacts on streamflow and should be rigorously considered in hydrological models.

  17. Tracer-based identification of rock glacier thawing in a glacierized Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Michael; Penna, Daniele; Tirler, Werner; Comiti, Francesco

    2017-04-01

    of alpine streams and they underline the need for water quality monitoring at high elevations. Keywords: stable isotopes of water; heavy metals, permafrost thawing; alpine rivers; glacierized catchment

  18. Root reinforcement and its implications in shallow landsliding susceptibility on a small alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandi, M. C.; Farabegoli, E.; Onorevoli, G.

    2012-04-01

    Roots shear resistance offers a considerable contribution to hill-slope stability on vegetated terrains. Through the pseudo-cohesion of shrubs, trees and turf's roots, the geomechanical properties of soils can be drastically increased, exerting a positive influence on the hillslope stability. We analysed the shallow landsliding susceptibility of a small alpine catchment (Duron valley, Central Dolomites, Italy) that we consider representative of a wide altitude belt of the Dolomites (1800 - 2400 m a.s.l). The catchment is mostly mantled by grass (Nardetum strictae s.l.), with clustered shrubs (Rhododendron hirsutum and Juniperus nana), and trees (Pinus cembra, Larix decidua and Picea abies). The soil depth, investigated with direct and indirect methods, ranges from 0 to 180 cm, with its peak at the hollow axes. Locally, the bedrock, made of Triassic volcanic rocks, is deeply incised by the Holocene drainage network. Intensive grazing of cows and horses pervades the catchment area and cattle-trails occupy ca 20% of the grass cover. We used laboratory and field tests to characterize the geotechnical properties of these alpine soils; moreover we designed and tested an experimental device that measures, in situ, the shear strengths of the grass mantle. In the study area we mapped 18 shallow landslides, mostly related to road cuts and periodically reactivated as retrogressive landslides. The triggering mechanisms of these shallow landslides were qualitatively analysed at large scale and modelled at smaller scale. We used SHALSTAB to model the shallow landsliding susceptibility of the catchment at the basin scale and SLIDE (RocScience) to compute the Safety Factor at the versant scale. Qualitative management solutions are provided, in order to reduce the shallow landsliding susceptibility risk in this alpine context.

  19. On the measure of large woody debris in an alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Agostino, V.; Bertoldi, G.; Rigon, E.

    2012-04-01

    The management of large woody debris (LWD) in Alpine torrents is a complex and ambiguous task. On one side the presence of LWD contributes to in-channel and floodplain morphological processes and plays an important role in landscape ecology and biodiversity. On the other side LWD increases considerably flood hazards when some river cross-sections result critical for the human interface (e.g. culverts, bridges, artificial channels). Only few studies provide quantitative data of LWD volumes in Alpine torrents. Research is needed both at basin scale processes (LWD recruiting from hillslopes) and at channel scale processes (feeding from river bank, storage/transport/deposition of LWD along the river bed). Our study proposes an integrate field survey methodology to assess the overall LWD amount which can be entrained by a flood. This knowledge is mandatory for the scientific research, for the implementation of LWD transport models, and for a complete hazard management in mountain basins. The study site is the high-relief basin of the Cordevole torrent (Belluno Province, Central Alps, Italy) whose outlet is located at the Saviner village (basin area of 109 square kilometers). In the November 1966 an extreme flood event occurred and some torrent reaches were heavily congested by LWD enhancing the overall damages due to long-duration overflows. Currently, the LWD recruitment seems to be strictly correlated with bank erosion and hillslope instability and the conditions of forest stand suggest LWD hazard is still high. Previous studies on sub-catchments of the Cordevole torrent have also shown an inverse relation between the drainage area and the LWD storage in the river-bed. Present contribution analyzes and quantifies the presence of LWD in the main valley channel of the Cordevole basin. A new sampling methodology was applied to integrate surveys of riparian vegetation and LWD storage. Data inventory confirms the previous relationship between LWD volumes and drainage area

  20. ALPINE VEGETATION ECOTONE DYNAMICS IN GANGOTRI CATCHMENT USING REMOTE SENSING TECHNIQUES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of the satellite imagery reveals two different perspectives of the vegetation ecotone dynamics in Gangotri catchment. On one hand, there is evidence of upward shift in the alpine tree and vegetation ecotone over three decades. On the other hand, there has been densification happening at the past treeline. The time series fAPAR data of two decades from NOAA-AVHRR confirms the greening trend in the area. The density of trees in Chirbasa has gone up whereas in Bhojbasa there is no significant change in NDVI but the number of groves has increased. Near Gaumukh the vegetal activity has not shown any significant change. We found that the treeline extracted from satellite imagery has moved up about 327±80m and other vegetation line has moved up about 401±77m in three decades. The vertical rate of treeline shift is found to be 11m/yr with reference to 1976 treeline; however, this can be 5m/yr if past toposheet records (1924 – 45 are considered as reliable reference. However, the future IPCC scenario based bioclimatic fundamental niche modelling of the Betula utilis (a surrogate to alpine treeline suggests that treeline could be moving upward with an average rate of 3m/yr. This study not only confirms that there is an upward shift of vegetation in the alpine zone of Himalayas, but also indicate that old vegetation ecotones have grown denser

  1. Hydroclimatic control on suspended sediment dynamics of a regulated Alpine catchment: a conceptual approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Costa

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available We analyse the control of hydroclimatic factors on suspended sediment concentration (SSC in Alpine catchments by differentiating among the potential contributions of erosion and suspended sediment transport driven by erosive rainfall, defined as liquid precipitation over snow-free surfaces, ice melt from glacierized areas, and snowmelt on hillslopes. We account for the potential impact of hydropower by intercepting sediment fluxes originated in areas diverted to hydropower reservoirs, and by considering the contribution of hydropower releases to SSC. We obtain the hydroclimatic variables from daily gridded datasets of precipitation and temperature, implementing a degree-day model to simulate spatially distributed snow accumulation and snow–ice melt. We estimate hydropower releases by a conceptual approach with a unique virtual reservoir regulated on the basis of a target-volume function, representing normal reservoir operating conditions throughout a hydrological year. An Iterative Input Selection algorithm is used to identify the variables with the highest predictive power for SSC, their explained variance, and characteristic time lags. On this basis, we develop a hydroclimatic multivariate rating curve (HMRC which accounts for the contributions of the most relevant hydroclimatic input variables mentioned above. We calibrate the HMRC with a gradient-based nonlinear optimization method and we compare its performance with a traditional discharge-based rating curve. We apply the approach in the upper Rhône Basin, a large Swiss Alpine catchment heavily regulated by hydropower. Our results show that the three hydroclimatic processes – erosive rainfall, ice melt, and snowmelt – are significant predictors of mean daily SSC, while hydropower release does not have a significant explanatory power for SSC. The characteristic time lags of the hydroclimatic variables correspond to the typical flow concentration times of the basin. Despite not

  2. Seasonal Changes in the Character and Nitrogen Content of Dissolved Organic Matter in an Alpine/Subalpine Headwater Catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eran W. Hood

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available We are studying the chemical quality of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON in a high-elevation watershed in the Colorado Front Range. Samples were collected over the 2000 snowmelt runoff season at two sites across an alpine/subalpine ecotone to understand how the transition between the lightly vegetated alpine and forested reaches of the catchment influences the chemical character of DON. Samples were analyzed approximately weekly for dissolved organic material (DOM content and chemical character. A subset of samples was analyzed for the elemental content of fulvic and hydrophilic acids. Concentrations of DON at both sites were highest in the spring at the initiation of snowmelt, decreased during snowmelt, and increased again during the late summer and fall. In contrast, concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC peaked on the ascending limb of the hydrograph and declined to seasonal minima on the descending limb of the hydrograph. The ratio of DOC:DON showed a seasonal shift at both sites with high values (40 to 55 during peak runoff in early summer and lower values (15 to 25 during low flows late in the runoff season. These results indicate that there was a seasonal change in the relative N content of DOM at both sites. Chemical fractionation of DOC showed that there were temporal and longitudinal changes in the chemical character of DOC. At the alpine site, the fulvic acid content of DOC decreased from 57% in June to 35% in September. The change in fulvic acid was less pronounced at the forested site, from 66% in June to 54% in September. Elemental analysis of fulvic and hydrophilic acids indicated that hydrophilic acids were N rich compared to fulvic acids. Additionally, fulvic and hydrophilic acids isolated at the alpine site had a lower C:N ratio than those isolated at the forested site. Similarly, the C:N ratio of organic acids at both sites was lower in September than in June during peak runoff. These differences appear to be a result

  3. Modeling of Future Changes in Seasonal Snowpack and Impacts on Summer Low Flows in Alpine Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenicek, Michal; Seibert, Jan; Staudinger, Maria

    2018-01-01

    It is expected that an increasing proportion of the precipitation will fall as rain in alpine catchments in the future. Consequently, snow storage is expected to decrease, which, together with changes in snowmelt rates and timing, might cause reductions in spring and summer low flows. The objectives of this study were (1) to simulate the effect of changing snow storage on low flows during the warm seasons and (2) to relate drought sensitivity to the simulated snow storage changes at different elevations. The Swiss Climate Change Scenarios 2011 data set was used to derive future changes in air temperature and precipitation. A typical bucket-type catchment model, HBV-light, was applied to 14 mountain catchments in Switzerland to simulate streamflow and snow in the reference period and three future periods. The largest relative decrease in annual maximum SWE was simulated for elevations below 2,200 m a.s.l. (60-75% for the period 2070-2099) and the snowmelt season shifted by up to 4 weeks earlier. The relative decrease in spring and summer minimum runoff that was caused by the relative decrease in maximum SWE (i.e., elasticity), reached 40-90% in most of catchments for the reference period and decreased for the future periods. This decreasing elasticity indicated that the effect of snow on summer low flows is reduced in the future. The fraction of snowmelt runoff in summer decreased by more than 50% at the highest elevations and almost disappeared at the lowest elevations. This might have large implications on water availability during the summer.

  4. Estimation of Soil Moisture in an Alpine Catchment with RADARSAT2 Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Pasolli

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil moisture retrieval is one of the most challenging problems in the context of biophysical parameter estimation from remotely sensed data. Typically, microwave signals are used thanks to their sensitivity to variations in the water content of soil. However, especially in the Alps, the presence of vegetation and the heterogeneity of topography may significantly affect the microwave signal, thus increasing the complexity of the retrieval. In this paper, the effectiveness of RADARSAT2 SAR images for the estimation of soil moisture in an alpine catchment is investigated. We first carry out a sensitivity analysis of the SAR signal to the moisture content of soil and other target properties (e.g., topography and vegetation. Then we propose a technique for estimating soil moisture based on the Support Vector Regression algorithm and the integration of ancillary data. Preliminary results are discussed both in terms of accuracy over point measurements and effectiveness in handling spatially distributed data.

  5. A multi-objective approach to improve SWAT model calibration in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuo, Ye; Marcolini, Giorgia; Disse, Markus; Chiogna, Gabriele

    2018-04-01

    Multi-objective hydrological model calibration can represent a valuable solution to reduce model equifinality and parameter uncertainty. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is widely applied to investigate water quality and water management issues in alpine catchments. However, the model calibration is generally based on discharge records only, and most of the previous studies have defined a unique set of snow parameters for an entire basin. Only a few studies have considered snow observations to validate model results or have taken into account the possible variability of snow parameters for different subbasins. This work presents and compares three possible calibration approaches. The first two procedures are single-objective calibration procedures, for which all parameters of the SWAT model were calibrated according to river discharge alone. Procedures I and II differ from each other by the assumption used to define snow parameters: The first approach assigned a unique set of snow parameters to the entire basin, whereas the second approach assigned different subbasin-specific sets of snow parameters to each subbasin. The third procedure is a multi-objective calibration, in which we considered snow water equivalent (SWE) information at two different spatial scales (i.e. subbasin and elevation band), in addition to discharge measurements. We tested these approaches in the Upper Adige river basin where a dense network of snow depth measurement stations is available. Only the set of parameters obtained with this multi-objective procedure provided an acceptable prediction of both river discharge and SWE. These findings offer the large community of SWAT users a strategy to improve SWAT modeling in alpine catchments.

  6. Rock glaciers in crystalline catchments: Hidden permafrost-related threats to alpine headwater lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyashuk, Boris P; Ilyashuk, Elena A; Psenner, Roland; Tessadri, Richard; Koinig, Karin A

    2018-04-01

    A global warming-induced transition from glacial to periglacial processes has been identified in mountainous regions around the world. Degrading permafrost in pristine periglacial environments can produce acid rock drainage (ARD) and cause severe ecological damage in areas underlain by sulfide-bearing bedrock. Limnological and paleolimnological approaches were used to assess and compare ARDs generated by rock glaciers, a typical landform of the mountain permafrost domain, and their effects on alpine headwater lakes with similar morphometric features and underlying bedrock geology, but characterized by different intensities of frost action in their catchments during the year. We argue that ARD and its effects on lakes are more severe in the alpine periglacial belt with mean annual air temperatures (MAAT) between -2°C and +3°C, where groundwater persists in the liquid phase for most of the year, in contrast to ARD in the periglacial belt where frost action dominates (MAAT cycle of aquatic organisms should be considered when reconstructing long-term trends in the ecotoxicological state of lakes. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Alpine Ecohydrology Across Scales: Propagating Fine-scale Heterogeneity to the Catchment and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrotheodoros, T.; Pappas, C.; Molnar, P.; Burlando, P.; Hadjidoukas, P.; Fatichi, S.

    2017-12-01

    In mountainous ecosystems, complex topography and landscape heterogeneity govern ecohydrological states and fluxes. Here, we investigate topographic controls on water, energy and carbon fluxes across different climatic regimes and vegetation types representative of the European Alps. We use an ecohydrological model to perform fine-scale numerical experiments on a synthetic domain that comprises a symmetric mountain with eight catchments draining along the cardinal and intercardinal directions. Distributed meteorological model input variables are generated using observations from Switzerland. The model computes the incoming solar radiation based on the local topography. We implement a multivariate statistical framework to disentangle the impact of landscape heterogeneity (i.e., elevation, aspect, flow contributing area, vegetation type) on the simulated water, carbon, and energy dynamics. This allows us to identify the sensitivities of several ecohydrological variables (including leaf area index, evapotranspiration, snow-cover and net primary productivity) to topographic and meteorological inputs at different spatial and temporal scales. We also use an alpine catchment as a real case study to investigate how the natural variability of soil and land cover affects the idealized relationships that arise from the synthetic domain. In accordance with previous studies, our analysis shows a complex pattern of vegetation response to radiation. We find also different patterns of ecosystem sensitivity to topography-driven heterogeneity depending on the hydrological regime (i.e., wet vs. dry conditions). Our results suggest that topography-driven variability in ecohydrological variables (e.g. transpiration) at the fine spatial scale can exceed 50%, but it is substantially reduced ( 5%) when integrated at the catchment scale.

  8. Tracing freshwater nitrate sources in pre-alpine groundwater catchments using environmental tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoewer, M. M.; Knöller, K.; Stumpp, C.

    2015-05-01

    Groundwater is one of the main resources for drinking water. Its quality is still threatened by the widespread contaminant nitrate (NO3-). In order to manage groundwater resources in a sustainable manner, we need to find options of lowering nitrate input. Particularly, a comprehensive knowledge of nitrate sources is required in areas which are important current and future drinking water reservoirs such as pre-alpine aquifers covered with permanent grassland. The objective of the present study was to identify major sources of nitrate in groundwater with low mean nitrate concentrations (8 ± 2 mg/L). To achieve the objective, we used environmental tracer approaches in four pre-alpine groundwater catchments. The stable isotope composition and tritium content of water were used to study the hydrogeology and transit times. Furthermore, nitrate stable isotope methods were applied to trace nitrogen from its sources to groundwater. The results of the nitrate isotope analysis showed that groundwater nitrate was derived from nitrification of a variety of ammonium sources such as atmospheric deposition, mineral and organic fertilizers and soil organic matter. A direct influence of mineral fertilizer, atmospheric deposition and sewage was excluded. Since temporal variation in stable isotopes of nitrate were detected only in surface water and locally at one groundwater monitoring well, aquifers appeared to be well mixed and influenced by a continuous nitrate input mainly from soil derived nitrogen. Hydrogeological analysis supported that the investigated aquifers were less vulnerable to rapid impacts due to long average transit times, ranging from 5 to 21 years. Our study revealed the importance of combining environmental tracer approaches and a comprehensive sampling campaign (local sources of nitrate, soil water, river water, and groundwater) to identify the nitrate sources in groundwater and its vulnerability. In future, the achieved results will help develop targeted

  9. A Spatially Distributed Conceptual Model for Estimating Suspended Sediment Yield in Alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter; Anghileri, Daniela

    2017-04-01

    Suspended sediment is associated with nutrient and contaminant transport in water courses. Estimating suspended sediment load is relevant for water-quality assessment, recreational activities, reservoir sedimentation issues, and ecological habitat assessment. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) along channels is usually reproduced by suspended sediment rating curves, which relate SSC to discharge with a power law equation. Large uncertainty characterizes rating curves based only on discharge, because sediment supply is not explicitly accounted for. The aim of this work is to develop a source-oriented formulation of suspended sediment dynamics and to estimate suspended sediment yield at the outlet of a large Alpine catchment (upper Rhône basin, Switzerland). We propose a novel modelling approach for suspended sediment which accounts for sediment supply by taking into account the variety of sediment sources in an Alpine environment, i.e. the spatial location of sediment sources (e.g. distance from the outlet and lithology) and the different processes of sediment production and transport (e.g. by rainfall, overland flow, snowmelt). Four main sediment sources, typical of Alpine environments, are included in our model: glacial erosion, hillslope erosion, channel erosion and erosion by mass wasting processes. The predictive model is based on gridded datasets of precipitation and air temperature which drive spatially distributed degree-day models to simulate snowmelt and ice-melt, and determine erosive rainfall. A mass balance at the grid scale determines daily runoff. Each cell belongs to a different sediment source (e.g. hillslope, channel, glacier cell). The amount of sediment entrained and transported in suspension is simulated through non-linear functions of runoff, specific for sediment production and transport processes occurring at the grid scale (e.g. rainfall erosion, snowmelt-driven overland flow). Erodibility factors identify different lithological units

  10. Generalization of heterogeneous alpine vegetation in air photo-based image classification, Latnjajaure catchment, northern Sweden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindblad, K. E. M.

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available

    Mapping alpine vegetation at a meso-scale (catchment level using remote sensing presents difficulties due to a patchy distribution and heterogeneous spectral appearance of the plant cover. We discuss issues of generalization and accuracy assessment in this case study when using a digital CIR air photo for an automatic classification of the dominant plant communities. Spectral information from an aerial photograph was supplemented by classified plant communities in field and by topographical information derived from a DEM. 150 control points were tracked in the field using a GPS. The outcome from three alternative classifications was analysed by Kappa statistics, user’s and producer’s accuracy. Overall accuracy did not differ between the classifications although producer’s and user’s accuracy for separate classes differed together with total surface (ha and distribution. Manual accuracy assessment when recording the occurrence of the correct class within a radius of 5 meters from the control points generated an improvement of 16 % of the total accuracy. About 10 plant communities could be classified with acceptable accuracy where the chosen classification scheme determined the final outcome. If a high resolution pixel mosaic is generalized to units that match the positional accuracy of simple GPS this generalization may also influence the information content of the image.



    Hemos llevado a cabo la cartografía de la vegetación alpina a escala media (nivel de cuenca experimental mediante interpretación remota. Esta metodología plantea dificultades debido a la distribución en mosaico de la vegetación y a la heterogeneidad del espetro obtenido. Se discuten las posibilidades de generalización de los resultados y el grado de precisión alcanzado en este caso experimental mediante fotografía aérea digital CIR aplicada a una clasificación automática de

  11. Assessing the benefit of snow data assimilation for runoff modeling in Alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griessinger, Nena; Seibert, Jan; Magnusson, Jan; Jonas, Tobias

    2016-09-01

    In Alpine catchments, snowmelt is often a major contribution to runoff. Therefore, modeling snow processes is important when concerned with flood or drought forecasting, reservoir operation and inland waterway management. In this study, we address the question of how sensitive hydrological models are to the representation of snow cover dynamics and whether the performance of a hydrological model can be enhanced by integrating data from a dedicated external snow monitoring system. As a framework for our tests we have used the hydrological model HBV (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning) in the version HBV-light, which has been applied in many hydrological studies and is also in use for operational purposes. While HBV originally follows a temperature-index approach with time-invariant calibrated degree-day factors to represent snowmelt, in this study the HBV model was modified to use snowmelt time series from an external and spatially distributed snow model as model input. The external snow model integrates three-dimensional sequential assimilation of snow monitoring data with a snowmelt model, which is also based on the temperature-index approach but uses a time-variant degree-day factor. The following three variations of this external snow model were applied: (a) the full model with assimilation of observational snow data from a dense monitoring network, (b) the same snow model but with data assimilation switched off and (c) a downgraded version of the same snow model representing snowmelt with a time-invariant degree-day factor. Model runs were conducted for 20 catchments at different elevations within Switzerland for 15 years. Our results show that at low and mid-elevations the performance of the runoff simulations did not vary considerably with the snow model version chosen. At higher elevations, however, best performance in terms of simulated runoff was obtained when using the snowmelt time series from the snow model, which utilized data assimilation

  12. Response Characteristics of Dissolved Organic Carbon Flushing in a Subarctic Alpine Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, S. K.

    2002-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important part of ecosystem-scale carbon balances and in the transport of contaminants as it interacts with other dissolved substances including trace metals. It also can be used as a surrogate hydrological tracer in permafrost regions as near-surface waters are often DOC enriched due to the presence of thick organic soils. In a small subarctic alpine catchment within the Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon, Canada, DOC was studied in the summer of 2001 and spring of 2002 to determine the role frost (both permanent and seasonal), snowmelt and summer storms on DOC flushing. Peak DOC concentrations occurred during the snowmelt period, approximately one week prior to peak discharge. However, peak discharge took place several weeks after snow on south facing exposures had melted. Within the hillslopes, DOC concentrations were three to five times greater in wells underlain with permafrost compared with seasonal frost. Groundwater DOC concentrations declined during snowmelt, yet remained at levels above the streamflow. After peaking, streamflow DOC concentrations declined exponentially suggesting a simple flushing mechanism, however there did not appear to be a relation between DOC and topographic position. Following melt, permafrost underlain slopes had near-surface water tables and retained elevated levels of DOC, whereas slopes without permafrost had rapidly declining water tables at upslope locations with low DOC concentrations at all positions except near-stream riparian zones. The influence of summer rainstorms on DOC was monitored on three occasions. In each case DOC peaked on the ascending limb of the runoff hydrograph and declined exponentially on the receding limb and hysteretic behavior occurred between discharge and DOC during all events. Patterns of DOC within the hillslopes and streams suggest that runoff from permafrost-underlain slopes control DOC flushing within the stream during both snowmelt and summer periods. This

  13. Groundwater, springs, and stream flow generation in an alpine meadow of a tropical glacierized catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, R.; Lautz, L. K.; McKenzie, J. M.; Mark, B. G.; Chavez, D.

    2013-12-01

    Melting tropical glaciers supply approximately half of dry season stream discharge in glacierized valleys of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. The remainder of streamflow originates as groundwater stored in alpine meadows, moraines and talus slopes. A better understanding of the dynamics of alpine groundwater, including sources and contributions to streamflow, is important for making accurate estimates of glacial inputs to the hydrologic budget, and for our ability to make predictions about future water resources as glaciers retreat. Our field study, conducted during the dry season in the Llanganuco valley, focused on a 0.5-km2 alpine meadow complex at 4400 m elevation, which includes talus slopes, terminal moraines, and a debris fan. Two glacial lakes and springs throughout the complex feed a network of stream channels that flow across the meadow (~2 km total length). We combined tracer measurements of stream and spring discharge and groundwater-surface water exchange with synoptic sampling of water isotopic and geochemical composition, in order to characterize and quantify contributions to streamflow from different geomorphic features. Surface water inputs to the stream channels totaled 58 l/s, while the stream gained an additional 57 l/s from groundwater inputs. Water chemistry is primarily controlled by flowpath type (surface/subsurface) and length, as well as bedrock lithology, while stable water isotopic composition appears to be controlled by water source (glacial lake, meadow or deep groundwater). Stream water chemistry is most similar to meadow groundwater springs, but isotopic composition suggests that the majority of stream water, which issues from springs at the meadow/fan interface, is from the same glacial source as the up-gradient lake. Groundwater sampled from piezometers in confined meadow aquifers is unique in both chemistry and isotopic composition, but does not contribute a large percentage of stream water exiting this small meadow, as quantified by

  14. Spatially Distributed, Coupled Modeling of Plant Growth, Nitrogen and Water Fluxes in an Alpine Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, K.

    2001-12-01

    Carbon, water and nitrogen fluxes are closely coupled. They interact and have many feedbacks. Human interference, in particular through land use management and global change strongly modifies these fluxes. Increasing demands and conflicting interests result in an increasing need for regulation targeting different aspects of the system. Without being their main target, many of these measures directly affect water quantity, quality and availability. Improved management and planning of our water resources requires the development of integrated tools, in particular since interactions of the involved environmental and social systems often lead to unexpected or adverse results. To investigate the effect of plant growth, land use management and global change on water fluxes and quality, the PROcess oriented Modular EnvironmenT and Vegetation Model (PROMET-V) was developed. PROMET-V models the spatial patterns and temporal course of water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes using process oriented and mechanistic model components. The hydrological model is based on the Penman-Monteith approach, it uses a plant-physiological model to calculate the canopy conductance, and a multi-layer soil water model. Plant growth for different vegetation is modelled by calculating canopy photosynthesis, respiration, phenology and allocation. Plant growth and water fluxes are coupled directly through photosynthesis and transpiration. Many indirect feedbacks and interactions occur due to their mutual dependency upon leaf area, root distribution, water and nutrient availability for instance. PROMET-V calculates nitrogen fluxes and transformations. The time step used depends upon the modelled process and varies from 1 hour to 1 day. The kernel model is integrated in a raster GIS system for spatially distributed modelling. PROMET-V was tested in a pre-alpine landscape (Ammer river, 709 km**2, located in Southern Germany) which is characterized by small scale spatial heterogeneities of climate, soil and

  15. Evaluation of precipitation input for SWAT modeling in Alpine catchment: A case study in the Adige river basin (Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuo, Ye; Duan, Zheng; Disse, Markus; Chiogna, Gabriele

    2016-12-15

    Precipitation is often the most important input data in hydrological models when simulating streamflow. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a widely used hydrological model, only makes use of data from one precipitation gauge station that is nearest to the centroid of each subbasin, which is eventually corrected using the elevation band method. This leads in general to inaccurate representation of subbasin precipitation input data, particularly in catchments with complex topography. To investigate the impact of different precipitation inputs on the SWAT model simulations in Alpine catchments, 13years (1998-2010) of daily precipitation data from four datasets including OP (Observed precipitation), IDW (Inverse Distance Weighting data), CHIRPS (Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data) and TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) has been considered. Both model performances (comparing simulated and measured streamflow data at the catchment outlet) as well as parameter and prediction uncertainties have been quantified. For all three subbasins, the use of elevation bands is fundamental to match the water budget. Streamflow predictions obtained using IDW inputs are better than those obtained using the other datasets in terms of both model performance and prediction uncertainty. Models using the CHIRPS product as input provide satisfactory streamflow estimation, suggesting that this satellite product can be applied to this data-scarce Alpine region. Comparing the performance of SWAT models using different precipitation datasets is therefore important in data-scarce regions. This study has shown that, precipitation is the main source of uncertainty, and different precipitation datasets in SWAT models lead to different best estimate ranges for the calibrated parameters. This has important implications for the interpretation of the simulated hydrological processes. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Topographical controls on soil moisture distribution and runoff response in a first order alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Daniele; Gobbi, Alberto; Mantese, Nicola; Borga, Marco

    2010-05-01

    detect the presence/absence of surface runoff. Results show a significant correlation between plot-averaged soil moisture at 0-20 cm depth, local slope and local curvature, while poor correlations were found with aspect and solar radiation: this suggests a sharp control of the catchment topological architecture (likely coupled with soil properties) on soil moisture distribution. This was also confirmed by the visual inspection of interpolated maps which reveal the persistence of high values of soil moisture in hollow areas and, conversely, of low values over the hillslopes. Moreover, a strong correlation between plot-averaged soil moisture patterns over time, with no decline after rainfall events, indicates a good temporal stability of water content distribution and its independence from the triggering of surface flow and transient lateral subsurface flow during wet conditions. The analysis of the time lag between storm centroid and piezometric peak shows an increasing delay of water table reaction with increasing distance from the stream, revealing different groundwater dynamics between the near-stream and the hillslope zone. Furthermore, the significant correlation between groundwater time lag monitored for the net of piezometers and the local slope suggests a topographical influence on the temporal and spatial variability of subsurface runoff. Finally, the extent of the ephemeral stream network was clearly dependent on the amount of precipitation but a different percentage of active OFDs and piezometers for the same rainfall event suggests a decoupling between patterns of surface and subsurface flows in the study area. Key words: topographical controls, soil moisture patterns, groundwater level, overland flow.

  17. Sediment budgets of unglaciated alpine catchments - the example of the Johnsbach and Schöttlbach valleys in Styria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sass, Oliver; Rascher, Eric; Stangl, Johannes; Lutzmann, Silke

    2017-04-01

    , sediment transport of the main creek is governed by the reworking of recurrent sediment pulses from the tributaries. At Schöttlbach, sediment budget is strongly governed by the steep valley sides along the lowermost stretch of the main creek. Here, a catastrophic event in 2011 mobilized huge amounts of sediments which are being reworked since. Many erosional areas and side gullies developed which now become stowly stabilized. The highest average retreat rates of erosional cuts are 0.08 m yr-1 for glacifluvial valley fills while those in weathered bedrock are lower by an order of magnitude (0.006 m yr-1). Sedimentation rates at the outlet decreased from 40-50,000 m3 in the years after the event to approx. 7000 m3 yr-1 in recent years. Current catchment-wide sediment production at slope erosion sites is around 2000 m3 yr-1 and so we assume that parts of the sediment pulse originating from the disturbance event are still being reworked in the channel. Despite many dissimilarities, both catchments are similar with regard to the sediments being provided in their lowest parts, while large areas of the alpine process domain are widely decoupled from the sediment output. Schematic diagrams showing spatial and temporal distribution of sediment yields will be presented, with the aim to better understand the catchments' response to possibly higher rainstorm frequencies in a warming climate.

  18. Increasing alpine transit traffic through Switzerland will considerably enhance high altitude alpine pollutant levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prevot, A S.H.; Dommen, J; Furger, M; Graber, W K [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    Within the EU-Project VOTALP (Vertical Ozone Transports in the Alps), we have shown that deep alpine valleys like the Mesolcina Valley very efficiently transport air out of the polluted valley up to altitudes between 2000 and near 4000 m asl (above sea level). Pollutants emitted in these valleys are very efficiently transported up to high altitudes. (author) 2 figs., 1 tab., 2 refs.

  19. Importance of vegetation, topography and flow paths for water transit times of base flow in alpine headwater catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. H. Mueller

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The mean transit time (MTT of water in a catchment gives information about storage, flow paths, sources of water and thus also about retention and release of solutes in a catchment. To our knowledge there are only a few catchment studies on the influence of vegetation cover changes on base flow MTTs. The main changes in vegetation cover in the Swiss Alps are massive shrub encroachment and forest expansion into formerly open habitats. Four small and relatively steep headwater catchments in the Swiss Alps (Ursern Valley were investigated to relate different vegetation cover to water transit times. Time series of water stable isotopes were used to calculate MTTs. The high temporal variation of the stable isotope signals in precipitation was strongly dampened in stream base flow samples. MTTs of the four catchments were 70 to 102 weeks. The strong dampening of the stable isotope input signal as well as stream water geochemistry points to deeper flow paths and mixing of waters of different ages at the catchments' outlets. MTTs were neither related to topographic indices nor vegetation cover. The major part of the quickly infiltrating precipitation likely percolates through fractured and partially karstified deeper rock zones, which increases the control of bedrock flow paths on MTT. Snow accumulation and the timing of its melt play an important role for stable isotope dynamics during spring and early summer. We conclude that, in mountainous headwater catchments with relatively shallow soil layers, the hydrogeological and geochemical patterns (i.e. geochemistry, porosity and hydraulic conductivity of rocks and snow dynamics influence storage, mixing and release of water in a stronger way than vegetation cover or topography do.

  20. A Molecular Investigation of Soil Organic Carbon Composition, Variability, and Spatial Distribution Across an Alpine Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, H. T.; Lawrence, C. R.; Winnick, M.; Druhan, J. L.; Williams, K. H.; Maher, K.; Rainaldi, G. R.; McCormick, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    The cycling of carbon through soils is one of the least understood aspects of the global carbon cycle and represents a key uncertainty in the prediction of land-surface response to global warming. Thus, there is an urgent need for advanced characterization of soil organic carbon (SOC) to develop and evaluate a new generation of soil carbon models. We hypothesize that shifts in SOC composition and spatial distribution as a function of soil depth can be used to constrain rates of transformation between the litter layer and the deeper subsoil (extending to a depth of approximately 1 m). To evaluate the composition and distribution of SOC, we collected soil samples from East River, a shale-dominated watershed near Crested Butte, CO, and characterized relative changes in SOC species as a function of depth using elemental analysis (EA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and bulk C X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Our results show that total organic carbon (TOC) decreases with depth, and high total inorganic carbon (TIC) content was found in deeper soils (after 75 cm), a characteristic of the bedrock (shale). The distribution of aliphatic C relative to the parent material generally decreases with depth and that polysaccharide can be a substantial component of SOC at various depths. On the other hand, the relative distribution of aromatic C, traditionally viewed as recalcitrant, only makes up a very small part of SOC regardless of depth. These observations confirm that molecular structure is not the only determinant of SOC turnover rate. To study other contributors to SOC decomposition, we studied changes in the spatial correlation of SOC and minerals using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM). We found that aromatics mostly locate on the surface of small soil aggregates (1-10 μm). Polysaccharides and proteins, both viewed as labile traditionally, are more evenly distributed over the interior of the

  1. Model-Based Attribution of High-Resolution Streamflow Trends in Two Alpine Basins of Western Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Kormann

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Several trend studies have shown that hydrological conditions are changing considerably in the Alpine region. However, the reasons for these changes are only partially understood and trend analyses alone are not able to shed much light. Hydrological modelling is one possible way to identify the trend drivers, i.e., to attribute the detected streamflow trends, given that the model captures all important processes causing the trends. We modelled the hydrological conditions for two alpine catchments in western Austria (a large, mostly lower-altitude catchment with wide valley plains and a nested high-altitude, glaciated headwater catchment with the distributed, physically-oriented WaSiM-ETH model, which includes a dynamical glacier module. The model was calibrated in a transient mode, i.e., not only on several standard goodness measures and glacier extents, but also in such a way that the simulated streamflow trends fit with the observed ones during the investigation period 1980 to 2007. With this approach, it was possible to separate streamflow components, identify the trends of flow components, and study their relation to trends in atmospheric variables. In addition to trends in annual averages, highly resolved trends for each Julian day were derived, since they proved powerful in an earlier, data-based attribution study. We were able to show that annual and highly resolved trends can be modelled sufficiently well. The results provide a holistic, year-round picture of the drivers of alpine streamflow changes: Higher-altitude catchments are strongly affected by earlier firn melt and snowmelt in spring and increased ice melt throughout the ablation season. Changes in lower-altitude areas are mostly caused by earlier and lower snowmelt volumes. All highly resolved trends in streamflow and its components show an explicit similarity to the local temperature trends. Finally, results indicate that evapotranspiration has been increasing in the lower

  2. UAS applications in high alpine, snow-covered terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bühler, Y.; Stoffel, A.; Ginzler, C.

    2017-12-01

    Access to snow-covered, alpine terrain is often difficult and dangerous. Hence parameters such as snow depth or snow avalanche release and deposition zones are hard to map in situ with adequate spatial and temporal resolution and with spatial continuous coverage. These parameters are currently operationally measured at automated weather stations and by observer networks. However such isolated point measurements are not able to capture the information spatial continuous and to describe the high spatial variability present in complex mountain topography. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have the potential to fill this gap by frequently covering selected high alpine areas with high spatial resolution down to ground resolutions of even few millimeters. At the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF we test different photogrammetric UAS with visual and near infrared bands. During the last three years we were able to gather experience in more than 100 flight missions in extreme terrain. By processing the imagery applying state-of-the-art structure from motion (SfM) software, we were able to accurately document several avalanche events and to photogrammetrically map snow depth with accuracies from 1 to 20 cm (dependent on the flight height above ground) compare to manual snow probe measurements. This was even possible on homogenous snow surfaces with very little texture. A key issue in alpine terrain is flight planning. We need to cover regions at high elevations with large altitude differences (up to 1 km) with high wind speeds (up to 20 m/s) and cold temperatures (down to - 25°C). Only a few UAS are able to cope with these environmental conditions. We will give an overview on our applications of UAS in high alpine terrain that demonstrate the big potential of such systems to acquire frequent, accurate and high spatial resolution geodata in high alpine, snow covered terrain that could be essential to answer longstanding questions in avalanche and snow hydrology

  3. A comparison of multicopter and fixed-wing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) applied to mapping debris flows in small alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotier, Bernadette; Lechner, Veronika

    2016-04-01

    The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for documenting natural hazard events (e.g. debris flows) is becoming increasingly popular, as UAS allow on-demand, flexible and cost-efficient data acquisition. In this paper, we present the results of a comparison of multicopter and fixed-wing UAS. They were employed in the summer of 2015 to map two small alpine catchments located in Western Austria, where debris flows had occurred recently: The first event took place in the Seigesbach (Tyrol), the second occurred in the Plojergraben (Salzburg). For the Seigesbach mission, a fixed-wing UAS (Multiplex Mentor), equipped with a Sony NEX5 (50 mm prime lens, 14 MP sensor resolution) was employed to acquire approximately 4,000 images. In the Plojergraben an AustroDrones X18 octocopter was used, carrying a Sony ILCE-7R (35 mm prime lens, 36 MP sensor resolution) to record 1,700 images. Both sites had a size of approximately 2km². 20 ground control points (GCP) were distributed within both catchments, and their location was measured (Trimble GeoXT, expected accuracy 0.15 m). Using standard structure-from-motion photogrammetry software (AgiSoft PhotoScan Pro, v. 1.1.6), orthophotos (5 cm ground sampling distance - GSD) and digital surface models (DSM) (20 cm GSD) were calculated. Volume differences caused by the debris flow (i.e. deposition heights and erosion depths) computed by subtracting post-event from pre-event DSMs. Even though the terrain conditions in the two catchments were comparable, the challenges during the field campaign and the evaluation of the aerial images were very different. The main difference between the two campaigns was the number of flights required to cover the catchment: only four were needed by the fixed-wing UAS, while the multicopter required eleven in the Plojergraben. The fixed-wing UAS is specially designed for missions in hardly accessible regions, requiring only two people to carry the whole equipment, while in this case a car was needed for the

  4. Continuous hydrological modelling in the context of real time flood forecasting in alpine Danube tributary catchments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanzel, Ph; Kahl, B; Haberl, U; Herrnegger, M; Nachtnebel, H P

    2008-01-01

    A hydrological modelling framework applied within operational flood forecasting systems in three alpine Danube tributary basins, Traisen, Salzach and Enns, is presented. A continuous, semi-distributed rainfall-runoff model, accounting for the main hydrological processes of snow accumulation and melt, interception, evapotranspiration, infiltration, runoff generation and routing is set up. Spatial discretization relies on the division of watersheds into subbasins and subsequently into hydrologic response units based on spatial information on soil types, land cover and elevation bands. The hydrological models are calibrated with meteorological ground measurements and with meteorological analyses incorporating radar information. Operationally, each forecasting sequence starts with the re-calculation of the last 24 to 48 hours. Errors between simulated and observed runoff are minimized by optimizing a correction factor for the input to provide improved system states. For the hydrological forecast quantitative 48 or 72 hour forecast grids of temperature and precipitation - deterministic and probabilistic - are used as input. The forecasted hydrograph is corrected with an autoregressive model. The forecasting sequences are repeated each 15 minutes. First evaluations of resulting hydrological forecasts are presented and reliability of forecasts with different lead times is discussed.

  5. Coupling hydrological modeling and support vector regression to model hydropeaking in alpine catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiogna, Gabriele; Marcolini, Giorgia; Liu, Wanying; Pérez Ciria, Teresa; Tuo, Ye

    2018-08-15

    Water management in the alpine region has an important impact on streamflow. In particular, hydropower production is known to cause hydropeaking i.e., sudden fluctuations in river stage caused by the release or storage of water in artificial reservoirs. Modeling hydropeaking with hydrological models, such as the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), requires knowledge of reservoir management rules. These data are often not available since they are sensitive information belonging to hydropower production companies. In this short communication, we propose to couple the results of a calibrated hydrological model with a machine learning method to reproduce hydropeaking without requiring the knowledge of the actual reservoir management operation. We trained a support vector machine (SVM) with SWAT model outputs, the day of the week and the energy price. We tested the model for the Upper Adige river basin in North-East Italy. A wavelet analysis showed that energy price has a significant influence on river discharge, and a wavelet coherence analysis demonstrated the improved performance of the SVM model in comparison to the SWAT model alone. The SVM model was also able to capture the fluctuations in streamflow caused by hydropeaking when both energy price and river discharge displayed a complex temporal dynamic. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Hydrological Dynamics In High Mountain Catchment Areas of Central Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löffler, Jörg; Rößler, Ole

    Large-scaled landscape structure is regarded as a mosaic of ecotopes where process dynamics of water and energy fluxes are analysed due to its effects on ecosystem functioning. The investigations have been carried out in the continental most Vågå/Oppland high mountains in central Norway since 1994 (LÖFFLER &WUNDRAM 1999, 2000, 2001). Additionally, comparable investigations started in 2000 dealing with the oceanic high mountain landscapes on same latitudes (LÖFFLER et al. 2001). The theoretical and methodological framework of the project is given by the Landscape-Ecological Complex Analysis (MOSIMANN 1984, 1985) and its variations due to technical and principle methodical challenges in this high mountain landscape (KÖHLER et al. 1994, LÖFFLER 1998). The aim of the project is to characterize high mountain ecosystem structure, functioning and dynamics within small catchment areas, that are chosen in two different altitudinal belts each in the eastern continental and the western oceanic region of central Norway. In the frame of this research project hydrological and meteorological measurements on ground water, percolation and soil moisture dynamics as well as on evaporation, air humidity and air-, surface- and soil-temperatures have been conducted. On the basis of large-scaled landscape-ecological mappings (LÖFFLER 1997) one basic meteorological station and several major data logger run stations have been installed in representative sites of each two catchment areas in the low and mid alpine belts of the investigation regions ( JUNGet al. 1997, LÖFFLER &WUNDRAM 1997). Moreover, spatial differentiations of groundwater level, soil moisture and temperature profiles have been investigated by means of hand held measurements at different times of the day, during different climatic situations and different seasons. Daily and annual air-, surface- and soil-temperature dynamics are demonstrated by means of thermoisopleth-diagrams for different types of ecotopes of the

  7. Water balance estimation in high Alpine terrain by combining distributed modeling and a neural network approach (Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Kraller

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The water balance in high Alpine regions is often characterized by significant variation of meteorological variables in space and time, a complex hydrogeological situation and steep gradients. The system is even more complex when the rock composition is dominated by soluble limestone, because unknown underground flow conditions and flow directions lead to unknown storage quantities. Reliable distributed modeling cannot be implemented by traditional approaches due to unknown storage processes at local and catchment scale. We present an artificial neural network extension of a distributed hydrological model (WaSiM-ETH that allows to account for subsurface water transfer in a karstic environment. The extension was developed for the Alpine catchment of the river "Berchtesgadener Ache" (Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany, which is characterized by extreme topography and calcareous rocks. The model assumes porous conditions and does not account for karstic environments, resulting in systematic mismatch of modeled and measured runoff in discharge curves at the outlet points of neighboring high alpine subbasins. Various precipitation interpolation methods did not allow to explain systematic mismatches, and unknown subsurface hydrological processes were concluded as the underlying reason. We introduce a new method that allows to describe the unknown subsurface boundary fluxes, and account for them in the hydrological model. This is achieved by an artificial neural network approach (ANN, where four input variables are taken to calculate the unknown subsurface storage conditions. This was first developed for the high Alpine subbasin Königsseer Ache to improve the monthly water balance. We explicitly derive the algebraic transfer function of an artificial neural net to calculate the missing boundary fluxes. The result of the ANN is then implemented in the groundwater module of the hydrological model as boundary flux, and considered during the consecutive model

  8. Analysis of the spatial and temporal variation of seasonal snow accumulation in alpine catchments using airborne laser scanning : basic research for the adaptation of spatially distributed hydrological models to mountain regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helfricht, K.

    2014-01-01

    Information about the spatial distribution of snow accumulation is a prerequisitefor adaptating hydro-meteorological models to achieve realistic simulations of therunoff from mountain catchments. Therefore, the spatial snow depthdistribution in complex topography of ice-free terrain and glaciers was investigatedusing airborne laser scanning (ALS) data. This thesis presents for the first time an analysis of the persistence and the variability of the snow patterns at the end of five accumulation seasons in a comparatively large catchment. ALS derived seasonal surface elevation changes on glaciers were compared to the actual snow depths calculated from ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements. Areas of increased deviations. In the investigated region, the ALS-derived snow depths on most of the glacier surface do not deviate markedly from actual snow depths. 75% of a the total area showed low inter-annual variability of standardized snow depths at the end of the five accumulation seasons. The high inter-annual variability of snow depths could be attributed to changes in the ice cover within the investigated 10-yearperiod for much of the remaining area. Avalanches and snow sloughs continuously contribute to the accumulation on glaciers, but their share of the total snow covervolume is small. The assimilation of SWE maps calculated from ALS data in the adaptation of snow-hydrological models to mountain catchments improved the results not only for the but also for the simulated snow cover distribution and for the mass balance of the glaciers. The results demonstrate that ALS data are a beneficial source for extensive analysis of snow patterns and for modeling the runoff from high Alpine catchments.(author) [de

  9. Hydrology of the North Klondike River: carbon export, water balance and inter-annual climate influences within a sub-alpine permafrost catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapp, Anthony; Clark, Ian; Macumber, Andrew; Patterson, Tim

    2017-10-01

    Arctic and sub-arctic watersheds are undergoing significant changes due to recent climate warming and degrading permafrost, engendering enhanced monitoring of arctic rivers. Smaller catchments provide understanding of discharge, solute flux and groundwater recharge at the process level that contributes to an understanding of how larger arctic watersheds are responding to climate change. The North Klondike River, located in west central Yukon, is a sub-alpine permafrost catchment, which maintains an active hydrological monitoring station with a record of >40 years. In addition to being able to monitor intra-annual variability, this data set allows for more complex analysis of streamflow records. Streamflow data, geochemistry and stable isotope data for 2014 show a groundwater-dominated system, predominantly recharged during periods of snowmelt. Radiocarbon is shown to be a valuable tracer of soil zone recharge processes and carbon sources. Winter groundwater baseflow contributes 20 % of total annual discharge, and accounts for up to 50 % of total river discharge during the spring and summer months. Although total stream discharge remains unchanged, mean annual groundwater baseflow has increased over the 40-year monitoring period. Wavelet analysis reveals a catchment that responds to El Niño and longer solar cycles, as well as climatic shifts such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Dedicated to Professor Peter Fritz on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

  10. Combining sediment fingerprinting and a conceptual model for erosion and sediment transfer to explore sediment sources in an Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, A.; Stutenbecker, L.; Anghileri, D.; Bakker, M.; Lane, S. N.; Molnar, P.; Schlunegger, F.

    2017-12-01

    In Alpine basins, sediment production and transfer is increasingly affected by climate change and human activities, specifically hydropower exploitation. Changes in sediment sources and pathways significantly influence basin management, biodiversity and landscape evolution. We explore the dynamics of sediment sources in a partially glaciated and highly regulated Alpine basin, the Borgne basin, by combining geochemical fingerprinting with the modelling of erosion and sediment transfer. The Borgne basin in southwest Switzerland is composed of three main litho-tectonic units, which we characterised following a tributary-sampling approach from lithologically characteristic sub-basins. We analysed bulk geochemistry using lithium borate fusion coupled with ICP-ES, and we used it to discriminate the three lithologic sources using statistical methods. Finally, we applied a mixing model to estimate the relative contributions of the three sources to the sediment sampled at the outlet. We combine results of the sediment fingerprinting with simulations of a spatially distributed conceptual model for erosion and transport of fine sediment. The model expresses sediment erosion by differentiating the contributions of erosional processes driven by erosive rainfall, snowmelt, and icemelt. Soil erodibility is accounted for as function of land-use and sediment fluxes are linearly convoluted to the outlet by sediment transfer rates for hillslope and river cells, which are a function of sediment connectivity. Sediment connectivity is estimated on the basis of topographic-hydraulic connectivity, flow duration associated with hydropower flow abstraction and permanent storage in hydropower reservoirs. Sediment fingerprinting at the outlet of the Borgne shows a consistent dominance (68-89%) of material derived from the uppermost, highly glaciated reaches, while contributions of the lower part (10-25%) and middle part (1-16%), where rainfall erosion is predominant, are minor. This result is

  11. Snow cover dynamics and water balance in complex high alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, Michael; Kraller, Gabriele; Kunstmann, Harald; Strasser, Ulrich; Franz, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    The water balance in high alpine regions in its full complexity is so far insufficiently understood. High altitudinal gradients, a strong variability of meteorological variables in time and space, complex hydrogeological situations, unquantified lateral snow transport processes and heterogenous snow cover dynamics result in high uncertainties in the quantification of the water balance. To achieve interpretable modeling results we have complemented the deterministic hydrological model WaSiM-ETH with the high-alpine specific snow model AMUNDSEN. The integration of the new snow module was done to improve the modeling of water fluxes influenced by the dynamics of the snow cover, which greatly affect the water cycle in high alpine regions. To enhance the reproduction of snow deposition and ablation processes, the new approach calculates the energy balance of the snow cover considering the terrain-dependent radiation fluxes, the interaction between tree canopy and snow cover as well as lateral snow transport processes. The test site for our study is the Berchtesgaden National Park which is characterized by an extreme topography with mountain ranges covering an altitude from 607 to 2713 m.a.s.l. About one quarter of the investigated catchment area, which comprises 433 km² in total, is terrain steeper than 35°. Due to water soluble limestone being predominant in the region, a high number of subsurface water pathways (karst) exist. The results of several tracer experiments and extensive data of spring observations provide additional information to meet the challenge of modeling the unknown subsurface pathways and the complex groundwater system of the region. The validation of the new snow module is based on a dense network of meteorological stations which have been adapted to measure physical properties of the snow cover like snow water equivalent and liquid water content. We will present first results which show that the integration of the new snow module generates a

  12. Origin, mobility, and temporal evolution of arsenic from a low-contamination catchment in Alpine crystalline rocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pili, Eric, E-mail: Eric.Pili@cea.fr [CEA, DAM, DIF, F-91297 Arpajon (France); Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris-Sorbonne Paris Cité, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, 1 rue Jussieu, F-75238 Paris cedex 05 (France); Tisserand, Delphine, E-mail: Delphine.Tisserand@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr [Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTerre) Université Joseph Fourier and CNRS, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble cedex 9 (France); Bureau, Sarah, E-mail: Sarah.Bureau@obs.ujf-grenoble.fr [Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTerre) Université Joseph Fourier and CNRS, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble cedex 9 (France)

    2013-11-15

    Highlights: ► δ{sup 34}S{sub SO4} vs. [As] and δ{sup 18}O{sub SO4} vs. As{sup V}/As{sup III} correlations provide new tools even for low [As]. ► Long-term and high-resolution monitoring shows droughts enhance pyrite dissolution. ► Major effect of 2003 European heatwave on pyrite dissolution and [As] increase. -- Abstract: The reduction to 10 μg/l of the limit for arsenic in drinking water led many resource managers to deal with expensive treatments. In the very common case of arsenic levels close to the recommended maximum concentration, knowing the origin and temporal evolution of As has become of great importance. Here we present a case study from an alpine basin. Arsenic speciation, isotopic compositions of pyrite, sulfate and water, and concentrations of major and trace elements demonstrate a geogenic source for arsenic linked to the dissolution of pyrite. We provide new tools to further study As at low concentrations where many processes may be masked. The observed negative correlation between δ{sup 34}S{sub SO4} and [As] is interpreted as a Rayleigh-type sulfur-isotope fractionation during increasing pyrite dissolution. The observed positive correlation between δ{sup 18}O{sub SO4} and As{sup V}/As{sup III} could help to retrieve initial redox conditions. A 3-year long monitoring at high-resolution demonstrated that drought conditions enhance pyrite dissolution whose degradation products are scavenged by recharge water. An increase in As in groundwater may result from droughts due to enhanced oxygen entry in the unsaturated zone. The 2003 European heatwave had a major effect.

  13. Identification of mineral dust layers in high alpine snow packs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greilinger, Marion; Kau, Daniela; Schauer, Gerhard; Kasper-Giebl, Anne

    2017-04-01

    Deserts serve as a major source for aerosols in the atmosphere with mineral dust as a main contributor to primary aerosol mass. Especially the Sahara, the largest desert in the world, contributes roughly half of the primarily emitted aerosol mass found in the atmosphere [1]. The eroded Saharan dust is episodically transported over thousands of kilometers with synoptic wind patterns towards Europe [2] and reaches Austria about 20 to 30 days per year. Once the Saharan dust is removed from the atmosphere via dry or wet deposition processes, the chemical composition of the precipitation or the affected environment is significantly changed. Saharan dust serves on the one hand as high ionic input leading to an increase of ionic species such as calcium, magnesium or sulfate. On the other hand Saharan dust provides a high alkaline input neutralizing acidic components and causing the pH to increase [3]. Based on these changes in the ion composition, the pH and cross plots of the ion and conductivity balance [4] we tried to develop a method to identify Saharan dust layers in high alpine snow packs. We investigated seasonal snow packs of two high alpine sampling sites situated on the surrounding glaciers of the meteorological Sonnblick observatory serving as a global GAW (Global Atmospheric Watch) station located in the National Park Hohe Tauern in the Austrian Alps. Samples with 10 cm resolution representing the whole winter accumulation period were taken just prior to the start of snow melt at the end of April 2016. In both snow packs two layers with clearly different chemical behavior were observed. In comparison with the aerosol data from the Sonnblick observatory, these layers could be clearly identified as Saharan dust layers. Identified Saharan dust layers in the snow pack allow calculations of the ecological impact of deposited ions, with and without Saharan dust, during snow melt. Furthermore the chemical characteristics for the identification of Saharan dust layers

  14. Air temperature variability in a high-elevation Himalayan catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heynen, Martin; Miles, Evan; Ragettli, Silvan; Buri, Pascal; Immerzeel, Walter W.; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Air temperature is a key control of processes affecting snow and glaciers in high-elevation catchments, including melt, snowfall and sublimation. It is therefore a key input variable to models of land-surface-atmosphere interaction. Despite this importance, its spatial variability is poorly

  15. EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR 3D MODELLING OF HIGH-ALPINE ENVIRONMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Legat

    2016-03-01

    Based on the very promising results, some general recommendations for aerial photogrammetry processing in high-alpine areas are made to achieve best possible accuracy of the final 3D-, 2.5D- and 2D products.

  16. Advanced inflow forecasting for a hydropower plant in an Alpine hydropower regulated catchment - coupling of operational and hydrological forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilg, Anna-Maria; Schöber, Johannes; Huttenlau, Matthias; Messner, Jakob; Achleitner, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    Hydropower is a renewable energy source which can help to stabilize fluctuations in the volatile energy market. Especially pumped-storage infrastructures in the European Alps play an important role within the European energy grid system. Today, the runoff of rivers in the Alps is often influenced by cascades of hydropower infrastructures where the operational procedures are triggered by energy market demands, water deliveries and flood control aspects rather than by hydro-meteorological variables. An example for such a highly hydropower regulated river is the catchment of the river Inn in the Eastern European Alps, originating in the Engadin (Switzerland). A new hydropower plant is going to be built as transboundary project at the boarder of Switzerland and Austria using the water of the Inn River. For the operation, a runoff forecast to the plant is required. The challenge in this case is that a high proportion of runoff is turbine water from an upstream situated hydropower cascade. The newly developed physically based hydrological forecasting system is mainly capable to cover natural hydrological runoff processes caused by storms and snow melt but can model only a small degree of human impact. These discontinuous parts of the runoff downstream of the pumped storage are described by means of an additional statistical model which has been developed. The main goal of the statistical model is to forecast the turbine water up to five days in advance. The lead time of the data driven model exceeds the lead time of the used energy production forecast. Additionally, the amount of turbine water is linked to the need of electricity production and the electricity price. It has been shown that especially the parameters day-ahead prognosis of the energy production and turbine inflow of the previous week are good predictors and are therefore used as input parameters for the model. As the data is restricted due to technical conditions, so-called Tobit models have been used to

  17. EVALUATION OF GLACIER MELT CONTRIBUTION TO RUNOFF IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS ALPINE CATCHMENTS USING ISOTOPIC METHODS AND ENERGY BALANCE MODELING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Rets

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Frequency and intensity of river floods rise observed in the North Caucasus during last decades is considered to be driven by recent climate change. In order to predict possible future trends in extreme hydrological events in the context of climate change, it is essential to estimate the contribution of different feed sources in complicated flow-forming processes in the alpine part of the North Caucasus. A study was carried out for the Djankuat River basin, the representative for the North Caucasus system. Simultaneous measurements of electrical conductivity, isotopic and ion balance equations, and energy balance modeling of ice and snow melt were used to evaluate the contribution of different sources and processes in the Djankuat River runoff regime formation. A forecast of possible future changes in the Djankuat glacier melting regime according to the predicted climate changes was done.

  18. Implications of climate change scenarios for agriculture in alpine regions--a case study in the Swiss Rhone catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhrer, J; Smith, P; Gobiet, A

    2014-09-15

    Coping with climate change in agriculture requires knowledge of trends in agro-climatic conditions with a focus at the smaller scales where decisions are taken. As part of the EU FP7 ACQWA project, the situation was analyzed for agriculture in the case of the Swiss Rhone catchment (Valais) where cultivation of permanent crops (orchards and vineyards) and livestock production are the most important agro-economic activities. The aim of this study was to use daily data from four downscaled and bias corrected transient climate change scenarios to analyze changes in water and temperature related indices over the period 1951-2050 for three locations (Aigle, Sion, Montana) that are representative of different production zones in the catchment. The results indicate that most relevant implications are caused by projected changes in temperature and not in precipitation. They indicate an extension of the thermal growing season with potentially positive effects on pasture and livestock production, most pronounced at the mountain site (Montana), but a trend towards increasing risks of frost in permanent crops and in heat stress for livestock at the valley bottom (Aigle, Sion). The increase in water requirement for irrigation in 2021-2050 relative to 1981-2009 is moderate (4-16%, depending on location). However, in years with low amounts of snow and rain, in small catchments with a nival regime, reduced water supply by rivers could restrict the surface area of grassland that can be irrigated, particularly during springtime. It is concluded that coping with heat-related risks may be most needed at the lower cropland and pasture sites while water-related issues would become more relevant in more elevated locations where pasture-based livestock production is the dominant type of agricultural land use. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A Simple Scheme for Modeling Irrigation Water Requirements at the Regional Scale Applied to an Alpine River Catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascalle C. Smith

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a simple approach for estimating the spatial and temporal variability of seasonal net irrigation water requirement (IWR at the catchment scale, based on gridded land use, soil and daily weather data at 500 × 500 m resolution. In this approach, IWR is expressed as a bounded, linear function of the atmospheric water budget, whereby the latter is defined as the difference between seasonal precipitation and reference evapotranspiration. To account for the effects of soil and crop properties on the soil water balance, the coefficients of the linear relation are expressed as a function of the soil water holding capacity and the so-called crop coefficient. The 12 parameters defining the relation were estimated with good coefficients of determination from a systematic analysis of simulations performed at daily time step with a FAO-type point-scale model for five climatically contrasted sites around the River Rhone and for combinations of six crop and ten soil types. The simple scheme was found to reproduce well results obtained with the daily model at six additional verification sites. We applied the simple scheme to the assessment of irrigation requirements in the whole Swiss Rhone catchment. The results suggest seasonal requirements of 32 × 106 m3 per year on average over 1981–2009, half of which at altitudes above 1500 m. They also disclose a positive trend in the intensity of extreme events over the study period, with an estimated total IWR of 55 × 106 m3 in 2009, and indicate a 45% increase in water demand of grasslands during the 2003 European heat wave in the driest area of the studied catchment. In view of its simplicity, the approach can be extended to other applications, including assessments of the impacts of climate and land-use change.

  20. Sediment Budget Analysis and Hazard Assessment in the Peynin, a Small Alpine Catchment (Upper Guil River, Southern Alps, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, Benoit; Arnaud-Fassetta, Gilles; Fort, Monique; Bouccara, Fanny; Sourdot, Grégoire; Tassel, Adrien; Lissak, Candide; Betard, François; Cossart, Etienne; Madelin, Malika; Viel, Vincent; Charnay, Bérengère; Bletterie, Xavier

    2014-05-01

    The upper Guil catchment (Southern Alps) is prone to hydro-geomorphic hazards. Major hazards are related to catastrophic floods, with an amplification of their impacts due to strong hillslope-channel connectivity as observed in 1957 and 2000. In both cases, the rainfall intensity, aggravated by the pre-existing saturated soils, explained the instantaneous response of the fluvial system, such as destabilisation of slopes, high sediment discharge, and subsequent damages to exposed structures and settlements present in the floodplain and at confluence sites. The Peynin junction with the Guil River is one of these sites, where significant land-use change during the last decades in relation to the development of handicraft and tourism economy has increased debris flow threat to population. Here, we adopt a sediment budget analysis aimed at better understanding the functioning of this small subcatchment. This latter offers a combination of factors that favour torrential and gravitational activity. It receives abundant and intense rainfall during "Lombarde" events (moist air mass from Mediterranean Sea). Its elongated shape and small surface area (15 km²) together with asymmetric slopes (counter dip slope on the left bank) accelerate runoff on a short response time. In addition highly tectonised shaly schists supply a large volume of debris (mostly platy clasts and fine, micaceous sediment). The objectives of this study, carried out in the frame of SAMCO (ANR) project, are threefold: Identify the different sediment storages; Characterise the processes that put sediment into motion; Quantify volumes of sediment storages. We produced a geomorphic map using topographic surveys and aerial photos in order to locate the different sediment storage types and associated processes. This analysis was made with respect to geomorphic coupling and sediment flux activity. In terms of surface area, the dominant landforms in the valley were found to be mass wasting, talus slopes and

  1. Storylines of socio-economic and climatic drivers for land use and their hydrological impacts in alpine catchments - the STELLA project example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Formayer, Herbert; Förster, Kristian; Marke, Thomas; Meißl, Gertraud; Schermer, Markus; Stotten, Friederike; Themessl, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Future land use in Alpine catchments is controlled by the evolution of socio-economy and climate. Estimates of their coupled development should hence fulfill the principles of plausibility (be convincing) and consistency (be unambiguous). In the project STELLA, coupled future climate and land use scenarios are used as input in a hydrological modelling exercise with the physically-based, distributed water balance model WaSiM. The aim of the project is to quantify the effects of these two framing components on the future water cycle. The test site for the simulations is the catchment of the Brixentaler Ache in Tyrol/Austria (47.5°N, 322 km2). The so-called „storylines" of future coupled climate and forest/land use management, policy, social cooperation, tourism and economy have jointly been developed in an inter- and transdisciplinary assessment with local actors. The climate background is given by simulations for the A1B (temperature conditions like today in Merano/Italy, 46.7°N) and RCP 8.5 (temperature conditions like today in Bologna/Italy, 44.5°N) emission scenarios. These two climate scenarios were combined with three potential socio-economic developments („local"/„glocal"/ „superglobal"), each in a positive and in a negative specification. From these twelve storylines of coupled climate/land use future, a set of four storylines was selected to be used in transient hydrological modelling experiments. Historical simulations of the water balance for the test site reveal the pattern of land use being the most prominent factor for the spatial distribution of its components. A new prototype for a snow-canopy interaction simulation module provides explicit rates of intercepted and sublimated snow from the trees and stems of the different forest stands in the catchment. This new canopy module will be used to model the coupled climate/land use future storylines for the Brixental. The aim is to quantify the effects of climate change and land use on the water

  2. Storylines of combined land use and climatic drivers and their hydrological impacts in an alpine catchment (Brixental/Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Förster, Kristian; Meissl, Gertraud; Marke, Thomas; Schermer, Markus; Stotten, Rike; Formayer, Herbert; Themessl, Matthias

    2017-04-01

    We present a numerical modelling experiment with storylines of coupled land use and climate evolution as input in the physically-based, distributed water balance model WaSiM. The aim is to quantify the effects of these two framing components on the future water cycle. The test site for the simulations is the catchment of the Brixentaler Ache in Tyrol/Austria (47.5°N, 322 km2). The climatic background is defined by simulations for the A1B and RCP 8.5 emission scenarios until 2050. These two climate projections were combined with three future land use developments for forest management, developed in an inter- and transdisciplinary assessment with local actors using plausible and consisent projections for forest management, policy, social cooperation, tourism and economy: (i) Ecological adaptation: The forest management consequently applies the political guidelines, and the forest cover is dominated by an ecological, place-adapted mixed cultivation with a harmonious age structure. (ii) Economical overexploitation and wildness: The increase in efficiency, cost reduction and short term results are in focus of the forest management. (iii) Withdrawal and wildness: Cultivation in general is decreasing, and the forest becomes vulnerable against natural hazards. A new module for snow-canopy interaction simulation, providing explicit rates of intercepted and sublimated snow from the trees and stems of the different forest stands, has been implemented in WaSiM. The new version of the model is used to model the coupled future climate/land use storylines for the Brixental. Results show the effects of climate change and land use on the water balance and streamflow in the catchment.

  3. UAV-based Natural Hazard Management in High-Alpine Terrain - Case Studies from Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotier, Bernadette; Adams, Marc; Lechner, Veronika

    2015-04-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have become a standard tool for geodata collection, as they allow conducting on-demand mapping missions in a flexible, cost-effective manner at an unprecedented level of detail. Easy-to-use, high-performance image matching software make it possible to process the collected aerial images to orthophotos and 3D-terrain models. Such up-to-date geodata have proven to be an important asset in natural hazard management: Processes like debris flows, avalanches, landslides, fluvial erosion and rock-fall can be detected and quantified; damages can be documented and evaluated. In the Alps, these processes mostly originate in remote areas, which are difficult and hazardous to access, thus presenting a challenging task for RPAS data collection. In particular, the problems include finding suitable landing and piloting-places, dealing with bad or no GPS-signals and the installation of ground control points (GCP) for georeferencing. At the BFW, RPAS have been used since 2012 to aid natural hazard management of various processes, of which three case studies are presented below. The first case study deals with the results from an attempt to employ UAV-based multi-spectral remote sensing to monitor the state of natural hazard protection forests. Images in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) band were collected using modified low-cost cameras, combined with different optical filters. Several UAV-flights were performed in the 72 ha large study site in 2014, which lies in the Wattental, Tyrol (Austria) between 1700 and 2050 m a.s.l., where the main tree species are stone pine and mountain pine. The matched aerial images were analysed using different UAV-specific vitality indices, evaluating both single- and dual-camera UAV-missions. To calculate the mass balance of a debris flow in the Tyrolean Halltal (Austria), an RPAS flight was conducted in autumn 2012. The extreme alpine environment was challenging for both the mission and the evaluation of the aerial

  4. Using fluorescence spectroscopy to gain new insights into seasonal patterns of stream DOC concentrations in an alpine, headwater catchment underlain by discontinuous permafrost in Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon Territory, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shatilla, N. J.; Carey, S.; Tang, W.

    2017-12-01

    The Canadian subarctic is experiencing rapid climate warming resulting in decreased depth and duration of snowcover, decreased permafrost extent and time span of seasonal frozen ground resulting in increased active layer depth, and increased frequency and magnitude of rainfall events during the growing season. These changes challenge our conceptual models of permafrost hydrology as comparisons between recent and historical streamflow records show an emerging secondary post-freshet peak in flow in recent years along with enhanced winter flows. Long-term monitoring of Granger Creek (7.6km2), an alpine watershed underlain by discontinuous permafrost located within Wolf Creek Research Basin (176km2) in Yukon Territory, Canada provided a multi-decadal record of hydro-meteorological measurements. Granger Creek experienced warmer and wetter summers in 2015-6 compared to 2001-8, and an altered streamflow pattern with an earlier spring freshet and peak in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. DOC concentrations post-freshet remained low at both the headwater and meso-catchment scale, which contradicts trends of increasing DOC concentrations observed in larger river systems. Hysteresis loops of sub-hourly measurements of streamflow, salinity and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) were analyzed to provide new insights into how hydrological connectivity at the headwater scale affected the timing of solute release with supporting information from optical indices calculated from fluorescence spectroscopy. These indices provided a more nuanced view of catchment dynamics than the DOC concentrations. The composition and quality of DOM varied throughout the growing season with the delivery of older, terrestrially-derived material corresponding to high DOC concentrations at the onset of spring freshet when the catchment was initially being flushed. The origin and quality of stream DOM shifted throughout the rest of the season to newer, more easily mobilized DOM

  5. Performance of complex snow cover descriptions in a distributed hydrological model system: A case study for the high Alpine terrain of the Berchtesgaden Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, M; Strasser, U; Kraller, G; Marke, T; Franz, H; Kunstmann, H

    2013-05-01

    [1] Runoff generation in Alpine regions is typically affected by snow processes. Snow accumulation, storage, redistribution, and ablation control the availability of water. In this study, several robust parameterizations describing snow processes in Alpine environments were implemented in a fully distributed, physically based hydrological model. Snow cover development is simulated using different methods from a simple temperature index approach, followed by an energy balance scheme, to additionally accounting for gravitational and wind-driven lateral snow redistribution. Test site for the study is the Berchtesgaden National Park (Bavarian Alps, Germany) which is characterized by extreme topography and climate conditions. The performance of the model system in reproducing snow cover dynamics and resulting discharge generation is analyzed and validated via measurements of snow water equivalent and snow depth, satellite-based remote sensing data, and runoff gauge data. Model efficiency (the Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient) for simulated runoff increases from 0.57 to 0.68 in a high Alpine headwater catchment and from 0.62 to 0.64 in total with increasing snow model complexity. In particular, the results show that the introduction of the energy balance scheme reproduces daily fluctuations in the snowmelt rates that trace down to the channel stream. These daily cycles measured in snowmelt and resulting runoff rates could not be reproduced by using the temperature index approach. In addition, accounting for lateral snow transport changes the seasonal distribution of modeled snowmelt amounts, which leads to a higher accuracy in modeling runoff characteristics.

  6. Temperature-driven flower longevity in a high-alpine species of Oxalis influences reproductive assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Mary T K; Dudley, Leah S; Jespersen, Gus; Pacheco, Diego A; Cavieres, Lohengrin A

    2013-12-01

    How high-alpine plants confront stochastic conditions for animal pollination is a critical question. We investigated the effect of temperature on potential flower longevity (FL) measured in pollinator-excluded flowers and actual FL measured in pollinated flowers in self-incompatible Oxalis compacta and evaluated if plastically prolonged potential FL can ameliorate slow pollination under cool conditions. Pollinator-excluded and hand-pollinated flowers were experimentally warmed with open-top chambers (OTCs) on a site at 3470 m above sea level (asl). Flower-specific temperatures, and pollinator-excluded and open-pollination flower life-spans were measured at six alpine sites between 3100 and 3470 m asl. Fruit set was analyzed in relation to inferred pollination time. Warming reduced potential FL. Variable thermal conditions across the alpine landscape predicted potential and actual FL; flower senescence was pollination-regulated. Actual FL and potential FL were coupled. Prolonged potential FL generally increased fruit set under cooler conditions. Plastic responses permit virgin flowers of O. compacta to remain open longer under cooler temperatures, thereby ameliorating slow pollination, and to close earlier when pollination tends to be faster under warmer conditions. Plastic potential FL provides adaptive advantages in the cold, thermally variable alpine habitat, and has important implications for reproductive success in alpine plants in a warming world. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. A deposition record of inorganic ions from a high-alpine glacier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huber, T. [Bern Univ. (Switzerland); Bruetsch, S.; Gaeggeler, H.W.; Schotterer, U.; Schwikowski, M. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-09-01

    The lowest five metres of an ice core from a high-alpine glacier (Colle Gnifetti, Monte Rosa massif, 4450m a.s.l., Switzerland) were analysed for ammonium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, nitrate, potassium, sodium, and sulphate by ion chromatography. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs.

  8. Exploring the Potential of Aerial Photogrammetry for 3d Modelling of High-Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legat, K.; Moe, K.; Poli, D.; Bollmannb, E.

    2016-03-01

    High-alpine areas are subject to rapid topographic changes, mainly caused by natural processes like glacial retreat and other geomorphological processes, and also due to anthropogenic interventions like construction of slopes and infrastructure in skiing resorts. Consequently, the demand for highly accurate digital terrain models (DTMs) in alpine environments has arisen. Public administrations often have dedicated resources for the regular monitoring of glaciers and natural hazard processes. In case of glaciers, traditional monitoring encompasses in-situ measurements of area and length and the estimation of volume and mass changes. Next to field measurements, data for such monitoring programs can be derived from DTMs and digital ortho photos (DOPs). Skiing resorts, on the other hand, require DTMs as input for planning and - more recently - for RTK-GNSS supported ski-slope grooming. Although different in scope, the demand of both user groups is similar: high-quality and up-to-date terrain data for extended areas often characterised by difficult accessibility and large elevation ranges. Over the last two decades, airborne laser scanning (ALS) has replaced photogrammetric approaches as state-of-the-art technology for the acquisition of high-resolution DTMs also in alpine environments. Reasons include the higher productivity compared to (manual) stereo-photogrammetric measurements, canopy-penetration capability, and limitations of photo measurements on sparsely textured surfaces like snow or ice. Nevertheless, the last few years have shown strong technological advances in the field of aerial camera technology, image processing and photogrammetric software which led to new possibilities for image-based DTM generation even in alpine terrain. At Vermessung AVT, an Austrian-based surveying company, and its subsidiary Terra Messflug, very promising results have been achieved for various projects in high-alpine environments, using images acquired by large-format digital

  9. Hydrological scenarios for two selected Alpine catchments for the 21st century using a stochastic weather generator and enhanced process understanding for modelling of seasonal snow and glacier melt for improved water resources management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Schneeberger, Klaus; Dabhi, Hetal; Dubrovsky, Martin; Hanzer, Florian; Marke, Thomas; Oberguggenberger, Michael; Rössler, Ole; Schmieder, Jan; Rotach, Mathias; Stötter, Johann; Weingartner, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    The overall objective of HydroGeM³ is to quantify and assess both water demand and water supply in two coupled human-environment mountain systems, i.e. Lütschine in Switzerland and Ötztaler Ache in Austria. Special emphasis is laid on the analysis of possible future seasonal water scarcity. The hydrological response of high Alpine catchments is characterised by a strong seasonal variability with low runoff in winter and high runoff in spring and summer. Climate change is expected to cause a seasonal shift of the runoff regime and thus it has significant impact on both amount and timing of the release of the available water resources, and thereof, possible future water conflicts. In order to identify and quantify the contribution of snow and ice melt as well as rain to runoff, streamflow composition will be analysed with natural tracers. The results of the field investigations will help to improve the snow and ice melt and runoff modules of two selected hydrological models (i.e. AMUNDSEN and WaSiM) which are used to investigate the seasonal water availability under current and future climate conditions. Together, they comprise improved descriptions of boundary layer and surface melt processes (AMUNDSEN), and of streamflow runoff generation (WaSiM). Future meteorological forcing for the modelling until the end of the century will be provided by both a stochastic multi-site weather generator, and downscaled climate model output. Both approches will use EUROCORDEX data as input. The water demand in the selected study areas is quantified for the relevant societal sectors, e.g. agriculture, hydropower generation and (winter) tourism. The comparison of water availability and water demand under current and future climate conditions will allow the identification of possible seasonal bottlenecks of future water supply and resulting conflicts. Thus these investigations can provide a quantitative basis for the development of strategies for sustainable water management in

  10. Case Study: Effect of Climatic Characterization on River Discharge in an Alpine-Prealpine Catchment of the Spanish Pyrenees Using the SWAT Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leticia Palazón

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The new challenges in assessment of water resources demand new approaches and tools, such as the use of hydrologic models, which could serve to assist managers in the prediction, planning and management of catchment water supplies in view of increased demand of water for irrigation and climatic change. Good characterization of the spatial patterns of climate variables is of paramount importance in hydrological modelling. This is especially so when modelling mountain environments which are characterized by strong altitudinal climate gradients. However, very often there is a poor distribution of climatic stations in these areas, which in many cases, results in under representation of high altitude areas with respect to climatic data. This results in the poor performance of the models. In the present study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT model was applied to the Barasona reservoir catchment in the Central Spanish Pyrenees in order to assess the influence of different climatic characterizations in the monthly river discharges. Four simulations with different input data were assessed, using only the available climate data (A1; the former plus one synthetic dataset at a higher altitude (B1; and both plus the altitudinal climate gradient (A2 and B2. The model’s performance was evaluated against the river discharges for the representative periods of 2003–2005 and 1994–1996 by means of commonly used statistical measures. The best results were obtained using the altitudinal climate gradient alone (scenario A2. This study provided insight into the importance of taking into account the sources and the spatial distribution of weather data in modelling water resources in mountainous catchments.

  11. Concentration-Discharge Relationships, Nested Reaction Fronts, and the Balance of Oxidative and Acid-Base Weathering Fluxes in an Alpine Catchment, East River, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winnick, M.; Carroll, R. W. H.; Williams, K. H.; Maxwell, R. M.; Maher, K.

    2016-12-01

    Although important for solute production and transport, the varied interactions between biogeochemical processes and subsurface hydrology remain poorly characterized. We investigate these couplings in the headwaters of the East River, CO, a high-elevation shale-dominated catchment system in the Rocky Mountains, using concentration-discharge (C-Q) relationships for major cations, anions, and organic carbon. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) displays a positive C-Q relationship with well-defined clockwise hysteresis, indicating the mobilization and depletion of DOC in the upper soil horizons and highlighting the importance of shallow flowpaths through the snowmelt period. Cation and anion concentrations demonstrate that carbonate weathering, which dominates solute fluxes, is promoted by both carbonic acid and sulfuric acid derived from oxidation of pyrite in the shale bedrock. Sulfuric acid weathering in the deep subsurface dominates during base flow conditions when waters have infiltrated below the hypothesized pyrite oxidation front, whereas carbonic acid weathering plays a dominant role during the snowmelt period as a result of shallow flowpaths. Differential C-Q relationships between solutes suggest that infiltrating waters approach calcite saturation before reaching the pyrite oxidation front, after which sulfuric acid reduces carbonate alkalinity. This increase in CO2(aq) at the expense of HCO3- results in outgassing of CO2 when waters equilibrate to surface conditions, and reduces the export of carbon and alkalinity from the East River by roughly 33% annually. Future changes in snowmelt dynamics that control the balance of carbonic and sulfuric acid weathering therefore have the capacity to substantially alter the cycling of carbon in the East River catchment. Ultimately, we demonstrate that differential C-Q relationships between major solutes can provide unique insights into the complex subsurface flow and biogeochemical dynamics that operate at catchment scales.

  12. Typology of potential high contribution areas in the sediment budget in the Upper Guil Catchment (Queyras, French Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissak, Candide; Fort, Monique; Fassetta, Gilles Arnaud; Viel, Vincent; Carlier, Benoit

    2015-04-01

    In mountainous areas, especially in large river catchments with torrential tributaries, the production and sediment transport significantly increase flood impacts in the valley bottoms. For a better understanding of Alpine river catchments considered as complex systems, we focused our research on the Guil River catchment (Queyras, Southern French Alps - 317km²). This catchment is prone to catastrophic summer floods (June 1957 (> R.I. 100 yr), June 2000 (R.I. 30 yr)...) characterized by considerable sediment transport from tributaries to downvalley, very much facilitated by strong hillslope-channel connectivity (≈12,000 m3 volume of sediment aggraded during the June 2000 flood event). During the last flood events, several infrastructures and buildings were seriously damaged. Most of them were located at confluences and, at specific reaches such as canyon reaches constrained by infrastructures. For risk mitigation some protection equipments were built after the 1957 event, but most of them are now poorly maintained and might be less effective in case of flood event. In the frame of SAMCO (ANR 12 SENV-0004) project designed for mountain hazard mitigation in a context of Climate Change, one objective is to understand the hydro-geomorphological functioning of Alpine catchments for a sustainable management of sediment yield, transfer and deposition. Part of our study is aimed at a better assessment of sediment transfers, especially on adjacent sediment supply (i.e. from hillslope to channel, and from tributaries to the trunk river) for a better management of sediment fluxes in the frame of the local "River Scheme". For this reason, we decided to establish a sediment budget of the Guil River catchment, with a quantitative assessment and a spatial analysis of erosion, transport, and deposition processes. The initial phase of our study consists in identifying contributive, erosion and deposition areas with a twofold approach: (i) assessment of longitudinal sedimentary

  13. Using hydrological modelling for a preliminary assessment of under-catch of precipitation in some Alpine Catchments of Sierra Nevada (Spain). Sensitivity to different conceptual approaches and spatio-temporal scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimeno-Saez, Patricia; Pulido-Velazquez, David; Pegalajar-Cuellar, Manuel; Collados-Lara, Antonio-Juan; Pardo-Iguzquiza, Eulogio

    2017-04-01

    Precipitation (P) measurements show important biases due to under-catch, especially in windy conditions. Gauges modify the wind fields, producing important under-catch in solid P. In this work we intent to perform a global assessment of the under-catch phenomenon in some alpine catchments of Sierra Nevada Mountain Range (Spain) by using different conceptual hydrological models. They are based on the available information about daily natural streamflow and daily fields of P and temperature (T) in each catchment. We want to analyse long time periods (more than 20 years at daily scale) in order to obtain conclusions taking into account the stochastic behaviour of the natural streamflow and P and T variables. The natural streamflowin each basin has been obtained from the streamflow measurements in the gauges by making some simple mathematical operations to eliminate the anthropic influences. The daily climatic fieldswere estimated with spatial resolution of 1kmx1km by applying geostatistic techniques using data coming from 119climatic gauges existing in the area.We have considered to model options: Monthly and yearly variogram to characterize the spatial data correlation. The Elevation has been considered as secondary variable for the estimation. The analysis of the experimental data showed a linear relationhip between mean T and elevation. Therefore, we decided to apply a kriging with linear external drift to estimate the P and T fields. The mean daily P data show a quadratic relationship with the elevation. Different hypothesis have been considered to approach these P fields by applying kriging with linear drift, with quadratic drift, and regression kriging. A cross-validation analysis showed that the best approximation to the data is obtained with the kriging with linear drift. The P and T fields obtained with this technique were employed to feed different hydrological models in which different conceptual approaches of the hydrological processes related with the

  14. River network bedload model: a tool to investigate the impact of flow regulation on grain size distribution in a large Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter

    2017-04-01

    Sediment transport rates along rivers and the grain size distribution (GSD) of coarse channel bed sediment are the result of the long term balance between transport capacity and sediment supply. Transport capacity, mainly a function of channel geometry and flow competence, can be altered by changes in climatic forcing as well as by human activities. In Alpine rivers it is hydropower production systems that are the main causes of modification to the transport capacity of water courses through flow regulation, leading over longer time scales to the adjustment of river bed GSDs. We developed a river network bedload transport model to evaluate the impacts of hydropower on the transfer of sediments and the GSDs of the Upper Rhône basin, a 5,200 km2 catchment located in the Swiss Alps. Many large reservoirs for hydropower production have been built along the main tributaries of the Rhône River since the 1960s, resulting in a complex system of intakes, tunnels, and pumping stations. Sediment storage behind dams and intakes, is accompanied by altered discharge due to hydropower operations, mainly higher flow in winter and lower in summer. It is expected that this change in flow regime may have resulted in different bedload transport. However, due the non-linear, threshold-based nature of the relation between discharge and sediment mobilization, the effects of changed hydraulic conditions are not easily deducible, and because observations of bedload in pre- and post-dam conditions are usually not available, a modelling approach is often necessary. In our modelling approach, the river network is conceptualized as a series of connected links (river reaches). Average geometric characteristics of each link (width, length, and slope of cross section) are extracted from digital elevation data, while surface roughness coefficients are assigned based on the GSD. Under the assumptions of rectangular prismatic cross sections and normal flow conditions, bed shear stress is estimated

  15. Assessing water resources under climate change in high-altitude catchments: a methodology and an application in the Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aili, T.; Soncini, A.; Bianchi, A.; Diolaiuti, G.; D'Agata, C.; Bocchiola, D.

    2018-01-01

    Assessment of the future water resources in the Italian Alps under climate change is required, but the hydrological cycle of the high-altitude catchments therein is poorly studied and little understood. Hydrological monitoring and modeling in the Alps is difficult, given the lack of first hand, site specific data. Here, we present a method to model the hydrological cycle of poorly monitored high-altitude catchments in the Alps, and to project forward water resources availability under climate change. Our method builds on extensive experience recently and includes (i) gathering data of climate, of cryospheric variables, and of hydrological fluxes sparsely available; (ii) robust physically based glacio-hydrological modeling; and (iii) using glacio-hydrological projections from GCM models. We apply the method in the Mallero River, in the central (Retiche) Alps of Italy. The Mallero river covers 321 km2, with altitude between 310 and 4015 m a.s.l., and it has 27 km2 of ice cover. The glaciers included in the catchment underwent large mass loss recently, thus Mallero is largely paradigmatic of the present situation of Alpine rivers. We set up a spatially explicit glacio-hydrological model, describing the cryospheric evolution and the hydrology of the area during a control run CR, from 1981 to 2007. We then gather climate projections until 2100 from three Global Climate Models of the IPCC AR5 under RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5. We project forward flow statistics, flow components (rainfall, snow melt, ice melt), ice cover, and volume for two reference decades, namely 2045-2054 and 2090-2099. We foresee reduction of the ice bodies from - 62 to - 98% in volume (year 2100 vs year 1981), and subsequent large reduction of ice melt contribution to stream flows (from - 61 to - 88%, 2100 vs CR). Snow melt, now covering 47% of the stream flows yearly, would also be largely reduced (from - 19 to - 56%, 2100 vs CR). The stream flows will decrease on average at 2100 (from + 1 to - 25

  16. High Performance Skiing. How to Become a Better Alpine Skier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacenda, John

    This book is intended for people who desire to improve their skiing by exploring high performance techniques leading to: (1) more consistent performance; (2) less fatigue and more endurance; (3) greater strength and flexibility; (4) greater versatility; (5) greater confidence in all skiing conditions; and (6) the knowledge to participate in…

  17. Snowmelt in a High Latitude Mountain Catchment: Effect of Vegetation Cover and Elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomeroy, J. W.; Essery, R. L.; Ellis, C. R.; Hedstrom, N. R.; Janowicz, R.; Granger, R. J.

    2004-12-01

    The energetics and mass balance of snowpacks in the premelt and melt period were compared from three elevation bands in a high latitude mountain catchment, Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon. Elevation is strongly correlated with vegetation cover and in this case the three elevation bands (low, middle, high) correspond to mature spruce forest, dense shrub tundra and sparse tundra (alpine). Measurements of radiation, ground heat flux, snow depth, snowfall, air temperature, wind speed were made on a half-hourly basis at the three elevations for a 10 year period. Sondes provided vertical gradients of air temperature, humidity, wind speed and air pressure. Snow depth and density surveys were conducted monthly. Comparisons of wind speed, air temperature and humidity at three elevations show that the expected elevational gradients in the free atmosphere were slightly enhanced just above the surface canopies, but that the climate at the snow surface was further influenced by complex canopy effects. Premelt snow accumulation was strongly affected by intercepted snow in the forest and blowing snow sublimation in the sparse tundra but not by the small elevational gradients in snowfall. As a result the maximum premelt SWE was found in the mid-elevation shrub tundra and was roughly double that of the sparse tundra or forest. Minimum variability of SWE was observed in the forest and shrub tundra (CV=0.25) while in the sparse tundra variability doubled (CV=0.5). Snowmelt was influenced by differences in premelt accumulation as well as differences in the net energy fluxes to snow. Elevation had a strong effect on the initiation of melt with the forest melt starting on average 16 days before the shrub tundra and 19 days before the sparse tundra. Mean melt rates showed a maximum in middle elevations and increased from 860 kJ/day in the forest to 1460 kJ/day in the sparse tundra and 2730 kJ/day in the shrub tundra. The forest canopy reduced melt while the shrub canopy enhanced it

  18. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  19. Iron content and solubility in dust from high-alpine snow along a north-south transect of High Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Guangjian; Zhang, Chenglong; Li, Zhongqin; Zhang, Xuelei; Gao, Shaopeng

    2012-01-01

    This study describes the dissolved and insoluble iron fraction of dust (mineral aerosol) in high-alpine snow samples collected along a north-south transect across High Asia (Eastern Tien Shan, Qilian Shan, and Southern Tibetan Plateau). This dust provides the basic chemical properties of mid- and high-level tropospheric Asian dust that can supply the limiting iron nutrient for phytoplankton growth in the North Pacific. The iron content in Asian dust averages 4.95% in Eastern Tien Shan, 3.38–5...

  20. Simulating high frequency water quality monitoring data using a catchment runoff attenuation flux tool (CRAFT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Russell; Quinn, Paul F; Perks, Matthew; Barber, Nicholas J; Jonczyk, Jennine; Owen, Gareth J

    2016-12-01

    High resolution water quality data has recently become widely available from numerous catchment based monitoring schemes. However, the models that can reproduce time series of concentrations or fluxes have not kept pace with the advances in monitoring data. Model performance at predicting phosphorus (P) and sediment concentrations has frequently been poor with models not fit for purpose except for predicting annual losses. Here, the data from the Eden Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project have been used to calibrate the Catchment Runoff Attenuation Flux Tool (CRAFT), a new, parsimonious model developed with the aim of modelling both the generation and attenuation of nutrients and sediments in small to medium sized catchments. The CRAFT has the ability to run on an hourly timestep and can calculate the mass of sediments and nutrients transported by three flow pathways representing rapid surface runoff, fast subsurface drainage and slow groundwater flow (baseflow). The attenuation feature of the model is introduced here; this enables surface runoff and contaminants transported via this pathway to be delayed in reaching the catchment outlet. It was used to investigate some hypotheses of nutrient and sediment transport in the Newby Beck Catchment (NBC) Model performance was assessed using a suite of metrics including visual best fit and the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. It was found that this approach for water quality models may be the best assessment method as opposed to using a single metric. Furthermore, it was found that, when the aim of the simulations was to reproduce the time series of total P (TP) or total reactive P (TRP) to get the best visual fit, that attenuation was required. The model will be used in the future to explore the impacts on water quality of different mitigation options in the catchment; these will include attenuation of surface runoff. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. High solar radiation hinders tree regeneration above the alpine treeline in northern Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.; Geloof, van I.; Rietkerk, M.

    2007-01-01

    Many tropical alpine treelines lie below their climatic potential, because of natural or anthropogenic causes. Forest extension above the treeline depends on the ability of trees to establish in the alpine environment. This ability may be limited by different factors, such as low temperatures,

  2. High solar radiation hinders tree regeneration above the alpine treeline in northern Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bader, M.Y.; Geloof, I. van; Rietkerk, M.G.

    2007-01-01

    Many tropical alpine treelines lie below their climatic potential, because of natural or anthropogenic causes. Forest extension above the treeline depends on the ability of trees to establish in the alpine environment. This ability may be limited by different factors, such as low

  3. Safe-site effects on rhizosphere bacterial communities in a high-altitude alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccazzo, Sonia; Esposito, Alfonso; Rolli, Eleonora; Zerbe, Stefan; Daffonchio, Daniele; Brusetti, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites) which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS) site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  4. Large-scale environmental controls on microbial biofilms in high-alpine streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. J. Battin

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Glaciers are highly responsive to global warming and important agents of landscape heterogeneity. While it is well established that glacial ablation and snowmelt regulate stream discharge, linkage among streams and streamwater geochemistry, the controls of these factors on stream microbial biofilms remain insufficiently understood. We investigated glacial (metakryal, hypokryal, groundwater-fed (krenal and snow-fed (rhithral streams - all of them representative for alpine stream networks - and present evidence that these hydrologic and hydrogeochemical factors differentially affect sediment microbial biofilms. Average microbial biomass and bacterial carbon production were low in the glacial streams, whereas bacterial cell size, biomass, and carbon production were higher in the tributaries, most notably in the krenal stream. Whole-cell in situ fluorescence hybridization revealed reduced detection rates of the Eubacteria and higher abundance of α-Proteobacteria in the glacial stream, a pattern that most probably reflects the trophic status of this ecosystem. Our data suggest low flow during the onset of snowmelt and autumn as a short period (hot moment of favorable environmental conditions with pulsed inputs of allochthonous nitrate and dissolved organic carbon, and with disproportionately high microbial growth. Tributaries are relatively more constant and favorable environments than kryal streams, and serve as possible sources of microbes and organic matter to the main glacial channel during periods (e.g., snowmelt of elevated hydrologic linkage among streams. Ice and snow dynamics - and their impact on the amount and composition of dissolved organic matter - have a crucial impact on stream biofilms, and we thus need to consider microbes and critical hydrological episodes in future models of alpine stream communities.

  5. Investigating the Microscopic Location of Trace Elements in High-Alpine Glacier Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avak, Sven Erik; Birrer, Mario; Laurent, Oscar; Guillong, Marcel; Wälle, Markus; Jenk, Theo Manuel; Bartels-Rausch, Thorsten; Schwikowski, Margit; Eichler, Anja

    2017-04-01

    Past changes in atmospheric pollution can be reconstructed from high-alpine ice core trace element records (Schwikowski et al., 2004). Percolation of meltwater alters the information originally stored in these environmental archives. Eichler et al. (2001) suggested that the preservation of major ions with respect to meltwater percolation depends on their location in the crystal ice lattice, i.e. grain boundaries versus grain interiors. Other studies have also focused on the effect of meltwater on organic pollutant concentrations as well as on stable isotope profiles in ice cores, whereas no information exists about trace elements. Here, we investigate for the first time the effect of the microscopic location of anthropogenic, dust and volcanic related trace elements on the behavior during meltwater percolation by using two different approaches. On the one hand we assess the microscopic location of trace elements indirectly by analyzing trace element concentrations in a high-alpine ice core, which has been shown to be affected by an inflow of meltwater, using discrete inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Impurities located at grain boundaries are prone to be removed by meltwater and tend to be depleted in the affected section of the record whereas those incorporated into the ice interior are preserved and not disturbed in the record. In the second approach we work towards a direct quantification of differences in concentrations of trace elements between ice grain boundaries and grain interiors in samples both from unaffected and affected sections of this ice core. Therefore we use cryocell laser ablation (LA) ICP-MS, which is the method of choice for the direct in situ chemical analysis of trace elements at a sub-millimeter resolution in glacier ice (Reinhardt et al., 2001, Della Lunga et al., 2014, Sneed et al., 2015). We will present first results of both approaches with regard to the evaluation of the potential of trace elements as environmental

  6. The role of high frequency monitoring in understanding nutrient pollution processes to address catchment management issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Paul; Jonczyk, Jennine; Owen, Gareth; Barber, Nick; Adams, Russell; ODonnell, Greg; EdenDTC Team

    2015-04-01

    The process insights afforded to catchment scientists through the availability of high frequency time series of hydrological and nutrient pollution datasets are invaluable. However, the observations reveal both good and bad news for the WFD. Data for flow, N, P and sediment (taken at 30 min intervals) from the River Eden Demonstration Test Catchment and several other detailed UK studies, will be used to discuss nutrient fluxes in catchments between 1km2 and 10km2. Monitoring of the seasonal groundwater status and the forensic analysis of numerous storm events have identified dominant flow pathways and nutrient losses. Nonetheless, many of the management questions demanded by the WFD will not be resolved by collecting these datasets alone. Long term trends are unlikely to be determined from these data and even if trends are found they are unlikely to be accurately apportioned to the activities that have caused them. The impacts of where and when an action takes place will not be detected at the catchment scale and the cost effectiveness of any mitigation method is unlikely to be quantifiable. Even in small well instrumented catchments the natural variability in rainfall, antecedent patterns and the variability in farming practices will mask any identifiable catchment scale signal. This does not mean the cost of the data acquisition has been wasted, it just means that the knowledge and expertise gained from these data should be used in new novel ways. It will always be difficult to quantify the actual losses occurring at the farm or field scale, but the positive benefits of any mitigation may still be approximated. The evidence for the rate of nutrient removal from a local sediment trap, wetland and a pond can be shown with high resolution datasets. However, any quantifiable results are still highly localised and the transfer and upscaling of any findings must be done with care. Modelling these datasets is also possible and the nature of models have evolved in the

  7. Iron content and solubility in dust from high-alpine snow along a north-south transect of High Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangjian Wu

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the dissolved and insoluble iron fraction of dust (mineral aerosol in high-alpine snow samples collected along a north-south transect across High Asia (Eastern Tien Shan, Qilian Shan, and Southern Tibetan Plateau. This dust provides the basic chemical properties of mid- and high-level tropospheric Asian dust that can supply the limiting iron nutrient for phytoplankton growth in the North Pacific. The iron content in Asian dust averages 4.95% in Eastern Tien Shan, 3.38–5.41% along Qilian Shan and 3.85% in the Southern Tibetan Plateau. The iron fractional solubility averages about 0.25% in Eastern Tien Shan, 0.05–2% along Qilian Shan and 1.5% in the Southern Tibetan Plateau. Among the controlling factors that can affect iron solubility in Asian dust, such as dust composition and particle grain size, acidity seems to be the most significant and can increase the iron solubility by one or two orders of magnitude with acidification of pH=0.66. Our results reveal that iron solubility of dust in the remote downwind sites is higher than that in high-alpine snow, confirming the strong pH-dependence of iron solubility, and indicating that Asian dust shows a large variation in iron solubility on a regional scale.

  8. High-resolution monitoring of catchment nutrient response to the end of the 2011-2012 drought in England, captured by the demonstration test catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Outram, F. N.; Lloyd, C.; Jonczyk, J.; Benskin, C. McW. H.; Grant, F.; Dorling, S. R.; Steele, C. J.; Collins, A. L.; Freer, J.; Haygarth, P. M.; Hiscock, K. M.; Johnes, P. J.; Lovett, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    The Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project is a UK Government funded initiative to test the effectiveness of on-farm mitigation measures designed to reduce agricultural pollution without compromising farm productivity. Three distinct catchments in England have been chosen to test the efficacy of mitigation measures on working farms in small tributary sub-catchments equipped with continuous water quality monitoring stations. The Hampshire Avon in the south is a mixed livestock and arable farming catchment, the River Wensum in the east is a lowland catchment with predominantly arable farming and land use in the River Eden catchment in the north-west is predominantly livestock farming. One of the many strengths of the DTC as a national research platform is that it provides the ability to investigate catchment hydrology and biogeochemical response across different landscapes and geoclimatic characteristics, with a range of differing flow behaviours, geochemistries and nutrient chemistries. Although numerous authors present studies of individual catchment responses to storms, no studies exist of multiple catchment responses to the same rainfall event captured with in situ high-resolution nutrient monitoring at a national scale. This paper brings together findings from all three DTC research groups to compare the response of the catchments to a major storm event in April 2012. This was one of the first weather fronts to track across the country following a prolonged drought period affecting much of the UK through 2011-2012, marking an unusual meteorological transition when a rapid shift from drought to flood risk occurred. The effects of the weather front on discharge and water chemistry parameters, including nitrogen species (NO3-N and NH4-N) and phosphorus fractions (total P (TP) and total reactive P (TRP)), measured at a half-hourly time step are examined. When considered in the context of one hydrological year, flow and concentration duration curves reveal that

  9. Behaviour of arsenic in forested catchments following a high-pollution period

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Novak, Martin; Erbanova, Lucie; Fottova, Daniela; Cudlin, Pavel; Kubena, Ales

    2011-01-01

    Due to high availability of adsorption sites, forested catchments could be net sinks for pollutant arsenic both during the period of increasing and decreasing pollution. We tested this hypothesis along a north-south pollution gradient in spruce die-back affected areas of Central Europe. For two water years (2007-2008), we monitored As fluxes via spruce-canopy throughfall, open-area precipitation, and runoff in four headwater catchments (Czech Republic). Since 1980, atmospheric As inputs decreased 26 times in the north, and 13 times in the south. Arsenic export by runoff was similar to atmospheric inputs at three sites, resulting in a near-zero As mass balance. One site exhibited a net export of As (2.2 g ha -1 yr -1 ). In contrast, the preceding period (1995-2006) showed much higher As fluxes, and higher As export. Czech catchments do not serve as net sinks of atmospheric As. A considerable proportion of old industrial arsenic is flushed out of the soil. - Following a period of high atmospheric As deposition, a considerable proportion of old industrial arsenic is flushed out of soil and exported from forested catchments.

  10. A multidisciplinary approach to understand landsliding at catchment scale: a case study for landsliding at Pinka flat, Western Pannonian Alpine Foothill, Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovács, Gábor; Raveloson, Andrea; Székely, Balázs; Timár, Gábor

    2013-04-01

    The northern scarp of the Pinka flat - situated in the western part of the Pannonian Basin - is largely characterized by landslides and gullies. This area is a transition zone between the uplifting Eastern Alps and the subsiding Little Hungarian Plain. The interaction of the juxtaposed units results in neotectonically induced features, such as unstable slopes, gullies and landslides. These mass movements represented economical and social hazard in the 20th century. Earlier studies of this area (eg. Kecskés, 1968; Szilágyi, 1989) concentrated on regional scale, but the real nature of mass movements is still unclear. Therefore our goal was to study the landslides on smaller scales. This contribution presents an individual landslide (in the vicinity of Olad, outskirt of Szombathely) that has been examined in detail, using different geophysical and geomorphological methods. Field surveys and geomorphological measurements have been achieved several times (from 2006) to have a better view on the role of geomorphology in the formation of the landslide. Fixed points were deployed inside the landslide as well as near to it to quantify movements of surface over time. The structure of the slope was studied using shallow boreholes and vertical electrical sounding (VES) measurements. Furthermore Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) was used along several transverse and longitudinal profiles to complement these studies with two dimensional electrical resistivity sections. Results from the last 6 years show that the evolution of the landslide seems to be triggered by the weather conditions of the Alpine foothills and the northern scarp of Pinka flat, though the origin of the landslide is neotectonic. Geophysical results show that the sliding mass is situated on a clayey layer. The main cause of mass movement seems to be the slope-parallel layering of the clayey and sandy sediment, though recent time human influence played an important role as well. This research was financed

  11. Activated Fraction Of Black Carbon By Cloud Droplets And Ice Crystals At The High Alpine Site Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cozic, J.; Mertes, S. [IFT Leipzig (Georgia); Verheggen, B.; Petzold, A. [DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen (Georgia); Weingartner, E.; Baltensperger, U.

    2005-03-01

    Measurements of black carbon (BC) were made in winter and summer 2004 at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch in order to study the activation of BC into cloud droplets and ice crystals. Main results showed that the activated fraction represents 61% in summer and that for a large temperature range between -25 C and 5 C, the activated BC fraction increases with increasing temperature and increasing liquid water content. (author)

  12. Safe-Site Effects on Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities in a High-Altitude Alpine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Ciccazzo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The rhizosphere effect on bacterial communities associated with three floristic communities (RW, FI, and M sites which differed for the developmental stages was studied in a high-altitude alpine ecosystem. RW site was an early developmental stage, FI was an intermediate stage, M was a later more matured stage. The N and C contents in the soils confirmed a different developmental stage with a kind of gradient from the unvegetated bare soil (BS site through RW, FI up to M site. The floristic communities were composed of 21 pioneer plants belonging to 14 species. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis showed different bacterial genetic structures per each floristic consortium which differed also from the BS site. When plants of the same species occurred within the same site, almost all their bacterial communities clustered together exhibiting a plant species effect. Unifrac significance value (P<0.05 on 16S rRNA gene diversity revealed significant differences (P<0.05 between BS site and the vegetated sites with a weak similarity to the RW site. The intermediate plant colonization stage FI did not differ significantly from the RW and the M vegetated sites. These results pointed out the effect of different floristic communities rhizospheres on their soil bacterial communities.

  13. Flash flood modelling for ungauged catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garambois, P.-A.; Roux, H.; Larnier, K.; Dartus, D.

    2012-04-01

    Flash flood is a very intense and quick hydrologic response of a catchment to rainfall. This phenomenon has a high spatial-temporal variability as its generating storm, often hitting small catchments (few km2). Data collected by (Gaume et al. 2009) about 500 flash floods over the last 50 years showed that they could occur everywhere in Europe and more often in the Mediterranean regions, Alpine regions and continental Europe. Given the small spatial-temporal scales and high variability of flash floods, their prediction remains a hard exercise as the necessary data are often scarce. Flash flood prediction on ungauged catchments is one of the challenges of hydrological modelling as defined by (Sivapalan et al. 2003). Several studies have been headed up with the MARINE model (Modélisation de l'Anticipation du Ruissellement et des Inondations pour des évèNements Extrêmes) for the Gard region (France), (Roux et al. 2011), (Castaings et al. 2009). This physically based spatially distributed rainfall runoff model is dedicated to flash flood prediction. The study aims at finding a methodology for flash flood prediction at ungauged locations in the Cévennes-Vivarais region in particular. The regionalization method is based on multiple calibrations on gauged catchments in order to extract model structures (model + parameter values) for each catchment. Several mathematical methods (multiple regressions, transfer functions, krigging…) will then be tested to calculate a regional parameter set. The study also investigates the usability of additional hydrologic indices at different time scales to constrain model predictions from parameters obtained using these indices, and this independently of the model considered. These hydrologic indices gather information on hydrograph shape or catchment dynamic for instance. Results explaining global catchments behaviour are expected that way. The spatial-temporal variability of storms is also described through indices and linked with

  14. Measured and predicted aerosol light scattering enhancement factors at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Fierz-Schmidhauser

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Ambient relative humidity (RH determines the water content of atmospheric aerosol particles and thus has an important influence on the amount of visible light scattered by particles. The RH dependence of the particle light scattering coefficient (σsp is therefore an important variable for climate forcing calculations. We used a humidification system for a nephelometer which allows for the measurement of σsp at a defined RH in the range of 20–95%. In this paper we present measurements of light scattering enhancement factors f(RH=σsp(RH/σsp(dry from a 1-month campaign (May 2008 at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland. Measurements at the Jungfraujoch are representative for the lower free troposphere above Central Europe. For this aerosol type hardly any information about the f(RH is available so far. At this site, f(RH=85% varied between 1.2 and 3.3. Measured f(RH agreed well with f(RH calculated with Mie theory using measurements of the size distribution, chemical composition and hygroscopic diameter growth factors as input. Good f(RH predictions at RH<85% were also obtained with a simplified model, which uses the Ångström exponent of σsp(dry as input. RH influences further intensive optical aerosol properties. The backscatter fraction decreased by about 30% from 0.128 to 0.089, and the single scattering albedo increased on average by 0.05 at 85% RH compared to dry conditions. These changes in σsp, backscatter fraction and single scattering albedo have a distinct impact on the radiative forcing of the Jungfraujoch aerosol.

  15. Hydrological impact of high-density small dams in a humid catchment, Southeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, W.; Lei, H.; Yang, D.

    2017-12-01

    The Jiulong River basin is a humid catchment with a drainage area of 14,741 km2; however, it has over 1000 hydropower stations within it. Such catchment with high-density small dams is scarce in China. Yet few is known about the impact of high-density small dams on streamflow changes. To what extent the large number of dams alters the hydrologic patterns is a fundamental scientific issue for water resources management, flood control, and aquatic ecological environment protection. Firstly, trend and change point analyses are applied to determine the characteristics of inter-annual streamflow. Based on the detected change point, the study period is divided into two study periods, the ``natural'' and ``disturbed'' periods. Then, a geomorphology-based hydrological model (GBHM) and the fixing-changing method are adopted to evaluate the relative contributions of climate variations and damming to the changes in streamflow at each temporal scale (i.e., from daily, monthly to annual). Based on the simulated natural streamflow, the impact of dam construction on hydrologic alteration and aquatic ecological environment will be evaluated. The hydrologic signatures that will be investigated include flood peak, seasonality of streamflow, and the inter-annual variability of streamflow. In particular, the impacts of damming on aquatic ecological environment will be investigated using eco-flow metrics and indicators of hydrologic alteration (IHA) which contains 33 individual streamflow statistics that are closely related to aquatic ecosystem. The results of this study expect to provide a reference for reservoir operation considering both ecological and economic benefits of such operations in the catchment with high-density dams.

  16. Novel sampling methods for atmospheric semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs) in a high altitude alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offenthaler, I; Jakobi, G; Kaiser, A; Kirchner, M; Kräuchi, N; Niedermoser, B; Schramm, K-W; Sedivy, I; Staudinger, M; Thanner, G; Weiss, P; Moche, W

    2009-12-01

    High- and low-volume active air samplers as well as bulk deposition samplers were developed to sample atmospheric SOCs under the adverse conditions of a mountain environment. Active sampling employed separate filters for different European source regions. Filters were switched depending on daily trajectory forecasts, whose accuracy was evaluated post hoc. The sampling continued on three alpine summits over five periods of four months. The prevailing trajectories varied stronger between sampling periods than between stations. The sampling equipment (active and bulk deposition) proved dependable for operation in a mountain environment, with idle times being mainly due to non-routine manipulations and connectivity.

  17. Alpine tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Macchiavelli

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The spectacular increase in tourism in the Alps in recent decades has been founded mainly on the boom in skiing, resulting in both strong real estate development and an increasing array of infrastructures and ski runs. Today the ski market seems to have virtually reached saturation point and the winter sports sector needs to diversify its offer through innovation. After a review of the main factors of change in mountain tourism, the paper presents a grid for interpreting the life cycle of alpine destinations, identifying the phases that characterize their evolution. The conditions that may favour innovation in alpine tourism are then identified, as well as the contradictions that frequently accompany them. In most cases, innovation is the result of a process that begins within the alpine community, frequently encouraged and supported by national and international institutions and with whose help structural difficulties are successfully overcome.La forte croissance qu’ont connue les pays alpins dans les dernières décennies a surtout été fondée sur l’offre des activités du ski, avec comme conséquence, un massif développement immobilier et la multiplication d’infrastructures et de pistes. Aujourd’hui, le marché du ski semble arriver à saturation, la Convention alpine a mis un frein à la poursuite du développement des domaines skiables et on observe donc avec intérêt la diversification de l’offre soutenue par l’innovation. Après avoir rappelé les facteurs de changement en cours les plus significatifs dans le tourisme montagnard, l’article présente une grille interprétative de l’évolution des destinations touristiques alpines, identifiant les phases qui ont caractérisé son développement. Ensuite, l’article propose une réflexion sur certaines conditions qui peuvent favoriser l’innovation dans le tourisme alpin, ainsi que sur les contradictions qui accompagnent souvent ces conditions. Dans la plupart des cas

  18. Origin and transport of sediments in an alpine glaciated catchment (Bossons glacier, France): a quantification combining hydro-sedimentary data, radio-frequency identification of pebbles, cosmogenic nuclides content and probabilistic methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guillon, Herve

    2016-01-01

    Among the most efficient agents of erosion, glaciers react dynamically to climate change, leading to a significant adjustment of downstream sediment flux. Present-day global warming raises the question regarding the evolution of the sediment load originating from partially glaciated catchment. The detrital export from such environment results from erosion processes operating within distinct geomorphologic domains: supra-glacial rock-walls, ice-covered substratum and the pro-glacial area, downstream from the glacier. The general intent of this doctoral research is therefore to characterize the origin and transport of sediments in the watersheds of two streams draining Bossons glacier (Mont-Blanc massif, France).For this purpose, the components of the sediment flux coming from supra-glacial, sub-glacial and pro-glacial domains are separated and quantified by innovating methods: i. Using the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides concentrations as evidence of a supra-glacial transport; ii. Combining meteorological data and hydro-sedimentary data acquired at a high time resolution (2 min) and completed by multi-linear models; iii. Estimating sediment flux by source for 7 years and with a probabilistic method; iv. Associating radio-frequency identification of pebbles in the pro-glacial area with a stochastic transport analysis.Through numerical tools, applying the presented methodologies provides erosion rates of the supra-glacial, sub-glacial and pro-glacial domains, and determines the sediment transfer mechanisms within the catchment.Thus in the terminal part of the glacier, 52±14 to 9±4% of the supra-glacial load is transferred to the sub-glacial drainage network. Moreover, its evolution throughout the melt season leads to the export of the winter sediment production during a limited period. Furthermore, the drainage configuration beneath the glacier and its retreat control the remobilization of a long-term sediment stock. These processes explain the contrast between the

  19. Dense image matching of terrestrial imagery for deriving high-resolution topographic properties of vegetation locations in alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederheiser, R.; Rutzinger, M.; Bremer, M.; Wichmann, V.

    2018-04-01

    The investigation of changes in spatial patterns of vegetation and identification of potential micro-refugia requires detailed topographic and terrain information. However, mapping alpine topography at very detailed scales is challenging due to limited accessibility of sites. Close-range sensing by photogrammetric dense matching approaches based on terrestrial images captured with hand-held cameras offers a light-weight and low-cost solution to retrieve high-resolution measurements even in steep terrain and at locations, which are difficult to access. We propose a novel approach for rapid capturing of terrestrial images and a highly automated processing chain for retrieving detailed dense point clouds for topographic modelling. For this study, we modelled 249 plot locations. For the analysis of vegetation distribution and location properties, topographic parameters, such as slope, aspect, and potential solar irradiation were derived by applying a multi-scale approach utilizing voxel grids and spherical neighbourhoods. The result is a micro-topography archive of 249 alpine locations that includes topographic parameters at multiple scales ready for biogeomorphological analysis. Compared with regional elevation models at larger scales and traditional 2D gridding approaches to create elevation models, we employ analyses in a fully 3D environment that yield much more detailed insights into interrelations between topographic parameters, such as potential solar irradiation, surface area, aspect and roughness.

  20. Inferring the colonization of a mountain range--refugia vs. nunatak survival in high alpine ground beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Konrad; Nicholls, James A; Stone, Graham N

    2011-01-01

    It has long been debated whether high alpine specialists survived ice ages in situ on small ice-free islands of habitat, so-called nunataks, or whether glacial survival was restricted to larger massifs de refuge at the periphery. We evaluate these alternative hypotheses in a local radiation of high alpine carabid beetles (genus Trechus) in the Orobian Alps, Northern Italy. While summits along the northern ridge of this mountain range were surrounded by the icesheet as nunataks during the last glacial maximum, southern areas remained unglaciated. We analyse a total of 1366 bp of mitochondrial (Cox1 and Cox2) data sampled from 150 individuals from twelve populations and 530 bp of nuclear (PEPCK) sequence sampled for a subset of 30 individuals. Using Bayesian inference, we estimate ancestral location states in the gene trees, which in turn are used to infer the most likely order of recolonization under a model of sequential founder events from a massif de refuge from the mitochondrial data. We test for the paraphyly expected under this model and for reciprocal monophyly predicted by a contrasting model of prolonged persistence of nunatak populations. We find that (i) only three populations are incompatible with the paraphyly of the massif de refuge model, (ii) both mitochondrial and nuclear data support separate refugial origins for populations on the western and eastern ends of the northern ridge, and (iii) mitochondrial node ages suggest persistence on the northern ridge for part of the last ice age. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Generation of future potential scenarios in an Alpine Catchment by applying bias-correction techniques, delta-change approaches and stochastic Weather Generators at different spatial scale. Analysis of their influence on basic and drought statistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collados-Lara, Antonio-Juan; Pulido-Velazquez, David; Pardo-Iguzquiza, Eulogio

    2017-04-01

    Assessing impacts of potential future climate change scenarios in precipitation and temperature is essential to design adaptive strategies in water resources systems. The objective of this work is to analyze the possibilities of different statistical downscaling methods to generate future potential scenarios in an Alpine Catchment from historical data and the available climate models simulations performed in the frame of the CORDEX EU project. The initial information employed to define these downscaling approaches are the historical climatic data (taken from the Spain02 project for the period 1971-2000 with a spatial resolution of 12.5 Km) and the future series provided by climatic models in the horizon period 2071-2100 . We have used information coming from nine climate model simulations (obtained from five different Regional climate models (RCM) nested to four different Global Climate Models (GCM)) from the European CORDEX project. In our application we have focused on the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 8.5 emissions scenario, which is the most unfavorable scenario considered in the fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For each RCM we have generated future climate series for the period 2071-2100 by applying two different approaches, bias correction and delta change, and five different transformation techniques (first moment correction, first and second moment correction, regression functions, quantile mapping using distribution derived transformation and quantile mapping using empirical quantiles) for both of them. Ensembles of the obtained series were proposed to obtain more representative potential future climate scenarios to be employed to study potential impacts. In this work we propose a non-equifeaseble combination of the future series giving more weight to those coming from models (delta change approaches) or combination of models and techniques that provides better approximation to the basic

  2. Mountain Rivers and Climate Change: Analysis of hazardous events in torrents of small alpine watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutzmann, Silke; Sass, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Torrential processes like flooding, heavy bedload transport or debris flows in steep mountain channels emerge during intense, highly localized rainfall events. They pose a serious risk on the densely populated Alpine region. Hydrogeomorphic hazards are profoundly nonlinear, threshold mediated phenomena frequently causing costly damage to infrastructure and people. Thus, in the context of climate change, there is an ever rising interest in whether sediment cascades of small alpine catchments react to changing precipitation patterns and how the climate signal is propagated through the fluvial system. We intend to answer the following research questions: (i) What are critical meteorological characteristics triggering torrential events in the Eastern Alps of Austria? (ii) The effect of external triggers is strongly mediated by the internal disposition of catchments to respond. Which factors control the internal susceptibility? (iii) Do torrential processes show an increase in magnitude and frequency or a shift in seasonality in the recent past? (iv) Which future changes can be expected under different climate scenarios? Quantifications of bedload transport in small alpine catchments are rare and often associated with high uncertainties. Detailed knowledge though exists for the Schöttlbach catchment, a 71 km2 study area in Styria in the Eastern Alps. The torrent is monitored since a heavy precipitation event resulted in a disastrous flood in July 2011. Sediment mobilisation from slopes as well as within-channel storage and fluxes are regularly measured by photogrammetric methods and sediment impact sensors (SIS). The associated hydro-meteorological conditions are known from a dense station network. Changing states of connectivity can thus be related to precipitation and internal dynamics (sediment availability, cut-and-fill cycles). The site-specific insights are then conceptualized for application to a broader scale. Therefore, a Styria wide database of torrential

  3. High-resolution phosphorus transfers at the catchment scale: the hidden importance of non-storm transfers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Jordan

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available High-resolution measurements of total phosphorus (TP concentrations in a stream draining a 5 km2 agricultural catchment (a sub-catchment of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland were made every 10 min by continuous flow instrumentation using new homogenisation, digestion and colorimetric phases. Concurrently, rainfall and stream discharge data were collected at 5 and 15 min intervals. Major P flushing episodes during storm events peaked on the rising limbs of storm hydrographs. A period of baseflow also indicated the importance of other sources that maintain the stream in a eutrophic state between storm events. These data provide insights into catchment processes that conform to definite patterns that, in a coarser sampling regime, might ordinarily be attributed to sampling and analytical 'noise'.

  4. Seroprevalence of pestivirus in four species of alpine wild ungulates in the High Valley of Susa, Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olde Riekerink, R G M; Dominici, A; Barkema, H W; de Smit, A J

    2005-07-01

    Wildlife, once infected, can serve as a reservoir of infectious diseases that form a constant threat to domestic livestock. To make control and eradication programs successful in the long-term, presence of pestivirus in wildlife populations should be monitored. The goal of this study was to investigate seroprevalence of pestivirus in four alpine wild ungulates in the High Valley of Susa, north-west Italy. Species studied were: red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). A further goal was using virus neutralisation tests (VNT) for four strains of pestivirus in chamois and wild boar. Three hundred and seventy-five serum samples collected during the hunting season of 1999 were tested for pestivirus specific antibodies. Positive sera of chamois and wild boar were subsequently tested in a VNT with four major subtypes of pestivirus, and virus isolation was performed. No antibodies were found in the 73 samples of roe deer, while 7 (12.5%), 8 (5.9%) and 28 (25.5%) of 56, 136 and 110 samples of wild boar, red deer and chamois were ELISA-positive, respectively. Different ranges of titers were found in the VNT and no pestivirus was isolated in the ELISA-positive wild boar and chamois samples. Several possibilities, which might explain the high seroprevalence in chamois are discussed. Pestivirus antibodies were found in three out of four large alpine ungulates in the High Valley of Susa. Seroprevalence was particularly high in chamois. Further investigation is needed to characterise the pestiviruses that circulate in these animals.

  5. Relationships between stream nitrate concentration and spatially distributed snowmelt in high-elevation catchments of the western U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrot, Danielle; Molotch, Noah P.; Williams, Mark W.; Jepsen, Steven M.; Sickman, James O.

    2014-11-01

    This study compares stream nitrate (NO3-) concentrations to spatially distributed snowmelt in two alpine catchments, the Green Lakes Valley, Colorado (GLV4) and Tokopah Basin, California (TOK). A snow water equivalent reconstruction model and Landsat 5 and 7 snow cover data were used to estimate daily snowmelt at 30 m spatial resolution in order to derive indices of new snowmelt areas (NSAs). Estimates of NSA were then used to explain the NO3- flushing behavior for each basin over a 12 year period (1996-2007). To identify the optimal method for defining NSAs and elucidate mechanisms underlying catchment NO3- flushing, we conducted a series of regression analyses using multiple thresholds of snowmelt based on temporal and volumetric metrics. NSA indices defined by volume of snowmelt (e.g., snowmelt ≤ 30 cm) rather than snowmelt duration (e.g., snowmelt ≤ 9 days) were the best predictors of stream NO3- concentrations. The NSA indices were better correlated with stream NO3- concentration in TOK (average R2= 0.68) versus GLV4 (average R2= 0.44). Positive relationships between NSA and stream NO3- concentration were observed in TOK with peak stream NO3- concentration occurring on the rising limb of snowmelt. Positive and negative relationships between NSA and stream NO3- concentration were found in GLV4 with peak stream NO3- concentration occurring as NSA expands. Consistent with previous works, the contrasting NO3- flushing behavior suggests that streamflow in TOK was primarily influenced by overland flow and shallow subsurface flow, whereas GLV4 appeared to be more strongly influenced by deeper subsurface flow paths.

  6. Performance changes during a weeklong high-altitude alpine ski-racing training camp in lowlander young athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hydren, Jay R; Kraemer, William J; Volek, Jeff S; Dunn-Lewis, Courtenay; Comstock, Brett A; Szivak, Tunde K; Hooper, David R; Denegar, Craig R; Maresh, Carl M

    2013-04-01

    Thousands of youth athletes travel to high altitude to participate in lift-access alpine sports. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of acute high-altitude exposure on balance, choice reaction time, power, quickness, flexibility, strength endurance, and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max in youth lowlander athletes during a weeklong preseason training camp in Summit County, CO, USA. Eleven youth ski racers (4 boys and 7 girls; age, 13.7 ± 0.5 years; height, 157.2 ± 12.6 cm; weight, 52.4 ± 6.8 kg) with 7.7 ± 2.2 skiing years of experience participated in baseline testing at 160 m one week before the camp and a set of daily tests in the morning and afternoon at 2,828 m and skied between 3,328 and 3,802 m during a 6-day camp. Balance and choice reaction time tests were stagnant or improved slightly during the first 3 days and then improved on days 4 and 6. Vertical jump, flexibility, T-agility test, and push-ups in 1 minute improved on day 6. The number of sit-ups in 1 minute did not improve, and scores on the multistage fitness test decreased 20.34%. There was no effect of Lake Louise acute mountain sickness (AMS) questionnaire scores on performance variables measured. Athletes sojourning to high altitude for ski camps can train on immediate ascent but should slowly increase training volume over the first 3 days. Athletes should expect improvements in balance and reaction time 3-6 days into acclimatization. Coaches and athletes should expect about 20% of youth lowlander athletes to have signs and symptoms of AMS during the first 3 days of altitude exposure for alpine lift access sports at altitudes of up to 3,800 m.

  7. Novel sampling methods for atmospheric semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs) in a high altitude alpine environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Offenthaler, I. [Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria); Jakobi, G. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen (German Research Centre for Environmental Health) (Germany); Kaiser, A. [ZAMG-Zentralanstalt fuer Meteorologie und Geo-dynamik (Austria); Kirchner, M. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen (German Research Centre for Environmental Health) (Germany); Kraeuchi, N. [WSL-Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (Switzerland); Niedermoser, B. [ZAMG-Zentralanstalt fuer Meteorologie und Geo-dynamik (Austria); Schramm, K.-W. [Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen (German Research Centre for Environmental Health) (Germany); Sedivy, I. [WSL-Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (Switzerland); Staudinger, M. [ZAMG-Zentralanstalt fuer Meteorologie und Geo-dynamik (Austria); Thanner, G.; Weiss, P. [Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria); Moche, W., E-mail: wolfgang.moche@umweltbundesamt.a [Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria)

    2009-12-15

    High- and low-volume active air samplers as well as bulk deposition samplers were developed to sample atmospheric SOCs under the adverse conditions of a mountain environment. Active sampling employed separate filters for different European source regions. Filters were switched depending on daily trajectory forecasts, whose accuracy was evaluated post hoc. The sampling continued on three alpine summits over five periods of four months. The prevailing trajectories varied stronger between sampling periods than between stations. The sampling equipment (active and bulk deposition) proved dependable for operation in a mountain environment, with idle times being mainly due to non-routine manipulations and connectivity. - Equipment for direction-specific air sampling and bulk deposition sampling in mountains was developed and tested.

  8. Analysis of a high-resolution regional climate simulation for Alpine temperature. Validation and influence of the NAO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Proemmel, K. [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH (Germany). Inst. fuer Kuestenforschung

    2008-11-06

    To determine whether the increase in resolution of climate models improves the representation of climate is a crucial topic in regional climate modelling. An improvement over coarser-scale models is expected especially in areas with complex orography or along coastlines. However, some studies have shown no clear added value for regional climate models. In this study a high-resolution regional climate model simulation performed with REMO over the period 1958-1998 is analysed for 2m temperature over the orographically complex European Alps and their surroundings called the Greater Alpine Region (GAR). The model setup is in hindcast mode meaning that the simulation is driven with perfect boundary conditions by the ERA40 reanalysis through prescribing the values at the lateral boundaries and spectral nudging of the large-scale wind field inside the model domain. The added value is analysed between the regional climate simulation with a resolution of 1/6 and the driving reanalysis with a resolution of 1.125 . Before analysing the added value both the REMO simulation and the ERA40 reanalysis are validated against different station datasets of monthly and daily mean 2m temperature. The largest dataset is the dense, homogenised and quality controlled HISTALP dataset covering the whole GAR, which gave the opportunity for the validation undertaken in this study. The temporal variability of temperature, as quantified by correlation, is well represented by both REMO and ERA40. However, both show considerable biases. The REMO bias reaches 3 K in summer in regions known to experience a problem with summer drying in a number of regional models. In winter the bias is strongly influenced by the choice of the temperature lapse rate, which is applied to compare grid box and station data at different altitudes, and has the strongest influence on inner Alpine subregions where the altitude differences are largest. By applying a constant lapse rate the REMO bias in winter in the high

  9. Decadal and seasonal trends of nutrient concentration and export from highly managed coastal catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yongshan; Wan, Lei; Li, Yuncong; Doering, Peter

    2017-05-15

    Understanding anthropogenic and hydro-climatic influences on nutrient concentrations and export from highly managed catchments often necessitates trend detection using long-term monitoring data. This study analyzed the temporal trend (1979-2014) of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations and export from four adjacent coastal basins in south Florida where land and water resources are highly managed through an intricate canal network. The method of integrated seasonal-trend decomposition using LOESS (LOcally weighted regrESSion) was employed for trend detection. The results indicated that long-term trends in TN and TP concentrations (increasing/decreasing) varied with basins and nutrient species, reflecting the influence of basin specific land and water management practices. These long-term trends were intervened by short-term highs driven by high rainfall and discharges and lows associated with regional droughts. Seasonal variations in TP were more apparent than for TN. Nutrient export exhibited a chemostatic behavior for TN from all the basins, largely due to the biogenic nature of organic N associated with the ubiquity of organic materials in the managed canal network. Varying degrees of chemodynamic export was present for TP, reflecting complex biogeochemical responses to the legacy of long-term fertilization, low soil P holding capacity, and intensive stormwater management. The anthropogenic and hydro-climatic influences on nutrient concentration and export behavior had great implications in nutrient loading abatement strategies for aquatic ecosystem restoration of the downstream receiving waterbody. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Alpine dams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  11. Characterising hydrological behaviour of springs draining different alpine formations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volze, N.; Smoorenburg, M.; Kienzler, P.; Naef, F.; Rabenstein, L.; Kinzelbach, W.

    2012-04-01

    The project SACflood (Susceptibility of alpine catchment flood runoff to changes in meteorological boundary conditions) concentrates on alpine areas and wants to identify catchments that show a damped reaction to runoff but may react unexpectedly strong to increased precipitation as observed in 2005 in the Schächen. The catchment showed a delayed and damped behaviour for smaller precipitation events but reacted with strongly increased discharge when a threshold amount of rainfall was reached, causing a flood with high damages. This is attributed to the complex interaction of storage and drainage mechanisms that are not yet well enough understood. Typical alpine geomorphic formations are identified that are likely to be associated with large storages which could considerably delay runoff reaction but still contribute to flow within a timescale relevant for flood formation. From these geomorphic formations deep drainage is measured as outflow from several springs. In addition natural tracers are measured in the springs. On a steep hill slope, associated to one of the observed springs, ground water levels are observed. Geoelectric profiles were recorded to depict the structure of the underground. Discharge measurements from the springs show remarkable differences between the sites. After long dry periods certain springs do not react to rainfall immediately but need considerable amounts of rain to increase discharge. Even steep slopes as well as large talus areas can substantially delay runoff. Observations of the groundwater levels reveal an unexpected picture of the underground. The water table is not as often assumed above the bedrock but at a depth of several meters within the highly fractured bedrock material. This can result in a much higher storage capacity of such slopes despite the steepness of the surface. On the basis of the results from field work conceptual ideas are developed. The influence of parameters such as the depth of the unsaturated zone and the

  12. Active and fossil mantle flows in the western Alpine region unravelled by seismic anisotropy analysis and high-resolution P wave tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salimbeni, Simone; Malusà, Marco G.; Zhao, Liang; Guillot, Stéphane; Pondrelli, Silvia; Margheriti, Lucia; Paul, Anne; Solarino, Stefano; Aubert, Coralie; Dumont, Thierry; Schwartz, Stéphane; Wang, Qingchen; Xu, Xiaobing; Zheng, Tianyu; Zhu, Rixiang

    2018-04-01

    The anisotropy of seismic velocities in the mantle, when integrated with high-resolution tomographic models and geologic information, can be used to detect active mantle flows in complex plate boundary areas, providing new insights on the impact of mantle processes on the topography of mountain belts. Here we use a densely spaced array of temporary broadband seismic stations to analyze the seismic anisotropy pattern of the western Alpine region, at the boundary between the Alpine and Apenninic slabs. Our results are supportive of a polyphase development of anisotropic mantle fabrics, possibly starting from the Jurassic to present. Geophysical data presented in this work, and geologic evidence taken from the literature, indicate that: (i) fossil fabrics formed during Tethyan rifting may be still preserved within the Alpine and Apenninic slabs; (ii) mantle deformation during Apenninic slab rollback is not compensated by a complete toroidal flow around the northern tip of the retreating slab; (iii) the previously observed continuous trend of anisotropy fast axes near-parallel to the western Alpine arc is confirmed. We observe that this arc-parallel trend of fast axes is located in correspondence to a low velocity anomaly in the European upper mantle, beneath regions of the Western and Ligurian Alps showing the highest uplift rates. We propose that the progressive rollback of the Apenninic slab, in the absence of a counterclockwise toroidal flow at its northern tip, induced a suction effect at the scale of the supraslab mantle. The resulting mantle flow pattern was characterized by an asthenospheric counterflow at the rear of the unbroken Western Alps slab and around its southern tip, and by an asthenospheric upwelling, mirrored by low P wave velocities, that would have favored the topographic uplift of the Alpine belt from the Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean sea.

  13. An appraisal of precipitation distribution in the high-altitude catchments of the Indus basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahri, Zakir Hussain; Ludwig, Fulco; Moors, Eddy; Ahmad, Bashir; Khan, Asif; Kabat, Pavel

    2016-04-01

    Scarcity of in-situ observations coupled with high orographic influences has prevented a comprehensive assessment of precipitation distribution in the high-altitude catchments of Indus basin. Available data are generally fragmented and scattered with different organizations and mostly cover the valleys. Here, we combine most of the available station data with the indirect precipitation estimates at the accumulation zones of major glaciers to analyse altitudinal dependency of precipitation in the high-altitude Indus basin. The available observations signified the importance of orography in each sub-hydrological basin but could not infer an accurate distribution of precipitation with altitude. We used Kriging with External Drift (KED) interpolation scheme with elevation as a predictor to appraise spatiotemporal distribution of mean monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation for the period of 1998-2012. The KED-based annual precipitation estimates are verified by the corresponding basin-wide observed specific runoffs, which show good agreement. In contrast to earlier studies, our estimates reveal substantially higher precipitation in most of the sub-basins indicating two distinct rainfall maxima; 1st along southern and lower most slopes of Chenab, Jhelum, Indus main and Swat basins, and 2nd around north-west corner of Shyok basin in the central Karakoram. The study demonstrated that the selected gridded precipitation products covering this region are prone to significant errors. In terms of quantitative estimates, ERA-Interim is relatively close to the observations followed by WFDEI and TRMM, while APHRODITE gives highly underestimated precipitation estimates in the study area. Basin-wide seasonal and annual correction factors introduced for each gridded dataset can be useful for lumped hydrological modelling studies, while the estimated precipitation distribution can serve as a basis for bias correction of any gridded precipitation products for the study area

  14. Climate signal in d13C of wood lignin methoxyl groups from high-elevation alpine larch trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichelmann, Dana; Greule, Markus; Treydte, Kerstin; Keppler, Frank; Esper, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Tree-rings of high alpine larch trees (Larix decidua) were investigated by a recently established method that measures d13C values of the wood lignin methoxyl groups (Greule et al. 2009). The resulting d13C time series were tested for their potential as a climate proxy. For this 37 larch trees were sampled at the tree line near Simplon Village (Southern Switzerland). They were analysed for their tree-ring width (TRW) and from five individuals d13C of the wood lignin methoxyl groups (d13Cmethoxyl) were measured at annual resolution from 1971-2009 and at pentadal resolution from 1747-2009. The d13Cmethoxyl chronologies were corrected for the anthropogenic change in atmospheric CO2 concentration and its decreasing d13C value. Further, the physiological response of the trees to these atmospheric changes was corrected using the flexible correction factor approach of Treydte et al. (2009), which minimise the residuals with the target climate data. This approach results in the highest so far reported correction factors of 0.032 - 0.036‰/ppmv CO2, which are explained by a low water-use efficiency of deciduous larch. The climate response of the new d13Cmethoxyl proxy shows a significant correlation of 0.75 for the annually and 0.87 for the pentadally resolved data with June to August temperatures. TRW shows also significant correlations with June to August temperatures, but they are lower than the correlations observed for the d13Cmethoxyl chronologies. These results indicate the potential of d13Cmethoxyl chronologies as a summer temperature proxy from high-elevation alpine trees with an even stronger signal than reported from earlier published tree-ring width and maximum latewood density temperature reconstructions. References: Greule, M., Mosandl, A., Hamilton, J.T.G., Keppler, F., 2009. A simple rapid method to precisely determine 13C/12C ratios of plant methoxyl groups. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 23(11): 1710-1714. Treydte, K.S., Frank, D.C., Saurer, M

  15. Quantitative ecological relationships in the alpine grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey, based on 56 000 points at 102 sampling sites in the Tsehlanyane valley of the Oxbow (Madibamatso) Dam catchment in the alpine grassland of Lesotho, indicates that the area is generally in good condition. Physiographic and floristic criteria were measured and the association between pairs of criteria statistically ...

  16. Classification of the eastern alpine vegetation of Lesotho | Morris ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Five vegetation communities in the alpine catchment of Lesotho were identified by hierarchical classification of the botanical composition data. Discriminant analysis indicated that these communities occupy particular topographic positions. The community-environmental relationships identified in this study were similar to ...

  17. Very high geothermal gradient in near surface of the Whataroa Valley adjacent to the Alpine Fault: topographic driving forces and permeable mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upton, P.; Sutherland, R.; Townend, J.; Coussens, J.; Capova, L.

    2015-12-01

    The first phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1B) yielded a geothermal gradient of 62.6 ± 2.1 °C/km from a depth of 126 m where it intersected the Alpine Fault principal slip surface beneath Gaunt Creek (Sutherland et al. 2012). Ambient fluid pressures in DFDP-2B at Whataroa River were 8-10% above hydrostatic and a geothermal gradient of >130°C/km was determined, the geothermal gradient being considerably higher than we had predicted previously. 3D coupled thermal/fluid flow models have been generated of the Whataroa Valley and the DFDP-2 drill site. Modelling confirms that the following features, present in the Whataroa Valley, are a requirement for a geothermal gradient of >130°C/km at a depth of 1km beneath the valley; high topography, permeability on the order of 10-15 m2 in both the mountains and beneath the valleys to depths of > 1km below the valley floor, and abundant fluid. The high permeability and large topographic driving force leads to abundant meteoric water flowing downward through the mountains, hitting the permeability barrier of the Alpine Fault and being pushed upward into the valleys. The high geothermal gradient of the DFDP-2B borehole implies that the valleys also have a very high permeability which is likely a result of rock damage along the Alpine Fault.

  18. Alpine research today

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  19. Clay mineralogy, strontium and neodymium isotope ratios in the sediments of two High Arctic catchments (Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindshaw, Ruth S.; Tosca, Nicholas J.; Piotrowski, Alexander M.; Tipper, Edward T.

    2018-03-01

    The identification of sediment sources to the ocean is a prerequisite to using marine sediment cores to extract information on past climate and ocean circulation. Sr and Nd isotopes are classical tools with which to trace source provenance. Despite considerable interest in the Arctic Ocean, the circum-Arctic source regions are poorly characterised in terms of their Sr and Nd isotopic compositions. In this study we present Sr and Nd isotope data from the Paleogene Central Basin sediments of Svalbard, including the first published data of stream suspended sediments from Svalbard. The stream suspended sediments exhibit considerable isotopic variation (ɛNd = -20.6 to -13.4; 87Sr / 86Sr = 0.73421 to 0.74704) which can be related to the depositional history of the sedimentary formations from which they are derived. In combination with analysis of the clay mineralogy of catchment rocks and sediments, we suggest that the Central Basin sedimentary rocks were derived from two sources. One source is Proterozoic sediments derived from Greenlandic basement rocks which are rich in illite and have high 87Sr / 86Sr and low ɛNd values. The second source is Carboniferous to Jurassic sediments derived from Siberian basalts which are rich in smectite and have low 87Sr / 86Sr and high ɛNd values. Due to a change in depositional conditions throughout the Paleogene (from deep sea to continental) the relative proportions of these two sources vary in the Central Basin formations. The modern stream suspended sediment isotopic composition is then controlled by modern processes, in particular glaciation, which determines the present-day exposure of the formations and therefore the relative contribution of each formation to the stream suspended sediment load. This study demonstrates that the Nd isotopic composition of stream suspended sediments exhibits seasonal variation, which likely mirrors longer-term hydrological changes, with implications for source provenance studies based on fixed

  20. Stacking and metamorphism of continuous segments of subducted lithosphere in a high-pressure wedge: The example of Alpine Corsica (France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitale Brovarone, Alberto; Beyssac, Olivier; Malavieille, Jacques; Molli, Giancarlo; Beltrando, Marco; Compagnoni, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Alpine Corsica consists of a stack of variably metamorphosed units of continental and Tethys-derived rocks. It represents an excellent example of high-pressure (HP) orogenic belt, such as the Western Alps, exposed over a small and accessible area. Compared to the Western Alps, the geology of Alpine Corsica is poorly unraveled. During the 1970s-80s, based on either lithostratigraphic or metamorphic field observations, various classifications of the belt have been proposed, but these classifications have been rarely matched together. Furthermore, through time, the internal complexity of large domains has been progressively left aside in the frame of large-scale geodynamic reconstructions. As a consequence, major open questions on the internal structure of the belt have remained unsolved. Apart from a few local studies, Alpine Corsica has not benefited of modern developments in petrology and basin research. This feature results in several uncertainties when combining lithostratigraphic and metamorphic patterns and, consequently, in the definition of an exhaustive architecture of the belt. In this paper we provide a review on the geology of Alpine Corsica, paying particular attention to the available lithostratigraphic and metamorphic classifications of the metamorphic terranes. These data are completed by a new and exhaustive metamorphic dataset obtained by means of thermometry based on Raman Spectroscopy of Carbonaceous Material (RSCM). This technique provides reliable insights on the peak temperature of the metamorphic history for CM-bearing metasediments. A detailed metamorphic characterization of metasediments, which have been previously largely ignored due to retrogression or to the lack of diagnostic mineralogy, is thus obtained and fruitfully coupled with the available lithostratigraphic data. Nine main tectono-metamorphic units are defined, from subgreenschist (ca. 280-300 °C) to the lawsonite-eclogite-facies (ca. 500-550 °C) condition. These units are

  1. High-performance simulation-based algorithms for an alpine ski racer’s trajectory optimization in heterogeneous computer systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dębski Roman

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Effective, simulation-based trajectory optimization algorithms adapted to heterogeneous computers are studied with reference to the problem taken from alpine ski racing (the presented solution is probably the most general one published so far. The key idea behind these algorithms is to use a grid-based discretization scheme to transform the continuous optimization problem into a search problem over a specially constructed finite graph, and then to apply dynamic programming to find an approximation of the global solution. In the analyzed example it is the minimum-time ski line, represented as a piecewise-linear function (a method of elimination of unfeasible solutions is proposed. Serial and parallel versions of the basic optimization algorithm are presented in detail (pseudo-code, time and memory complexity. Possible extensions of the basic algorithm are also described. The implementation of these algorithms is based on OpenCL. The included experimental results show that contemporary heterogeneous computers can be treated as μ-HPC platforms-they offer high performance (the best speedup was equal to 128 while remaining energy and cost efficient (which is crucial in embedded systems, e.g., trajectory planners of autonomous robots. The presented algorithms can be applied to many trajectory optimization problems, including those having a black-box represented performance measure

  2. Cooccurrence patterns of plants and soil bacteria in the high-alpine subnival zone track environmental harshness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. King

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants and soil microorganisms interact to play a central role in ecosystem functioning. To determine the potential importance of biotic interactions in shaping the distributions of these organisms in a high-alpine subnival landscape, we examine cooccurrence patterns between plant species and bulk-soil bacteria abundances. In this context, a cooccurrence relationship reflects a combination of several assembly processes: that both parties can disperse to the site, that they can survive the abiotic environmental conditions, and that interactions between the biota either facilitate survival or allow for coexistence. Across the entire landscape, 31% of the bacterial sequences in this dataset were significantly correlated to the abundance distribution of one or more plant species. These sequences fell into 14 clades, 6 of which are related to bacteria that are known to form symbioses with plants in other systems. Abundant plant species were more likely to have significant as well as stronger correlations with bacteria and these patterns were more prevalent in lower altitude sites. Conversely, correlations between plant species abundances and bacterial relative abundances were less frequent in sites near the snowline. Thus, plant-bacteria associations became more common as environmental conditions became less harsh and plants became more abundant. This pattern in cooccurrence strength and frequency across the subnival landscape suggests that plant-bacteria interactions are important for the success of life, both below- and above-ground, in an extreme environment.

  3. Behaviour of arsenic in forested catchments following a high-pollution period

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novák, M.; Erbanová, L.; Fottová, D.; Cudlín, Pavel; Kubena, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 159, č. 1 (2011), s. 204-211 ISSN 0269-7491 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Arsenic * Catchment * Soil * Flux * Mass balance * Biomass Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 3.746, year: 2011

  4. Historic records of organic compounds from a high Alpine glacier: influences of biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and dust transport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Müller-Tautges

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Historic records of α-dicarbonyls (glyoxal, methylglyoxal, carboxylic acids (C6–C12 dicarboxylic acids, pinic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, phthalic acid, 4-methylphthalic acid, and ions (oxalate, formate, calcium were determined with annual resolution in an ice core from Grenzgletscher in the southern Swiss Alps, covering the time period from 1942 to 1993. Chemical analysis of the organic compounds was conducted using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC coupled to electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS for dicarbonyls and long-chain carboxylic acids and ion chromatography for short-chain carboxylates. Long-term records of the carboxylic acids and dicarbonyls, as well as their source apportionment, are reported for western Europe. This is the first study comprising long-term trends of dicarbonyls and long-chain dicarboxylic acids (C6–C12 in Alpine precipitation. Source assignment of the organic species present in the ice core was performed using principal component analysis. Our results suggest biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and transport of mineral dust to be the main parameters influencing the concentration of organic compounds. Ice core records of several highly correlated compounds (e.g., p-hydroxybenzoic acid, pinic acid, pimelic, and suberic acids can be related to the forest fire history in southern Switzerland. P-hydroxybenzoic acid was found to be the best organic fire tracer in the study area, revealing the highest correlation with the burned area from fires. Historical records of methylglyoxal, phthalic acid, and dicarboxylic acids adipic acid, sebacic acid, and dodecanedioic acid are comparable with that of anthropogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs. The small organic acids, oxalic acid and formic acid, are both highly correlated with calcium, suggesting their records to be affected by changing mineral dust transport to the drilling site.

  5. High Shedding Potential and Significant Individual Heterogeneity in Naturally-Infected Alpine ibex (Capra ibex With Brucella melitensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Lambert

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Wildlife reservoirs of infectious diseases raise major management issues. In Europe, brucellosis has been eradicated in domestic ruminants from most countries and wild ruminants have not been considered important reservoirs so far. However, a high prevalence of Brucella melitensis infection has been recently identified in a French population of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex, after the emergence of brucellosis was confirmed in a dairy cattle farm and two human cases. This situation raised the need to identify the factors driving the persistence of Brucella infection at high prevalence levels in this ibex population. In the present paper, we studied the shedding pattern of B. melitensis in ibex from Bargy Massif, French Alps. Bacteriological examinations (1–15 tissues/samples per individual were performed on 88 seropositive, supposedly infected and euthanized individuals. Among them, 51 (58% showed at least one positive culture, including 45 ibex with at least one Brucella isolation from a urogenital sample or a lymph node in the pelvic area (active infection in organs in the pelvic area. Among these 45 ibex, 26 (30% of the total number of necropsied animals showed at least one positive culture for a urogenital organ and were considered as being at risk of shedding the bacteria at the time of capture. We observed significant heterogeneity between sex-and-age classes: seropositive females were most at risk to excrete Brucella before the age of 5 years, possibly corresponding to abortion during the first pregnancy following infection such as reported in the domestic ruminants. The high shedding potential observed in young females may have contributed to the self-sustained maintenance of infection in this population, whereas males are supposed to play a role of transmission between spatial units through venereal transmission during mating. This heterogeneity in the shedding potential of seropositive individuals should be considered in the future to

  6. Population demography of alpine butterflies: Boloria pales and Boloria napaea (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) and their specific adaptations to high mountain environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehl, Stefan; Ebertshäuser, Marlene; Gros, Patrick; Schmitt, Thomas

    2017-11-01

    High mountain ecosystems are extreme habitats, and adaptation strategies to this ecosystem are still poorly understood in most groups. To unravel such strategies, we performed a MRR study in the Hohe Tauern National Park (Salzburg, Austria) with two nymphalid butterfly species, Boloria pales and B. napaea. We analysed their population structure over one flight period by studying the development of population size and wing wear. B. pales had more individuals and a higher survival probability than B. napaea; the sensitivity to extreme weather conditions or other external influences was higher in B. napaea. We only observed proterandry in B. pales. Imagines of both species survived under snow for at least some days. Additionally, we observed a kind of risk-spreading, in that individuals of both species, and especially B. pales, have regularly emerged throughout the flight period. This emergence pattern divided the population's age structure into three phases: an initial phase with decreasing wing quality (emergence > mortality), followed by an equilibrium phase with mostly constant average wing condition (emergence = mortality) and a final ageing phase with strongly deteriorating wing condition (mortality » emergence). Consequently, neither species would likely become extinct because of particularly unsuitable weather conditions during a single flight period. The observed differences between the two species suggest a better regional adaptation of B. pales, which is restricted to high mountain systems of Europe. In contrast, the arctic-alpine B. napaea might be best adapted to conditions in the Arctic and not the more southern high mountain systems. However, this needs to be examined during future research in the Arctic.

  7. Observations of fluorescent aerosol-cloud interactions in the free troposphere at the Sphinx high Alpine research station, Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, I.; Lloyd, G.; Bower, K. N.; Connolly, P. J.; Flynn, M. J.; Kaye, P. H.; Choularton, T. W.; Gallagher, M. W.

    2015-09-01

    The fluorescent nature of aerosol at a high Alpine site was studied using a wide-band integrated bioaerosol (WIBS-4) single particle multi-channel ultra violet-light induced fluorescence (UV-LIF) spectrometer. This was supported by comprehensive cloud microphysics and meteorological measurements with the aims of cataloguing concentrations of bio-fluorescent aerosols at this high altitude site and also investigating possible influences of UV-fluorescent particle types on cloud-aerosol processes. Analysis of background free tropospheric air masses, using a total aerosol inlet, showed there to be a minor but statistically insignificant increase in the fluorescent aerosol fraction during in-cloud cases compared to out of cloud cases. The size dependence of the fluorescent aerosol fraction showed the larger aerosol to be more likely to be fluorescent with 80 % of 10 μm particles being fluorescent. Whilst the fluorescent particles were in the minority (NFl/NAll = 0.27±0.19), a new hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis approach, Crawford et al. (2015) revealed the majority of the fluorescent aerosol were likely to be representative of fluorescent mineral dust. A minor episodic contribution from a cluster likely to be representative of primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP) was also observed with a wintertime baseline concentration of 0.1±0.4 L-1. Given the low concentration of this cluster and the typically low ice active fraction of studied PBAP (e.g. pseudomonas syringae) we suggest that the contribution to the observed ice crystal concentration at this location is not significant during the wintertime.

  8. High resolution forecast of heavy precipitation with Lokal Modell: analysis of two case studies in the Alpine area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Elementi

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Northern Italy is frequently affected by severe precipitation conditions often inducing flood events with associated loss of properties, damages and casualties. The capability of correctly forecast these events, strongly required for an efficient support to civil protection actions, is still nowadays a challenge. This difficulty is also related with the complex structure of the precipitation field in the Alpine area and, more generally, over the Italian territory. Recently a new generation of non-hydrostatic meteorological models, suitable to be used at very high spatial resolution, has been developed. In this paper the performance of the non-hydrostatic Lokal Modell developed by the COSMO Consortium, is analysed with regard to a couple of intense precipitation events occurred in the Piemonte region in Northern Italy. These events were selected among the reference cases of the Hydroptimet/INTERREG IIIB project. LM run at the operational resolution of 7km provides a good forecast of the general rain structure, with an unsatisfactory representation of the precipitation distribution across the mountain ranges. It is shown that the inclusion of the new prognostic equations for cloud ice, rain and snow produces a remarkable improvement, reducing the precipitation in the upwind side and extending the intense rainfall area to the downwind side. The unrealistic maxima are decreased towards observed values. The use of very high horizontal resolution (2.8 km improves the general shape of the precipitation field in the flat area of the Piemonte region but, keeping active the moist convection scheme, sparse and more intense rainfall peaks are produced. When convective precipitation is not parametrised but explicitly represented by the model, this negative effect is removed.

  9. Isotopic chemical weathering behaviour of Pb derived from a high-Alpine Holocene lake-sediment record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutjahr, Marcus; Süfke, Finn; Gilli, Adrian; Anselmetti, Flavio; Glur, Lukas; Eisenhauer, Anton

    2017-04-01

    Several studies assessing the chemical weathering systematics of Pb isotopes provided evidence for the incongruent release of Pb from source rocks during early stages of chemical weathering, resulting in runoff compositions more radiogenic (higher) than the bulk source-rock composition [e.g. 1]. Deep NW Atlantic seawater Pb isotope records covering the last glacial-interglacial transition further support these findings. Clear excursions towards highly radiogenic Pb isotopic input in the deep NW Atlantic seen during the early Holocene, hence after the large-scale retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in North America, are interpreted to be controlled by preferential release of radiogenic Pb from U- and Th-rich mineral phases during early stages of chemical weathering that are less resistant to chemical dissolution than other rock-forming mineral phases [2-4]. To date, however, no terrestrial Pb isotope record exists that could corroborate the evidence from deep marine sites for efficient late deglacial weathering and washout of radiogenic Pb. We present a high-resolution adsorbed Pb isotope record from a sediment core retrieved from Alpine Lake Grimsel (1908 m.a.s.l.) in Switzerland, consisting of 117 Pb compositions over the past 10 kyr. This high-Alpine study area is ideally located for incipient and prolonged chemical weathering studies. The method used to extract the adsorbed lake Pb isotope signal is identical to previous marine approaches targeting the authigenic Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides fraction within the lake sediments [5, 6]. The Pb isotope compositions are further accompanied by various elemental ratios derived from the same samples that equally trace climatic boundary conditions in the Grimsel Lake area. The Pb isotopic composition recorded in Lake Grimsel is remarkably constant throughout the majority of the Holocene until ˜2.5 ka BP, despite variable sediment composition and -age, and isotopically relatively close to the signature of the granitic source rock

  10. Chemical composition of free tropospheric aerosol for PM1 and coarse mode at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Cozic

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The chemical composition of submicron (fine mode and supermicron (coarse mode aerosol particles has been investigated at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland as part of the GAW aerosol monitoring program since 1999. A clear seasonality was observed for all major components throughout the period with low concentrations in winter (predominantly free tropospheric aerosol and higher concentrations in summer (enhanced vertical transport of boundary layer pollutants. In addition, mass closure was attempted during intensive campaigns in March 2004, February–March 2005 and August 2005. Ionic, carbonaceous and non-refractory components of the aerosol were quantified as well as the PM1 and coarse mode total aerosol mass concentrations. A relatively low conversion factor of 1.8 for organic carbon (OC to particulate organic matter (OM was found in winter (February–March 2005. Organics, sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate were the major components of the fine aerosol fraction that were identified, while calcium and nitrate were the only two measured components contributing to the coarse mode. The aerosol mass concentrations for fine and coarse mode aerosol measured during the intensive campaigns were not typical of the long-term seasonality due largely to dynamical differences. Average fine and coarse mode concentrations during the intensive field campaigns were 1.7 μg m−3 and 2.4 μg m−3 in winter and 2.5 μg m−3 and 2.0 μg m−3 in summer, respectively. The mass balance of aerosols showed higher contributions of calcium and nitrate in the coarse mode during Saharan dust events (SDE than without SDE.

  11. Analysis of relation between geomorphologic processes and alpine vegetation in the high mountain landscape (Tatry Mts.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boltiziar, M.

    2003-01-01

    The aim was to present some information about starting of high mountains ecological monitoring and its first partial results. The research is focused on a long-term observation of vegetation changes (species composition, species spatial distribution) in relation to geomorphic processes and geo-relief attributes at meso- and micro-scale of landscape. We established in 2002 for this purpose six permanent plots (4 x 4 m) in the selected localities of High and Belianske Tatras Mts. (Author)

  12. Atmospheric deposition as a source of carbon and nutrients to barren, alpine soils of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.; Schmidt, S. K.; Cawley, K.

    2012-03-01

    Many alpine areas are experiencing intense deglaciation, biogeochemical changes driven by temperature rise, and changes in atmospheric deposition. There is mounting evidence that the water quality of alpine streams may be related to these changes, including rising atmospheric deposition of carbon (C) and nutrients. Given that barren alpine soils can be severely C limited, we evaluated the magnitude and chemical quality of atmospheric deposition of C and nutrients to an alpine site, the Green Lake 4 catchment in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using a long term dataset (2002-2010) of weekly atmospheric wet deposition and snowpack chemistry, we found that volume weighted mean dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were approximately 1.0 mg L-1and weekly concentrations reached peaks as high at 6-10 mg L-1 every summer. Total dissolved nitrogen concentration also peaked in the summer, whereas total dissolved phosphorus and calcium concentrations were highest in the spring. Relationships among DOC concentration, dissolved organic matter (DOM) fluorescence properties, and nitrate and sulfate concentrations suggest that pollutants from nearby urban and agricultural sources and organic aerosols derived from sub-alpine vegetation may influence high summer DOC wet deposition concentrations. Interestingly, high DOC concentrations were also recorded during "dust-in-snow" events in the spring. Detailed chemical and spectroscopic analyses conducted for samples collected in 2010 revealed that the DOM in many late spring and summer samples was less aromatic and polydisperse and of lower molecular weight than that of winter and fall samples and, therefore, likely to be more bioavailable to microbes in barren alpine soils. Bioavailability experiments with different types of atmospheric C sources are needed to better evaluate the substrate quality of atmospheric C inputs. Our C budget estimates for the Green Lake 4 catchment suggest that atmospheric deposition represents an

  13. The Rofental: a high Alpine research basin (1890–3770 m a.s.l. in the Ötztal Alps (Austria with over 150 years of hydrometeorological and glaciological observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Strasser

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive hydrometeorological and glaciological data set is presented, originating from a multitude of glaciological, meteorological, hydrological and laser scanning recordings at research sites in the Rofental (1891–3772 m a.s.l., Ötztal Alps, Austria. The data sets span a period of 150 years and hence represent a unique time series of rich high-altitude mountain observations. Their collection was originally initiated to support scientific investigation of the glaciers Hintereisferner, Kesselwandferner and Vernagtferner. Annual mass balance, glacier front variation, flow velocities and photographic records of the status of these glaciers were recorded. Later, additional measurements of meteorological and hydrological variables were undertaken, and over time a number of autonomous weather stations and runoff gauges were brought into operation; the available data now comprise records of temperature, relative humidity, short- and longwave radiation, wind speed and direction, air pressure, precipitation, and river water levels. Since 2001, a series of distributed (airborne and terrestrial laser scans is available, along with associated digital surface models. In 2016 a permanent terrestrial laser scanner was installed on Im hintern Eis (3244 m a.s.l. to continuously observe almost the entire area of Hintereisferner. The data and research undertaken at the sites of investigation in the Rofental area enable combined research of cryospheric, atmospheric and hydrological processes in complex terrain, and support the development of several state-of-the-art glacier mass balance and hydroclimatological models. The institutions taking part in the Rofental research framework promote their site in several international research initiatives. In INARCH (International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology, http://words.usask.ca/inarch, all original research data sets are now provided to the scientific community according to the

  14. The Rofental: a high Alpine research basin (1890-3770 m a.s.l.) in the Ötztal Alps (Austria) with over 150 years of hydrometeorological and glaciological observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Marke, Thomas; Braun, Ludwig; Escher-Vetter, Heidi; Juen, Irmgard; Kuhn, Michael; Maussion, Fabien; Mayer, Christoph; Nicholson, Lindsey; Niedertscheider, Klaus; Sailer, Rudolf; Stötter, Johann; Weber, Markus; Kaser, Georg

    2018-01-01

    A comprehensive hydrometeorological and glaciological data set is presented, originating from a multitude of glaciological, meteorological, hydrological and laser scanning recordings at research sites in the Rofental (1891-3772 m a.s.l., Ötztal Alps, Austria). The data sets span a period of 150 years and hence represent a unique time series of rich high-altitude mountain observations. Their collection was originally initiated to support scientific investigation of the glaciers Hintereisferner, Kesselwandferner and Vernagtferner. Annual mass balance, glacier front variation, flow velocities and photographic records of the status of these glaciers were recorded. Later, additional measurements of meteorological and hydrological variables were undertaken, and over time a number of autonomous weather stations and runoff gauges were brought into operation; the available data now comprise records of temperature, relative humidity, short- and longwave radiation, wind speed and direction, air pressure, precipitation, and river water levels. Since 2001, a series of distributed (airborne and terrestrial) laser scans is available, along with associated digital surface models. In 2016 a permanent terrestrial laser scanner was installed on Im hintern Eis (3244 m a.s.l.) to continuously observe almost the entire area of Hintereisferner. The data and research undertaken at the sites of investigation in the Rofental area enable combined research of cryospheric, atmospheric and hydrological processes in complex terrain, and support the development of several state-of-the-art glacier mass balance and hydroclimatological models. The institutions taking part in the Rofental research framework promote their site in several international research initiatives. In INARCH (International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology, http://words.usask.ca/inarch), all original research data sets are now provided to the scientific community according to the Creative Commons Attribution

  15. Plants in alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germino, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Alpine and subalpine plant species are of special interest in ecology and ecophysiology because they represent life at the climate limit and changes in their relative abundances can be a bellwether for climate-change impacts. Perennial life forms dominate alpine plant communities, and their form and function reflect various avoidance, tolerance, or resistance strategies to interactions of cold temperature, radiation, wind, and desiccation stresses that prevail in the short growing seasons common (but not ubiquitous) in alpine areas. Plant microclimate is typically uncoupled from the harsh climate of the alpine, often leading to substantially warmer plant temperatures than air temperatures recorded by weather stations. Low atmospheric pressure is the most pervasive, fundamental, and unifying factor for alpine environments, but the resulting decrease in partial pressure of CO2 does not significantly limit carbon gain by alpine plants. Factors such as tree islands and topographic features create strong heterogeneous mosaics of microclimate and snow cover that are reflected in plant community composition. Factors affecting tree establishment and growth and formation of treeline are key to understanding alpine ecology. Carbohydrate and other carbon storage, rapid development in a short growing season, and physiological function at low temperature are prevailing attributes of alpine plants. A major contemporary research theme asks whether chilling at alpine-treeline affects the ability of trees to assimilate the growth resources and particularly carbon needed for growth or whether the growth itself is limited by the alpine environment. Alpine areas tend to be among the best conserved, globally, yet they are increasingly showing response to a range of anthropogenic impacts, such as atmospheric deposition.

  16. Hygroscopic Properties and Chemical Composition of Aerosol Particles at the High Alpine Site Jungfraujoch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weingarter, E.; Gysel, M.; Sjoegren, S.; Baltesperger, U.; Alfarra, R.; Bower, K.; Coe, H.

    2004-03-01

    The hygroscopic properties of aerosols play a significant role in atmospheric phenomena such as acid deposition, visibility degradation and climate change. Due to the hygroscopic growth of the particles, water is often the dominant component of the ambient aerosol at high relative humidity (RH) conditions. The ability to absorb water depends on the particle chemical composition, dry size, and shape. The aim of this study is to link the chemical composition of the atmospheric aerosol to its hygroscopic properties. (author)

  17. Sediment transport during the snow melt period in a Mediterranean high mountain catchment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvera, B.; Lana-Renault, N.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.

    2009-07-01

    Transport of suspended sediment and solutes during the snow melt period (May-June, 2004) in the Izas catchment (Central Pyrenees) was studied to obtain a sediment balance and to assess the annual importance of sediment transport. The results showed that most sediment was exported in the form of solutes (75,6% of the total); 24.4% was exported as suspended sediment and no bed load was recorded. Sediment transport during the snow melt period represented 42.7% of the annual sediment yield. (Author) 7 refs.

  18. Sediment transport during the snow melt period in a Mediterranean high mountain catchment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvera, B.; Lana-Renault, N.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.

    2009-01-01

    Transport of suspended sediment and solutes during the snow melt period (May-June, 2004) in the Izas catchment (Central Pyrenees) was studied to obtain a sediment balance and to assess the annual importance of sediment transport. The results showed that most sediment was exported in the form of solutes (75,6% of the total); 24.4% was exported as suspended sediment and no bed load was recorded. Sediment transport during the snow melt period represented 42.7% of the annual sediment yield. (Author) 7 refs.

  19. Hygroscopicity of the submicrometer aerosol at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch, 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sjogren

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Data from measurements of hygroscopic growth of submicrometer aerosol with a hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA during four campaigns at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, are presented. The campaigns took place during the years 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005, each lasting approximately one month. Hygroscopic growth factors (GF, i.e. the relative change in particle diameter from dry diameter, D0, to diameter measured at higher relative humidity, RH are presented for three distinct air mass types, namely for: 1 free tropospheric winter conditions, 2 planetary boundary layer influenced air masses (during a summer period and 3 Saharan dust events (SDE. The GF values at 85% RH (D0=100 nm were 1.40±0.11 and 1.29±0.08 for the first two situations while for SDE a bimodal GF distribution was often found. No phase changes were observed when the RH was varied between 10–90%, and the continuous water uptake could be well described with a single-parameter empirical model. The frequency distributions of the average hygroscopic growth factors and the width of the retrieved growth factor distributions (indicating whether the aerosol is internally or externally mixed are presented, which can be used for modeling purposes.

    Measurements of size resolved chemical composition were performed with an aerosol mass spectrometer in parallel to the GF measurements. This made it possible to estimate the apparent ensemble mean GF of the organics (GForg using inverse ZSR (Zdanovskii-Stokes-Robinson modeling. GForg was found to be ~1.20 at aw=0.85, which is at the upper end of previous laboratory and field data though still in agreement with the highly aged and oxidized nature of the Jungfraujoch aerosol.

  20. High Resolution Habitat Suitability Modelling For Restricted-Range Hawaiian Alpine Arthropod Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability

  1. Causes and effects of long periods of ice cover on a remote high Alpine lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael STURM

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available The response of the physical and chemical limnology of Hagelseewli (2339 m a.s.l. to local meteorological forcing was investigated from 1996 to 1998 using an automatic weather station, thermistor chains, water samples and sediment traps. On-site meteorological measurements revealed the paramount importance of local topographic shading for the limnology of the lake. A high cliff to the south diminishes incident radiation by 15% to 90%, resulting in a long period of ice cover. Hence, the spring and summer seasons are extremely condensed, allowing only about 2 months per year for mixing, oxygen uptake, nutrient inflow, water exchange and phytoplankton growth. Regular measurements of water temperature, chemistry and diatom composition show that Hagelseewli responds very rapidly to changes in nutrient concentrations and light conditions. This response is restricted mainly to an extremely short productivity pulse, which takes place as soon as the lake is completely free of ice. Ice-free conditions are indicated by the occurrence of planktonic diatoms. In contrast to most low-altitude lakes, maximum productivity occurs in the middle of the water column (6-9 m, where first light, and then soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP, are the limiting factors. During the period of thawing, large amounts of ammonium enter the lake. Nevertheless, allochthonous nutrient input is not important because SRP, the limiting nutrient for algal growth, originates from the sediments. Water chemistry data and data from sediment traps show that, although autochthonous calcite precipitation does occur, the calcite crystals are redissolved completely in the bottom waters during the extended period of ice cover. Thus, the most important factor for changes in the nutrient budget, primary production and preservation of calcite is the bottom water oxygen status, which is governed by the occurrence of an ice-free period. We hypothesise that the duration of the ice-free period is of

  2. Distribution of VOCs between air and snow at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station, Switzerland, during CLACE 5 (winter 2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Starokozhev

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Volatile organic compounds (VOCs were analyzed in air and snow samples at the Jungfraujoch high alpine research station in Switzerland as part of CLACE 5 (CLoud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment during February/March 2006. The fluxes of individual compounds in ambient air were calculated from gas phase concentrations and wind speed. The highest concentrations and flux values were observed for the aromatic hydrocarbons benzene (14.3 μg.m−2 s−1, 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene (5.27 μg.m−2 s−1, toluene (4.40 μg.m−2 −1, and the aliphatic hydrocarbons i-butane (7.87 μg.m−2 s−1, i-pentane (3.61 μg.m−2 s−1 and n-butane (3.23 μg.m−2 s−1. The measured concentrations and fluxes were used to calculate the efficiency of removal of VOCs by snow, which is defined as difference between the initial and final concentration/flux values of compounds before and after wet deposition. The removal efficiency was calculated at −24°C (−13.7°C and ranged from 37% (35% for o-xylene to 93% (63% for i-pentane. The distribution coefficients of VOCs between the air and snow phases were derived from published poly-parameter linear free energy relationship (pp-LFER data, and compared with distribution coefficients obtained from the simultaneous measurements of VOC concentrations in air and snow at Jungfraujoch. The coefficients calculated from pp-LFER exceeded those values measured in the present study, which indicates more efficient snow scavenging of the VOCs investigated than suggested by theoretical predictions.

  3. Climate variability during the deglaciation and Holocene in a high-altitude alpine lake deduced from the sedimentary record from Laguna Seca, Sierra Nevada, southern Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camuera, Jon; Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; José Ramos-Román, María; García-Alix, Antonio; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco; Anderson, R. Scott

    2017-04-01

    High-resolution X-ray fluorescence (XRF), magnetic susceptibility (MS), color and lithological analyses have been carried out on a 3.6 m-long sediment core from Laguna Seca, a high-elevation dry lake from Sierra Nevada mountain range, southern Spain. This is the longest sedimentary record retrieved from an alpine lake in southern Iberian Peninsula. Besides, alpine lakes are very sensitive environments to climate changes and previous studies showed that Laguna Seca could provide an excellent record to identify millennial-scale climate variations during deglaciation and the whole Holocene. XRF analyses, in particular high calcium and low K/Ca ratios, show aridity phases, very well represented during Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the Younger Dryas (YD). Arid events are also shown at ca. 8.1 ka BP, ca. 4.4 ka BP and the latest Holocene. On the other hand, negative values in calcium and positive values in K/Ca appear in the Bølling-Allerød (BA) and during the early Holocene until ca. 6 ka BP, indicating more humidity and higher run-off. A progressive aridification trend is also observed in the Holocene, changing from more humid conditions during the early Holocene to more aridity during the late Holocene.

  4. Catchment-scale conservation units identified for the threatened Yarra pygmy perch (Nannoperca obscura) in highly modified river systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauer, Chris J; Unmack, Peter J; Hammer, Michael P; Adams, Mark; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2013-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation caused by human activities alters metapopulation dynamics and decreases biological connectivity through reduced migration and gene flow, leading to lowered levels of population genetic diversity and to local extinctions. The threatened Yarra pygmy perch, Nannoperca obscura, is a poor disperser found in small, isolated populations in wetlands and streams of southeastern Australia. Modifications to natural flow regimes in anthropogenically-impacted river systems have recently reduced the amount of habitat for this species and likely further limited its opportunity to disperse. We employed highly resolving microsatellite DNA markers to assess genetic variation, population structure and the spatial scale that dispersal takes place across the distribution of this freshwater fish and used this information to identify conservation units for management. The levels of genetic variation found for N. obscura are amongst the lowest reported for a fish species (mean heterozygosity of 0.318 and mean allelic richness of 1.92). We identified very strong population genetic structure, nil to little evidence of recent migration among demes and a minimum of 11 units for conservation management, hierarchically nested within four major genetic lineages. A combination of spatial analytical methods revealed hierarchical genetic structure corresponding with catchment boundaries and also demonstrated significant isolation by riverine distance. Our findings have implications for the national recovery plan of this species by demonstrating that N. obscura populations should be managed at a catchment level and highlighting the need to restore habitat and avoid further alteration of the natural hydrology.

  5. Hydrologic response to valley-scale structure in alpine headwaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weekes, Anne A.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Montgomery, David R.; Woodward, Andrea; Bolton, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Few systematic studies of valley-scale geomorphic drivers of streamflow regimes in complex alpine headwaters have compared response between catchments. As a result, little guidance is available for regional-scale hydrological research and monitoring efforts that include assessments of ecosystem function. Physical parameters such as slope, elevation range, drainage area and bedrock geology are often used to stratify differences in streamflow response between sampling sites within an ecoregion. However, these metrics do not take into account geomorphic controls on streamflow specific to glaciated mountain headwaters. The coarse-grained nature of depositional features in alpine catchments suggests that these landforms have little water storage capacity because hillslope runoff moves rapidly just beneath the rock mantle before emerging in fluvial networks. However, recent studies show that a range of depositional features, including talus slopes, protalus ramparts and 'rock-ice' features may have more storage capacity than previously thought.

  6. Solute transport dynamics in small, shallow groundwater-dominated agricultural catchments: insights from a high-frequency, multisolute 10 yr-long monitoring study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Aubert

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available High-frequency, long-term and multisolute measurements are required to assess the impact of human pressures on water quality due to (i the high temporal and spatial variability of climate and human activity and (ii the fact that chemical solutes combine short- and long-term dynamics. Such data series are scarce. This study, based on an original and unpublished time series from the Kervidy-Naizin headwater catchment (Brittany, France, aims to determine solute transfer processes and dynamics that characterise this strongly human-impacted catchment. The Kervidy-Naizin catchment is a temperate, intensive agricultural catchment, hydrologically controlled by shallow groundwater. Over 10 yr, five solutes (nitrate, sulphate, chloride, and dissolved organic and inorganic carbon were monitored daily at the catchment outlet and roughly every four months in the shallow groundwater. The concentrations of all five solutes showed seasonal variations but the patterns of the variations differed from one solute to another. Nitrate and chloride exhibit rather smooth variations. In contrast, sulphate as well as organic and inorganic carbon is dominated by flood flushes. The observed nitrate and chloride patterns are typical of an intensive agricultural catchment hydrologically controlled by shallow groundwater. Nitrate and chloride originating mainly from organic fertilisers accumulated over several years in the shallow groundwater. They are seasonally exported when upland groundwater connects with the stream during the wet season. Conversely, sulphate as well as organic and inorganic carbon patterns are not specific to agricultural catchments. These solutes do not come from fertilisers and do not accumulate in soil or shallow groundwater; instead, they are biogeochemically produced in the catchment. The results allowed development of a generic classification system based on the specific temporal patterns and source locations of each solute. It also considers the

  7. Simulation of Wind-Driven Snow Redistribution at a High-Elevation Alpine Site Using a Meso-Scale Atmospheric Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionnet, V.; Martin, E.; Masson, V.; Guyomarc'h, G.; Naaim-Bouvet, F.; Prokop, A.; Durand, Y.; Lac, C.

    2012-12-01

    In alpine regions, blowing snow events strongly influence the temporal and spatial evolution of the snow depth distribution throughout the winter season. We recently developed a new simulation system to gain understanding on the complex processes that drive the redistribution of snow by the wind in complex terrain. This new system couples directly the detailed snow-pack model Crocus with the meso-scale atmospheric model Meso-NH. A blowing snow scheme allows Meso-NH to simulate the transport of snow particles in the atmosphere. We used the coupled system to study a blowing snow event with snowfall that occurred in February 2011 in the Grandes Rousses range (French Alps). Three nested domains at an horizontal resolution of 450, 150 and 50 m allow the model to simulate the complex 3D precipitation and wind fields around our experimental site (2720 m a.s.l.) during this 22-hour event. Wind-induced snow transport is activated over the domains of higher resolution (150 and 50 m). We firstly assessed the ability of the model to reproduce atmospheric flows at high resolution in alpine terrain using a large dataset of observations (meteorological data, vertical profile of wind speed). Simulated blowing snow fluxes are then compared with measurements from SPC and mechanical snow traps. Finally a map of snow erosion and accumulation produced by Terrestrial Laser measurements allows to evaluate the quality of the simulated snow depth redistribution.

  8. Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleoclimate and alpine glacier fluctuations recorded by high-resolution grain-size data from an alpine lake sediment core, Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson Davis, P.; Machalett, Björn; Gosse, John

    2013-04-01

    Varved lake sediments, which provide ideal high-resolution climate proxies, are not commonly available in many geographic areas over long time scales. This paper utilizes high-resolution grain-size analyses (n = 1040) from a 520-cm long sediment core from Lower Titcomb Lake (LTL), which lies just outside the type Titcomb Basin (TTB) moraines in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. The TTB moraines lie between Lower Titcomb Lake and Upper Titcomb Lake (UTL), about 3 km beyond, and 200 m lower than the modern glacier margin and Gannett Peak (Little Ice Age) moraines in the basin. Based on cosmogenic exposure dating, the TTB moraines are believed to be Younger Dryas (YD) age (Gosse et al., 1995) and lie in a geomorphic position similar to several other outer cirque moraines throughout the western American Cordillera. Until recently, many of these outer cirque moraines were believed to be Neoglacial age. The sediment core discussed here is one of five obtained from the two Titcomb Lakes, but is by the far the longest with the oldest sediment depositional record. Two AMS radiocarbon ages from the 445- and 455-cm core depths (about 2% loss on ignition, LOI) suggest that the lake basin may have been ice-free as early as 16.1 or even 16.8 cal 14C kyr, consistent with 10Be and 26Al exposure ages from boulders and bedrock surfaces outside the TTB moraines. The 257-cm depth in the core marks an abrupt transition from inorganic, sticky gray silt below (rock flour production between the 257 and 466 cm core depths appear to be roughly correlative with the YD-Alleröd-Bölling-Meiendorf-Heinrich 1 climate events recognized in other terrestrial records and Northern Atlantic Ocean marine cores, but provide much higher resolution than most of those records from a climate-sensitive alpine region in North America.

  9. Changing climate and nutrient transfers: Evidence from high temporal resolution concentration-flow dynamics in headwater catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ockenden, M C; Deasy, C E; Benskin, C McW H; Beven, K J; Burke, S; Collins, A L; Evans, R; Falloon, P D; Forber, K J; Hiscock, K M; Hollaway, M J; Kahana, R; Macleod, C J A; Reaney, S M; Snell, M A; Villamizar, M L; Wearing, C; Withers, P J A; Zhou, J G; Haygarth, P M

    2016-04-01

    We hypothesise that climate change, together with intensive agricultural systems, will increase the transfer of pollutants from land to water and impact on stream health. This study builds, for the first time, an integrated assessment of nutrient transfers, bringing together a) high-frequency data from the outlets of two surface water-dominated, headwater (~10km(2)) agricultural catchments, b) event-by-event analysis of nutrient transfers, c) concentration duration curves for comparison with EU Water Framework Directive water quality targets, d) event analysis of location-specific, sub-daily rainfall projections (UKCP, 2009), and e) a linear model relating storm rainfall to phosphorus load. These components, in combination, bring innovation and new insight into the estimation of future phosphorus transfers, which was not available from individual components. The data demonstrated two features of particular concern for climate change impacts. Firstly, the bulk of the suspended sediment and total phosphorus (TP) load (greater than 90% and 80% respectively) was transferred during the highest discharge events. The linear model of rainfall-driven TP transfers estimated that, with the projected increase in winter rainfall (+8% to +17% in the catchments by 2050s), annual event loads might increase by around 9% on average, if agricultural practices remain unchanged. Secondly, events following dry periods of several weeks, particularly in summer, were responsible for high concentrations of phosphorus, but relatively low loads. The high concentrations, associated with low flow, could become more frequent or last longer in the future, with a corresponding increase in the length of time that threshold concentrations (e.g. for water quality status) are exceeded. The results suggest that in order to build resilience in stream health and help mitigate potential increases in diffuse agricultural water pollution due to climate change, land management practices should target

  10. Development of an estuarine assessment scheme for the management of a highly urbanised catchment/estuary system, Sydney estuary, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birch, G F; Gunns, T J; Chapman, D; Harrison, D

    2016-05-01

    As coastal populations increase, considerable pressures are exerted on estuarine environments. Recently, there has been a trend towards the development and use of estuarine assessment schemes as a decision support tool in the management of these environments. These schemes offer a method by which complex environmental data is converted into a readily understandable and communicable format for informed decision making and effective distribution of limited management resources. Reliability and effectiveness of these schemes are often limited due to a complex assessment framework, poor data management and use of ineffective environmental indicators. The current scheme aims to improve reliability in the reporting of estuarine condition by including a concise assessment framework, employing high-value indicators and, in a unique approach, employing fuzzy logic in indicator evaluation. Using Sydney estuary as a case study, each of the 15 sub-catchment/sub-estuary systems were assessed using the current scheme. Results identified that poor sediment quality was a significant issue in Blackwattle/Rozelle Bay, Iron Cove and Hen and Chicken Bay while poor water quality was of particular concern in Duck River, Homebush Bay and the Parramatta River. Overall results of the assessment scheme were used to prioritise the management of each sub-catchment/sub-estuary assessed with Blackwattle/Rozelle Bay, Homebush Bay, Iron Cove and Duck River considered to be in need of a high priority management response. A report card format, using letter grades, was employed to convey the results of the assessment in a readily understood manner to estuarine managers and members of the public. Letter grades also provide benchmarking and performance monitoring ability, allowing estuarine managers to set improvement targets and assesses the effectiveness of management strategies. The current assessment scheme provides an effective, integrated and consistent assessment of estuarine health and

  11. Using High-Resolution Data to Assess Land Use Impact on Nitrate Dynamics in East African Tropical Montane Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Suzanne R.; Weeser, Björn; Guzha, Alphonce C.; Rufino, Mariana C.; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Windhorst, David; Breuer, Lutz

    2018-03-01

    Land use change alters nitrate (NO3-N) dynamics in stream water by changing nitrogen cycling, nutrient inputs, uptake and hydrological flow paths. There is little empirical evidence of these processes for East Africa. We collected a unique 2 year high-resolution data set to assess the effects of land use (i.e., natural forest, smallholder agriculture and commercial tea plantations) on NO3-N dynamics in three subcatchments within a headwater catchment in the Mau Forest Complex, Kenya's largest tropical montane forest. The natural forest subcatchment had the lowest NO3-N concentrations (0.44 ± 0.043 mg N L-1) with no seasonal variation. NO3-N concentrations in the smallholder agriculture (1.09 ± 0.11 mg N L-1) and tea plantation (2.13 ± 0.19 mg N L-1) subcatchments closely followed discharge patterns, indicating mobilization of NO3-N during the rainy seasons. Hysteresis patterns of rainfall events indicate a shift from subsurface flow in the natural forest to surface runoff in agricultural subcatchments. Distinct peaks in NO3-N concentrations were observed during rainfall events after a longer dry period in the forest and tea subcatchments. The high-resolution data set enabled us to identify differences in NO3-N transport of catchments under different land use, such as enhanced NO3-N inputs to the stream during the rainy season and higher annual export in agricultural subcatchments (4.9 ± 0.3 to 12.0 ± 0.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1) than in natural forest (2.6 ± 0.2 kg N ha-1 yr-1). This emphasizes the usefulness of our monitoring approach to improve the understanding of land use effects on riverine N exports in tropical landscapes, but also the need to apply such methods in other regions.

  12. Intensive precipitation observation greatly improves hydrological modelling of the poorly gauged high mountain Mabengnong catchment in the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Zhang, Fan; Zhang, Hongbo; Scott, Christopher A.; Zeng, Chen; Shi, Xiaonan

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is one of the most critical inputs for models used to improve understanding of hydrological processes. In high mountain areas, it is challenging to generate a reliable precipitation data set capturing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity due to the harsh climate, extreme terrain and the lack of observations. This study conducts intensive observation of precipitation in the Mabengnong catchment in the southeast of the Tibetan Plateau during July to August 2013. Because precipitation is greatly influenced by altitude, the observed data are used to characterize the precipitation gradient (PG) and hourly distribution (HD), showing that the average PG is 0.10, 0.28 and 0.26 mm/d/100 m and the average duration is around 0.1, 0.8 and 5.2 h for trace, light and moderate rain, respectively. A distributed biosphere hydrological model based on water and energy budgets with improved physical process for snow (WEB-DHM-S) is applied to simulate the hydrological processes with gridded precipitation data derived from a lower altitude meteorological station and the PG and HD characterized for the study area. The observed runoff, MODIS/Terra snow cover area (SCA) data, and MODIS/Terra land surface temperature (LST) data are used for model calibration and validation. Runoff, SCA and LST simulations all show reasonable results. Sensitivity analyses illustrate that runoff is largely underestimated without considering PG, indicating that short-term intensive precipitation observation has the potential to greatly improve hydrological modelling of poorly gauged high mountain catchments.

  13. High spatial-temporal resolution and integrated surface and subsurface precipitation-runoff modelling for a small stormwater catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailegeorgis, Teklu T.; Alfredsen, Knut

    2018-02-01

    Reliable runoff estimation is important for design of water infrastructure and flood risk management in urban catchments. We developed a spatially distributed Precipitation-Runoff (P-R) model that explicitly represents the land cover information, performs integrated modelling of surface and subsurface components of the urban precipitation water cycle and flow routing. We conducted parameter calibration and validation for a small (21.255 ha) stormwater catchment in Trondheim City during Summer-Autumn events and season, and snow-influenced Winter-Spring seasons at high spatial and temporal resolutions of respectively 5 m × 5 m grid size and 2 min. The calibration resulted in good performance measures (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, NSE = 0.65-0.94) and acceptable validation NSE for the seasonal and snow-influenced periods. The infiltration excess surface runoff dominates the peak flows while the contribution of subsurface flow to the sewer pipes also augments the peak flows. Based on the total volumes of simulated flow in sewer pipes (Qsim) and precipitation (P) during the calibration periods, the Qsim/P ranges from 21.44% for an event to 56.50% for the Winter-Spring season, which are in close agreement with the observed volumes (Qobs/P). The lowest percentage of precipitation volume that is transformed to the total simulated runoff in the catchment (QT) is 79.77%. Computation of evapotranspiration (ET) indicated that the ET/P is less than 3% for the events and snow-influenced seasons while it is about 18% for the Summer-Autumn season. The subsurface flow contribution to the sewer pipes are markedly higher than the total surface runoff volume for some events and the Summer-Autumn season. The peakiest flow rates correspond to the Winter-Spring season. Therefore, urban runoff simulation for design and management purposes should include two-way interactions between the subsurface runoff and flow in sewer pipes, and snow-influenced seasons. The developed urban P-R model is

  14. Three very high resolution optical images for land use mapping of a suburban catchment: input to distributed hydrological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacqueminet, Christine; Kermadi, Saïda; Michel, Kristell; Jankowfsky, Sonja; Braud, Isabelle; Branger, Flora; Beal, David; Gagnage, Matthieu

    2010-05-01

    Keywords : land cover mapping, very high resolution, remote sensing processing techniques, object oriented approach, distributed hydrological model, peri-urban area Urbanization and other modifications of land use affect the hydrological cycle of suburban catchments. In order to quantify these impacts, the AVuPUR project (Assessing the Vulnerability of Peri-Urban Rivers) is currently developing a distributed hydrological model that includes anthropogenic features. The case study is the Yzeron catchment (150 km²), located close to Lyon city, France. This catchment experiences a growing of urbanization and a modification of traditional land use since the middle of the 20th century, resulting in an increase of flooding, water pollution and river banks erosion. This contribution discusses the potentials of automated data processing techniques on three different VHR images, in order to produce appropriate and detailed land cover data for the models. Of particular interest is the identification of impermeable surfaces (buildings, roads, and parking places) and permeable surfaces (forest areas, agricultural fields, gardens, trees…) within the catchment, because their infiltration capacity and their impact on runoff generation are different. Three aerial and spatial images were acquired: (1) BD Ortho IGN aerial images, 0.50 m resolution, visible bands, may 5th 2008; (2) QuickBird satellite image, 2.44 m resolution, visible and near-infrared bands, august 29th 2008; (3) Spot satellite image, 2.50 m resolution, visible and near-infrared bands, September 22nd 2008. From these images, we developed three image processing methods: (1) a pixel-based method associated to a segmentation using Matlab®, (2) a pixel-based method using ENVI®, (3) an object-based classification using Definiens®. We extracted six land cover types from the BD Ortho IGN (visible bands) and height classes from the satellite images (visible and near infrared bands). The three classified images are

  15. Assessment and management of debris-flow risk in a tropical high-mountain catchment in Santa Teresa, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Holger; Buis, Daniel; Huggel, Christian; Bühler, Yves; Choquevilca, Walter; Fernandez, Felipe; García, Javier; Giráldez, Claudia; Loarte, Edwin; Masias, Paul; Portocarreo, César; Price, Karen; Walser, Marco

    2015-04-01

    The local center of Santa Teresa (Cusco Region, Peru, 7 km northwest of the ruins of Machu Picchu) has been affected by several large debris-flow events in the recent past. In January and February 1998, three events of extreme magnitudes with estimated total volumes of several tens of millions cubic meters each, caused the destruction of most parts of the municipality and resulted in a resettlement of the town on higher grounds. Additionally, several settlements further upstream, as well valuable infrastructure such as bridges, a railway, and a hydropower plant, were destroyed. Some events were related to large-scale slope instabilities and landslide processes in glacial sediments that transformed into highly mobile debris flows. However, the exact trigger mechanisms are still not entirely clear, and the potential role of glacial lakes for past and future mass flows remains to be analyzed. Here we applied RAMMS (RApid Mass Movement System), a physically based dynamic model, to reconstruct one of the 1998 events in the Sacsara catchment using the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (ASTER GDEM) with 30 m spatial resolution and a photogrammetric DEM compiled from ALOS PRISM data with 6 m spatial resolution. A sensitivity analysis for various model parameters such as friction and starting conditions was performed, along with an assessment of potential trigger factors. Based on these results, further potential debris-flows for this catchment were modeled, including outburst scenarios of several glacial lakes. In combination with a vulnerability analysis, these hazard scenarios were then incorporated in a qualitative risk analysis. To further reduce the risk for the local communities, technical risk sheets were elaborated for each of the 17 local settlements in the catchment. Furthermore an Early Warning System (EWS) has been designed. The modular structure of the EWS aims at a first step to install an inexpensive but efficient system to detect debris-flow type mass

  16. Evaluating the importance of surface soil contributions to reservoir sediment in alpine environments: a combined modelling and fingerprinting approach in the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palazón, L.; Gaspar, L.; Latorre, B.; Blake, W. H.; Navas, A.

    2014-09-01

    Soil in alpine environments plays a key role in the development of ecosystem services and in order to maintain and preserve this important resource, information is required on processes that lead to soil erosion. Similar to other mountain alpine environments, the Benasque catchment is characterised by temperatures below freezing that can last from November to April, intense rainfall events, typically in spring and autumn, and rugged topography which makes assessment of erosion challenging. Indirect approaches to soil erosion assessment, such as combined model approaches, offer an opportunity to evaluate soil erosion in such areas. In this study (i) the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) hydrological and erosion model and (ii) sediment fingerprinting procedures were used in parallel to assess the viability of a combined modelling and tracing approach to evaluate soil erosion processes in the area of the Posets-Maladeta Natural Park (central Spanish Pyrenees). Soil erosion rates and sediment contribution of potential sediment sources defined by soil type (Kastanozems/Phaeozems; Fluvisols and Cambisols) were assessed. The SWAT model suggested that, with the highest specific sediment yields, Cambisols are the main source of sediment in the Benasque catchment and Phaeozems and Fluvisols were identified as the lowest sediment contributors. Spring and winter model runs gave the highest and lowest specific sediment yield, respectively. In contrast, sediment fingerprinting analysis identified Fluvisols, which dominate the riparian zone, as the main sediment source at the time of sampling. This indicates the importance of connectivity as well as potential differences in the source dynamic of material in storage versus that transported efficiently from the system at times of high flow. The combined approach enabled us to better understand soil erosion processes in the Benasque alpine catchment, wherein SWAT identified areas of potential high sediment yield in large flood

  17. Headwater sediment dynamics in a debris flow catchment constrained by high-resolution topographic surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loye, Alexandre; Jaboyedoff, Michel; Theule, Joshua Isaac; Liébault, Frédéric

    2016-06-01

    Debris flows have been recognized to be linked to the amounts of material temporarily stored in torrent channels. Hence, sediment supply and storage changes from low-order channels of the Manival catchment, a small tributary valley with an active torrent system located exclusively in sedimentary rocks of the Chartreuse Massif (French Alps), were surveyed periodically for 16 months using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to study the coupling between sediment dynamics and torrent responses in terms of debris flow events, which occurred twice during the monitoring period. Sediment transfer in the main torrent was monitored with cross-section surveys. Sediment budgets were generated seasonally using sequential TLS data differencing and morphological extrapolations. Debris production depends strongly on rockfall occurring during the winter-early spring season, following a power law distribution for volumes of rockfall events above 0.1 m3, while hillslope sediment reworking dominates debris recharge in spring and autumn, which shows effective hillslope-channel coupling. The occurrence of both debris flow events that occurred during the monitoring was linked to recharge from previous debris pulses coming from the hillside and from bedload transfer. Headwater debris sources display an ambiguous behaviour in sediment transfer: low geomorphic activity occurred in the production zone, despite rainstorms inducing debris flows in the torrent; still, a general reactivation of sediment transport in headwater channels was observed in autumn without new debris supply, suggesting that the stored debris was not exhausted. The seasonal cycle of sediment yield seems to depend not only on debris supply and runoff (flow capacity) but also on geomorphic conditions that destabilize remnant debris stocks. This study shows that monitoring the changes within a torrent's in-channel storage and its debris supply can improve knowledge on recharge thresholds leading to debris flow.

  18. Role of glaciers in watershed hydrology: a preliminary study of a "Himalayan catchment"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. Thayyen

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available A large number of Himalayan glacier catchments are under the influence of humid climate with snowfall in winter (November–April and south-west monsoon in summer (June–September dominating the regional hydrology. Such catchments are defined as "Himalayan catchment", where the glacier meltwater contributes to the river flow during the period of annual high flows produced by the monsoon. The winter snow dominated Alpine catchments of the Kashmir and Karakoram region and cold-arid regions of the Ladakh mountain range are the other major glacio-hydrological regimes identified in the region. Factors influencing the river flow variations in a "Himalayan catchment" were studied in a micro-scale glacier catchment in the Garhwal Himalaya, covering an area of 77.8 km2. Three hydrometric stations were established at different altitudes along the Din Gad stream and discharge was monitored during the summer ablation period from 1998 to 2004, with an exception in 2002. These data have been analysed along with winter/summer precipitation, temperature and mass balance data of the Dokriani glacier to study the role of glacier and precipitation in determining runoff variations along the stream continuum from the glacier snout to 2360 m a.s.l. The study shows that the inter-annual runoff variation in a "Himalayan catchment" is linked with precipitation rather than mass balance changes of the glacier. This study also indicates that the warming induced an initial increase of glacier runoff and subsequent decline as suggested by the IPCC (2007 is restricted to the glacier degradation-derived component in a precipitation dominant Himalayan catchment and cannot be translated as river flow response. The preliminary assessment suggests that the "Himalayan catchment" could experience higher river flows and positive glacier mass balance regime together in association with strong monsoon. The important role of glaciers in this precipitation dominant system is

  19. Power variables and bilateral force differences during unloaded and loaded squat jumps in high performance alpine ski racers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Carson; Raschner, Christian; Platzer, Hans-Peter

    2009-05-01

    The purpose of this paper was to investigate the power-load relationship and to compare power variables and bilateral force imbalances between sexes with squat jumps. Twenty men and 17 women, all members of the Austrian alpine ski team (junior and European Cup), performed unloaded and loaded (barbell loads equal to 25, 50, 75, and 100% body weight [BW]) squat jumps with free weights using a specially designed spotting system. Ground reaction force records from 2 force platforms were used to calculate relative average power (P), relative average power in the first 100 ms of the jump (P01), relative average power in the first 200 ms of the jump (P02), jump height, percentage of best jump height (%Jump), and maximal force difference between dominant and nondominant leg (Fmaxdiff). The men displayed significantly higher values at all loads for P and jump height (p free weights.

  20. Signatures of Late Pleistocene fluvial incision in an Alpine landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matthew; Moore, Jeffrey R.

    2018-02-01

    Uncertainty regarding the relative efficacy of fluvial and glacial erosion has hindered attempts to quantitatively analyse the Pleistocene evolution of alpine landscapes. Here we show that the morphology of major tributaries of the Rhone River, Switzerland, is consistent with that predicted for a landscape shaped primarily by multiple phases of fluvial incision following a period of intense glacial erosion after the mid-Pleistocene transition (∼0.7 Ma). This is despite major ice sheets reoccupying the region during cold intervals since the mid-Pleistocene. We use high-resolution LiDAR data to identify a series of convex reaches within the long-profiles of 18 tributary channels. We propose these reaches represent knickpoints, which developed as regional uplift raised tributary bedrock channels above the local fluvial baselevel during glacial intervals, and migrated upstream as the fluvial system was re-established during interglacial periods. Using a combination of integral long-profile analysis and stream-power modelling, we find that the locations of ∼80% of knickpoints in our study region are consistent with that predicted for a fluvial origin, while the mean residual error over ∼100 km of modelled channels is just 26.3 m. Breaks in cross-valley profiles project toward the elevation of former end-of-interglacial channel elevations, supporting our model results. Calculated long-term uplift rates are within ∼15% of present-day measurements, while modelled rates of bedrock incision range from ∼1 mm/yr for low gradient reaches between knickpoints to ∼6-10 mm/yr close to retreating knickpoints, typical of observed rates in alpine settings. Together, our results reveal approximately 800 m of regional uplift, river incision, and hillslope erosion in the lower half of each tributary catchment since 0.7 Ma.

  1. Frost resistance in alpine woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research. Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover. Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate. In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers, and fruits) and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  2. Frost resistance of alpine woody plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilbert eNeuner

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This report provides a brief review of key findings related to frost resistance in alpine woody plant species, summarizes data on their frost resistance, highlights the importance of freeze avoidance mechanisms, and indicates areas of future research.Freezing temperatures are possible throughout the whole growing period in the alpine life zone. Frost severity, comprised of both intensity and duration, becomes greater with increasing elevation and, there is also a greater probability, that small statured woody plants, may be insulated by snow cover.Several frost survival mechanisms have evolved in woody alpine plants in response to these environmental conditions. Examples of tolerance to extracellular freezing and freeze dehydration, life cycles that allow species to escape frost, and freeze avoidance mechanisms can all be found. Despite their specific adaption to the alpine environment, frost damage can occur in spring, while all alpine woody plants have a low risk of frost damage in winter. Experimental evidence indicates that premature deacclimation in Pinus cembra in the spring, and a limited ability of many species of alpine woody shrubs to rapidly reacclimate when they lose snow cover, resulting in reduced levels of frost resistance in the spring, may be particularly critical under the projected changes in climate.In this review, frost resistance and specific frost survival mechanisms of different organs (leaves, stems, vegetative and reproductive over-wintering buds, flowers and fruits and tissues are compared. The seasonal dynamics of frost resistance of leaves of trees, as opposed to woody shrubs, is also discussed. The ability of some tissues and organs to avoid freezing by supercooling, as visualized by high resolution infrared thermography, are also provided. Collectively, the report provides a review of the complex and diverse ways that woody plants survive in the frost dominated environment of the alpine life zone.

  3. Estimating the snowfall limit in alpine and pre-alpine valleys: A local evaluation of operational approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehlmann, Michael; Gascón, Estíbaliz; Rohrer, Mario; Schwarb, Manfred; Stoffel, Markus

    2018-05-01

    The snowfall limit has important implications for different hazardous processes associated with prolonged or heavy precipitation such as flash floods, rain-on-snow events and freezing precipitation. To increase preparedness and to reduce risk in such situations, early warning systems are frequently used to monitor and predict precipitation events at different temporal and spatial scales. However, in alpine and pre-alpine valleys, the estimation of the snowfall limit remains rather challenging. In this study, we characterize uncertainties related to snowfall limit for different lead times based on local measurements of a vertically pointing micro rain radar (MRR) and a disdrometer in the Zulg valley, Switzerland. Regarding the monitoring, we show that the interpolation of surface temperatures tends to overestimate the altitude of the snowfall limit and can thus lead to highly uncertain estimates of liquid precipitation in the catchment. This bias is much smaller in the Integrated Nowcasting through Comprehensive Analysis (INCA) system, which integrates surface station and remotely sensed data as well as outputs of a numerical weather prediction model. To reduce systematic error, we perform a bias correction based on local MRR measurements and thereby demonstrate the added value of such measurements for the estimation of liquid precipitation in the catchment. Regarding the nowcasting, we show that the INCA system provides good estimates up to 6 h ahead and is thus considered promising for operational hydrological applications. Finally, we explore the medium-range forecasting of precipitation type, especially with respect to rain-on-snow events. We show for a selected case study that the probability for a certain precipitation type in an ensemble-based forecast is more persistent than the respective type in the high-resolution forecast (HRES) of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecasting System (ECMWF IFS). In this case study, the

  4. Instability of a highly vulnerable high alpine rock ridge: the lower Arête des Cosmiques (Mont Blanc massif, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravanel, L.; Deline, P.; Lambiel, C.; Vincent, C.

    2012-04-01

    Glacier retreat and permafrost degradation are actually more and more thought to explain the increasing instability of rock slopes and rock ridges in high mountain environments. Hot summers with numerous rockfalls we experienced over the last two decades in the Alps have indeed contributed to test/strengthen the hypothesis of a strong correlation between rockfalls and global warming through these two cryospheric factors. Rockfalls from recently deglaciated and/or thawing areas may have very important economic and social implications for high mountain infrastructures and be a fatal hazard for mountaineers. At high mountain sites characterized by infrastructures that can be affected by rockfalls, the monitoring of rock slopes, permafrost and glaciers is thus an essential element for the sustainability of the infrastructure and for the knowledge/management of risks. Our study focuses on a particularly active area of the Mont Blanc massif (France), the lower Arête des Cosmiques, on which is located the very popular Refuge des Cosmiques (3613 m a.s.l.). Since 1998, when a rockfall threatened a part of the refuge and forced to major stabilizing works, observations allowed to identify 10 detachments (20 m3 to > 1000 m3), especially on the SE face of the ridge. Since 2009, this face is yearly surveyed by terrestrial laser scanning to obtain high-resolution 3D models. Their diachronic comparison gives precise measurements of the evolution of the rock slope. Eight rock detachments have thus been documented (0.7 m3 to 256.2 m3). Rock temperature measurements at the ridge and the close Aiguille du Midi (3842 m a.s.l.), and observations of the evolution of the underlying Glacier du Géant have enable to better understand the origin of the strong dynamics of this highly vulnerable area: (i) rock temperature data suggest the presence of warm permafrost (i.e. close to 0°C) from the first meters to depth in the SE face, and cold permafrost in the NW face; (ii) as suggested by the

  5. Consequences for selected high-elevation butterflies and moths from the spread of Pinus mugo into the alpine zone in the High Sudetes Mountains

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, T.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 4, JUN (2016), č. článku e2094. ISSN 2167-8359 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : hruby jesenik mts * erebia-epiphron * species richness * lepidoptera * population * europe * assemblages * vegetation * gradients * patterns * Afforestation * Alpine tundra * Lepidoptera * Dwarf pine * Postglacial development * Central European mountains * Biodiversity loss Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.177, year: 2016

  6. Contrasting model complexity under a changing climate in a headwaters catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, L.; Williams, K. H.; Maxwell, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine, snowmelt-dominated catchments are the source of water for more than 1/6th of the world's population. These catchments are topographically complex, leading to steep weather gradients and nonlinear relationships between water and energy fluxes. Recent evidence suggests that alpine systems are more sensitive to climate warming, but these regions are vastly simplified in climate models and operational water management tools due to computational limitations. Simultaneously, point-scale observations are often extrapolated to larger regions where feedbacks can both exacerbate or mitigate locally observed changes. It is critical to determine whether projected climate impacts are robust to different methodologies, including model complexity. Using high performance computing and an integrated model of a representative headwater catchment we determined the hydrologic response from 30 projected climate changes to precipitation, temperature and vegetation for the Rocky Mountains. Simulations were run with 100m and 1km resolution, and with and without lateral subsurface flow in order to vary model complexity. We found that model complexity alters nonlinear relationships between water and energy fluxes. Higher-resolution models predicted larger changes per degree of temperature increase than lower resolution models, suggesting that reductions to snowpack, surface water, and groundwater due to warming may be underestimated in simple models. Increases in temperature were found to have a larger impact on water fluxes and stores than changes in precipitation, corroborating previous research showing that mountain systems are significantly more sensitive to temperature changes than to precipitation changes and that increases in winter precipitation are unlikely to compensate for increased evapotranspiration in a higher energy environment. These numerical experiments help to (1) bracket the range of uncertainty in published literature of climate change impacts on headwater

  7. Intra-basin variability of snowmelt water balance calculations in a subarctic catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney, Stephen E.; Carey, Sean K.; Pomeroy, John W.

    2006-03-01

    The intra-basin variability of snowmelt and melt-water runoff hydrology in an 8 km2 subarctic alpine tundra catchment was examined for the 2003 melt period. The catchment, Granger Creek, is within the Wolf Creek Research Basin, Yukon, which is typical of mountain subarctic landscapes in northwestern Canada. The study catchment was segmented into nine internally uniform zones termed hydrological response units (HRUs) based on their similar hydrological, physiographic, vegetation and soil properties. Snow accumulation exhibited significant variability among the HRUs, with greatest snow water equivalent in areas of tall shrub vegetation. Melt began first on southerly exposures and at lower elevations, yet average melt rates for the study period varied little among HRUs with the exception of those with steep aspects. In HRUs with capping organic soils, melt water first infiltrated this surface horizon, satisfying its storage capacity, and then percolated into the frozen mineral substrate. Infiltration and percolation into frozen mineral soils was restricted where melt occurred rapidly and organic soils were thin; in this case, melt-water delivery rates exceeded the frozen mineral soil infiltration rate, resulting in high runoff rates. In contrast, where there were slower melt rates and thick organic soils, infiltration was unlimited and runoff was suppressed. The snow water equivalent had a large impact on runoff volume, as soil storage capacity was quickly surpassed in areas of deep snow, diverting the bulk of melt water laterally to the drainage network. A spatially distributed water balance indicated that the snowmelt freshet was primarily controlled by areas with tall shrub vegetation that accumulate large quantities of snow and by alpine areas with no capping organic soils. The intra-basin water balance variability has important implications for modelling freshet in hydrological models.

  8. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Adaptive Evolution of Notopterygium incisum and Notopterygium franchetii, Two High-Alpine Herbal Species Endemic to China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Jia

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The extreme conditions (e.g., cold, low oxygen, and strong ultraviolet radiation of the high mountains provide an ideal natural laboratory for studies on speciation and the adaptive evolution of organisms. Up to now, few genome/transcriptome-based studies have been carried out on how plants adapt to conditions at extremely high altitudes. Notopterygium incisum and Notopterygium franchetii (Notopterygium, Apiaceae are two endangered high-alpine herbal plants endemic to China. To explore the molecular genetic mechanisms of adaptation to high altitudes, we performed high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq to characterize the transcriptomes of the two species. In total, more than 130 million sequence reads, 81,446 and 63,153 unigenes with total lengths of 86,924,837 and 62,615,693 bp, were generated for the two herbal species, respectively. OrthoMCL analysis identified 6375 single-copy orthologous genes between N. incisum and N. franchetii. In total, 381 positively-selected candidate genes were identified for both plants by using estimations of the non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rate. At least 18 of these genes potentially participate in RNA splicing, DNA repair, glutathione metabolism and the plant–pathogen interaction pathway, which were further enriched in various functional gene categories possibly responsible for environment adaptation in high mountains. Meanwhile, we detected various transcription factors that regulated the material and energy metabolism in N. incisum and N. franchetii, which probably play vital roles in the tolerance to stress in surroundings. In addition, 60 primer pairs based on orthologous microsatellite-containing sequences between the both Notopterygium species were determined. Finally, 17 polymorphic microsatellite markers (SSR were successfully characterized for the two endangered species. Based on these candidate orthologous and SSR markers, we detected that the adaptive evolution and species divergence

  9. [Progresses of alpine treeline formation mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Yu; He, Hong Shi; Gu, Xiao Nan; Xu, Wen Ru; Liu, Kai; Zong, Sheng Wei; Du, Hai Bo

    2016-09-01

    Alpine treelines represent one of the most distinct vegetation boundaries between canopy closed montane forest and treeless alpine vegetation. This transitional ecotone is highly sensitive to global and regional climate change and is considered as an ideal indicator of such changes. Treeline studies have evolved from morphological description to various hypotheses of treeline formation. Although individual hypothesis may provide reasonable explanation locally, a generalized hypothesis that is applicable on the global scale is still lacking. Temperature is considered the limited factor controlling the distribution of alpine treeline as low temperature restricts biochemical processes of tree growth. However, which particular biochemical processes are affected by low temperature remains unknown. This paper summarized the mechanisms of treeline formation with a focus on how low temperature affects photosynthesis characteristics, nutrient characteristics, non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) and antioxidant system. We also reviewed the key issues and future perspectives in treeline research.

  10. Riparian vegetation in the alpine connectome: Terrestrial-aquatic and terrestrial-terrestrial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaharescu, Dragos G; Palanca-Soler, Antonio; Hooda, Peter S; Tanase, Catalin; Burghelea, Carmen I; Lester, Richard N

    2017-12-01

    Alpine regions are under increased attention worldwide for their critical role in early biogeochemical cycles, their high sensitivity to environmental change, and as repositories of natural resources of high quality. Their riparian ecosystems, at the interface between aquatic and terrestrial environments, play important geochemical functions in the watershed and are biodiversity hotspots, despite a harsh climate and topographic setting. With climate change rapidly affecting the alpine biome, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the extent of interactions between riparian surface, lake and catchment environments. A total of 189 glacial - origin lakes were surveyed in the Central Pyrenees to test how key elements of the lake and terrestrial environments interact at different scales to shape riparian plant composition. Secondly, we evaluated how underlying ecotope features drive the formation of natural communities potentially sensitive to environmental change and assessed their habitat distribution. At the macroscale, vegetation composition responded to pan-climatic gradients altitude and latitude, which captured in a narrow geographic area the transition between large European climatic zones. Hydrodynamics was the main catchment-scale factor connecting riparian vegetation with major water fluxes, followed by topography and geomorphology. Lake sediment Mg and Pb, and water Mn and Fe contents reflected local influences from mafic bedrock and soil water saturation. Community analysis identified four keystone ecosystems: (i) damp ecotone, (ii) snow bed-silicate bedrock, (iii) wet heath, and (iv) calcareous substrate. These communities and their connections with ecotope elements could be at risk from a number of environmental change factors including warmer seasons, snow line and lowland species advancement, increased nutrient/metal input and water level fluctuations. The results imply important natural terrestrial-aquatic linkages in the riparian environment

  11. Climate-driven unsteady denudation and sediment flux in a high-relief unglaciated catchment-fan using 26Al and 10Be: Panamint Valley, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Cody C.; Romans, Brian W.

    2018-06-01

    Environmental changes within erosional catchments of sediment routing systems are predicted to modulate sediment transfer dynamics. However, empirical and numerical models that predict such phenomena are difficult to test in natural systems over multi-millennial timescales. Tectonic boundary conditions and climate history in the Panamint Range, California, are relatively well-constrained by existing low-temperature thermochronology and regional multi-proxy paleoclimate studies, respectively. Catchment-fan systems present there minimize sediment storage and recycling, offering an excellent natural laboratory to test models of climate-sedimentary dynamics. We used stratigraphic characterization and cosmogenic radionuclides (CRNs; 26Al and 10Be) in the Pleasant Canyon complex (PCC), a linked catchment-fan system, to examine the effects of Pleistocene high-magnitude, high-frequency climate change on CRN-derived denudation rates and sediment flux in a high-relief, unglaciated catchment-fan system. Calculated 26Al/10Be burial ages from 13 samples collected in an ∼180 m thick outcropping stratigraphic succession range from ca. 1.55 ± 0.22 Ma in basal strata, to ca. 0.36 ± 0.18-0.52 ± 0.20 Ma within the uppermost part of the succession. The mean long-term CRN-derived paleodenudation rate, 36 ± 8 mm/kyr (1σ), is higher than the modern rate of 24 ± 0.6 mm/kyr from Pleasant Canyon, and paleodenudation rates during the middle Pleistocene display some high-frequency variability in the high end (up to 54 ± 10 mm/kyr). The highest CRN-derived denudation rates are associated with stratigraphic evidence for increased precipitation during glacial-pluvial events after the middle Pleistocene transition (post ca. 0.75 Ma), suggesting 100 kyr Milankovitch periodicity could drive the observed variability. We investigated the potential for non-equilibrium sedimentary processes, i.e. increased landslides or sediment storage/recycling, to influence apparent paleodenudation rates

  12. Assessment of vulnerability in karst aquifers using a quantitative integrated numerical model: catchment characterization and high resolution monitoring - Application to semi-arid regions- Lebanon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doummar, Joanna; Aoun, Michel; Andari, Fouad

    2016-04-01

    Karst aquifers are highly heterogeneous and characterized by a duality of recharge (concentrated; fast versus diffuse; slow) and a duality of flow which directly influences groundwater flow and spring responses. Given this heterogeneity in flow and infiltration, karst aquifers do not always obey standard hydraulic laws. Therefore the assessment of their vulnerability reveals to be challenging. Studies have shown that vulnerability of aquifers is highly governed by recharge to groundwater. On the other hand specific parameters appear to play a major role in the spatial and temporal distribution of infiltration on a karst system, thus greatly influencing the discharge rates observed at a karst spring, and consequently the vulnerability of a spring. This heterogeneity can only be depicted using an integrated numerical model to quantify recharge spatially and assess the spatial and temporal vulnerability of a catchment for contamination. In the framework of a three-year PEER NSF/USAID funded project, the vulnerability of a karst catchment in Lebanon is assessed quantitatively using a numerical approach. The aim of the project is also to refine actual evapotranspiration rates and spatial recharge distribution in a semi arid environment. For this purpose, a monitoring network was installed since July 2014 on two different pilot karst catchment (drained by Qachqouch Spring and Assal Spring) to collect high resolution data to be used in an integrated catchment numerical model with MIKE SHE, DHI including climate, unsaturated zone, and saturated zone. Catchment characterization essential for the model included geological mapping and karst features (e.g., dolines) survey as they contribute to fast flow. Tracer experiments were performed under different flow conditions (snow melt and low flow) to delineate the catchment area, reveal groundwater velocities and response to snowmelt events. An assessment of spring response after precipitation events allowed the estimation of the

  13. Integrating the EMPD with an Alpine altitudinal training set to reconstruct climate variables in Holocene pollen records from high-altitude peat bogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furlanetto, Giulia; Badino, Federica; Brunetti, Michele; Champvillair, Elena; De Amicis, Mattia; Maggi, Valter; Pini, Roberta; Ravazzi, Cesare; Vallé, Francesca

    2016-04-01

    Temperatures and precipitation are the main environmental factors influencing vegetation and pollen production. Knowing the modern climate optima and tolerances of those plants represented in fossil assemblages and assuming that the relationships between plants and climate in the past are not dissimilar from the modern ones, fossil pollen records offer many descriptors to reconstruct past climate variables. The aim of our work is to investigate the potential of high-altitude pollen records from an Alpine peat bog (TBValter, close to the Ruitor Glacier, Western Italian Alps) for quantitative paleoclimate estimates. The idea behind is that high-altitude ecosystems are more sensitive to climate changes, especially to changes in July temperatures that severely affect the timberline ecotone. Meantime, we met with difficulties when considering the factors involved in pollen dispersal over a complex altitudinal mountain pattern, such as the Alps. We used the EMPD-European Modern Pollen Database (Davis et al., 2013) as modern training set to be compared with our high-altitude fossil site. The EMPD dataset is valuable in that it provides a large geographic coverage of main ecological and climate gradients (at sub-continental scale) but lacks in sampling of altitudinal gradients and high-altitude sites in the Alps. We therefore designed an independent altitudinal training set for the alpine valley hosting our fossil site. 27 sampling plots were selected along a 1700m-elevational transect. In a first step, each plot was provided with (i) 3 moss polsters collected following the guidelines provided by Cañellas-Boltà et al. (2009) and analyzed separately to account for differences in pollen deposition at small scale, (ii) morphometrical parameters obtained through a high-resolution DEM, and (iii) temperature and precipitation were estimated by means of weighted linear regression of the meteorological variable versus elevation, locally evaluated for each site (Brunetti et al

  14. The potential for retreating alpine glaciers to alter alpine ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.; Baron, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. In mid-latitude alpine ecosystems the presence of glaciers and rock glaciers govern rates and ecology of alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems. Changes in the thermal environment due to the loss of isothermal habitat and inputs from glacier melt chemistry are altering alpine ecosystems in unpredictable ways. In particular, glacier may be a source of nitrogen that is altering alpine ecosystem dynamics. Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) located within Rocky Mountain National Park. LVWS contains a surface glacier (Andrew's glacier) and a rock glacier (Taylor's glacier) at the headwater of each of the two drainages within the watershed. We collected precipitation from a National Atmospheric Deposition Site and surface water from multiple alpine lakes and streams during a particularly high and low snow year in the Colorado Front Range. We also sampled stream and lake sediments at each site to analyze the associated microbial community. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium, relative abundance of amoA (the gene responsible for a key step in the microbial nitrification pathway), and the dual isotope signal to nitrate all point to snow melt as a key deliverer of nitrogen to ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. However, late summer surface water chemistry is isotopically similar to the chemistry of glacial ice. This suggests that retreating glacier may be an additional source of N to alpine ecosystems and have the potential to alter microbial community composition, biogeochemical rate processes, and ecosystem function. These dynamics are most likely not unique to the Colorado Front Range and should be globally distributed as glaciers continue to retreat in high altitude ecosystems around the world.

  15. Automatic Identification of Alpine Mass Movements by a Combination of Seismic and Infrasound Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübl, Johannes; McArdell, Brian W.; Walter, Fabian

    2018-01-01

    The automatic detection and identification of alpine mass movements such as debris flows, debris floods, or landslides have been of increasing importance for devising mitigation measures in densely populated and intensively used alpine regions. Since these mass movements emit characteristic seismic and acoustic waves in the low-frequency range (<30 Hz), several approaches have already been developed for detection and warning systems based on these signals. However, a combination of the two methods, for improving detection probability and reducing false alarms, is still applied rarely. This paper presents an update and extension of a previously published approach for a detection and identification system based on a combination of seismic and infrasound sensors. Furthermore, this work evaluates the possible early warning times at several test sites and aims to analyze the seismic and infrasound spectral signature produced by different sediment-related mass movements to identify the process type and estimate the magnitude of the event. Thus, this study presents an initial method for estimating the peak discharge and total volume of debris flows based on infrasound data. Tests on several catchments show that this system can detect and identify mass movements in real time directly at the sensor site with high accuracy and a low false alarm ratio. PMID:29789449

  16. Automatic Identification of Alpine Mass Movements by a Combination of Seismic and Infrasound Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schimmel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The automatic detection and identification of alpine mass movements such as debris flows, debris floods, or landslides have been of increasing importance for devising mitigation measures in densely populated and intensively used alpine regions. Since these mass movements emit characteristic seismic and acoustic waves in the low-frequency range (<30 Hz, several approaches have already been developed for detection and warning systems based on these signals. However, a combination of the two methods, for improving detection probability and reducing false alarms, is still applied rarely. This paper presents an update and extension of a previously published approach for a detection and identification system based on a combination of seismic and infrasound sensors. Furthermore, this work evaluates the possible early warning times at several test sites and aims to analyze the seismic and infrasound spectral signature produced by different sediment-related mass movements to identify the process type and estimate the magnitude of the event. Thus, this study presents an initial method for estimating the peak discharge and total volume of debris flows based on infrasound data. Tests on several catchments show that this system can detect and identify mass movements in real time directly at the sensor site with high accuracy and a low false alarm ratio.

  17. Hydrologic functioning of the deep Critical Zone and contributions to streamflow in a high elevation catchment: testing of multiple conceptual models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, R.; Meixner, T.; McIntosh, J. C.; Ferre, T. P. A.; Eastoe, C. J.; Minor, R. L.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Chorover, J.

    2017-12-01

    The composition of natural mountainous waters maintains important control over the water quality available to downstream users. Furthermore, the geochemical constituents of stream water in the mountainous catchments represent the result of the spatial and temporal evolution of critical zone structure and processes. A key problem is that high elevation catchments involve rugged terrain and are subject to extreme climate and landscape gradients; therefore, high density or high spatial resolution hydro-geochemical observations are rare. Despite such difficulties, the Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (SCM-CZO), Tucson, AZ, generates long-term hydrogeochemical data for understanding not only hydrological processes and their seasonal characters, but also the geochemical impacts of such processes on streamflow chemical composition. Using existing instrumentation and hydrogeochemical observations from the last 9+ years (2009 through 2016 and an initial part of 2017), we employed a multi-tracer approach along with principal component analysis to identify water sources and their seasonal character. We used our results to inform hydrological process understanding (flow paths, residence times, and water sources) for our study site. Our results indicate that soil water is the largest contributor to streamflow, which is ephemeral in nature. Although a 3-dimensional mixing space involving precipitation, soil water, interflow, and deep groundwater end-members could explain most of the streamflow chemistry, geochemical complexity was observed to grow with catchment storage. In terms of processes and their seasonal character, we found soil water and interflow were the primary end-member contributors to streamflow in all seasons. Deep groundwater only contributes to streamflow at high catchment storage conditions, but it provides major ions such as Na, Mg, and Ca that are lacking in other water types. In this way, our results indicate that any future efforts aimed

  18. Spatiotemporal drivers of dissolved organic matter in high alpine lakes: Role of Saharan dust inputs and bacterial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, Natalie; Pulido-Villena, Elvira; Morales-Baquero, Rafael; Ortega-Retuerta, Eva; Sommaruga, Ruben; Reche, Isabel

    2008-01-01

    The effects of many environmental stressors such as UV radiation are mediated by dissolved organic matter (DOM) properties. Therefore, determining the factors shaping spatial and temporal patterns is particularly essential in the most susceptible, low dissolved organic carbon (DOC) lakes. We analyzed spatiotemporal variations in dissolved organic carbon concentration and dissolved organic matter optical properties (absorption and fluorescence) in 11 transparent lakes located above tree line in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (Spain), and we assessed potential external (evaporation and atmospheric deposition) and internal (bacterial abundance, bacterial production, chlorophyll a, and catchment vegetation) drivers of DOM patterns. At spatial and temporal scales, bacteria were related to chromophoric DOM (CDOM). At the temporal scale, water soluble organic carbon (WSOC) in dust deposition and evaporation were found to have a significant influence on DOC and CDOM in two Sierra Nevada lakes studied during the ice-free periods of 2000-2002. DOC concentrations and absorption coefficients at 320 nm were strongly correlated over the spatial scale (n = 11, R(2) = 0.86; p DOC concentration and CDOM to these factors. At the continental scale, higher mean DOC concentrations and more CDOM in lakes of the Sierra Nevada than in lakes of the Pyrenees and Alps may be due to a combination of more extreme evaporation, and greater atmospheric dust deposition.

  19. Hydrological Regimes of Small Catchments in the High Tatra Mountains Before and After Extraordinary Wind-Induced Deforestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holko, Ladislav; Hlavata, Helena; Kostka, Zdenek; Novak, Jan

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents the results of rainfall-runoff data analysis for small catchments of the upper Poprad River affected by wind-induced deforestation in November 2004. Before-event and afterevent measured data were compared in order to assess the impact of deforestation on hydrological regimes. Several characteristics were used including water balance, minimum and maximum runoff, runoff thresholds, number of runoff events, selected characteristics of events, runoff coefficients, and flashiness indices. Despite increased spring runoff minima, which in one catchment (Velick Creek) exceeded previously observed values after deforestation took place, it can be generally concluded that the impact of the deforestation was not clearly manifested in the analyzed hydrological data.

  20. A numerical solution to define channel heads and hillslope parameters from digital topography of glacially conditioned catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcher, Bernhard; Baumann, Sebastian; Kober, Florian; Robl, Jörg; Heiniger, Lukas

    2016-04-01

    The analysis of the slope-area relationship in bedrock streams is a common way for discriminating the channel from the hillslope domain and associated landscape processes. Spatial variations of these domains are important indicators of landscape change. In fluvial catchments, this relationship is a function of contributing drainage area, channel slope and the threshold drainage area for fluvial erosion. The resulting pattern is related to climate, tectonic and underlying bedrock. These factors may become secondary in catchments affected by glacial erosion, as it is the case in many mid- to high-latitude mountain belts. The perturbation (i.e. the destruction) of an initial steady state fluvial bedrock morphology (where uplift is balanced by surface lowering rates) will tend to become successively larger if the repeated action of glacial processes exceeds the potential of fluvial readjustment during deglaciated periods. Topographic change is associated with a decrease and fragmentation of the channel network and an extension of the hillslope domain. In case of glacially conditioned catchments discrimination of the two domains remains problematic and a discrimination inconsistent. A definition is therefore highly needed considering that (i) a spatial shift in the domains affect the process and rate of erosion and (ii) topographic classifications of alpine catchments often base on channel and hillslope parameters (i.e.channel or hillslope relief). Here we propose a novel numerical approach to topographically define channel heads from digital topography in glacially conditioned mountain range catchments in order to discriminate the channel from the hillslope domain. We analyzed the topography of the southern European Central Alps, a region which (i) has been glaciated multiple times during the Quaternary, shows (ii) little lithological variations, is (iii) home of very low erodible rocks and is (iv) known as a region were tectonic processes have largely ceased. The

  1. Tracking channel bed resiliency in forested mountain catchments using high temporal resolution channel bed movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Sarah E.; Conklin, Martha H.

    2018-01-01

    This study uses continuous-recording load cell pressure sensors in four, high-elevation (1500-1800 m), Sierra Nevada headwater streams to collect high-temporal-resolution, bedload-movement data for investigating the channel bed movement patterns within these streams for water years 2012-2014. Data show an annual pattern where channel bed material in the thalweg starts to build up in early fall, peaks around peak snow melt, and scours back to baseline levels during hydrograph drawdown and base flow. This pattern is punctuated by disturbance and recovery of channel bed material associated with short-term storm events. A conceptual model, linking sediment sources at the channel margins to patterns of channel bed fill and scour in the thalweg, is proposed building on the results of Martin et al. (2014). The material in the thalweg represents a balance between sediment supply from the channel margins and sporadic, conveyor-belt-like downstream transport in the thalweg. The conceptual model highlights not only the importance of production and transport rates but also that seasonal connectedness between the margins and thalweg is a key sediment control, determining the accumulation rate of sediment stores at the margins and the redistribution of sediment from margins to thalweg that feeds the conveyor belt. Disturbance and recovery cycles are observed at multiple temporal scales; but long term, the channel beds are stable, suggesting that the beds act as short-term storage for sediment but are in equilibrium interannually. The feasibility of use for these sensors in forested mountain stream environments is tested. Despite a high failure rate (50%), load cell pressure sensors show potential for high-temporal-resolution bedload measurements, allowing for the collection of channel bed movement data to move beyond time-integrated change measurements - where many of the subtleties of bedload movement patterns may be missed - to continuous and/or real-time measurements. This

  2. Characterization of primary biogenic aerosol particles in urban, rural, and high-alpine air by DNA sequence and restriction fragment analysis of ribosomal RNA genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. R. Després

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This study explores the applicability of DNA analyses for the characterization of primary biogenic aerosol (PBA particles in the atmosphere. Samples of fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and total suspended particulates (TSP have been collected on different types of filter materials at urban, rural, and high-alpine locations along an altitude transect in the south of Germany (Munich, Hohenpeissenberg, Mt. Zugspitze.

    From filter segments loaded with about one milligram of air particulate matter, DNA could be extracted and DNA sequences could be determined for bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. Sequence analyses were used to determine the identity of biological organisms, and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses (T-RFLP were applied to estimate diversities and relative abundances of bacteria. Investigations of blank and background samples showed that filter materials have to be decontaminated prior to use, and that the sampling and handling procedures have to be carefully controlled to avoid artifacts in the analyses.

    Mass fractions of DNA in PM2.5 were found to be around 0.05% in urban, rural, and high-alpine aerosols. The average concentration of DNA determined for urban air was on the order of ~7 ng m−3, indicating that human adults may inhale about one microgram of DNA per day (corresponding to ~108 haploid bacterial genomes or ~105 haploid human genomes, respectively.

    Most of the bacterial sequences found in PM2.5 were from Proteobacteria (42 and some from Actinobacteria (10 and Firmicutes (1. The fungal sequences were characteristic for Ascomycota (3 and Basidiomycota (1, which are known to actively discharge spores into the atmosphere. The plant sequences could be attributed to green plants (2 and moss spores (2, while animal DNA was found only for one unicellular eukaryote (protist.

  3. Halogenated greenhouse gases at the Swiss High Alpine Site of Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl): Continuous measurements and their use for regional European source allocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimann, Stefan; Schaub, Daniel; Stemmler, Konrad; Folini, Doris; Hill, Matthias; Hofer, Peter; Buchmann, Brigitte; Simmonds, Peter G.; Greally, Brian R.; O'Doherty, Simon

    2004-03-01

    At the high Alpine site of Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl), 23 halogenated greenhouse gases are measured quasi-continuously by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS). Measurement data from the years 2000-2002 are analyzed for trends and pollution events. Concentrations of the halogenated trace gases, which are already controlled in industrialized countries by the Montreal Protocol (e.g., CFCs) were at least stable or declining. Positive trends in the background concentrations were observed for substances which are used as CFC-substitutes (hydrofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons). Background concentrations of the hydrofluorocarbons at the Jungfraujoch increased from January 2000 until December 2002 as follows: HFC 134a (CF3CH2F) from 15 to 27 ppt, HFC 125 (CF3CHF2) from 1.4 to 2.8 ppt, and HFC 152a (CHF2CH3) from 2.3 to 3.2 ppt. For HFC 152a, a distinct increase of its concentration magnitude during pollution events was observed from 2000 to 2002, indicating rising European emissions for this compound. Background concentrations of all measured compounds were in good agreement with similar measurements at Mace Head, Ireland. On the other hand, peak concentrations were significantly higher at the Jungfraujoch. This finding is due to the proximity to potent European sources, foremost in southern Europe. The average ratio of halocarbons versus carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations above their baseline values was used to estimate source strengths for the part of Europe which most influences the Jungfraujoch during pollution events. HFCs emission estimates from Jungfraujoch tend to be higher than figures at Mace Head (Ireland) from the end of the 1990s, which either reflects the increased use of these compounds or the closer location of Jungfraujoch to major southern European sources. Transport of polluted European boundary layer air masses to the high Alpine site was observed especially during frontal passages, foehn events, and thermal lifting of air masses in summer

  4. Using high-frequency nitrogen and carbon measurements to decouple temporal dynamics of catchment and in-stream transport and reaction processes in a headwater stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaen, P.; Riml, J.; Khamis, K.; Krause, S.

    2017-12-01

    Within river catchments across the world, headwater streams represent important sites of nutrient transformation and uptake due to their high rates of microbial community processing and relative abundance in the landscape. However, separating the combined influence of in-stream transport and reaction processes from the overall catchment response can be difficult due to spatio-temporal variability in nutrient and organic matter inputs, flow regimes, and reaction rates. Recent developments in optical sensor technologies enable high-frequency, in situ nutrient measurements, and thus provide opportunities for greater insights into in-stream processes. Here, we use in-stream observations of hourly nitrate (NO3-N), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and dissolved oxygen (DO) measurements from paired in situ sensors that bound a 1 km headwater stream reach in a mixed-use catchment in central England. We employ a spectral approach to decompose (1) variances in solute loading from the surrounding landscape, and (2) variances in reach-scale in-stream nutrient transport and reaction processes. In addition, we estimate continuous rates of reach-scale NO3-N and DOC assimilation/dissimilation, ecosystem respiration and primary production. Comparison of these results over a range of hydrological conditions (baseflow, variable storm events) and timescales (event-based, diel, seasonal) facilitates new insights into the physical and biogeochemical processes that drive in-stream nutrient dynamics in headwater streams.

  5. Using high-performance mathematical modelling tools to predict erosion and sediment fluxes in peri-urban catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, André; Conde, Daniel; Ferreira, Carla S. S.; Walsh, Rory; Ferreira, Rui M. L.

    2017-04-01

    the standard observed in available models. The assembled parallel model is expected to achieve faster than real-time simulations for high resolutions (from meters to sub-meter) in large scaled problems (from cities to watersheds), effectively bridging the gap between detailed and timely simulation results. The model was validated in Ribeira dos Covões watershed, a peri-urban catchment (6 km2) in the outskirts of the Coimbra city, in central Portugal. Urban land-use has increased from 6% in 1958 to 40% in 2012. The watershed geology comprises a limestone sandstone areas. The soils are generally deep and hydrophobic for part of the year, particularly in the forested areas. Previous research used a sediment fingerprinting approach to establish the relative importance of sediment inputs from different urban areas (Ferreira et al., submitted). The study showed that most of the current catchment erosion is derived from construction sites in the sandstone areas. This was supported by the higher measured discharges and suspended sediment concentrations in storm events from downslope tributaries. The results of the model are well correlated with field surveys. However, the sever disruption of the channel network by human usage, namely land partition, poses specific modelling challenges, causing the quantitative agreement to be poor. To tackle this problem, it is necessary to introduce as much detail as possible in the specification of the elevation model. Acknowledgements This research was partially supported by Portuguese and European funds, within programs COMPETE2020 and PORL-FEDER, through project PTDC/ECM-HID/6387/2014 granted by the National Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). References Canelas, R.; Murillo, J. & Ferreira, R.M.L. (2013), Two-dimensional depth-averaged modelling of dam-break flows over mobile beds. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 51(4), 392-407. Conde, D.A.S.; Telhado, M.J.; Viana Baptista, M.A. & Ferreira, R. M. L. (2015) Severity and exposure

  6. Climate control on sulphate and nitrate concentrations in alpine streams of Northern Italy along a nitrogen saturation gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rogora

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of meteorology, hydrology and atmospheric deposition on the temporal pattern of SO4 and NO3 concentrations was investigated for three streams draining alpine catchments in Northern Italy.

    The study sites lie on a gradient of atmospheric fluxes of SO4 and NO3 (from about 50 to 80 meq m−2 y−1, and from 40 to 90 meq m−2 y−1, respectively. As a consequence of the increasing N input, the three catchments are also representative of aggrading levels of N saturation. Different methods of statistical analysis were applied to monthly data for the period 1997–2005 to identify which variables (temperature, precipitation, hydrology, SO4 and NO3 deposition were the main predictors of water chemistry and its change in time. Hydrological changes and snow cover proved to be the main confounding factors in the response to atmospheric deposition in the River Masino catchment. Its particular characteristics (small catchment area, rapid flushing during runoff and thin soil cover meant that this site responded without a significant delay to SO4 deposition decrease. It also showed a clear seasonal pattern of NO3 concentration, in response to hydrology and biological uptake in the growing season.

    The selected driving variables failed to model the water chemistry at the other study sites. Nevertheless, temperature, especially extreme values, turned out to be important in both SO4 and NO3 export from the catchments. This result might be largely explained by the effect of warm periods on temperature-dependent processes such as mineralization, nitrification and S desorption.

    Our findings suggest that surface waters in the alpine area will be extremely sensitive to a climate warming scenario: higher temperatures and increasing frequency of drought could exacerbate the effects

  7. Le tourisme alpin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Macchiavelli

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available La forte croissance qu’ont connue les pays alpins dans les dernières décennies a surtout été fondée sur l’offre des activités du ski, avec comme conséquence, un massif développement immobilier, la multiplication d’infrastructures et l’extension des domaines. Aujourd’hui, le marché du ski semble arriver à saturation, la Convention alpine a mis un frein à la poursuite du développement des domaines skiables et on observe donc avec intérêt la diversification de l’offre soutenue par l’innovation. Après avoir rappelé les facteurs de changement en cours les plus significatifs dans le tourisme montagnard, l’article présente une grille interprétative de l’évolution des destinations touristiques alpines, identifiant les phases qui ont caractérisé son développement. Puis il propose une réflexion sur certaines conditions qui peuvent favoriser l’innovation dans le tourisme alpin, ainsi que sur les contradictions qui les accompagnent souvent. Dans la plupart des cas l’innovation est le résultat d’un processus qui a été lancé et qui s’est développé au sein de la communauté alpine, souvent favorisé et soutenu par des institutions nationales et internationales, et grâce auquel les difficultés structurelles qui ont déjà été abordées précédemment ont pu être surmontées avec succès.The spectacular increase in tourism in the Alps in recent decades has been founded mainly on the boom in skiing, resulting in both strong real estate development and an increasing array of infrastructures and ski runs. Today the ski market seems to have virtually reached saturation point and the winter sports sector needs to diversify its offer through innovation. After a review of the main factors of change in mountain tourism, the paper presents a grid for interpreting the life cycle of alpine destinations, identifying the phases that characterize their evolution. The conditions that may favour innovation in alpine

  8. Characterisation of alpine skis

    OpenAIRE

    Wikerman, Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    Skiing is a fast and competitive sport where skiers must push their performance limit to win medals, the di↵erence can be within hundreds of a second. Therefore, technical improvements are essential for assisting in the skier’s improvement. This thesis project is a joint project between KTH and the Swedish Ski Association and Swedish Ski Team with the purpose of obtaining a better understanding of the structural properties of alpine skis, aiming to improve the individual selection process of ...

  9. Conifer density within lake catchments predicts fish mercury concentrations in remote subalpine lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herring, Garth; Johnson, Branden L.; Graw, Rick

    2016-01-01

    Remote high-elevation lakes represent unique environments for evaluating the bioaccumulation of atmospherically deposited mercury through freshwater food webs, as well as for evaluating the relative importance of mercury loading versus landscape influences on mercury bioaccumulation. The increase in mercury deposition to these systems over the past century, coupled with their limited exposure to direct anthropogenic disturbance make them useful indicators for estimating how changes in mercury emissions may propagate to changes in Hg bioaccumulation and ecological risk. We evaluated mercury concentrations in resident fish from 28 high-elevation, sub-alpine lakes in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Fish total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 4 to 438 ng/g wet weight, with a geometric mean concentration (±standard error) of 43 ± 2 ng/g ww. Fish THg concentrations were negatively correlated with relative condition factor, indicating that faster growing fish that are in better condition have lower THg concentrations. Across the 28 study lakes, mean THg concentrations of resident salmonid fishes varied as much as 18-fold among lakes. We used a hierarchal statistical approach to evaluate the relative importance of physiological, limnological, and catchment drivers of fish Hg concentrations. Our top statistical model explained 87% of the variability in fish THg concentrations among lakes with four key landscape and limnological variables: catchment conifer density (basal area of conifers within a lake's catchment), lake surface area, aqueous dissolved sulfate, and dissolved organic carbon. Conifer density within a lake's catchment was the most important variable explaining fish THg concentrations across lakes, with THg concentrations differing by more than 400 percent across the forest density spectrum. These results illustrate the importance of landscape characteristics in controlling mercury bioaccumulation in fish.

  10. Evaluation of high intensity precipitation from 16 Regional climate models over a meso-scale catchment in the Midlands Regions of England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterhall, F.; He, Y.; Cloke, H.; Pappenberger, F.; Freer, J.; Wilson, M.; McGregor, G.

    2009-04-01

    Local flooding events are often triggered by high-intensity rain-fall events, and it is important that these can be correctly modelled by Regional Climate Models (RCMs) if the results are to be used in climate impact assessment. In this study, daily precipitation from 16 RCMs was compared with observations over a meso-scale catchment in the Midlands Region of England. The RCM data was provided from the European research project ENSEMBLES and the precipitation data from the UK MetOffice. The RCMs were all driven by reanalysis data from the ERA40 dataset over the time period 1961-2000. The ENSEMBLES data is on the spatial scale of 25 x 25 km and it was disaggregated onto a 5 x 5 km grid over the catchment and compared with interpolated observational data with the same resolution. The mean precipitation was generally underestimated by the ENSEMBLES data, and the maximum and persistence of high intensity rainfall was even more underestimated. The inter-annual variability was not fully captured by the RCMs, and there was a systematic underestimation of precipitation during the autumn months. The spatial pattern in the modelled precipitation data was too smooth in comparison with the observed data, especially in the high altitudes in the western part of the catchment where the high precipitation usually occurs. The RCM outputs cannot reproduce the current high intensity precipitation events that are needed to sufficiently model extreme flood events. The results point out the discrepancy between climate model output and the high intensity precipitation input needs for hydrological impact modelling.

  11. A high space-time resolution dataset linking meteorological forcing and hydro-sedimentary response in a mesoscale Mediterranean catchment (Auzon) of the Ardèche region, France

    OpenAIRE

    Nord, Guillaume; Boudevillain, Brice; Berne, Alexis; Branger, Flora; Braud, Isabelle; Dramais, Guillaume; Gérard, Simon; Coz, Le, Jérôme; Legoût, Cédric; Molinié, Gilles; Teuling, Ryan

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive hydrometeorological dataset is presented spanning the period 1 January 2011-31 December 2014 to improve the understanding of the hydrological processes leading to flash floods and the relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport in a mesoscale catchment (Auzon, 116km2) of the Mediterranean region. Badlands are present in the Auzon catchment and well connected to high-gradient channels of bedrock rivers which promotes the transfer of suspended solids downst...

  12. How cushion communities are maintained in alpine ecosystems: A review and case study on alpine cushion plant reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguo Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Cushion species occur in nearly all alpine environments worldwide. In past decades, the adaptive and ecosystem-engineering roles of such highly specialized life forms have been well studied. However, the adaptive strategies responsible for cushion species reproductive success and maintenance in severe alpine habitats remain largely unclear. In this study, we reviewed the current understanding of reproductive strategies and population persistence in alpine cushion species. We then present a preliminary case study on the sexual reproduction of Arenaria polytrichoides (Caryophyllaceae, a typical cushion species inhabiting high elevations of the Himalaya Hengduan Mountains, which is a hotspot for diversification of cushion species. Finally, we highlight the limitations of our current understanding of alpine cushion species reproduction and propose future directions for study.

  13. Validation of a simple distributed sediment delivery approach in selected sub-basins of the River Inn catchment area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Lucas; Kittlaus, Steffen; Scherer, Ulrike

    2015-04-01

    For large areas without highly detailed data the empirical Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is widely used to quantify soil loss. The problem though is usually the quantification of actual sediment influx into the rivers. As the USLE provides long-term mean soil loss rates, it is often combined with spatially lumped models to estimate the sediment delivery ratio (SDR). But it gets difficult with spatially lumped approaches in large catchment areas where the geographical properties have a wide variance. In this study we developed a simple but spatially distributed approach to quantify the sediment delivery ratio by considering the characteristics of the flow paths in the catchments. The sediment delivery ratio was determined using an empirical approach considering the slope, morphology and land use properties along the flow path as an estimation of travel time of the eroded particles. The model was tested against suspended solids measurements in selected sub-basins of the River Inn catchment area in Germany and Austria, ranging from the high alpine south to the Molasse basin in the northern part.

  14. The onset of alpine pastoral systems in the Eastern Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeggl, Klaus; Festi, Daniela; Putzer, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    Since the discovery of the Neolithic glacier mummy "Ötzi" in the nival belt of the main Alpine ridge, the onset of alpine pasture is matter of a highly controversial debate both in archaeology and in palaeo-ecology of the Eastern Alps. The implication is that his sojourn in the high-altitudes of the Alps is considered to be connected with pastoral nomadism. Regrettably any archaeological evidence for the existence of such Neolithic alpine pastoral systems is missing up to now and the assumption is based on palynological data only. However, also the palynological record is ambiguous, because pasture indicators in the alpine regions react positive on grazing as well as on fertilization induced by a higher runoff of precipitation. Thus alpine pasture indicators reflect both grazing pressure and climatic change. Anyhow, alpine pastoral systems are a common practice in Alpine animal husbandry, but from an economic point of view such a seasonal vertical transhumance is costly. There are three main reasons for its practice: i) climatic, ii) economic (mainly in connection with population pressure or mining activities), and iii) cultural ideology. In this study we tested the above mentioned reasons in an interdisciplinary study on the beginning of pastoral activities in high altitudes in the central part of the Eastern Alps. This is conducted by palynological analyses of peat deposits situated in the vicinity of the timberline (1600 - 2400 m a.s.l.) combined with archaeological surveys. The investigated sites are located in traditional Alpine transhumance regions and aligned on a transect through the central part of the Eastern Alps. The studies reveal that grazing pressure is reflected since the Bronze Age, which is corroborated by archaeological findings in the vicinity of the investigated sites.

  15. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Aagaard, Per; Herzog, Walter

    2017-01-01

    and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases...... were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers) were found to be at high risk for knee injuries...... injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness). While skiers seem to make a successful...

  16. Sensitivity estimations for cloud droplet formation in the vicinity of the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Hammer

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Aerosol radiative forcing estimates suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol–cloud interactions. The main source of these uncertainties is dynamical processes such as turbulence and entrainment but also key aerosol parameters such as aerosol number concentration and size distribution, and to a much lesser extent, the composition. From June to August 2011 a Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiment (CLACE2011 was performed at the high-alpine research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l. focusing on the activation of aerosol to form liquid-phase clouds (in the cloud base temperature range of −8 to 5 °C. With a box model the sensitivity of the effective peak supersaturation (SSpeak, an important parameter for cloud activation, to key aerosol and dynamical parameters was investigated. The updraft velocity, which defines the cooling rate of an air parcel, was found to have the greatest influence on SSpeak. Small-scale variations in the cooling rate with large amplitudes can significantly alter CCN activation. Thus, an accurate knowledge of the air parcel history is required to estimate SSpeak. The results show that the cloud base updraft velocities estimated from the horizontal wind measurements made at the Jungfraujoch can be divided by a factor of approximately 4 to get the updraft velocity required for the model to reproduce the observed SSpeak. The aerosol number concentration and hygroscopic properties were found to be less important than the aerosol size in determining SSpeak. Furthermore turbulence is found to have a maximum influence when SSpeak is between approximately 0.2 and 0.4 %. Simulating the small-scale fluctuations with several amplitudes, frequencies and phases, revealed that independently of the amplitude, the effect of the frequency on SSpeak shows a maximum at 0.46 Hz (median over all phases and at higher frequencies, the maximum SSpeak decreases again.

  17. Isotope Investigations at an Alpine Karst Aquifer by Means of On-Site Measurements with High Time Resolution and Near Real-Time Data Availability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leis, A.; Plieschnegger, M.; Harum, T.; Stadler, H.; Schmitt, R.; Pelt, A. Van; Zerobin, W.

    2011-01-01

    For numerous hydrological investigations as the characterization of storage and discharge dynamics at karst springs on-site isotopic measurements with high time resolution could improve the significance of the investigations. Conventional isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) can only be used in laboratories because of their technical complexity. Since a short time more compact laser based instruments, the so called cavity ringdown spectrometers (CRDS) are commercially available. For on-site use of such an instrument several adaptations are necessary. This concerns especially a direct sample injection from the outflow of the spring, because this is originally not intended. The studied alpine and mountainous karst system is located in the so called Northern Calcareous Alps in Austria reaching altitudes up to approx. 2300 masl. The spring is situated in the Salza-valley at an altitude of approximately 650 masl. The investigated karst spring is a typical limestone spring type according to having well developed karst conduits. The isotopic composition of the water samples were measured by using cavity ring-down spectroscopy with a WS-CRDS (Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy) instrument (Picarro, Inc.). In order to adapt the System for on-site isotope measurements at the spring the laser spectrometer was coupled to an automatic injection module for continuous measurements of liquid samples based on a VALCO valve. The device replaces the auto-sampler and allows quasi-continuous injections of a 2 ul-water samples into the Picarro L1102-iso-water analyzer via the Picarro vaporizer module.

  18. Concentrations of higher dicarboxylic acids C5–C13 in fresh snow samples collected at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch during CLACE 5 and 6

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Sieg

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Samples of freshly fallen snow were collected at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland in February and March 2006 and 2007, during the Cloud and Aerosol Characterization Experiments (CLACE 5 and 6. In this study a new technique has been developed and demonstrated for the measurement of organic acids in fresh snow. The melted snow samples were subjected to solid phase extraction and resulting solutions analysed for organic acids by HPLC-MS-TOF using negative electrospray ionization. A series of linear dicarboxylic acids from C5 to C13 and phthalic acid, were identified and quantified. In several samples the biogenic acid pinonic acid was also observed. In fresh snow the median concentration of the most abundant acid, adipic acid, was 0.69 μg L−1 in 2006 and 0.70 μg L−1 in 2007. Glutaric acid was the second most abundant dicarboxylic acid found with median values of 0.46 μg L−1 in 2006 and 0.61 μg L−1 in 2007, while the aromatic acid phthalic acid showed a median concentration of 0.34 μg L−1 in 2006 and 0.45 μg L−1 in 2007. The concentrations in the samples from various snowfall events varied significantly, and were found to be dependent on the back trajectory of the air mass arriving at Jungfraujoch. Air masses of marine origin showed the lowest concentrations of acids whereas the highest concentrations were measured when the air mass was strongly influenced by boundary layer air.

  19. Sensitivity of Alpine Snow and Streamflow Regimes to Climate Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasouli, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Marks, D. G.; Bernhardt, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of hydrological processes to climate change in alpine areas with snow dominated regimes is of paramount importance as alpine basins show both high runoff efficiency associated with the melt of the seasonal snowpack and great sensitivity of snow processes to temperature change. In this study, meteorological data measured in a selection of alpine headwaters basins including Reynolds Mountain East, Idaho, USA, Wolf Creek, Yukon in Canada, and Zugspitze Mountain, Germany with climates ranging from arctic to continental temperate were used to study the snow and streamflow sensitivity to climate change. All research sites have detailed multi-decadal meteorological and snow measurements. The Cold Regions Hydrological Modelling platform (CRHM) was used to create a model representing a typical alpine headwater basin discretized into hydrological response units with physically based representations of snow redistribution by wind, complex terrain snowmelt energetics and runoff processes in alpine tundra. The sensitivity of snow hydrology to climate change was investigated by changing air temperature and precipitation using weather generating methods based on the change factors obtained from different climate model projections for future and current periods. The basin mean and spatial variability of peak snow water equivalent, sublimation loss, duration of snow season, snowmelt rates, streamflow peak, and basin discharge were assessed under varying climate scenarios and the most sensitive hydrological mechanisms to the changes in the different alpine climates were detected. The results show that snow hydrology in colder alpine climates is more resilient to warming than that in warmer climates, but that compensatory factors to warming such as reduced blowing snow sublimation loss and reduced melt rate should also be assessed when considering climate change impacts on alpine hydrology.

  20. Semenic Mountains’ alpine skiing area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petru BANIAȘ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper presents, after a short history of alpine skiing which describes apparition, necessity, utility and universality of skiing during time, a comparative study referring to the alpine skiing domain in the Semenic Mountains area. In the paper are also presented general notions about alpine skiing methodology together with an ample description of the plateau area form Semenic Mountains, describing localization and touristic potential. Based on the SWOT analysis made for each slope, was realized a complex analysis of the entire skiing domain, an analysis which includes technical, financial, climatic and environmental aspects, along with an analysis of the marketing policy applied for the specific zone.

  1. Alpine hydropower schemes and their 'remote influence' on lakes and rivers downstream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wuest, A.

    2003-01-01

    This article discusses the effect that alpine dams and reservoirs have on lakes and rivers in the lowlands. Not only the contribution of Swiss alpine hydropower installations to Switzerland's electricity generation capacity is mentioned, but also the way they 'export' ecological deficits to lower-lying regions. Examples of this are quoted, including, for example, the filtering-out of around 50% of water-borne particles in the river Rhone by the dams in its catchment area. The consequences of such effects for the ecology of lakes and rivers are discussed. Further examples of how the alpine dams hold back nutrients and regulate the flow and temperature of rivers are given and the resulting ecological effects are commented on

  2. Frozen Nature - A high-alpine ice core record reveals fire and vegetation dynamics in Western Europe over the past millennium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brügger, S.; Gobet, E.; Sigl, M.; Osmont, D.; Schwikowski, M.; Tinner, W.

    2017-12-01

    Wild fires are an ecological disturbance agent across ecosystems, driving vegetation dynamics and resulting in disruption of habitats (Moritz et al. 2014).We analyze pollen and spores as proxies for vegetation composition, structure and agricultural activity, microscopic charcoal as a proxy for fire activity, and spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs or soots) as a proxy for fossil fuel combustion which preserve in ice cores over millennia (Eichler et al. 2011).Our high-alpine ice core (4452 m a.s.l.) from Colle Gnifetti, Swiss Alps is located in the center of Western Europe, thus allowing to assess vegetation and societal responses to climatic change and wildfire disturbance on a subcontinental scale. The record covers the last millennium with an excellent chronological control (Jenk et al. 2009, Sigl et al. 2009), particularly over the most recent 200 years - the period that experienced important climatic changes and an increasing globalization of economy.The Colle Gnifetti record reflects large scale impacts such as extreme weather, societal innovations, agricultural crises and pollution of the industrial period in Western Europe. Pollution tracers occur in the record as early as 1750 AD and coincide with the shift to large-scale maize production in Northern Italy and with increased fire activity. Our multiproxy record may allow desentagling the role of climate and humans for vegetation composition and biomass burning. The attribution of causes may significantly advance our understanding of future vegetation and fire dynamics under global change conditions. To our knowledge we present the first long-term high-resolution palynological record of a high elevation ice core in Europe.REFERENCESEichler et al. (2011): An ice-core based history of Siberian forest fires since AD 1250. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30(9), 1027-1034.Jenk et al. (2009): A novel radiocarbon dating technique applied to an ice core from the Alps indicating late Pleistocene ages. Journal of

  3. Spatial distribution and environmental analysis of the alpine flora in the Pyrenees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Gómez

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of the digital edition of the “Atlas of the vascular flora of the Pyrenees” (www.florapyrenaea. org, the alpine flora of this mountain range is delimited in order to know its diversity and the different patterns of its spatial distribution, along with some other environmental characteristics. The Pyrenean alpine flora is made up of 645 taxa (630 species and 15 subspecies. All the administrative regions harbour more than 60% of the alpine plants, with Catalonia and Aragon reaching the highest values (around 90%. Along the altitudinal gradient, the highest plant diversity is found between 2300 and 2600 m. a. s. l., although 25% of the total alpine flora goes beyond 3000 m. On the other hand, a remarkable number of alpine plants live in the lowlands, and thus more than 300 alpine plants can be found below 1500 m. The average altitude range of the alpine plants is 1369 m, 300 m wider than that observed for the whole Pyrenean flora. Life-forms, habitat distribution and habitat naturalness of alpine plants are significantly different from those of the whole Pyrenean flora. Distribution of abundance categories also shows values of rarity significantly lower among alpine plants than for the whole flora. More than half the Pyrenean endemic plants are present in the alpine flora. High diversity and wide ecological amplitude of the alpine flora must be taken into account either when considering vulnerability of alpine plants facing “global change” or when addressing conservation policies for the whole Pyrenees from a common perspective.

  4. Alpine debris flows triggered by a 28 July 1999 thunderstorm in the central Front Range, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godt, J.W.; Coe, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    On 28 July 1999, about 480 alpine debris flows were triggered by an afternoon thunderstorm along the Continental Divide in Clear Creek and Summit counties in the central Front Range of Colorado. The thunderstorm produced about 43??mm of rain in 4??h, 35??mm of which fell in the first 2??h. Several debris flows triggered by the storm impacted Interstate Highway 70, U.S. Highway 6, and the Arapahoe Basin ski area. We mapped the debris flows from color aerial photography and inspected many of them in the field. Three processes initiated debris flows. The first process initiated 11% of the debris flows and involved the mobilization of shallow landslides in thick, often well vegetated, colluvium. The second process, which was responsible for 79% of the flows, was the transport of material eroded from steep unvegetated hillslopes via a system of coalescing rills. The third, which has been termed the "firehose effect," initiated 10% of the debris flows and occurred where overland flow became concentrated in steep bedrock channels and scoured debris from talus deposits and the heads of debris fans. These three processes initiated high on steep hillsides (> 30??) in catchments with small contributing areas (runoff and therefore less likely to generate debris flows by the firehose effect or by rilling. The character of the surficial cover and the spatially variable hydrologic response to intense rainfall, rather than a threshold of contributing area and topographic slope, appears to control the initiation process in the high alpine of the Front Range. Because debris flows initiated by rilling and the firehose effect tend to increase in volume as they travel downslope, these debris flows are potentially more hazardous than those initiated by shallow landslides, which tend to deposit material along their paths. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The microbially mediated soil organic carbon loss under degenerative succession in an alpine meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Liu, Xiao; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Sheng, Yuyu; Wang, Xiulei; Li, Diqiang; Liu, Xueduan; Yin, Huaqun; Zhou, Jizhong; Deng, Ye

    2017-07-01

    Land-cover change has long been recognized as having marked effect on the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC). However, the microbially mediated processes and mechanisms on SOC are still unclear. In this study, the soil samples in a degenerative succession from alpine meadow to alpine steppe meadow in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau were analysed using high-throughput technologies, including Illumina sequencing and geochip functional gene arrays. The soil microbial community structure and diversity were significantly (p carbon degradation genes (e.g., pectin and hemicellulose) was significantly higher in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow, but the relative abundance of soil recalcitrant carbon degradation genes (e.g., chitin and lignin) showed the opposite tendency. The Biolog Ecoplate experiment showed that microbially mediated soil carbon utilization was more active in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow. Consequently, more soil labile carbon might be decomposed in alpine steppe meadow than in alpine meadow. Therefore, the degenerative succession of alpine meadow because of climate change or anthropogenic activities would most likely decrease SOC and nutrients medicated by changing soil microbial community structure and their functional potentials for carbon decomposition. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Les barrages alpins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Marnezy

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Les barrages-réservoirs de montagne ont été réalisés initialement dans les Alpes pour répondre à la demande d’énergie en période hivernale. Une certaine diversification des usages de l’eau s’est ensuite progressivement développée, en relation avec le développement touristique des collectivités locales. Aujourd’hui, la participation des ouvrages d’Électricité De France à la production de neige de culture représente une nouvelle étape. Dans les régions où les aménagements hydroélectriques sont nombreux, les besoins en eau pour la production de neige peuvent être résolus par prélèvements à partir des adductions EDF. Les gestionnaires de stations échappent ainsi aux inconvénients liés à la construction et à la gestion des « retenues collinaires ». Cette évolution, qui concerne déjà quelques régions alpines comme la haute Maurienne ou le Beaufortin, apparaît comme une forme renouvelée d’intégration territoriale de la ressource en eau.Mountain reservoirs were initially built in the Alps to meet energy needs in the winter. A certain diversification in the uses of water then gradually developed, related to tourism development in the local communities. Today, the use of facilities belonging to EDF (French Electricity Authority to provide water for winter resorts to make artificial snow represents a new phase. By taking water from EDF resources to supply snow-making equipment, resort managers are thus able to avoid the problems related to the construction and management of small headwater dams. This new orientation in the use of mountain water resources already affects a number of alpine regions such as the Upper Maurienne valley and Beaufortain massif and represents a renewed form of the territorial integration of water resources.

  7. Evaluating the effects of model structure and meteorological input data on runoff modelling in an alpine headwater basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schattan, Paul; Bellinger, Johannes; Förster, Kristian; Schöber, Johannes; Huttenlau, Matthias; Kirnbauer, Robert; Achleitner, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    Modelling water resources in snow-dominated mountainous catchments is challenging due to both, short concentration times and a highly variable contribution of snow melt in space and time from complex terrain. A number of model setups exist ranging from physically based models to conceptional models which do not attempt to represent the natural processes in a physically meaningful way. Within the flood forecasting system for the Tyrolean Inn River two serially linked hydrological models with differing process representation are used. Non- glacierized catchments are modelled by a semi-distributed, water balance model (HQsim) based on the HRU-approach. A fully-distributed energy and mass balance model (SES), purpose-built for snow- and icemelt, is used for highly glacierized headwater catchments. Previous work revealed uncertainties and limitations within the models' structures regarding (i) the representation of snow processes in HQsim, (ii) the runoff routing of SES, and (iii) the spatial resolution of the meteorological input data in both models. To overcome these limitations, a "strengths driven" model coupling is applied. Instead of linking the models serially, a vertical one-way coupling of models has been implemented. The fully-distributed snow modelling of SES is combined with the semi-distributed HQsim structure, allowing to benefit from soil and runoff routing schemes in HQsim. A monte-carlo based modelling experiment was set up to evaluate the resulting differences in the runoff prediction due to the improved model coupling and a refined spatial resolution of the meteorological forcing. The experiment design follows a gradient of spatial discretisation of hydrological processes and meteorological forcing data with a total of six different model setups for the alpine headwater basin of the Fagge River in the Tyrolean Alps. In general, all setups show a good performance for this particular basin. It is therefore planned to include other basins with differing

  8. Promise and Pitfalls of Using Grain Size Analysis to Identify Glacial Sediments in Alpine Lake Cores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, D. H.

    2011-12-01

    Lakes fed by glacier outwash should have a clastic particle-size record distinct from non-glacial lakes in the same area, but do they? The unique turquoise color of alpine glacial lakes reflects the flux of suspended clastic glacial rock flour to those lakes; conversely, lakes not fed by outwash are generally clear with sediments dominated by organics or slope-wash from nearby hillslopes. This contrast in sediment types and sources should produce a distinct and measureable different in grain sizes between the two settings. Results from a variety of lakes suggest the actual situation is often more subtle and complex. I compare grain size results to other proxies to assess the value of grain size analysis for paleoglacier studies. Over the past 10 years, my colleagues and I have collected and analyzed sediment cores from a wide variety of lakes below small alpine glaciers in an attempt to constrain the timing and magnitude of alpine glaciation in those basins. The basic concept is that these lakes act as continuous catchments for any rock flour produced upstream by glacier abrasion; as a glacier grows, the flux of rock flour to the lake will also increase. If the glacier disappears entirely, rock flour deposition will also cease in short order. We have focused our research in basins with simple sedimentologic settings: mostly small, high-altitude, stripped granitic or metamorphic cirques in which the cirque glaciers are the primary source of clastic sediments. In most cases, the lakes are fed by meltwater from a modern glacier, but were ice free during the earlier Holocene. In such cases, the lake cores should record formation of and changes in activity of the glacier upstream. We used a Malvern Mastersizer 2000 laser particle size analyzer for our grain size analyses, as well as recording magnetic susceptibility, color, and organics for the same cores. The results indicate that although lakes often experience increases in silt and clay-size (<0.63 mm) clastic

  9. Geomorphology and hydrochemistry of 12 Alpine lakes in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo MARCHETTO

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Twelve Alpine lakes located in the Gran Paradiso National Park, in the western Italian Alps, were sampled during the ice free period in 2008 and analysed for the main morphological, chemical and physical variables in relation to the characteristics of their watershed, with the aim to create a reference database for present and future ecological studies and to support conservation politics with scientific data. The results highlighted that weathering process and direct precipitation input are the main factors determining the hydrochemistry of the studied lakes; moreover the morphological characteristics highly affects the physical properties of the lakes starting from stratification process. The acidification status, the atmospheric input of N compounds and the supply of nutrients were considered in detail. The studied lakes seem to be well preserved by acidification risk. Comparing data from Gran Paradiso National Park with data from European mountain regions ranging in N deposition rates, allows to consider long range anthropogenic impact: the detection of relative low Total Nitrogen (TN concentration is not necessarily a synonym of a soft impact of long range pollutants, being the final nitrogen concentration dependent from retention process, closely related to catchment characteristics, besides N deposition rates; moreover the dominance of Inorganic Nitrogen (IN on Organic Nitrogen (ON highlights that the lakes are interested by N deposition and probably by long range transport of pollutants produced in the urbanized area surrounding the massif. However the Gran Paradiso National Park area is by far less affected by atmospheric pollutants than other Alpine regions, as the Central Alps. Total Phosphorus (TP concentration in Gran Paradiso lakes (1-13 μg L-1, mean level = 4 μg L-1 is an index of oligotrophic and ultraoligotrophic conditions and according to Redfield's ratio phosphorus is mainly the phytoplankton growth limiting element

  10. Minimal erosion of Arctic alpine topography during late Quaternary glaciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjermundsen, Endre F.; Briner, Jason P.; Akçar, Naki; Foros, Jørn; Kubik, Peter W.; Salvigsen, Otto; Hormes, Anne

    2015-10-01

    The alpine topography observed in many mountainous regions is thought to have formed during repeated glaciations of the Quaternary period. Before this time, landscapes had much less relief. However, the spatial patterns and rates of Quaternary exhumation at high latitudes--where cold-based glaciers may protect rather than erode landscapes--are not fully quantified. Here we determine the exposure and burial histories of rock samples from eight summits of steep alpine peaks in northwestern Svalbard (79.5° N) using analyses of 10Be and 26Al concentrations. We find that the summits have been preserved for at least the past one million years. The antiquity of Svalbard’s alpine landscape is supported by the preservation of sediments older than one million years along a fjord valley, which suggests that both mountain summits and low-elevation landscapes experienced very low erosion rates over the past million years. Our findings support the establishment of northwestern Svalbard’s alpine topography during the early Quaternary. We suggest that, as the Quaternary ice age progressed, glacial erosion in the Arctic became inefficient and confined to ice streams, and high-relief alpine landscapes were preserved by minimally erosive glacier armour.

  11. Agroecology and biodiversity of the catchment area of Swat River

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmad, H.; Ahmed, R.

    2003-01-01

    Agroecological studies of the of the Swat River catchment area showed that the terrestrial ecosystem of the area is divided into subtropical, humid temperate, cool temperate, cold temperate, subalpine, alpine and cold desert zones. Indicator species along with their altitudinal limits are specified for each zone. Unplanned population growth, agriculture extension, habitat losses, deforestation, environmental pollution and unwise use of natural resources are threats to the natural biodiversity of these zones. Its severity is very evident in the subtropical and humid temperate zones. The losses encountered to the biodiversity of the area under the influence of various anthropogenic stresses are highlighted. (author)

  12. Lake surface water temperatures of European Alpine lakes (1989-2013) based on the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) 1 km data set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riffler, M.; Wunderle, S.

    2014-05-01

    Lake water temperature (LWT) is an important driver of lake ecosystems and it has been identified as an indicator of climate change. Thus, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) lists LWT as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV). Although for some European lakes long in situ time series of LWT do exist, many lakes are not observed or only on a non-regular basis making these observations insufficient for climate monitoring. Satellite data can provide the information needed. However, only few satellite sensors offer the possibility to analyse time series which cover 25 years or more. The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) is among these and has been flown as a heritage instrument for almost 35 years. It will be carried on for at least ten more years finally offering a unique opportunity for satellite-based climate studies. Herein we present a satellite-based lake surface water temperature (LSWT) data set for European (pre-alpine) water bodies based on the extensive AVHRR 1 km data record (1989-2013) of the Remote Sensing Research Group at the University of Bern. It has been compiled out of AVHRR/2 (NOAA-07, -09, -11, -14) and AVHRR/3 (NOAA-16, -17, -18, -19 and Metop-A) data. The high accuracy needed for climate related studies requires careful pre-processing and consideration of the atmospheric state. Especially data from NOAA-16 and prior satellites were prone to noise, e.g., due to transmission errors or fluctuations in the instrument's thermal state. This has resulted in partly corrupted thermal calibration data and may cause errors of up to several Kelvin in the final resulting LSWT. Thus, a multi-stage correction scheme has been applied to the data to minimize these artefacts. The LSWT retrieval is based on a simulation-based scheme making use of the Radiative Transfer for TOVS (RTTOV) Version 10 together with operational analysis and reanalysis data from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. The resulting LSWTs were

  13. Inverse Geochemical Reaction Path Modelling and the Impact of Climate Change on Hydrologic Structure in Snowmelt-Dominated Catchments in the Southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, J. M.; Meixner, T.; Molotch, N. P.; Sickman, J. O.; Williams, M. W.; McIntosh, J. C.; Brooks, P. D.

    2011-12-01

    Snowmelt from alpine catchments provides 70-80% of the American Southwest's water resources. Climate change threatens to alter the timing and duration of snowmelt in high elevation catchments, which may also impact the quantity and the quality of these water resources. Modelling of these systems provides a robust theoretical framework to process the information extracted from the sparse physical measurement available in these sites due to their remote locations. Mass-balance inverse geochemical models (via PHREEQC, developed by the USGS) were applied to two snowmelt-dominated catchments; Green Lake 4 (GL4) in the Rockies and Emerald Lake (EMD) in the Sierra Nevada. Both catchments primarily consist of granite and granodiorite with a similar bulk geochemistry. The inputs for the models were the initial (snowpack) and final (catchment output) hydrochemistry and a catchment-specific suite of mineral weathering reactions. Models were run for wet and dry snow years, for early and late time periods (defined hydrologically as 1/2 of the total volume for the year). Multiple model solutions were reduced to a representative suite of reactions by choosing the model solution with the fewest phases and least overall phase change. The dominant weathering reactions (those which contributed the most solutes) were plagioclase for GL4 and albite for EMD. Results for GL4 show overall more plagioclase weathering during the dry year (214.2g) than wet year (89.9g). Both wet and dry years show more weathering in the early time periods (63% and 56%, respectively). These results show that the snowpack and outlet are chemically more similar during wet years than dry years. A possible hypothesis to explain this difference is a change in contribution from subsurface storage; during the wet year the saturated catchment reduces contact with surface materials that would result in mineral weathering reactions by some combination of reduced infiltration and decreased subsurface transit time. By

  14. Hydrological effects of fire in South-African mountain catchments

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scott, DF

    1993-10-01

    Full Text Available is entirely suppressed and a deep litter mat develops giving a continuous cover with good soil protection characteristics. The timber plantations are at risk of burning as they are surrounded by fire-maintained vegetation... in vegetation type and fire characteristics. Description of the research catchments and treatments The catchments studied are all small, mountainous and with a high rainfall, each forming part of long-term experimental catchment...

  15. La recherche alpine aujourd’hui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Jacques Brun

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine research benefits from several international coordination networks, only one of which – ISCAR (the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps – works solely in the Alpine arc. The creation of ISCAR is a consequence of the input and involvement of various Alpine partners around the Alpine Convention. Alpine research now aims to promote an integrated vision of Alpine territories focusing on creating and maintaining spatial and temporal networks of sustainable relationships between humans and the other components of the ecosphere. It combines resource usage with conservation of the biological and cultural diversity that makes up the Alpine identity. This article aims to show: (1 how international Alpine research coordination is organised; (2 the role played by the Alpine Convention as a framework of reference for specifically Alpine research; and (3 the role that the ISCAR international commit-tee and the Interreg “Alpine Space” programmes play in uniting research around territorial challenges relating to biodiversity conservation and territorial development.La recherche sur les Alpes bénéficie de plusieurs réseaux de coordination internationaux dont un seul, le comité international recherche alpine (ISCAR, se consacre exclusivement à l’arc alpin. La création de l’ISCAR est une retombée de la mobilisation des divers partenaires alpins autour de la mise en place de la Convention alpine. Aujourd’hui, la recherche alpine vise à promouvoir une vision intégrée des territoires centrée sur la création et le maintien d’un réseau spatial et temporel de relations durables entre les hommes et les autres composantes de l’écosphère. Elle associe étroitement la mise en valeur des ressources et la conservation des diversités biologiques et culturelles qui constituent l’identité alpine. Cet article a pour ambition de montrer : (1 comment s’organise la coordination internationale des recherches sur les

  16. From hydro-geomorphological mapping to sediment transfer evaluation in the Upper Guil Catchment (Queyras, French Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissak, Candide; Fort, Monique; Arnaud-Fassetta, Gilles; Mathieu, Alexandre; Malet, Jean-Philippe; Carlier, Benoit; Betard, François; Cossart, Etienne; Madelin, Malika; Viel, Vincent; Charney, Bérengère; Bletterie, Xavier

    2014-05-01

    The Guil River catchment (Queyras, Southern French Alps) is prone to hydro-geomorphic hazards related to catastrophic floods, with an amplification of their impacts due to strong hillslope-channel connectivity such as in 1957 (> R.I. 100 yr), and more recently in 2000 (R.I. 30 yr). In both cases, the rainfall intensity, aggravated by pre-existing saturated soils, explained the immediate response of the fluvial system and the subsequent destabilisation of slopes. This resulted in serious damages to infrastructure and buildings in the valley bottom, mostly along some specific reaches and confluences with debris flow prone tributaries. After each event, new protective structures are built. One of the purposes of this study, undertaken in the frame of the SAMCO (ANR) project, was to understand the hydro-geomorphological functioning of this upper Alpine catchment in a context of hazards mitigation and sustainable management of sediment yield, transfer and deposition. To determine the main sediment storages that could be mobilised during the next major hydro-meteorological events, the first step of our study consists in the identification and characterisation of areas that play a role into the sediment transfer processing. From environmental characteristics (channel geometric, vegetation cover…) and anthropogenic factors (hydraulic infrastructures, urban development…), a semi-automatic method provides a typology of contribution areas with sediment storages sensitive to erosion, or areas that will be prone to deposition of sediments during the next flooding event. The second step of the study is focused on the sediment storages with their characterisation and connectivity to the trunk channel. Taking into account the entire catchment and including the torrential system, this phase analyses the sedimentary transfers from the identification and classification of sediment storages to the evaluation of the degree of connectivity with the main or secondary channels. The

  17. Fungal associations of roots of dominant and sub-dominant plants in high-alpine vegetation systems with special reference to mycorrhiza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haselwandter, K; Read, D J

    1980-04-01

    Types of root infection were analysed in healthy dominant and sub-dominant plants of zonal and azonal vegetation above the timberline in the Central and Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria. In the open nival zone vegetation, infection by fungi of the Rhizoctonia type was predominant, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection, which was mostly of the fine endophyte (Glomus tenuis) type, being light and mainly restricted to grasses in closed vegetation patches. More extensive Glomus tenuis infection was found in the alpine grass heath, but in Carex, Rhizoctonia was again the most important fungus. The ericaceous plants of the dwarf shrub heath have typical ericoid infection, but quantitative analysis reveals a decrease of infection intensity with increase of altitude. The possible function of the various types of root infection are discussed, and the status of Rhizoctonia as a possible mycorrhizal fungus is considered.

  18. Hydrological processes in small catchments of mountain headwater lakes: The Tatra Mountains

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křeček, J.; Turek, Jan; Ljungren, E.; Stuchlík, E.; Šporka, F.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 61, Suppl. 18 (2006), S1-S10 ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA103/04/0214 Grant - others:MSM(CZ) 6840770002; EC(XE) GOCE-CT-2003-505540; EC(XE) EVK1-CT-1999-00032 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : alpine catchments * evapotranspiration * runoff genesis * precipitation Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology Impact factor: 0.213, year: 2006

  19. Catchment-scale evaluation of pollution potential of urban snow at two residential catchments in southern Finland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillanpää, Nora; Koivusalo, Harri

    2013-01-01

    Despite the crucial role of snow in the hydrological cycle in cold climate conditions, monitoring studies of urban snow quality often lack discussions about the relevance of snow in the catchment-scale runoff management. In this study, measurements of snow quality were conducted at two residential catchments in Espoo, Finland, simultaneously with continuous runoff measurements. The results of the snow quality were used to produce catchment-scale estimates of areal snow mass loads (SML). Based on the results, urbanization reduced areal snow water equivalent but increased pollutant accumulation in snow: SMLs in a medium-density residential catchment were two- to four-fold higher in comparison with a low-density residential catchment. The main sources of pollutants were related to vehicular traffic and road maintenance, but also pet excrement increased concentrations to a high level. Ploughed snow can contain 50% of the areal pollutant mass stored in snow despite its small surface area within a catchment.

  20. Assessing the seasonal variability of ephemeral gully erosion using high-frequency monitoring: case study in a fully cultivated catchment (The Pommeroye, Northern France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patault, E.; Alary, C.; Franke, C.; Gauthier, A.; Abriak, N. E.

    2017-12-01

    Gully erosion results in on-site and off-site problems including the loss of cultivated soils, the silting of riverbeds and dams as well as infrastructure and property damage by muddy floods. Regions of intensive agricultural production situated on the European loess belt are particularly affected. Recently a growing interest has focused on ephemeral gullies since there have been recognized as a major contributor to the sediment yield in small agricultural catchment in this area. The aims of this case study are (i) to quantify the sediment yield transported by ephemeral gullies, (ii) to identify parameters that control the function of the hydro-sedimentary response and (iii) to evaluate the influence of seasonal variability on the ephemeral gully erosion. For this study a high-frequency monitoring station was implemented. For each flood event, 8 variables related to hydro-sedimentary and rainfall dynamics are calculated and the relationships between these variables are analyzed using the Pearson correlation matrix and Principal Component Analysis. During the first year of monitoring (03/2016-03/2017), 22 flood events were recorded of which 75% occurred in spring and winter. The specific sediment yield was evaluated to 30 t km-2 yr-1 which is conventional for the study region but the results show a highly variable seasonal distribution; 90% of the sedimentary transfer occurred in winter and autumn. The main reasons were a high cumulative rainfall and a long duration for the events. The maximum suspended sediment concentration at the catchment outlet was observed in spring, likely due to maximum rainfall intensities in that season. Also, a huge variability between the events is observed; e.g. one exceptional rain storm in 11/2016 represents 45% of the total sediment yield of the study period. For the monitored 22 events, 2 different types of hysteresis behavior were observed: (i) clockwise and (ii) complex. In winter, only clockwise hysteresis was observed. These

  1. Opportunities for Skin Cancer Prevention Education among Individuals Attending a Community Skin Cancer Screening in a High-Risk Catchment Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Bridget Grahmann; Gren, Lisa H; Simonsen, Sara E; Harding, Garrett; Grossman, Douglas; Wu, Yelena P

    2018-04-01

    Despite the highly preventable nature of skin cancer, it remains the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. Recommendations for a complete skin cancer prevention regimen include engaging in photoprotection (e.g., sunscreen use), avoiding skin cancer risk behaviors (e.g., tanning), and receiving total body skin exams from a health care provider. The current study examined reported engagement in these behaviors among participants attending a community skin cancer screening (N = 319) in a high-risk catchment area to assess the need for increased health education on skin cancer prevention. Participants' responses indicate a history of suboptimal avoidance of skin cancer risk behaviors. Over half of participants (52%) reported four or more blistering sunburns before age 20, and 46% reported indoor tanning at least one during their lifetime. There is a need among this population for education regarding a complete skin cancer prevention regimen, which could improve adherence to photoprotection and avoidance of skin cancer risk behaviors, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality due to skin cancer.

  2. Large catchment area recharges Titan's Ontario Lacus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhingra, Rajani D.; Barnes, Jason W.; Yanites, Brian J.; Kirk, Randolph L.

    2018-01-01

    We seek to address the question of what processes are at work to fill Ontario Lacus while other, deeper south polar basins remain empty. Our hydrological analysis indicates that Ontario Lacus has a catchment area spanning 5.5% of Titan's surface and a large catchment area to lake surface area ratio. This large catchment area translates into large volumes of liquid making their way to Ontario Lacus after rainfall. The areal extent of the catchment extends to at least southern mid-latitudes (40°S). Mass conservation calculations indicate that runoff alone might completely fill Ontario Lacus within less than half a Titan year (1 Titan year = 29.5 Earth years) assuming no infiltration. Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) observations of clouds over the southern mid and high-latitudes are consistent with precipitation feeding Ontario's large catchment area. This far-flung rain may be keeping Ontario Lacus filled, making it a liquid hydrocarbon oasis in the relatively dry south polar region.

  3. Simulating Catchment Scale Afforestation for Mitigating Flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, M. S.; Bathurst, J. C.; Quinn, P. F.; Birkinshaw, S.

    2016-12-01

    After the 2013-14, and the more recent 2015-16, winter floods in the UK there were calls to 'forest the uplands' as a solution to reducing flood risk across the nation. However, the role of forests as a natural flood management practice remains highly controversial, due to a distinct lack of robust evidence into its effectiveness in reducing flood risk during extreme events. This project aims to improve the understanding of the impacts of upland afforestation on flood risk at the sub-catchment and full catchment scales. This will be achieved through an integrated fieldwork and modelling approach, with the use of a series of process based hydrological models to scale up and examine the effects forestry can have on flooding. Furthermore, there is a need to analyse the extent to which land management practices, catchment system engineering and the installation of runoff attenuation features (RAFs), such as engineered log jams, in headwater catchments can attenuate flood-wave movement, and potentially reduce downstream flood risk. Additionally, the proportion of a catchment or riparian reach that would need to be forested in order to achieve a significant impact on reducing downstream flooding will be defined. The consequential impacts of a corresponding reduction in agriculturally productive farmland and the potential decline of water resource availability will also be considered in order to safeguard the UK's food security and satisfy the global demand on water resources.

  4. Sediment storage quantification and postglacial evolution of an inner-alpine sedimentary basin (Gradenmoos, Schober Mountains, Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götz, J.; Buckel, J.; Otto, J. C.; Schrott, L.

    2012-04-01

    Knickpoints in longitudinal valley profiles of alpine headwater catchments can be frequently assigned to the lithological and tectonical setting, to damming effects through large (rockfall) deposits, or to the impact of Pleistocene glaciations causing overdeepened basins. As a consequence various sedimentary sinks developed, which frequently interrupt sediment flux in alpine drainage basins. Today these locations may represent landscape archives documenting a sedimentary history of great value for the understanding of alpine landscape evolution. The glacially overdeepened Gradenmoos basin at 1920 m a.s.l. (an alpine lake mire with adjacent floodplain deposits and surrounding slope storage landforms; approx. 4.1 km2) is the most pronounced sink in the studied Gradenbach catchment (32.5 km2). The basin is completely filled up with sediments delivered by mainly fluvial processes, debris flows, and rock falls, it is assumed to be deglaciated since Egesen times and it is expected to archive a continuous stratigraphy of postglacial sedimentation. As the analysis of denudation-accumulation-systems is generally based on back-calculation of stored sediment volumes to a specific sediment delivering area, most reliable results will be consequently obtained (1) if sediment output of the system can be neglected for the investigated period of time, (2) if - due to spatial scale - sediment storage can be assessed quantitatively with a high level of accuracy, and (3) if the sediment contributing area can be clearly delimited. All three aspects are considered to be fulfilled to a high degree within the Gradenmoos basin. Sediment storage is quantified using geophysical methods, core drillings and GIS modelling whereas postglacial reconstruction is based on radiocarbon dating and palynological analyses. Subject to variable subsurface conditions, different geophysical methods were applied to detect bedrock depth. Electrical resistivity surveying (2D/3D) was used most extensively as it

  5. Trends in stream nitrogen concentrations for forested reference catchments across the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Argerich; S.L. Johnson; S.D. Sebestyen; C.C. Rhoades; E. Greathouse; J.D. Knoepp; M.B. Adams; G.E. Likens; J.L. Campbell; W.H. McDowell; F.N. Scatena; G.G. Ice

    2013-01-01

    To examine whether stream nitrogen concentrations in forested reference catchments have changed over time and if patterns were consistent across the USA, we synthesized up to 44 yr of data collected from 22 catchments at seven USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests. Trends in stream nitrogen presented high spatial variability both among catchments at a site and among...

  6. Staying cool: preadaptation to temperate climates required for colonising tropical alpine-like environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berit Gehrke

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant species tend to retain their ancestral ecology, responding to temporal, geographic and climatic changes by tracking suitable habitats rather than adapting to novel conditions. Nevertheless, transitions into different environments or biomes still seem to be common. Especially intriguing are the tropical alpine-like areas found on only the highest mountainous regions surrounded by tropical environments. Tropical mountains are hotspots of biodiversity, often with striking degrees of endemism at higher elevations. On these mountains, steep environmental gradients and high habitat heterogeneity within small spaces coincide with astounding species diversity of great conservation value. The analysis presented here shows that the importance of in situ speciation in tropical alpine-like areas has been underestimated. Additionally and contrary to widely held opinion, the impact of dispersal from other regions with alpine-like environments is relatively minor compared to that of immigration from other biomes with a temperate (but not alpine-like climate. This suggests that establishment in tropical alpine-like regions is favoured by preadaptation to a temperate, especially aseasonal, freezing regime such as the cool temperate climate regions in the Tropics. Furthermore, emigration out of an alpine-like environment is generally rare, suggesting that alpine-like environments – at least tropical ones – are species sinks.

  7. Evolutionary diversification of cryophilic Grylloblatta species (Grylloblattodea: Grylloblattidae in alpine habitats of California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderick George K

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Climate in alpine habitats has undergone extreme variation during Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs, resulting in repeated expansion and contraction of alpine glaciers. Many cold-adapted alpine species have responded to these climatic changes with long-distance range shifts. These species typically exhibit shallow genetic differentiation over a large geographical area. In contrast, poorly dispersing organisms often form species complexes within mountain ranges, such as the California endemic ice-crawlers (Grylloblattodea: Grylloblattidae: Grylloblatta. The diversification pattern of poorly dispersing species might provide more information on the localized effects of historical climate change, the importance of particular climatic events, as well as the history of dispersal. Here we use multi-locus genetic data to examine the phylogenetic relationships and geographic pattern of diversification in California Grylloblatta. Results Our analysis reveals a pattern of deep genetic subdivision among geographically isolated populations of Grylloblatta in California. Alpine populations diverged from low elevation populations and subsequently diversified. Using a Bayesian relaxed clock model and both uncalibrated and calibrated measurements of time to most recent common ancestor, we reconstruct the temporal diversification of alpine Grylloblatta populations. Based on calibrated relaxed clock estimates, evolutionary diversification of Grylloblatta occurred during the Pliocene-Pleistocene epochs, with an initial dispersal into California during the Pliocene and species diversification in alpine clades during the middle Pleistocene epoch. Conclusions Grylloblatta species exhibit a high degree of genetic subdivision in California with well defined geographic structure. Distinct glacial refugia can be inferred within the Sierra Nevada, corresponding to major, glaciated drainage basins. Low elevation populations are sister to alpine populations

  8. Examination of catchment areas for public transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Landex, Alex; Hansen, Stephen; Andersen, Jonas Lohmann Elkjær

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents a method to examine the catchment areas for stops in high quality public transport systems based on the street network in the examined area. This is achieved by implementing the Service Area functions from the ArcGIS extension Network Analyst. The method is compared to a more...

  9. High resolution isotope data and ensemble modelling reveal ecohydrological controls on catchment storage-discharge relationships and flux travel time distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soulsby, C.; Kuppel, S.; Smith, A.; Tetzlaff, D.

    2017-12-01

    The dynamics of water storage in a catchment provides a fundamental insight into the interlinkages between input and output fluxes, and how these are affected by environmental change. Such dynamics also mediate, and help us understand, the fundamental difference of the rapid celerity of the rainfall-runoff (minutes to hours) response of catchments and the much slower velocity of water particles (months to decades) as they are transported through catchment systems. In this contribution we report an intensive, long-term (>10year), multi-scale isotope study in the Scottish Highlands that has sought to better understand these issues. We have integrated empirical data collection with diverse modelling approaches to quantify the dynamics and residence times of storage in different compartments of the hydrological system (vegetation canopies, soils, ground waters etc.) and their relationship between the magnitude and travel time distributions of output fluxes (stream flow, transpiration and evaporation). Use of conceptual, physically-based and probabilistic modelling approaches give broadly consistent perspectives on the storage-discharge relationships and the preferential selection of younger waters in runoff, evaporation and transpiration; while older waters predominate in groundwater. The work also highlighted the importance role vegetation plays in regulating fluxes in evaporation and transpiration and how this contributes to the differential ageing of water in mobile and bulk waters in the soil compartment. A separate case study shows how land use change can affect storage distributions in a catchment and radically change travel time distributions in output fluxes.

  10. How old is upland catchment water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Harald; Cartwright, Ian; Morgenstern, Uwe; Gilfedder, Benjamin

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the dynamics of water supply catchments is an essential part of water management. Upland catchments provide a continuous, reliable source of high quality water not only for some of the world's biggest cities, but also for agriculture and industry. Headwater streams control river flow in lowland agricultural basins as the majority of river discharge emerges from upland catchments. Many rivers are perennial and flow throughout the year, even during droughts. However, it is still unclear how reliable and continuous upland catchment water resources really are. Despite many efforts in upland catchment research, there is still little known about where the water is stored and how long it takes to travel through upper catchments. Resolving these questions is crucial to ensure that this resource is protected from changing land use and to estimate potential impacts from a changing climate. Previous research in this important area has been limited by existing measurement techniques. Knowledge to date has relied heavily on the use of variation in stable isotope signals to estimate the age and origin of water from upland catchments. The problem with relying on these measures is that as the water residence time increases, the variation in the stable isotope signal decreases. After a maximum period of four years, no variation can be detected This means that to date, the residence time in upland catchments is likely to have been vastly underestimated. Consequently, the proportion of water flow out of upland river catchments to the total river flow is also underestimated. Tritium (3H) combines directly with water molecules and enters the flow paths with the infiltrating water. Its half-life (12.32 years) makes it ideal to describe residence times in upper catchment reservoirs as it can theoretically measure water up to about 150 years old. The bomb pulse peak in the southern hemisphere was several orders of magnitude lower than in the northern hemisphere. Hence the

  11. Elucidating Critical Zone Process Interactions with an Integrated Hydrology Model in a Headwaters Research Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, C.; Maxwell, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    Providence Creek (P300) watershed is an alpine headwaters catchment located at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SSCZO). Evidence of groundwater-dependent vegetation and drought-induced tree mortality at P300 along with the effect of subsurface characterization on mountain ecohydrology motivates this study. A hyper resolution integrated hydrology model of this site, along with extensive instrumentation, provides an opportunity to study the effects of lateral groundwater flow on vegetation's tolerance to drought. ParFlow-CLM is a fully integrated surface-subsurface model that is driven with reconstructed meteorology, such as the North American Land Data Assimilation System project phase 2 (NLDAS-2) dataset. However, large-scale data products mute orographic effects on climate at smaller scales. Climate variables often do not behave uniformly in highly heterogeneous mountain regions. Therefore, forcing physically-based integrated hydrologic models—especially of mountain headwaters catchments—with a large-scale data product is a major challenge. Obtaining reliable observations in complex terrain is challenging and while climate data products introduce uncertainties likewise, documented discrepancies between several data products and P300 observations suggest these data products may suffice. To tackle these issues, a suite of simulations was run to parse out (1) the effects of climate data source (data products versus observations) and (2) the effects of climate data spatial variability. One tool for evaluating the effect of climate data on model outputs is the relationship between latent head flux (LH) and evapotranspiration (ET) partitioning with water table depth (WTD). This zone of LH sensitivity to WTD is referred to as the "critical zone." Preliminary results suggest that these critical zone relationships are preserved despite forcing albeit significant shifts in magnitude. These results demonstrate that integrated hydrology models are sensitive

  12. Alpine treeline and timberline dynamics during the Holocene in the Northern Romanian Carpathians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca GEANTĂ

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available High altitude environments (treeline and alpine communities are particularly sensitive to climate changes, disturbances and land-use changes due to their limited tolerance and adaptability range, habitat fragmentation and habitat restriction. The current and future climate warming is anticipated to shift the tree- and timberlines upwards thus affecting alpine plant communities and causing land-cover change and fragmentation of alpine habitats. An upslope movement of some trees, shrubs and cold adapted alpine herbs as a response to the current climate warming has already been noted in many montane and subalpine regions.Four Holocene peat and lacustrine sediment sequences located between 1670 and 1918 m a.s.l. (Fig.1, in the Rodna Mountains (Northern Romania, Eastern Carpathians are used with the aim to determine: i the sensitivity of high mountain habitats to climate, fire and land use changes; ii tree- and timberline shifts: and iii the influence of landscape topography on trees and shrubs.

  13. Evaluation of High-Temporal-Resolution Bedload Sensors for Tracking Channel Bed Movement and Transport Thresholds in Forested Mountain Headwater Catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, S.; Conklin, M. H.; Bales, R. C.

    2014-12-01

    High temporal resolution data is required to take channel bed movement data beyond time integrated changes between measurements where many of the subtleties of bedload movement patterns are often missed. This study used continuous bedload scour sensors (flexible, fluid-filled pans connected to a pressure transducer) to collect high temporal resolution, long term bedload movement data for 4 high elevation (1500-1800 m) Sierra Nevada headwater streams draining 1 km2 catchments and to investigate the physical channel characteristics under which they perform best. Data collected by the scour sensors were used to investigate the disturbance and recovery patterns of these streams, to relate the observed patterns to channel bed stability, and to evaluate whether the channel bed is acting as a sediment source, sink, or storage across various temporal scales. Finally, attempts are made to identify discharge thresholds for bed movement from scour sensor and discharge data and to compare these threshold values to observed changes in the channel bed. Bedload scour data, turbidity data, and stream discharge data were collected at 15 minute intervals for (WY 2011 to WY 2014), including both above average (2011) and below average (2012, 2013, 2014) water years. Bedload scour sensors were found to have a relatively high (60%) failure rate in these systems. In addition, they required in situ calibrations as the factory and laboratory calibrations did not translate well to the field deployments. Data from the working sensors, showed patterns of abrupt channel bed disturbance (scour and/or fill) on an hour to day temporal scale followed by gradual recovery on a day to month scale back to a stable equilibrium bed surface elevation. These observed patterns suggest the bed acts as a short term source or sink for sediment, but is roughly sediment neutral over longer time periods implying the changes in bed elevation are reflective of fluctuations in storage rather than a true source or

  14. Hydrological Modeling of the Upper Indus Basin: A Case Study from a High-Altitude Glacierized Catchment Hunza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khan Garee

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The Soil andWater Assessment Tool (SWAT model combined with a temperature index and elevation band algorithm was applied to the Hunza watershed, where snow and glacier-melt are the major contributor to river flow. This study’s uniqueness is its use of a snow melt algorithm (temperature index with elevation bands combined with the SWAT, applied to evaluate the performance of the SWAT model in the highly snow and glacier covered watershed of the Upper Indus Basin in response to climate change on future streamflow volume at the outlet of the Hunza watershed, and its contribution to the Indus River System in both space and time, despite its limitation; it is not designed to cover the watershed of heterogeneous mountains. The model was calibrated for the years 1998–2004 and validated for the years 2008–2010. The model performance is evaluated using the four recommended statistical coefficients with uncertainty analysis (p-factor and r-factor. Simulations generated good calibration and validation results for the daily flow gauge. The model efficiency was evaluated, and a strong relationship was observed between the simulated and observed flows. The model results give a coefficient of determination (R2 of 0.82 and a Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency index (NS of 0.80 for the daily flow with values of p-factor (79% and r-factor (76%. The SWAT model was also used to evaluate climate change impact on hydrological regimes, the target watershed with three GCMs (General Circulation Model of the IPCC fifth report for 2030–2059 and 2070–2099, using 1980–2010 as the control period. Overall, temperature (1.39 C to 6.58 C and precipitation (31% indicated increased variability at the end of the century with increasing river flow (5%–10%; in particular, the analysis showed smaller absolute changes in the hydrology of the study area towards the end of the century. The results revealed that the calibrated model was more sensitive towards temperature and

  15. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  16. Snowmelt runoff from northern alpine tundra hillslopes: major processes and methods of simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In northern alpine tundra, large slope gradients, late-lying snow drifts and shallow soils overlying impermeable substrates all contribute to large hillslope runoff volumes during the spring freshet. Understanding the processes and pathways of hillslope runoff in this environment is, therefore, critical to understanding the water cycle within northern alpine tundra ecosystems. This study: (a presents the results of a field study on runoff from a sub-alpine tundra hillslope with a large snow drift during the spring melt period; (b identifies the major runoff processes that must be represented in simulations of snowmelt runoff from sub-alpine tundra hillslopes; (c describes how these processes can be represented in a numerical simulation model; and d compares field measurements with modelled output to validate or refute the conceptual understanding of runoff generation embodied in the process simulations. The study was conducted at Granger Creek catchment, 15 km south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on a north-facing slope below a late-lying snow drift. For the freshet period, the major processes to be represented in a runoff model include the rate of meltwater release from the late-lying snowdrift, the elevation and thickness of the saturated layer, the magnitude of the soil permeability and its variation with depth. The daily cycle of net all-wave radiation was observed to drive the diurnal pulses of melt water from the drift; this, in turn, was found to control the daily pulses of flow through the hillslope subsurface and in the stream channel. The computed rate of frost table lowering fell within the observed values; however, there was wide variation among the measured frost table depths. Spatial variability in frost table depth would result in spatial variabilities in saturated layer depth and thickness, which would, in turn, produce variations in subsurface flow rates over the slope, including preferential flowpaths. Keywords

  17. Catchment areas for public transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jonas Lohmann Elkjær; Landex, Alex

    2008-01-01

    In the planning of public transport catchment areas of stops are often included to estimate potential number of travellers. There are different approaches to GIS-based catchment area analyses depending on the desired level of detail. The Circular Buffer approach is the fundamental, but also....../from stations. The article also shows how the refinement of the Service Area approach with additional time resistance results in smaller catchment areas when the feeder routes cross stairs. It is concluded that GIS-based catchment area analyses are a multiple decision support tool for planning of public...... transport where the level of detail can be suited to the purpose....

  18. An integrated study to evaluate debris flow hazard in alpine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiranti, Davide; Crema, Stefano; Cavalli, Marco; Deangeli, Chiara

    2018-05-01

    Debris flows are among the most dangerous natural processes affecting the alpine environment due to their magnitude (volume of transported material) and the long runout. The presence of structures and infrastructures on alluvial fans can lead to severe problems in terms of interactions between debris flows and human activities. Risk mitigation in these areas requires identifying the magnitude, triggers, and propagation of debris flows. Here, we propose an integrated methodology to characterize these phenomena. The methodology consists of three complementary procedures. Firstly, we adopt a classification method based on the propensity of the catchment bedrocks to produce clayey-grained material. The classification allows us to identify the most likely rheology of the process. Secondly, we calculate a sediment connectivity index to estimate the topographic control on the possible coupling between the sediment source areas and the catchment channel network. This step allows for the assessment of the debris supply, which is most likely available for the channelized processes. Finally, with the data obtained in the previous steps, we modelled the propagation and depositional pattern of debris flows with a 3D code based on Cellular Automata. The results of the numerical runs allow us to identify the depositional patterns and the areas potentially involved in the flow processes. This integrated methodology is applied to a test-bed catchment located in Northwestern Alps. The results indicate that this approach can be regarded as a useful tool to estimate debris flow related potential hazard scenarios in an alpine environment in an expeditious way without possessing an exhaustive knowledge of the investigated catchment, including data on historical debris flow events.

  19. An Integrated Study to Evaluate Debris Flow Hazard in Alpine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Tiranti

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Debris flows are among the most dangerous natural processes affecting the alpine environment due to their magnitude (volume of transported material and the long runout. The presence of structures and infrastructures on alluvial fans can lead to severe problems in terms of interactions between debris flows and human activities. Risk mitigation in these areas requires identifying the magnitude, triggers, and propagation of debris flows. Here, we propose an integrated methodology to characterize these phenomena. The methodology consists of three complementary procedures. Firstly, we adopt a classification method based on the propensity of the catchment bedrocks to produce clayey-grained material. The classification allows us to identify the most likely rheology of the process. Secondly, we calculate a sediment connectivity index to estimate the topographic control on the possible coupling between the sediment source areas and the catchment channel network. This step allows for the assessment of the debris supply, which is most likely available for the channelized processes. Finally, with the data obtained in the previous steps, we modeled the propagation and depositional pattern of debris flows with a 3D code based on Cellular Automata. The results of the numerical runs allow us to identify the depositional patterns and the areas potentially involved in the flow processes. This integrated methodology is applied to a test-bed catchment located in Northwestern Alps. The results indicate that this approach can be regarded as a useful tool to estimate debris flow related potential hazard scenarios in an alpine environment in an expeditious way without possessing an exhaustive knowledge of the investigated catchment, including data on historical debris flow events.

  20. Development of catchment research, with particular attention to Plynlimon and its forerunner, the East African catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackie, J. R.; Robinson, M.

    2007-01-01

    Dr J.S.G. McCulloch was deeply involved in the establishment of research catchments in East Africa and subsequently in the UK to investigate the hydrological consequences of changes in land use. Comparison of these studies provides an insight into how influential his inputs and direction have been in the progressive development of the philosophy, the instrumentation and the analytical techniques now employed in catchment research. There were great contrasts in the environments: tropical highland (high radiation, intense rainfall) vs. temperate maritime (low radiation and frontal storms), contrasting soils and vegetation types, as well as the differing social and economic pressures in developing and developed nations. Nevertheless, the underlying scientific philosophy was common to both, although techniques had to be modified according to local conditions. As specialised instrumentation and analytical techniques were developed for the UK catchments many were also integrated into the East African studies. Many lessons were learned in the course of these studies and from the experiences of other studies around the world. Overall, a rigorous scientific approach was developed with widespread applicability. Beyond the basics of catchment selection and the quantification of the main components of the catchment water balance, this involved initiating parallel process studies to provide information on specific aspects of catchment behaviour. This information could then form the basis for models capable of extrapolation from the observed time series to other periods/hydrological events and, ultimately, the capability of predicting the consequences of changes in catchment land management to other areas in a range of climates.

  1. SEA in local land use planning - first experience in the Alpine States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiricka, Alexandra; Proebstl, Ulrike

    2008-01-01

    In the Alpine area, planning decisions can result in far-reaching consequences because of the high sensitivity of the Alpine ecosystems. This article is based on two hypotheses: (1) The Alpine states/regions were aware of their sensitive environment and therefore recognized the necessity of introducing a comparable instrument to assess local land use planning. (2) By introducing this differentiated assessment tool, namely SEA, an increase in costs may be the consequence. However, better and more transparent planning can contribute to the enhancement of planning standards. To reveal the validity of these assumptions the legal implementation in the Alpine countries Austria, Germany, Italy and France was examined as well as first practical experience resulting from the determined procedures. The results of the implementation process in the four states were compared and discussed on the basis of selected process steps of SEA

  2. Ethnobotany of medicinal plants among the communities of Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayani, Sadaf; Ahmad, Mushtaq; Sultana, Shazia; Khan Shinwari, Zabta; Zafar, Muhammed; Yaseen, Ghulam; Hussain, Manzoor; Bibi, Tahira

    2015-04-22

    To best of our knowledge it is first quantitative ethno-botanical study from Alpine and Sub-alpine, Western Himalaya of Pakistan. The study aims to report, compare the uses and highlight the ethno-botanical significance of medicinal plants for treatment of various diseases. A total of 290 (278 males and 12 females) informants including 14 Local Traditional Healers (LTHs) were interviewed. Information was collected using semi-structured interviews, analyzed and compared by quantitative ethno-botanical indices such as Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Relative frequency of citation (RFC), use value (UV), Fidelity Level (FL) and Jaccard index (JI). A total of 125 plant species (Gymnosperms 7 species, Monocotyledons 2 and 116 Di-cotyledons) belonging to 41 families are collected, identified and ethno-botanically assessed. The most dominant family is Ranunculaceae (20 species) followed by Rosaceae (14 species). In diseases treated, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) diseases have highest proportion (27.5%) followed by respiratory diseases (20%) in the mountain communities. The most dominant life form of plants used is herbs (78%) followed by shrubs (19%) while the most commonly used plant parts are leaves (44 reports) followed by underground part, the roots (37 reports). The highest ICF (0.68) is found for ear, nose and eye disease category followed by respiratory disorders (0.46). There are 15 medicinal plants having 100% FL. Use value (UV) and Relative frequency of citation (RFC) range from 0.03 to 0.53 and 0.04 to 0.23 respectively. In comparison, maximum similarity index is found in the studies with JI 19.52 followed by 17.39. Similarity percentage of plant uses range from 1.69% to 19.52% while dissimilarity percentage varies from 0% to 20%. The Alpine and Sub-alpine regions of Pakistan are rich in medicinal plants and still need more research exploration. On the other hand, ethno-botanical knowledge in study areas is decreasing day by day due to high emigration rates

  3. A review of hydrological and chemical stressors in the Adige catchment and its ecological status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiogna, Gabriele; Majone, Bruno; Cano Paoli, Karina; Diamantini, Elena; Stella, Elisa; Mallucci, Stefano; Lencioni, Valeria; Zandonai, Fabiana; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying the effects of multiple stressors on Alpine freshwater ecosystems is challenging, due to the lack of tailored field campaigns for the contemporaneous measurement of hydrological, chemical and ecological parameters. Conducting exhaustive field campaigns is costly and hence most of the activities so far have been performed addressing specific environmental issues. An accurate analysis of existing information is therefore useful and necessary, to identify stressors that may act in synergy and to design new field campaigns. We present an extended review of available studies and datasets concerning the hydrological, chemical and ecological status of the Adige, which is the second longest river and the third largest river basin in Italy. The most relevant stressors are discussed in the light of the information extracted from a large number of studies. The detailed analysis of these studies identified that hydrological alterations caused by hydropower production are the main source of stress for the freshwater ecosystems in the Adige catchment. However, concurrent effects with other stressors, such as the release of pollutants from waste water treatment plants or from agricultural and industrial activities, have not been explored at depth, so far. A wealth of available studies address a single stressor separately without exploring their concurrent effect. It is concluded that a combination of extended experimental field campaigns, focusing on the coupled effects of multiple stressors, and modeling activities is highly needed in order to quantify the impact of the multifaceted human pressures on freshwater ecosystems in the Adige river. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Geochronologic constraints of the uplift and metamorphism along the Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chamberlain, C.P.; Zeitler, P.K.; Cooper, A.F.

    1995-01-01

    Geochronological studies of pegmatites and Alpine Schist exposed east of the Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand, reveal a complex history beginning with magmatism and metamorphism at c. 68 m.y. ago and ending with rapid uplift and exhumation in the last 5 m.y. Pegmatites exposed in the Mataketake Range give conventional U-Pb monazite and SHRIMP ion-probe zircon ages of 68 ± 2.6 Ma and 67.9 ± 2.5 Ma, respectively. Inasmuch as petrologic and isotopic data indicate that the Alpine pegmatites are melts derived from the Alpine Schist, the age of the pegmatites suggests that, at least locally, the high-grade metamorphism is considerably younger than previously assumed. We tentatively suggest that metamorphism, in at least some areas of the Alpine Schist, may be associated with Late Cretaceous transtension rather than resulting from the consequences of collision during the Rangitata Orogeny. 40 Ar/ 39 Ar studies of hornblendes from the Alpine Schist, collected from the Haast River to the Franz Josef Glacier area, reveal highly disturbed spectra. Despite this complexity, these analyses define a systematic decrease in ages both across-strike toward the Alpine Fault (Haast River traverse) and northwards along-strike towards Mt Cook. This pattern of decreasing 40 Ar/ 39 Ar hornblende ages is also observed in lower closure temperature systems such as zircon and apatite fission-track ages. We interpret the decrease in ages toward the fault to be the result of deeper exhumation in the immediate vicinity of the Alpine Fault, whereas we interpret the northward younging of fault-proximal samples to be a result of both more recent and possibly more extensive exhumation than occurred in areas to the south. (author). 55 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  5. Repeated fault rupture recorded by paleoenvironmental changes in a wetland sedimentary sequence ponded against the Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, K.; Berryman, K. R.; Cochran, U. A.; Bartholomew, T.; Turner, G. M.

    2010-12-01

    At Hokuri Creek, in south Westland, New Zealand, an 18 m thickness of Holocene sediments has accumulated against the upthrown side of the Alpine Fault. Recent fluvial incision has created numerous exposures of this sedimentary sequence. At a decimetre to metre scale there are two dominant types of sedimentary units: clastic-dominated, grey silt packages, and organic-dominated, light brown peaty-silt units. These units represent repeated alternations of the paleoenvironment due to fault rupture over the past 7000 years. We have located the event horizons within the sedimentary sequence, and identified evidence to support earthquake-driven paleoenvironmental change (rather than climatic variability), and developed a model of paleoenvironmental changes over a typical seismic cycle. To quantitatively characterise the sediments we use high resolution photography, x-ray imaging, magnetic-susceptibility and total carbon analysis. To understand the depositional environment we used diatom and pollen studies. The organic-rich units have very low magnetic susceptibility and density values, with high greyscale and high total carbon values. Diatoms indicate these units represent stable wetland environments with standing water and predominantly in-situ organic material deposition. The clastic-rich units are characterised by higher magnetic susceptibility and density values, with low greyscale and total carbon. The clastic-rich units represent environments of flowing water and deep pond settings that received predominantly catchment-derived silt and sand. The event horizon is located at the upper contact of the organic-rich horizons. The event horizon contact marks a drastic change in hydrologic regime as fault rupture changed the stream base level and there was a synchronous influx of clastic sediment as the catchment responded to earthquake shaking. During the interseismic period the flowing-water environment gradually stabilised and returned to an organic-rich wetland. Such

  6. Response of alpine vegetation growth dynamics to snow cover phenology on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X.; Wu, C.

    2017-12-01

    Alpine vegetation plays a crucial role in global energy cycles with snow cover, an essential component of alpine land cover showing high sensitivity to climate change. The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has a typical alpine vegetation ecosystem and is rich of snow resources. With global warming, the snow of the TP has undergone significant changes that will inevitably affect the growth of alpine vegetation, but observed evidence of such interaction is limited. In particular, a comprehensive understanding of the responses of alpine vegetation growth to snow cover variability is still not well characterized on TP region. To investigate this, we calculated three indicators, the start (SOS) and length (LOS) of growing season, and the maximum of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVImax) as proxies of vegetation growth dynamics from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data for 2000-2015. Snow cover duration (SCD) and melt (SCM) dates were also extracted during the same time frame from the combination of MODIS and the Interactive Multi-sensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) data. We found that the snow cover phenology had a strong control on alpine vegetation growth dynamics. Furthermore, the responses of SOS, LOS and NDVImax to snow cover phenology varied among plant functional types, eco-geographical zones, and temperature and precipitation gradients. The alpine steppes showed a much stronger negative correlation between SOS and SCD, and also a more evidently positive relationship between LOS and SCD than other types, indicating a longer SCD would lead to an earlier SOS and longer LOS. Most areas showed positive correlation between SOS and SCM, while a contrary response was also found in the warm but drier areas. Both SCD and SCM showed positive correlations with NDVImax, but the relationship became weaker with the increase of precipitation. Our findings provided strong evidences between vegetation growth and snow cover phenology, and changes in

  7. Semaine alpine 2008 : innover (dans) les Alpes

    OpenAIRE

    Bourdeau, Philippe; Bourdeau, Philippe; Corneloup, Jean; Corneloup, Jean; Finger-Stich, Andréa; Finger-Stich, Andréa; Giraut, Frédéric; Giraut, Frédéric; Kohler, Yann; Kohler, Yann; Macchiavelli, Andrea; Macchiavelli, Andrea; Scheurer, Thomas; Scheurer, Thomas; Ullrich, Aurelia

    2009-01-01

    Ce premier dossier en ligne se penche sur une question de grande actualité : l’innovation, pour interroger les conceptions et mises en œuvre de démarches innovantes dans les contextes montagnards. Ces textes sont issus de la « Semaine alpine », qui s’est déroulée en juin 2008 à l’Argentière-La Bessée, dans les Hautes-Alpes (France). Ces « Semaines alpines », en alternance avec les « Forums alpins », rassemblent tous les deux ans des chercheurs et des acteurs locaux de l’ensemble de l’arc alp...

  8. Uncertainty in hydrological signatures for gauged and ungauged catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerberg, Ida K.; Wagener, Thorsten; Coxon, Gemma; McMillan, Hilary K.; Castellarin, Attilio; Montanari, Alberto; Freer, Jim

    2016-03-01

    Reliable information about hydrological behavior is needed for water-resource management and scientific investigations. Hydrological signatures quantify catchment behavior as index values, and can be predicted for ungauged catchments using a regionalization procedure. The prediction reliability is affected by data uncertainties for the gauged catchments used in prediction and by uncertainties in the regionalization procedure. We quantified signature uncertainty stemming from discharge data uncertainty for 43 UK catchments and propagated these uncertainties in signature regionalization, while accounting for regionalization uncertainty with a weighted-pooling-group approach. Discharge uncertainty was estimated using Monte Carlo sampling of multiple feasible rating curves. For each sampled rating curve, a discharge time series was calculated and used in deriving the gauged signature uncertainty distribution. We found that the gauged uncertainty varied with signature type, local measurement conditions and catchment behavior, with the highest uncertainties (median relative uncertainty ±30-40% across all catchments) for signatures measuring high- and low-flow magnitude and dynamics. Our regionalization method allowed assessing the role and relative magnitudes of the gauged and regionalized uncertainty sources in shaping the signature uncertainty distributions predicted for catchments treated as ungauged. We found that (1) if the gauged uncertainties were neglected there was a clear risk of overconditioning the regionalization inference, e.g., by attributing catchment differences resulting from gauged uncertainty to differences in catchment behavior, and (2) uncertainty in the regionalization results was lower for signatures measuring flow distribution (e.g., mean flow) than flow dynamics (e.g., autocorrelation), and for average flows (and then high flows) compared to low flows.

  9. Gravel bar thermal variability and its potential consequences for CO2 evasion from Alpine coldwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boodoo, Kyle; Battin, Tom; Schelker, Jakob

    2017-04-01

    Gravel bars (GB) are ubiquitous in-stream structures with relatively large exposed surfaces, capable of absorbing heat and possibly acting as a heat source to the underlying hyporheic zone (HZ). The distinctive mixing of groundwater and surface water within their HZ largely determines its characteristic physical and biogeochemical properties, including temperature distribution. To study thermal variability within GBs and its possible consequences for CO2 evasion fluxes we analysed high frequency spatio-temporal data for a range of stream and atmospheric physical parameters including the vertical GB temperature, in an Alpine cold water stream (Oberer Seebach, Austria) over the course of a year. We found the vertical temperature profiles within the GB to vary seasonally and with discharge. We extended our study to 13 other gravel bars of varying physical characteristics within the surrounding Ybbs and Erlauf catchments, conducting diurnal spot samplings in summer 2016. Temperatures within the observed permanently wetted hyporheic zone (-56 to -100cm depth below GB surface) of the OSB, were warmer than both end members, surface water and groundwater >18% of the year, particularly during summer. There was a general increase in exceedance within the periodically wetted gravel bar sediment toward the gravel bar surface, further evidencing downward heat transfer to the wetted HZ. Average CO2 flux from the GB was significantly higher than that of streamwater during summer and winter, with significantly higher temperatures and CO2 outgassing rates occurring at the GB tail as compared to streamwater and the head and mid of the GB throughout the year. Higher cumulative (over 6 h) GB seasonal temperatures were associated with increased CO2 evasion fluxes within the OSB, particularly during summer. This enhanced CO2 flux may result from the input of warmer CO2-rich groundwater into the HZ in autumn, while downward heat transfer in summer may enhance GB metabolism and therefore

  10. Environmental care in agricultural catchments: Toward the communicative catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Peter

    1991-11-01

    Substantial land degradation of agricultural catchments in Australia has resulted from the importation of European farming methods and the large-scale clearing of land. Rural communities are now being encouraged by government to take responsibility for environmental care. The importance of community involvement is supported by the view that environmental problems are a function of interactions between people and their environment. It is suggested that the commonly held view that community groups cannot care for their resources is due to inappropriate social institutions rather that any inherent disability in people. The communicative catchment is developed as a vision for environmental care into the future. This concept emerges from a critique of resource management through the catchment metaphors of the reduced, mechanical, and the complex, evolving catchment, which reflect the development of systemic and people-centered approaches to environmental care. The communicative catchment is one where both community and resource managers participate collaboratively in environmental care. A methodology based on action research and systemic thinking (systemic action research) is proposed as a way of moving towards the communicative catchment of the future. Action research is a way of taking action in organizations and communities that is participative and informed by theory, while systemic thinking takes into account the interconnections and relationships between social and natural worlds. The proposed vision, methodology, and practical operating principles stem from involvement in an action research project looking at extension strategies for the implementation of total catchment management in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

  11. Urbanization and agriculture increase exports and differentially alter elemental stoichiometry of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from tropical catchments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gücker, Björn; Silva, Ricky C. S.; Graeber, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    , pasture, intensive agriculture, and urban land cover. Streams draining pasture could be distinguished from those draining natural catchments by their lower DOC concentrations, with lower DOM C:N and C:P ratios. Catchments with intensive agriculture had higher DOC exports and lower DOM C:P ratios than...... natural catchments. Finally, with the highest DOC concentrations and exports, as well as the highest DOM C:P and N:P ratios, but the lowest C:N ratios among all land-use types, urbanized catchments had the strongest effects on catchment DOM. Thus, urbanization may have alleviated N limitation...... of heterotrophic DOM decomposition, but increased P limitation. Land use—especially urbanization—also affected the seasonality of catchment biogeochemistry. While natural catchments exhibited high DOC exports and concentrations, with high DOM C:P ratios in the rainy season only, urbanized catchments had high...

  12. Climate change and mountain Grouse: recent evidences from alpine habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brugnoli A

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Current climate change, referring as well to the observed rain and temperature patterns as to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions, has a deep influence on biotic communities and, in particular, on mountain Grouse. These species show great adaptation to coldness, are highly sedentary and have quite “strict” ecological requirements, when it deals with habitat selection. Moreover, their alpine ranges are dangerously marginal to the main distribution areas, which increases the risk of dramatic changes in occurrence, demography and ecology. However, not all the species will predictably be exposed in the same way to the menace of climate change over the next 50-100 years. This article gives a brief review of the main data acquired in the alpine environment in this matter. It also underlines the utmost need to proceed with research and monitoring activities, in order to effectively adapt and manage conservation strategies on mid-long terms.

  13. Extreme inflow events and synoptic forcing in Sydney catchments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pepler, Acacia S; Rakich, Clinton S

    2010-01-01

    The Sydney catchment region encompasses over 16,000km 2 , supplying water to over 4 million inhabitants. However, few studies have investigated the synoptic and climatic influences on inflow in this region, which are crucial for understanding the vulnerability of water supply in a changing climate. This study identifies extremely high and low inflow events between 1960 and 2008 based on catchment averages. The focus of the study is an analysis of the synoptic cause/s of each extreme inflow event. The events are evaluated to identify any trends and also to determine the concurrent significant climatic influences on rainfall over the catchments. Relationships between catchment inflow, rainfall, tropical SST indices, and other influencing factors such as observed wind and temperatures are investigated. Our results show that East Coast Lows and anomalously easterly flow are the drivers of high inflow events, with low inflow events dominated by westerly wind patterns and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

  14. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community. PMID:26966659

  15. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  16. Understanding the relationship between sediment connectivity and spatio-temporal landscape changes in two small catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuseppina Persichillo, Maria; Meisina, Claudia; Cavalli, Marco; Crema, Stefano; Bordoni, Massimiliano

    2016-04-01

    of these two catchments. To analyse these different aspects, IC was applied by using different stream networks densities. This allowed to investigate the sediment connectivity changes according to different landscape settings. Moreover, a multi-temporal, land-use change analysis was carried out to evaluate its role on the sediment dynamics. Finally, a sediment delivery assessment was performed. Shallow landslides inventories, with the identification of extent, location and typology of landslides phenomena, were used to better characterize the sediment supply to the channel network. This analysis represents an important step toward the realization of a useful tool for the improvement of sediment management strategies. Reference: Cavalli C., Trevisani S., Comiti F. & Marchi L. (2013) - Geomorphometric assessment of spatial sediment connectivity in small Alpine catchments. Geomorphology, 188, 31-41.

  17. The catchment based approach using catchment system engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonczyk, Jennine; Quinn, Paul; Barber, Nicholas; Wilkinson, Mark

    2015-04-01

    The catchment based approach (CaBa) has been championed as a potential mechanism for delivery of environmental directives such as the Water Framework Directive in the UK. However, since its launch in 2013, there has been only limited progress towards achieving sustainable, holistic management, with only a few of examples of good practice ( e.g. from the Tyne Rivers trust). Common issues with developing catchment plans over a national scale include limited data and resources to identify issues and source of those issues, how to systematically identify suitable locations for measures or suites of measures that will have the biggest downstream impact and how to overcome barriers for implementing solutions. Catchment System Engineering (CSE) is an interventionist approach to altering the catchment scale runoff regime through the manipulation of hydrological flow pathways throughout the catchment. A significant component of the runoff generation can be managed by targeting hydrological flow pathways at source, such as overland flow, field drain and ditch function, greatly reducing erosive soil losses. Coupled with management of farm nutrients at source, many runoff attenuation features or measures can be co-located to achieve benefits for water quality and biodiversity. A catchment, community-led mitigation measures plan using the CSE approach will be presented from a catchment in Northumberland, Northern England that demonstrate a generic framework for identification of multi-purpose features that slow, store and filter runoff at strategic locations in the landscape. Measures include within-field barriers, edge of field traps and within-ditch measures. Progress on the implementation of measures will be reported alongside potential impacts on the runoff regime at both local and catchment scale and costs.

  18. Modelling floods in the Ammer catchment: limitations and challenges with a coupled meteo-hydrological model approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Ludwig

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous applications of hydrological models have shown their capability to simulate hydrological processes with a reasonable degree of certainty. For flood modelling, the quality of precipitation data — the key input parameter — is very important but often remains questionable. This paper presents a critical review of experience in the EU-funded RAPHAEL project. Different meteorological data sources were evaluated to assess their applicability for flood modelling and forecasting in the Bavarian pre-alpine catchment of the Ammer river (709 km2, for which the hydrological aspects of runoff production are described as well as the complex nature of floods. Apart from conventional rain gauge data, forecasts from several Numerical Weather Prediction Models (NWP as well as rain radar data are examined, scaled and applied within the framework of a GIS-structured and physically based hydrological model. Multi-scenario results are compared and analysed. The synergetic approach leads to promising results under certain meteorological conditions but emphasises various drawbacks. At present, NWPs are the only source of rainfall forecasts (up to 96 hours with large spatial coverage and high temporal resolution. On the other hand, the coarse spatial resolution of NWP grids cannot yet address, adequately, the heterogeneous structures of orographic rainfields in complex convective situations; hence, a major downscaling problem for mountain catchment applications is introduced. As shown for two selected Ammer flood events, a high variability in prediction accuracy has still to be accepted at present. Sensitivity analysis of both meteo-data input and hydrological model performance in terms of process description are discussed and positive conclusions have been drawn for future applications of an advanced meteo-hydro model synergy. Keywords: RAPHAEL, modelling, forecasting, model coupling, PROMET-D, TOPMODEL

  19. Response of floodplain sedimentation to catchment disturbances in different environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notebaert, B.; Houbrechts, G.; Verstraeten, G.; Petit, F.

    2009-04-01

    Holocene floodplain sediments are an important environmental archive, that can be accesed for reconstructing the past landscape dynamics either qualitatively (e.g. palynology) and quantitatively (e.g. sediment budgeting). In this study Holocene alluvial sediment deposition in two contrasting Belgian catchments was quantified and dated: the Lienne (148 km2) in the Ardennes massif and the Dijle (750 km2) in the loess region. These catchments experienced a comparable Holocene climatic variation, but differ in topography and geology with highest relief energy in the Lienne catchment. Land use history also differs with high land use intensities in the Dijle catchment since Roman times, but at least since the Middle Ages there were also large deforestations in the Lienne catchment. Detailed cumulative Holocene sediment deposition was assessed for each catchment using more then 1000 hand augerings. Detailed radiocarbon dating of fluvial deposits was performed in the Dijle catchment, while iron slag was used as a tracer for sediments deposited after 1350 AD in the Lienne catchment. Results show that sediment deposition is much larger in the Dijle catchment (~4.5 Mg ha-1 catchment area) then in the Lienne catchment (~0.2 Mg ha-1 catchment area). Dating results from the Dijle catchment show an increase of sediment deposition in the late Holocene, first starting in the colluvial valleys and later on prograding towards the main valleys. Variations in sedimentation rates can clearly be related to anthropogenous land use pressure, and the majority of the sediments found in colluvial and alluvial valleys were deposited in the last 4000 years, and in many cases even in the last 1000 years. Variations in sediment deposition within the catchment can partially be explained by differences in river valley physical settings (mainly valley slope), while in other cases hill slope sediment delivery (upstream erosion, connectivity between hill slopes and the river system) is the explaining

  20. POPs and other persistent organic compounds in fish from remote alpine lakes in the Grisons, Switzerland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmid, P.; Gujer, E.; Zennegg, M. [Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Duebendorf (Switzerland); Lanfranchi, M. [Agency for Nature and Environment of the Canton Grisons, Chur (Switzerland)

    2004-09-15

    Global transfer of persistent semivolatile organic compounds, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), is effected by long-range atmospheric transport in combination with condensation and volatilization processes. Within the global atmosphere, evaporation in warm latitudes and deposition in cold latitudes leads to a transfer of contaminants towards the poles. The phenomenon of atmospheric migration of semivolatile chemicals, such as PCB and DDT, has been predicted and associated with the term ''global distillation'' by Goldberg, and the model has been extensively reviewed by Mackay and Wania. For comparatively less volatile components such as PCDD/F and PBDE, particle-bound deposition is the dominating transfer mechanism. Therefore, the input of these compounds in remote alpine regions without point sources is controlled by atmospheric deposition (dry and wet) and condensation. For organochlorine compounds, such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), it has been shown that accumulation is enhanced by temperaturecontrolled condensation also in alpine regions with low average temperatures. The hydrology of remote alpine lakes is determined by direct atmospheric deposition feeding and feeding with water from the surrounding catchment area, without significant inputs from tributaries or from nearby anthropogenic activities. Fish dwelling in these ecosystems represents an excellent indicator for the long-term input of bioaccumulating contaminants, such as POPs and other persistent organic compounds. In the present study, fish from 7 alpine lakes from the Grisons (Switzerland) situated between 2062 and 2637 m above sea level were investigated. With the exception of Laghetto Moesola which is situated adjacent to a mountain pass road, input from local anthropogenic emissions can be excluded for these lakes.

  1. A catchment-scale carbon and greenhouse gas budget of a subarctic landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Torben R; Johansson, Torbjörn; Olsrud, Maria

    2007-01-01

    forest, and mires, lakes and alpine ecosystems. The magnitudes of atmospheric exchange of carbon in the form of the GHGs, CO2 and CH4 in these various ecosystems differ significantly, ranging from little or no flux in barren ecosystems over a small CO2 sink function and low rates of CH4 exchange...... in the heaths to significant CO2 uptake in the forests and also large emissions of CH4 from the mires and small lakes. The overall catchment budget, given the size distribution of the individual ecosystem types and a first approximation of run-off as dissolved organic carbon, reveals a landscape currently...

  2. Introgression from domestic goat generated variation at the major histocompatibility complex of Alpine ibex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Grossen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a crucial component of the vertebrate immune system and shows extremely high levels of genetic polymorphism. The extraordinary genetic variation is thought to be ancient polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection. However, introgression from related species was recently proposed as an additional mechanism. Here we provide evidence for introgression at the MHC in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex. At a usually very polymorphic MHC exon involved in pathogen recognition (DRB exon 2, Alpine ibex carried only two alleles. We found that one of these DRB alleles is identical to a DRB allele of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus. We sequenced 2489 bp of the coding and non-coding regions of the DRB gene and found that Alpine ibex homozygous for the goat-type DRB exon 2 allele showed nearly identical sequences (99.8% to a breed of domestic goats. Using Sanger and RAD sequencing, microsatellite and SNP chip data, we show that the chromosomal region containing the goat-type DRB allele has a signature of recent introgression in Alpine ibex. A region of approximately 750 kb including the DRB locus showed high rates of heterozygosity in individuals carrying one copy of the goat-type DRB allele. These individuals shared SNP alleles both with domestic goats and other Alpine ibex. In a survey of four Alpine ibex populations, we found that the region surrounding the DRB allele shows strong linkage disequilibria, strong sequence clustering and low diversity among haplotypes carrying the goat-type allele. Introgression at the MHC is likely adaptive and introgression critically increased MHC DRB diversity in the genetically impoverished Alpine ibex. Our finding contradicts the long-standing view that genetic variability at the MHC is solely a consequence of ancient trans-species polymorphism. Introgression is likely an underappreciated source of genetic diversity at the MHC and other loci under balancing selection.

  3. Introgression from Domestic Goat Generated Variation at the Major Histocompatibility Complex of Alpine Ibex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossen, Christine; Keller, Lukas; Biebach, Iris; Croll, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a crucial component of the vertebrate immune system and shows extremely high levels of genetic polymorphism. The extraordinary genetic variation is thought to be ancient polymorphisms maintained by balancing selection. However, introgression from related species was recently proposed as an additional mechanism. Here we provide evidence for introgression at the MHC in Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex). At a usually very polymorphic MHC exon involved in pathogen recognition (DRB exon 2), Alpine ibex carried only two alleles. We found that one of these DRB alleles is identical to a DRB allele of domestic goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). We sequenced 2489 bp of the coding and non-coding regions of the DRB gene and found that Alpine ibex homozygous for the goat-type DRB exon 2 allele showed nearly identical sequences (99.8%) to a breed of domestic goats. Using Sanger and RAD sequencing, microsatellite and SNP chip data, we show that the chromosomal region containing the goat-type DRB allele has a signature of recent introgression in Alpine ibex. A region of approximately 750 kb including the DRB locus showed high rates of heterozygosity in individuals carrying one copy of the goat-type DRB allele. These individuals shared SNP alleles both with domestic goats and other Alpine ibex. In a survey of four Alpine ibex populations, we found that the region surrounding the DRB allele shows strong linkage disequilibria, strong sequence clustering and low diversity among haplotypes carrying the goat-type allele. Introgression at the MHC is likely adaptive and introgression critically increased MHC DRB diversity in the genetically impoverished Alpine ibex. Our finding contradicts the long-standing view that genetic variability at the MHC is solely a consequence of ancient trans-species polymorphism. Introgression is likely an underappreciated source of genetic diversity at the MHC and other loci under balancing selection. PMID:24945814

  4. Rainfall, runoff and sediment transport in a Mediterranean mountainous catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuset, J; Vericat, D; Batalla, R J

    2016-01-01

    The relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport is highly variable in Mediterranean catchments. Their relation can be modified by land use changes and climate oscillations that, ultimately, will control water and sediment yields. This paper analyses rainfall, runoff and sediment transport relations in a meso-scale Mediterranean mountain catchment, the Ribera Salada (NE Iberian Peninsula). A total of 73 floods recorded between November 2005 and November 2008 at the Inglabaga Sediment Transport Station (114.5 km(2)) have been analysed. Suspended sediment transport and flow discharge were measured continuously. Rainfall data was obtained by means of direct rain gauges and daily rainfall reconstructions from radar information. Results indicate that the annual sediment yield (2.3 t km(-1) y(-1) on average) and the flood-based runoff coefficients (4.1% on average) are low. The Ribera Salada presents a low geomorphological and hydrological activity compared with other Mediterranean mountain catchments. Pearson correlations between rainfall, runoff and sediment transport variables were obtained. The hydrological response of the catchment is controlled by the base flows. The magnitude of suspended sediment concentrations is largely correlated with flood magnitude, while sediment load is correlated with the amount of direct runoff. Multivariate analysis shows that total suspended load can be predicted by integrating rainfall and runoff variables. The total direct runoff is the variable with more weight in the equation. Finally, three main hydro-sedimentary phases within the hydrological year are defined in this catchment: (a) Winter, where the catchment produces only water and very little sediment; (b) Spring, where the majority of water and sediment is produced; and (c) Summer-Autumn, when little runoff is produced but significant amount of sediments is exported out of the catchment. Results show as land use and climate change may have an important

  5. Catchment Storage and Transport on Timescales from Minutes to Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchner, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Landscapes are characterized by preferential flow and pervasive heterogeneity on all scales. They therefore store and transmit water and solutes over a wide spectrum of time scales, with important implications for contaminant transport, weathering rates, and runoff chemistry. Theoretical analyses predict, and syntheses of age tracer data confirm, that waters in aquifers are older - often by orders of magnitude - than in the rivers that flow from them, and that this disconnect between water ages arises from aquifer heterogeneity. Recent theoretical studies also suggest that catchment transit time distributions are nonstationary, reflecting temporal variability in precipitation forcing, structural heterogeneity in catchments themselves, and the nonlinearity of the mechanisms controlling storage and transport in the subsurface. The challenge of empirically estimating these nonstationary transit time distributions in real-world catchments, however, has only begun to be explored. In recent years, long-term isotope time series have been collected in many research catchments, and new technologies have emerged that allow quasi-continuous measurements of isotopes in precipitation and streamflow. These new data streams create new opportunities to study how rainfall becomes streamflow following the onset of precipitation. Here I present novel methods for quantifying the fraction of current rainfall in streamflow across ensembles of precipitation events. Benchmark tests with nonstationary catchment models demonstrate that this approach quantitatively measures the short tail of the transit time distribution for a wide range of catchment response characteristics. In combination with reactive tracer time series, this approach can potentially be extended to measure short-term chemical reaction rates at the catchment scale. Applications using high-frequency tracer time series from several experimental catchments demonstrate the utility of the new approach outlined here.

  6. Streamflow response of a small forested catchment on different timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zabaleta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The hydrological response of a catchment to rainfall on different timescales is result of a complex system involving a range of physical processes which may operate simultaneously and have different spatial and temporal influences. This paper presents the analysis of streamflow response of a small humid-temperate catchment (Aixola, 4.8 km2 in the Basque Country on different timescales and discusses the role of the controlling factors. Firstly, daily time series analysis was used to establish a hypothesis on the general functioning of the catchment through the relationship between precipitation and discharge on an annual and multiannual scale (2003–2008. Second, rainfall-runoff relationships and relationships among several hydrological variables, including catchment antecedent conditions, were explored at the event scale (222 events to check and improve the hypothesis. Finally, the evolution of electrical conductivity (EC during some of the monitored storm events (28 events was examined to identify the time origin of waters. Quick response of the catchment to almost all the rainfall events as well as a considerable regulation capacity was deduced from the correlation and spectral analyses. These results agree with runoff event scale data analysis; however, the event analysis revealed the non-linearity of the system, as antecedent conditions play a significant role in this catchment. Further, analysis at the event scale made possible to clarify factors controlling (precipitation, precipitation intensity and initial discharge the different aspects of the runoff response (runoff coefficient and discharge increase for this catchment. Finally, the evolution of EC of the waters enabled the time origin (event or pre-event waters of the quickflow to be established; specifically, the conductivity showed that pre-event waters usually represent a high percentage of the total discharge during runoff peaks. The importance of soil waters in the

  7. Assessment of the water and energy budget in a peatland catchment of the Alps using the process based GEOtop hydrological model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pullens, Johannes Wilhelmus Maria; Sottocornola, M.; Kiely, G.

    2018-01-01

    close interdependence of the carbon and water cycles in peatland ecosystems signal the importance of understanding the water cycle to the functioning of peatlands. With this aim, the water and energy cycle of an alpine catchment in Italy, which includes a peatland, was studied using the process......-based hydrological model GEOtop and a set of in situ measurements over 4 years (2012-2015). This is a challenging modelling exercise that has not been tried before with GEOtop. The catchment is heterogenous with land covers of peatland, grassland, scree and bare rock in a mountainous area. The GEOtop model was able...

  8. A multi-tracer approach coupled to numerical models to improve understanding of mountain block processes in a high elevation, semi-humid catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, R.; McIntosh, J. C.; Meixner, T.; Ferré, T. P. A.; Chorover, J.

    2016-12-01

    Mountain systems are critical sources of recharge to adjacent alluvial basins in dryland regions. Yet, mountain systems face poorly defined threats due to climate change in terms of reduced snowpack, precipitation changes, and increased temperatures. Fundamentally, the climate risks to mountain systems are uncertain due to our limited understanding of natural recharge processes. Our goal is to combine measurements and models to provide improved spatial and temporal descriptions of groundwater flow paths and transit times in a headwater catchment located in a sub-humid region. This information is important to quantifying groundwater age and, thereby, to providing more accurate assessments of the vulnerability of these systems to climate change. We are using: (a) combination of geochemical composition, along with 2H/18O and 3H isotopes to improve an existing conceptual model for mountain block recharge (MBR) for the Marshall Gulch Catchment (MGC) located within the Santa Catalina Mountains. The current model only focuses on shallow flow paths through the upper unconfined aquifer with no representation of the catchment's fractured-bedrock aquifer. Groundwater flow, solute transport, and groundwater age will be modeled throughout MGC using COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Competing models in terms of spatial distribution of required hydrologic parameters, e.g. hydraulic conductivity and porosity, will be proposed and these models will be used to design discriminatory data collection efforts based on multi-tracer methods. Initial end-member mixing results indicate that baseflow in MGC, if considered the same as the streamflow during the dry periods, is not represented by the chemistry of deep groundwater in the mountain system. In the ternary mixing space, most of the samples plot outside the mixing curve. Therefore, to further constrain the contributions of water from various reservoirs we are collecting stable water isotopes, tritium, and solute chemistry of

  9. Aortic Dissection Type A in Alpine Skiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Schachner

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients and Methods. 140 patients with aortic dissection type A were admitted for cardiac surgery. Seventy-seven patients experienced their dissection in the winter season (from November to April. We analyzed cases of ascending aortic dissection associated with alpine skiing. Results. In 17 patients we found skiing-related aortic dissections. Skiers were taller (180 (172–200 cm versus 175 (157–191 cm, and heavier (90 (68–125 kg versus 80 (45–110 kg, than nonskiers. An extension of aortic dissection into the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta was found in 91%, 74%, and 69%, respectively, with no significant difference between skiers and nonskiers. Skiers experienced RCA ostium dissection requiring CABG in 17.6% while this was true for 5% of nonskiers (. Hospital mortality of skiers was 6% versus 13% in nonskiers (. The skiers live at an altitude of 170 (0–853 m.a.s.l. and experience their dissection at 1602 (1185–3105; m.a.s.l. In 82% symptom start was during recreational skiing without any trauma. Conclusion. Skiing associated aortic dissection type A is usually nontraumatic. The persons affected live at low altitudes and practice an outdoor sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good.

  10. Aortic Dissection Type A in Alpine Skiers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachner, Thomas; Fischler, Nikolaus; Dumfarth, Julia; Bonaros, Nikolaos; Krapf, Christoph; Schobersberger, Wolfgang; Grimm, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Patients and Methods. 140 patients with aortic dissection type A were admitted for cardiac surgery. Seventy-seven patients experienced their dissection in the winter season (from November to April). We analyzed cases of ascending aortic dissection associated with alpine skiing. Results. In 17 patients we found skiing-related aortic dissections. Skiers were taller (180 (172–200) cm versus 175 (157–191) cm, P = 0.008) and heavier (90 (68–125) kg versus 80 (45–110) kg, P = 0.002) than nonskiers. An extension of aortic dissection into the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta was found in 91%, 74%, and 69%, respectively, with no significant difference between skiers and nonskiers. Skiers experienced RCA ostium dissection requiring CABG in 17.6% while this was true for 5% of nonskiers (P = 0.086). Hospital mortality of skiers was 6% versus 13% in nonskiers (P = 0.399). The skiers live at an altitude of 170 (0–853) m.a.s.l. and experience their dissection at 1602 (1185–3105; P < 0.001) m.a.s.l. In 82% symptom start was during recreational skiing without any trauma. Conclusion. Skiing associated aortic dissection type A is usually nontraumatic. The persons affected live at low altitudes and practice an outdoor sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good. PMID:23971024

  11. Glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular disease biomarkers in older alpine skiers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dela, F; Niederseer, David; Patsch, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Alpine skiing and ski training involves elements of static and dynamic training, and may therefore improve insulin sensitivity. Healthy men and women who where beginners/intermediate level of alpine skiing, were studied before (Pre) and immediately after (Post) 12 weeks of alpine ski training. Af...

  12. Larch dwarf mistletoe not found on alpine larch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Mathiasen; Brian W. Geils; Clinton E. Carlson; Frank G. Hawksworth

    1995-01-01

    Reports of larch dwarf mistletoe parasitizing alpine larch are based on two collections of this host/parasite combination made by J.R. Weir in Montana during the early 1900s. Examination of host material from these collections indicates that the host is western larch, not alpine larch as previously reported. Attempts to locate larch dwarf mistletoe on alpine larch were...

  13. Retrieval of free-tropospheric BrO from MAX-DOAS measurements at the high-altitude alpine station of Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Roozendael, Michel; Hendrick, Francois; De Smedt, Isabelle; Fayt, Caroline; Gielen, Clio; Hermans, Christian; Pinardi, Gaia; Tack, Frederik; Theys, Nicolas

    2014-05-01

    There are currently many open questions about the sources, transport, and photochemical processing that control the abundance of BrO and its precursors in the global troposphere. Recent experimental studies based on various platforms and instrumentations indicate contrasting results reflecting the scarcity of the measurements and the experimental challenge of quantifying the typically low abundance levels of BrO. Modeling studies indicate however that the presence of only 1-2 pptv levels of reactive bromine has important consequences for free tropospheric ozone with indirect climate implications. The MAX-DOAS technique offers high sensitivity for near-surface trace gas measurements and it is well suited to BrO detection. From a high altitude site such as the Jungfraujoch which is located in the Swiss Alps at about 3600 m ASL, the free-troposphere can be sampled under favourable conditions. We report on attempts to quantify the free tropospheric BrO level based on MAXDOAS measurements performed by BIRA-IASB in the period from June 2010 until December 2012. Retrievals are based on the DOAS method followed by vertical profile inversion using an Optimal Estimation scheme. The possible sources of bias that can affect the spectral retrieval of BrO are carefully investigated and various sensitivity tests are performed to assess the stability of the inversion. Results are compared with independent estimates of the mid-latitude tropospheric BrO based on satellite measurements.

  14. Isotope Investigations at an Alpine Karst Aquifer by Means of On-Site Measurements with High Time Resolution and Near Realtime Data Availability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leis, A.; Plieschnegger, M.; Harum, T.; Stadler, H. [Joanneum Research, Institute for Water, Energy and Resources, Graz (Austria); Schmitt, R. [Meteorologie Consult GmbH, Koenigstein (Germany); Van Pelt, A. [Picarro Inc., Sunnyvale, California (United States); Zerobin, W. [Vienna Waterworks, Vienna (Austria)

    2013-07-15

    For a lot of hydrological isotope investigations it would be helpful to conduct on-site measurements with a very high time resolution. Recent developments of a highly sensitive gas analyser on the basis of so called 'Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy' (CRDS) has lead to a new class of on-site capable measuring devices, the wavelength scanned (WS)-CRDS. In the framework of a new project it succeeded for the first time in measuring the stable environmental isotopes of the water on-site and on-line at one of the most important karst springs in Austria. It was necessary, to adapt the WS-CRDS system for on-site application. Particularly the sampling device had to be adopted to get samples from the flow of the spring to the WS-CDRS system in real time. The system was installed at the spring during snowmelt with measuring intervals of fewer than 10 minutes. This measuring device was combined with a near real time data transmission system, based on LEO satellites. This allowed a dissemination of the data via the internet and, for registered users, also a download possibility of the data. (author)

  15. Hydro-economic modelling in mining catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossa Moreno, J. S.; McIntyre, N.; Rivera, D.; Smart, J. C. R.

    2017-12-01

    Hydro-economic models are gaining momentum because of their capacity to model both the physical processes related to water supply, and socio-economic factors determining water demand. This is particularly valuable in the midst of the large uncertainty upon future climate conditions and social trends. Agriculture, urban uses and environmental flows have received a lot of attention from researchers, as these tend to be the main consumers of water in most catchments. Mine water demand, although very important in several small and medium-sized catchments worldwide, has received less attention and only few models have attempted to reproduce its dynamics with other users. This paper describes an on-going project that addresses this gap, by developing a hydro-economic model in the upper Aconcagua River in Chile. This is a mountain catchment with large scale mining and hydro-power users at high altitudes, and irrigation areas in a downstream valley. Relevant obstacles to the model included the lack of input climate data, which is a common feature in several mining areas, the complex hydrological processes in the area and the difficulty of quantifying the value of water used by mines. A semi-distributed model developed within the Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP), was calibrated to reproduce water supply, and this was complemented with an analysis of the value of water for mining based on two methods; water markets and an analysis of its production processes. Agriculture and other users were included through methods commonly used in similar models. The outputs help understanding the value of water in the catchment, and its sensitivity to changes in climate variables, market prices, environmental regulations and changes in the production of minerals, crops and energy. The results of the project highlight the importance of merging hydrology and socio-economic calculations in mining regions, in order to better understand trade-offs and cost of opportunity of using

  16. Population Spatial Dynamics of Larix potaninii in Alpine Treeline Ecotone in the Eastern Margin of the Tibetan Plateau, China

    OpenAIRE

    Jia’nan Cui; Jihong Qin; Hui Sun

    2017-01-01

    The high-altitude treeline is known to be sensitive to climate variability, and is thus considered as a bio-monitoring indicator of climate change. However, our understanding of the population dynamics and the cumulative climate-change effects on the alpine treeline ecotone in recent decades is limited. Here, we investigated the population dynamics of Larix potainii on the south- and north-facing slopes in the alpine treeline ecotone in the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, China, includ...

  17. Seedling recruitment of forb species under experimental microhabitats in alpine grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, S. S.; Yu, L.; Lin, W. G.; Pingi, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    Which factors limit plant seedling recruitment in alpine meadow of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), China? This study examined the relative influence of seed mass and microsites (resulted from grazing disturbance) on field seedling emergence and survival of nineteen alpine herbaceous species with a range of traits in QTP. Seed mass had significant effects on seedling emergence and survival eliminating influence of light and nutrient variances among these species. The larger-seed species had more advantageous than the smaller-seed species in seedling survival, but it was disadvatage for seedling emergence, especially under high nutrient availability and low light intensity conditions. Light had obvious effects on seedling survival, but less effects on seedling emergence for these species. Moreover, nutrient and light treatments altered the regression relationships of seed mass and seedling emergence and survival and the order of significances was L25>L50>L100>L10>L4. These results suggested that seed mass may restrict seedling recruitment processes, however, light and nutrient availability all have significant effects on seedling emergence and survival for these alpine species. Moderate light intensity was propitious to seedling emergence and survival in alpine grassland. This suggests that ecological factors in alpine grassland provide a stochastic influence on different seed-mass species. These trends may help to explain why many small-seeded species of Asteraceae and Gramineae tend to be more abundant in disturbed habitats. (author)

  18. Snow, ice and water in alpine regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baumgartner, H.

    2009-01-01

    This article takes a look at how climate change will have a deep impact on alpine regions. The findings discussed at a conference organised by the Swiss Hydrologic Commission are presented and discussed. Flooding incidents that occurred 'once in a century' are now becoming more frequent and were considered at the conference as being an indicator of climate change. Changing hydrological factors are also discussed and the influence of climate factors in alpine regions on the water quantities in the rivers are looked at. Also, the spontaneous emptying of glacial lakes as has already happened in Switzerland and the consequences to be drawn from such incidences are discussed.

  19. Modelling of Aerodynamic Drag in Alpine Skiing

    OpenAIRE

    Elfmark, Ola

    2017-01-01

    Most of the breaking force in the speed disciplines in alpine skiing is caused by the aerodynamic drag, and a better knowledge of the drag force is therefore desirable to gain time in races. In this study a complete database of how the drag area (CDA) changes, with respect to the different body segments, was made and used to explain a complete body motion in alpine skiing. Three experiments were performed in the wind tunnel at NTNU, Trondheim. The database from a full body measurement on an a...

  20. Ecological studies in the Ratanica catchment (Carpathian foothills, southern Poland) - an overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grodzinska, K.; Szarek, G.

    1995-01-01

    This paper includes an overview of ecological studies conducted since 1986 in the Ratanica pine-beech forested catchment located in the polluted, high populated southern part of Poland. General characteristics of the catchment (including soil and vegetation, air pollution, input/output of nutrients and pollutants, element budget data and forest health assessment) are presented. Based on biogeochemical and bioindication results, the Ratanica catchment has been classified as a moderately to heavily deteriorated area. Predictions for this forested catchment for various deposition of anthropogenic pollutants, are also discussed. 22 refs., 1 fig

  1. Investigation of the effective peak supersaturation for liquid-phase clouds at the high-alpine site Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Hammer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aerosols influence the Earth's radiation budget directly through absorption and scattering of solar radiation in the atmosphere but also indirectly by modifying the properties of clouds. However, climate models still suffer from large uncertainties as a result of insufficient understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions. At the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch (JFJ; 3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland cloud condensation nuclei (CCN number concentrations at eight different supersaturations (SS from 0.24% to 1.18% were measured using a CCN counter during Summer 2011. Simultaneously, in-situ aerosol activation properties of the prevailing ambient clouds were investigated by measuring the total and interstitial (non-activated dry particle number size distributions behind two different inlet systems. Combining all experimental data, a new method was developed to retrieve the so-called effective peak supersaturation SSpeak, as a measure of the SS at which ambient clouds are formed. A 17-month CCN climatology was then used to retrieve the SSpeak values also for four earlier summer campaigns (2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010 where no direct CCN data were available. The SSpeak values varied between 0.01% and 2.0% during all campaigns. An overall median SSpeak of 0.35% and dry activation diameter of 87 nm was observed. It was found that the difference in topography between northwest and southeast plays an important role for the effective peak supersaturation in clouds formed in the vicinity of the JFJ, while differences in the number concentration of potential CCN only play a minor role. Results show that air masses coming from the southeast (with the slowly rising terrain of the Aletsch Glacier generally experience lower SSpeak values than air masses coming from the northwest (steep slope. The observed overall median values were 0.41% and 0.22% for northwest and southeast wind conditions, respectively, corresponding to literature values for cumulus clouds and

  2. Modelling the Impact of Land Use Change on Water Quality in Agricultural Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnes, P. J.; Heathwaite, A. L.

    1997-03-01

    Export coefficient modelling was used to model the impact of agriculture on nitrogen and phosphorus loading on the surface waters of two contrasting agricultural catchments. The model was originally developed for the Windrush catchment where the highly reactive Jurassic limestone aquifer underlying the catchment is well connected to the surface drainage network, allowing the system to be modelled using uniform export coefficients for each nutrient source in the catchment, regardless of proximity to the surface drainage network. In the Slapton catchment, the hydrological pathways are dominated by surface and lateral shallow subsurface flow, requiring modification of the export coefficient model to incorporate a distance-decay component in the export coefficients. The modified model was calibrated against observed total nitrogen and total phosphorus loads delivered to Slapton Ley from inflowing streams in its catchment. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to isolate the key controls on nutrient export in the modified model. The model was validated against long-term records of water quality, and was found to be accurate in its predictions and sensitive to both temporal and spatial changes in agricultural practice in the catchment. The model was then used to forecast the potential reduction in nutrient loading on Slapton Ley associated with a range of catchment management strategies. The best practicable environmental option (BPEO) was found to be spatial redistribution of high nutrient export risk sources to areas of the catchment with the greatest intrinsic nutrient retention capacity.

  3. Modelling channel incision and alpine hillslope development using laser altimetry data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anders, N.S.; Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Bouten, W.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach to simulate drainage basin evolution and demonstrates that high resolution elevation data can be used as useful tool for a dynamic simulation of Alpine landscape development, in which channel incision is incorporated in high spatial detail. A vector channel

  4. Seedling regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone: Comparison of wood microsites and adjacent soil substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adelaide Chapman Johnson; J. Alan Yeakley

    2016-01-01

    Although climate warming is generally expected to facilitate upward advance of forests, conifer seedling regeneration and survival may be hindered by low substrate moisture, high radiation, and both low and high snow accumulation. To better understand substrate-related factors promoting regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone, this study compared 2 substrates...

  5. Aquifers Characterization and Productivity in Ellala Catchment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    Aquifers Characterization and Productivity in Ellala Catchment, Tigray, ... using geological and hydrogeological methods in Ellala catchment (296.5km. 2. ) ... Current estimates put the available groundwater ... Aquifer characterization takes into.

  6. Geomorphic controls on Pleistocene knickpoint migration in Alpine valleys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leith, Kerry; Fox, Matt; Moore, Jeffrey R.; Brosda, Julian; Krautblatter, Michael; Loew, Simon

    2014-05-01

    Recent insights into sub-glacial bedrock stress conditions suggest that the erosional efficiency of glaciers may reduce markedly following a major erosional cycle [Leith et al., 2013]. This implies that the formation of large glacial valleys within the Alps is likely to have occurred shortly after the onset of 100 ky glacial-interglacial cycles (at the mid-Pleistocene Revolution (MPR)). The majority of landscape change since this time may have therefore been driven by sub-aerial processes. This hypothesis is supported by observations of hillslope and channel morphology within Canton Valais (Switzerland), where major tributary valleys display a common morphology along their length, hinting at a shared geomorphic history. Glaciers currently occupy the headwaters of many catchments, while the upper reaches of rivers flow across extensive alluvial planes before abruptly transitioning to steep channels consisting of mixed bedrock and talus fan deposits. The rivers then converge to flow out over the alluvial plane of the Rhone Valley. Characteristically rough topographies within the region are suggested to mark the progressive transition from a glacial to fluvially-dominated landscape, and correlate well with steepened river channel sections determined from a 2.5 m resolution LiDAR DEM. We envisage a landscape in which ongoing tectonic uplift drives the emergence of Alpine bedrock through massive sedimentary valley infills (currently concentrated in the Rhone Valley), whose elevation is fixed by the consistent fluvial baselevel at Lake Geneva. As fluvial incision ceases at the onset of glaciation, continued uplift causes the formation of knickpoints at the former transition from bedrock to sedimentary infill. These knickpoints will then propagate upstream during subsequent interglacial periods. By investigating channel morphologies using an approach based on the steady-state form of the stream power equation, we can correlate steepened channel reaches (degraded

  7. Exploring the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan: a case study from the Merak Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamtsho, Karma; Sridith, Kitichate

    2015-01-01

    A survey was conducted from March to September 2012 along the altitudinal gradient of the Jomokungkhar trail in the Merak Himalaya of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary to study the floristic compositions and the patterns of alpine vegetation of Eastern Bhutan. The vegetation of the sampled plots is classified into five types of communities based on the hierarchical cluster analysis at similarity index 63% viz., (1) Riverine Community; (2) Abies-Rhododendron Woodland Community; (3) Juniperus Scrub Community; (4) Rhododendron Krummholz and (5) Alpine Meadow, based on the floristic compositions. In addition, it was noticed that the fragile alpine environment of the Merak Himalaya has high plant diversity and important plants that are susceptible to the anthropogenic pressures.

  8. The Influence of temporal sampling regime on the WFD classification of catchments within the Eden Demonstration Test Catchment Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonczyk, Jennine; Haygarth, Phil; Quinn, Paul; Reaney, Sim

    2014-05-01

    A high temporal resolution data set from the Eden Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) project is used to investigate the processes causing pollution and the influence of temporal sampling regime on the WFD classification of three catchments. This data highlights WFD standards may not be fit for purpose. The Eden DTC project is part of a UK government-funded project designed to provide robust evidence regarding how diffuse pollution can be cost-effectively controlled to improve and maintain water quality in rural river catchments. The impact of multiple water quality parameters on ecosystems and sustainable food production are being studied at the catchment scale. Three focus catchments approximately 10 km2 each, have been selected to represent the different farming practices and geophysical characteristics across the Eden catchment, Northern England. A field experimental programme has been designed to monitor the dynamics of agricultural diffuse pollution at multiple scales using state of the art sensors providing continuous real time data. The data set, which includes Total Phosphorus and Total Reactive Phosphorus, Nitrate, Ammonium, pH, Conductivity, Turbidity and Chlorophyll a reveals the frequency and duration of nutrient concentration target exceedance which arises from the prevalence of storm events of increasing magnitude. This data set is sub-sampled at different time intervals to explore how different sampling regimes affects our understanding of nutrient dynamics and the ramification of the different regimes to WFD chemical status. This presentation seeks to identify an optimum temporal resolution of data for effective catchment management and to question the usefulness of the WFD status metric for determining health of a system. Criteria based on high frequency short duration events needs to be accounted for.

  9. A Retrospective Analysis of Concurrent Pathology in ACL-Reconstructed Knees of Elite Alpine Ski Racers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Doyle-Baker, Patricia; Heard, Mark

    2017-01-01

    /chondral surgery, 60% of meniscal tears and 80% of chondral lesions had worsened since the time of primary ACLR. CONCLUSION: Concurrent injury was common in this group of elite ski racers. Primary ACL tears were typically accompanied by lateral compartment chondral lesions and complex meniscal tears that worsened...... over time. ACL/MCL tears were the most common multiligament injury pattern.......BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is the most frequent injury in alpine ski racing, and there is a high prevalence of ACL reinjury. Limited data exist on the concurrent pathology with primary ACL tears in elite alpine ski racers and the magnitude of injury progression after primary...

  10. Transient thermal effects in Alpine permafrost

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Noetzli

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In high mountain areas, permafrost is important because it influences the occurrence of natural hazards, because it has to be considered in construction practices, and because it is sensitive to climate change. The assessment of its distribution and evolution is challenging because of highly variable conditions at and below the surface, steep topography and varying climatic conditions. This paper presents a systematic investigation of effects of topography and climate variability that are important for subsurface temperatures in Alpine bedrock permafrost. We studied the effects of both, past and projected future ground surface temperature variations on the basis of numerical experimentation with simplified mountain topography in order to demonstrate the principal effects. The modeling approach applied combines a distributed surface energy balance model and a three-dimensional subsurface heat conduction scheme. Results show that the past climate variations that essentially influence present-day permafrost temperatures at depth of the idealized mountains are the last glacial period and the major fluctuations in the past millennium. Transient effects from projected future warming, however, are likely larger than those from past climate conditions because larger temperature changes at the surface occur in shorter time periods. We further demonstrate the accelerating influence of multi-lateral warming in steep and complex topography for a temperature signal entering the subsurface as compared to the situation in flat areas. The effects of varying and uncertain material properties (i.e., thermal properties, porosity, and freezing characteristics on the subsurface temperature field were examined in sensitivity studies. A considerable influence of latent heat due to water in low-porosity bedrock was only shown for simulations over time periods of decades to centuries. At the end, the model was applied to the topographic setting of the Matterhorn

  11. The role of solar UV radiation in the ecology of alpine lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommaruga, R

    2001-09-01

    Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR, 290-400 nm) is a crucial environmental factor in alpine lakes because of the natural increase of the UVR flux with elevation and the high water transparency of these ecosystems. The ecological importance of UVR, however, has only recently been recognized. This review, examines the general features of alpine lakes regarding UVR, summarizes what is known about the role of solar UVR in the ecology of alpine lakes, and identifies future research directions. Unlike the pattern observed in most lowland lakes, variability of UV attenuation in alpine lakes is poorly explained by differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, and depends mainly on optical characteristics (absorption) of the chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Within the water column of lakes with low DOC concentrations (0.2-0.4 mg l(-1)), UV attenuation is influenced by phytoplankton whose development at depth (i.e. the deep chlorophyll maximum) causes important changes in UV attenuation. Alpine aquatic organisms have developed a number of strategies to minimize UV damage. The widespread synthesis or bioaccumulation of different compounds that directly or indirectly absorb UV energy is one such strategy. Although most benthic and planktonic primary producers and crustacean zooplankton are well adapted to high intensities of solar radiation, heterotrophic protists, bacteria, and viruses seem to be particularly sensitive to UVR. Understanding the overall impact of UVR on alpine lakes would need to consider synergistic and antagonistic processes resulting from the pronounced climatic warming, which have the potential to modify the UV underwater climate and consequently the stress on aquatic organisms.

  12. Climate change increasing calcium and magnesium leaching from granitic alpine catchments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kopáček, Jiří; Kaňa, Jiří; Bičárová, S.; Fernandez, I.J.; Hejzlar, Josef; Kahounová, M.; Norton, S. A.; Stuchlík, Evžen

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2017), s. 159-166 ISSN 0013-936X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-09231S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : chemical-weathering rates * tatra mountain lakes * water chemistry * acid deposition * surface-water Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality OBOR OECD: Water resources Impact factor: 6.198, year: 2016

  13. geomorphological mapping and geophysical profiling for the evaluation of natural hazards in an alpine catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; de Graaff, L.W.S.

    2006-01-01

    Liechtenstein has faced an increasing number of natural hazards over recent decades: debris flows, slides, snow avalanches and floods repeatedly endanger the local infrastructure. Geomorphological field mapping and geo-electrical profiling was used to assess hazards near Malbun, a village

  14. The relative influence of climate and catchment properties on hydrological drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Loon, Anne; Laaha, Gregor; Koffler, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    Studying hydrological drought (a below-normal water availability in groundwater, lakes and streams) is important to society and the ecosystem, but can also reveal interesting information about catchment functioning. This information can later be used for predicting drought in ungauged basins and to inform water management decisions. In this study, we used an extensive Austrian dataset of discharge measurements in clusters of catchments and combine this dataset with thematic information on climate and catchment properties. Our aim was to study the relative effects of climate and catchment characteristics on drought duration and deficit and on hydrological drought typology. Because the climate of the region is roughly uniform, our hypothesis was that the effect of differences of catchment properties would stand out. From time series of precipitation and discharge we identified droughts with the widely-used threshold level approach, defining a drought when a variable falls below a pre-defined threshold representing the regime. Drought characteristics that were analysed are drought duration and deficit. We also applied the typology of Van Loon & Van Lanen (2012). To explain differences in drought characteristics between catchments we did a correlation analysis with climate and catchment characteristics, based on Pearson correlation. We found very interesting patterns in the correlations of drought characteristics with climate and catchment properties: 1) Droughts with long duration (mean and maximum) and composite droughts are related to catchments with a high BFI (high baseflow) and a high percentage of shallow groundwater tables. 2) The deficit (mean and maximum) of both meteorological droughts and hydrological droughts is strongly related to catchment humidity, in this case quantified by average annual precipitation. 3) The hydrological drought types that are related to snow, i.e. cold snow season drought and snow melt drought, occur in catchments that are have a

  15. Paleomagnetism and the alpine tectonics of Eurasia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raven, Th.

    1964-01-01

    The following paper by Gregor and Zijderveld is the first of a series planned to report results of paleomagnetic investigations in the Alpine area from Italy to the Himalayas. These investigations are carried out in close collaboration between the well-equipped paleomagnetic laboratory of

  16. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    The Alpine loop in Europe results from semi-autochthonous crustal movements which are restricted to the mobile Tethys zone. Its evolution cannot be explained by a uniform northward drift and push of the African continent; it has to be sought, in the first place, in geodynamic processes occurring in

  17. Climate change and alpine stream biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hotaling, Scott; Finn, Debra S.; Joseph Giersch, J.

    2017-01-01

    micro- to macroscopic organisms and genes to communities. Herein, we describe the current state of alpine stream biology from an organism-focused perspective. We begin by reviewing seven standard and emerging approaches that combine to form the current state of the discipline. We follow with a call...

  18. Are low altitude alpine tundra ecosystems under threat? A case study from the Parc National de la Gaspésie, Québec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dumais, Catherine; Ropars, Pascale; Denis, Marie-Pier; Dufour-Tremblay, Geneviève; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    According to the 2007 IPCC report, the alpine tundra ecosystems found on low mountains of the northern hemisphere are amongst the most threatened by climate change. A treeline advance or a significant erect shrub expansion could result in increased competition for the arctic-alpine species usually found on mountaintops and eventually lead to their local extinction. The objectives of our study were to identify recent changes in the cover and growth of erect woody vegetation in the alpine tundra of Mont de la Passe, in the Parc National de la Gaspésie (Québec, Canada). The comparison of two orthorectified aerial photos revealed no significant shift of the treeline between 1975 and 2004. During the same period however, shrub species cover increased from 20.2% to 30.4% in the lower alpine zone. Dendrochronological analyses conducted on Betula glandulosa Michx. sampled at three different positions along an altitudinal gradient (low, intermediate and high alpine zone) revealed that the climatic determinants of B. glandulosa radial growth become more complex with increasing altitude. In the lower alpine zone, B. glandulosa radial growth is only significantly associated positively to July temperature. In the intermediate alpine zone, radial growth is associated positively to July temperature but negatively to March temperature. In the high alpine zone, radial growth is positively associated to January, July and August temperature but negatively to March temperature. The positive association between summer temperatures and radial growth suggests that B. glandulosa could potentially benefit from warmer temperatures, a phenomenon that could lead to an increase in its cover over the next few decades. Although alpine tundra vegetation is not threatened in the short-term in the Parc National de la Gaspésie, erect shrub cover, especially B. glandulosa, could likely increase in the near future, threatening the local arctic-alpine flora. (letter)

  19. Comparative seed germination traits in alpine and subalpine grasslands: higher elevations are associated with warmer germination temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, E; Jiménez-Alfaro, B; Bueno, Á

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination traits in alpine grasslands are poorly understood, despite the sensitivity of these communities to climate change. We hypothesise that germination traits predict species occurrence along the alpine-subalpine elevation gradient. Phylogenetic comparative analyses were performed using fresh seeds of 22 species from alpine and subalpine grasslands (1600-2400 m) of the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (43° N, 5° W). Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterise germinability, optimum germination temperature and effect of cold and warm stratification on dormancy breaking. Variability in these traits was reduced by phylogenetic principal component analysis (phyl.PCA). Phylogenetic generalised least squares regression (PGLS) was used to fit a model in which species average elevation was predicted from their position on the PCA axes. Most subalpine species germinated in snow-like conditions, whereas most alpine species needed accumulation of warm temperatures. Phylogenetic signal was low. PCA1 ordered species according to overall germinability, whilst PCA2 ordered them according to preference for warm or cold germination. PCA2 significantly predicted species occurrence in the alpine-subalpine gradient, as higher elevation species tended to have warmer germination preferences. Our results show that germination traits in high-mountain grasslands are closely linked to the alpine-subalpine gradient. Alpine species, especially those from stripped and wind-edge communities, prefer warmer germination niches, suggesting that summer emergence prevents frost damage during seedling establishment. In contrast, alpine snowfield and subalpine grassland plants have cold germination niches, indicating that winter emergence may occur under snow to avoid drought stress. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  20. Seasonal variations in carbon dioxide exchange in an alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhao

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine wetland meadow could functions as a carbon sink due to it high soil organic content and low decomposition. However, the magnitude and dynamics of carbon stock in alpine wetland ecosystems are not well quantified. Therefore, understanding how environmental variables affect the processes that regulate carbon fluxes in alpine wetland meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is critical. To address this issue, Gross Primary Production (GPP, Ecosystem Respiration (Reco, and Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE were examined in an alpine wetland meadow using the eddy covariance method from October 2003 to December 2006 at the Haibei Research Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Seasonal patterns of GPP and Reco were closely associated with leaf area index (LAI. The Reco showed a positive exponential to soil temperature and relatively low Reco occurred during the non-growing season after a rain event. This result is inconsistent with the result observed in alpine shrubland meadow. In total, annual GPP were estimated at 575.7, 682.9, and 630.97 g C m−2 in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Meanwhile, the Reco were equal to 676.8, 726.4, 808.2 g C m−2, and thus the NEE were 101.1, 44.0 and 173.2 g C m−2. These results indicated that the alpine wetland meadow was a moderately source of carbon dioxide (CO2. The observed carbon dioxide fluxes in the alpine wetland meadow were higher than other alpine meadow such as Kobresia humilis meadow and shrubland meadow.

  1. Synoptic climatology evaluation of wind fields in the alpine region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lotteraner, C.

    2009-01-01

    The present investigation basically consists of two parts: In the first part, a 22-year set of 3-hourly 2D-wind analyses (1980-2001) that have been generated within the framework of the VERACLIM (VERA-Climatology) project are evaluated climatologically over the Alpine region. VERACLIM makes use of the VERA (Vienna Enhanced Resolution Analysis) analysis system, combining both the high spatial resolution as provided by the analysis algorithm and the high temporal resolution of a comprehensive synop data set, provided by ECMWF's (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) data archives. The obtained charts of averaged wind speed and the mean wind vector as well as the evaluations of frequency distribution of wind speed and wind direction on gridpoints for several different time periods should be interpreted very carefully as orographic influence is not taken into consideration in the analysis algorithm. However, the 3-hourly wind analyses of the time period 1980-2001 are suitable for investigation of the so-called Alpine Pumping. For that purpose, an arbitrarily chosen border has been drawn around the Alps and the Gauss theorem has been applied in a way that the mean diurnal variations of the two-dimensional divergence over the Alps could be evaluated. The sinusoidal run of the curve not only visualizes the 'breathing of the Alps' in an impressive way, it also enables us to roughly estimate the diurnal air volume exchange on days with a weak large-scale pressure gradient and strong incoming solar radiation. The second part of this investigation deals with the development of three different 'wind-fingerprints' which are included in the VERA-system in order to improve the analysis quality. The wind-fingerprints are designed in a way that they reflect the wind field pattern in the Alpine region on days with weak large-scale pressure gradient and strong incoming solar radiation. Using the fingerprints, both the effects of channelling as well as thermally induced

  2. Characterising groundwater-dominated lowland catchments: the UK Lowland Catchment Research Programme (LOCAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on a major UK initiative to address deficiencies in understanding the hydro-ecological response of groundwater-dominated lowland catchments. The scope and objectives of this national programme are introduced and focus on one of three sets of research basins – the Pang/Lambourn Chalk catchments, tributaries of the river Thames in southern England. The motivation for the research is the need to support integrated management of river systems that have high ecological value and are subject to pressures that include groundwater abstraction for water supply, diffuse pollution, and land use and climate change. An overview of the research programme is provided together with highlights of some current research findings concerning the hydrological functioning of these catchments. Despite the importance of the Chalk as a major UK aquifer, knowledge of the subsurface movement of water and solutes is poor. Solute transport in the dual porosity unsaturated zone depends on fracture/matrix interactions that are difficult to observe; current experimental and modelling research supports the predominance of matrix flow and suggests that slow migration of a time-history of decades of nutrient loading is occurring. Groundwater flows are complex; catchments vary seasonally and are ill-defined and karst features are locally important. Groundwater flow pathways are being investigated using natural and artificial geochemical tracers based on experimental borehole arrays; stream-aquifer interaction research is using a combination of geophysics, borehole array geochemistry and longitudinal profiles of stream flow and solutes. A complex picture of localised subsurface inflows, linked to geological controls and karst features, and significant longitudinal groundwater flow below the river channel is emerging. Management implications are discussed. Strategies to control surface application of nutrients are expected to have little effect on groundwater

  3. Dissolved nutrient exports from natural and human-impacted Neotropical catchments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gücker, Björn; Silva, Ricky C. S.; Graeber, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Aim Neotropical biomes are highly threatened by land-use changes, but the catchment-wide biogeochemical effects are poorly understood. Here, we aim to compare exports of dissolved nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from natural and human-impacted catchments in the Neotropics. Location Neotropics. Me...

  4. Nitrogen attenuation along delivery pathways in agricultural catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAleer, Eoin; Mellander, Per-Erik; Coxon, Catherine; Richards, Karl G.

    2014-05-01

    Hillslope hydrologic systems and in particular near-stream saturated zones are active sites of nitrogen (N) biogeochemical dynamics. The efficiency of N removal and the ratio of reaction products (nitrous oxide and dinitrogen) in groundwater is highly variable and depends upon aquifer hydrology, mineralogy, dissolved oxygen, energy sources and redox chemistry. There are large uncertainties in the closing of N budgets in agricultural catchments. Spatial and temporal variability in groundwater physico-chemistry, catchment hydrology and land-use gives rise to hotspots and hot moments of N attenuation. In addition the production, consumption and movement of denitrification products remains poorly understood. The focus of this study is to develop a holistic understanding of N dynamics in groundwater as it moves from the top of the hillslope to the stream. This includes saturated groundwater flow, exchange at the groundwater-surface water interface and hyporheic zone flow. This project is being undertaken in two ca. 10km2 Irish catchments, characterised by permeable soils. One catchment is dominated by arable land overlying slate bedrock and the other by grassland overlying sandstone. Multi-level monitoring wells have been installed at the upslope, midslope and bottom of each hillslope. The piezometers are screened to intercept the subsoil, weathered bedrock and competent bedrock zones. Groundwater samples for nitrate (NO3-N) nitrite (NO2-N), ammonium (NH4-N) and total nitrogen are collected on a monthly basis while dissolved gas concentrations are collected seasonally. Groundwater NO3-N profiles from monitoring data to date in both catchments differ markedly. Although the two catchments had similar 3 year mean concentrations of 6.89 mg/L (arable) and 6.24 mg/L (grassland), the grassland catchment had higher spatial and temporal variation. The arable catchment showed relatively homogenous NO3-N concentrations in all layers and zones (range: 1.2 - 12.13 mg/L, SD = 1.60 mg

  5. Participative Spatial Scenario Analysis for Alpine Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Marina; Stotten, Rike; Steinbacher, Melanie; Leitinger, Georg; Tasser, Erich; Schirpke, Uta; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Schermer, Markus

    2017-10-01

    Land use and land cover patterns are shaped by the interplay of human and ecological processes. Thus, heterogeneous cultural landscapes have developed, delivering multiple ecosystem services. To guarantee human well-being, the development of land use types has to be evaluated. Scenario development and land use and land cover change models are well-known tools for assessing future landscape changes. However, as social and ecological systems are inextricably linked, land use-related management decisions are difficult to identify. The concept of social-ecological resilience can thereby provide a framework for understanding complex interlinkages on multiple scales and from different disciplines. In our study site (Stubai Valley, Tyrol/Austria), we applied a sequence of steps including the characterization of the social-ecological system and identification of key drivers that influence farmers' management decisions. We then developed three scenarios, i.e., "trend", "positive" and "negative" future development of farming conditions and assessed respective future land use changes. Results indicate that within the "trend" and "positive" scenarios pluri-activity (various sources of income) prevents considerable changes in land use and land cover and promotes the resilience of farming systems. Contrarily, reductions in subsidies and changes in consumer behavior are the most important key drivers in the negative scenario and lead to distinct abandonment of grassland, predominantly in the sub-alpine zone of our study site. Our conceptual approach, i.e., the combination of social and ecological methods and the integration of local stakeholders' knowledge into spatial scenario analysis, resulted in highly detailed and spatially explicit results that can provide a basis for further community development recommendations.

  6. Facilitation among plants in alpine environments in the face of climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien eAnthelme

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available While there is a large consensus that plant–plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation–climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1 the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2 alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant–plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and

  7. Facilitation among plants in alpine environments in the face of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthelme, Fabien; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Dangles, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    While there is a large consensus that plant-plant interactions are a crucial component of the response of plant communities to the effects of climate change, available data remain scarce, particularly in alpine systems. This represents an important obstacle to making consistent predictions about the future of plant communities. Here, we review current knowledge on the effects of climate change on facilitation among alpine plant communities and propose directions for future research. In established alpine communities, while warming seemingly generates a net facilitation release, earlier snowmelt may increase facilitation. Some nurse plants are able to buffer microenvironmental changes in the long term and may ensure the persistence of other alpine plants through local migration events. For communities migrating to higher elevations, facilitation should play an important role in their reorganization because of the harsher environmental conditions. In particular, the absence of efficient nurse plants might slow down upward migration, possibly generating chains of extinction. Facilitation-climate change relationships are expected to shift along latitudinal gradients because (1) the magnitude of warming is predicted to vary along these gradients, and (2) alpine environments are significantly different at low vs. high latitudes. Data on these expected patterns are preliminary and thus need to be tested with further studies on facilitation among plants in alpine environments that have thus far not been considered. From a methodological standpoint, future studies will benefit from the spatial representation of the microclimatic environment of plants to predict their response to climate change. Moreover, the acquisition of long-term data on the dynamics of plant-plant interactions, either through permanent plots or chronosequences of glacial recession, may represent powerful approaches to clarify the relationship between plant interactions and climate change.

  8. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Matthew J; Aagaard, Per; Herzog, Walter

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of the present review was to: 1) provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in alpine ski racing; and 2) provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers) were found to be at high risk for knee injuries, and ACL tears were the most frequent diagnosis. Three primary ACL injury mechanism were identified that involved tibial internal rotation and anteriorly directed shear forces from ski equipment and the environment. While trunk muscle strength imbalance and genetics were found to be predictive of ACL injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness). While skiers seem to make a successful recovery following ACL injury, there may be persistent neuromuscular deficits. Future research efforts should be directed toward prospective studies on ACL injury/reinjury prevention in both male and female skiers and toward the effects of knee injury on long-term health outcomes, such as the early development of osteoarthritis. International collaborations may be necessary to generate sufficient statistical power for ACL injury/reinjury prevention research in alpine ski racing

  9. Lack of sex-biased dispersal promotes fine-scale genetic structure in alpine ungulates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gretchen H. Roffler; Sandra L. Talbot; Gordon Luikart; George K. Sage; Kristy L. Pilgrim; Layne G. Adams; Michael K. Schwartz

    2014-01-01

    Identifying patterns of fine-scale genetic structure in natural populations can advance understanding of critical ecological processes such as dispersal and gene flow across heterogeneous landscapes. Alpine ungulates generally exhibit high levels of genetic structure due to female philopatry and patchy configuration of mountain habitats. We assessed the spatial scale...

  10. Geochemistry and petrography of the MacAlpine Hills lunar meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Mckay, David S.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Martinez, Rene R.; Mittlefehldt, David W.; Wang, Ming-Sheng; Lipschutz, Michael E.

    1991-01-01

    MacAlpine Hills 88104 and 88105, anorthositic lunar meteorites recovered form the same area in Antartica, are characterized. Petrographic studies show that MAC88104/5 is a polymict breccia dominated by impact melt clasts. It is better classified as a fragmental breccia than a regolith breccia. The bulk composition is ferroan and highly aluminous (Al2O3-28 percent).

  11. Continuous recording of seismic signals in Alpine permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, H.; Krainer, K.; Staudinger, M.; Brückl, E.

    2009-04-01

    Over the past years various geophysical methods were applied to study the internal structure and the temporal variation of permafrost whereof seismic is of importance. For most seismic investigations in Alpine permafrost 24-channel equipment in combination with long data and trigger cables is used. Due to the harsh environment source and geophone layouts are often limited to 2D profiles. With prospect for future 3D-layouts we introduce an alternative of seismic equipment that can be used for several applications in Alpine permafrost. This study is focussed on controlled and natural source seismic experiments in Alpine permafrost using continuous data recording. With recent data from an ongoing project ("Permafrost in Austria") we will highlight the potential of the used seismic equipment for three applications: (a) seismic permafrost mapping of unconsolidated sediments, (b) seismic tomography in rock mass, and (c) passive seismic monitoring of rock falls. Single recording units (REFTEK 130, 6 channels) are used to continuously record the waveforms of both the seismic signals and a trigger signal. The combination of a small number of recording units with different types of geophones or a trigger allow numerous applications in Alpine permafrost with regard to a high efficiency and flexible seismic layouts (2D, 3D, 4D). The efficiency of the light and robust seismic equipment is achieved by the simple acquisition and the flexible and fast deployment of the (omni-directional) geophones. Further advantages are short (data and trigger) cables and the prevention of trigger errors. The processing of the data is aided by 'Seismon' which is an open source software project based on Matlab® and MySQL (see SM1.0). For active-source experiments automatic stacking of the seismic signals is implemented. For passive data a program for automatic detection of events (e.g. rock falls) is available which allows event localization. In summer 2008 the seismic equipment was used for the

  12. Carbon redistribution by erosion processes in an intensively disturbed catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boix-Fayos, Carolina; Martínez-Mena, María; Pérez Cutillas, Pedro; de Vente, Joris; Barberá, Gonzalo G.; Mosch, Wouter; Navarro Cano, Jose Antonio; Gaspar, Leticia; Navas, Ana

    2016-04-01

    Understanding how organic carbon moves with sediments along the fluvial system is crucial to close catchment scale carbon budgets. Especially challenging is the analysis of organic carbon dynamics during fluvial transport in heterogeneous, fragile and disturbed environments with ephemeral and intense hydrological pulses, typical of Mediterranean conditions. This paper explores the catchment scale organic carbon redistribution by lateral flows in extreme Mediterranean environmental conditions from a geomorphological perspective. The study area is a catchment (Cárcavo) in SE Spain with a semiarid climate, erodible lithologies, shallow soils, and highly disturbed by agricultural terraces, land levelling, reforestations and construction of check-dams. To increase understanding of erosion induced catchment scale organic carbon redistribution, we studied the subcatchments of 8 check-dams distributed along the catchment main channel in detail. We determined 137Cs, physicochemical characteristics and organic carbon pools of soils and sediments deposited behind each check-dam, performed spatial analysis of properties of the catchment and buffer areas around check-dams, and carried out geomorphological analysis of the slope-channel connections. Soils showed very low Total Organic Carbon (TOC) values oscillating between 15.2 and 4.4 g Kg-1 for forest and agricultural soils, respectively. Sediments mobilized by erosion were poor in TOC compared to the eroded (forest) soils (6.6±0.7 g Kg-1), and the redistribution of organic carbon through the catchment, especially of the Mineral Associated Organic Carbon (MAC) pool, showed the same pattern as clay particles and 137Cs. The TOC erosion rates (0.031±0.03 Mg ha-1 y-1) were comparable to others reported for subhumid Mediterranean catchments and to those modelled worldwide for pasture land. Those lateral fluxes were equivalent to 10.4 % of the TOC stock from the topsoil at the moment of the check-dam construction and

  13. Les Nouvelles Traversées Alpines : la “cité-Europe” à l’épreuve de l’acceptabilité alpine ? The New alpine crossings : The “city-Europe” faces up to the alpine acceptability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin Sutton

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available La pensée des traversées alpines est indissociable de celle des réseaux urbains alpins et, au-delà, européens. La nouvelle phase de percée des tunnels de base le réaffirme : les “Nouvelles Traversées Alpines” se retrouvent au coeur de l’enjeu de connexion des réseaux ferroviaires européens à grande vitesse. L’invention de la “cité-Europe” passe ainsi par la réinvention d’un pacte alpin autour du dessein de franchissement entre les villes de piedmonts et les communautés montagnardes traversées. Ces dernières ont, en effet, la capacité de bloquer un projet par leur refus. L’exemple du projet Lyon-Turin l’illustre, en contre-point de la réussite du tunnel de base du Lötschberg. La réussite suisse semble tenir à la capacité de conjuguer les inventions technique et sociale du tunnel, ne niant pas la dimension territoriale de cet objet réticulaire.It is impossible to think about the alpine crossings without thinking about the alpine and European urban nets. The construction of the basis tunnels recalls it: the “New Alpine Crossings” are the kernel of the connection issue between the European high-speed railways nets. The invention of a “city-Europe” needs a reinvented pact, between the cities of the plains and the alpine communities, based on the reaffirmation of a common crossing destiny. The alpine communities can thwart the project by refusing it, as the example of the Lyon-Turin project shows, in contrast to the successful Lötschberg basis tunnel. The Swiss success seems to come from the capacity to mix technical and social inventions, replacing the territorial dimension in the reticular fundament.

  14. Hydrologic and Isotopic Sensitivity of Alpine Lakes to Climate Change in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liefert, D. T.; Shuman, B. N.; Mercer, J.; Parsekian, A.; Williams, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    Climate reconstructions show that global average temperatures were 0.5°C higher than today during the mid-Holocene, falling well within projections for increases in global average temperature presented in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Despite the consensus for the prediction of a warmer climate, however, it is unclear how snowmelt from high-elevation watersheds will be affected by such a change. Snowmelt contributes substantially to major rivers in the western United States, and much of the water flows through lakes in the highest-elevation watersheds. Our water balance models show that modern alpine lakes with seasonably unstable water levels can desiccate primarily through groundwater outflow, resulting in increased groundwater storage that likely sustains baseflow in mountain streams once snowmelt has subsided in late summer. However, contribution of freshwater from alpine lakes to streams may vary over time as changes in climate alters snowpack, rates of evaporation, and the abundance of snowmelt-fed lakes. As such, alpine lakes with seasonally unstable water levels today may have dried out entirely during the mid-Holocene warm period and may dry out in the future as temperatures increase. To investigate the response of alpine lakes to temperatures of the mid-Holocene, we collected 9 sediment cores from closed-basin alpine lakes in the Medicine Bow Mountains of southern Wyoming that lose most their volumes each summer. We use radiocarbon-dating of charcoal in basal sediments to determine lake formation age, abundance of conifer needles to infer relative forest cover, and a δ18O carbonate record to determine changes in the ratio of evaporation to precipitation in an alpine lake that existed throughout the Holocene. Warming likely changed watershed hydrology through a) decreased snowpack and earlier snowmelt, b) increased evaporation, and c) increased transpiration associated with expanded forest cover and longer growing seasons

  15. Catchment Morphing (CM): A Novel Approach for Runoff Modeling in Ungauged Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Han, Dawei

    2017-12-01

    Runoff prediction in ungauged catchments has been one of the major challenges in the past decades. However, due to the tremendous heterogeneity of the catchments, obstacles exist in deducing model parameters for ungauged catchments from gauged ones. We propose a novel approach to predict ungauged runoff with Catchment Morphing (CM) using a fully distributed model. CM is defined as by changing the catchment characteristics (area and slope here) from the baseline model built with a gauged catchment to model the ungauged ones. As a proof of concept, a case study on seven catchments in the UK has been used to demonstrate the proposed scheme. Comparing the predicted with measured runoff, the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) varies from 0.03 to 0.69 in six catchments. Moreover, NSEs are significantly improved (up to 0.81) when considering the discrepancy of percentage runoff between the target and baseline catchments. A distinct advantage has been experienced by comparing the CM with a traditional method for ungauged catchments. The advantages are: (a) less demand of the similarity between the baseline catchment and the ungauged catchment, (b) less demand of available data, and (c) potentially widely applicable in varied catchments. This study demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed scheme as a potentially powerful alternative to the conventional methods in runoff predictions of ungauged catchments. Clearly, more work beyond this pilot study is needed to explore and develop this new approach further to maturity by the hydrological community.

  16. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

    Full Text Available Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  17. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lembrechts, Jonas J; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment.

  18. Representing macropore flow at the catchment scale: a comparative modeling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D.; Li, H. Y.; Tian, F.; Leung, L. R.

    2017-12-01

    Macropore flow is an important hydrological process that generally enhances the soil infiltration capacity and velocity of subsurface water. Up till now, macropore flow is mostly simulated with high-resolution models. One possible drawback of this modeling approach is the difficulty to effectively represent the overall typology and connectivity of the macropore networks. We hypothesize that modeling macropore flow directly at the catchment scale may be complementary to the existing modeling strategy and offer some new insights. Tsinghua Representative Elementary Watershed model (THREW model) is a semi-distributed hydrology model, where the fundamental building blocks are representative elementary watersheds (REW) linked by the river channel network. In THREW, all the hydrological processes are described with constitutive relationships established directly at the REW level, i.e., catchment scale. In this study, the constitutive relationship of macropore flow drainage is established as part of THREW. The enhanced THREW model is then applied at two catchments with deep soils but distinct climates, the humid Asu catchment in the Amazon River basin, and the arid Wei catchment in the Yellow River basin. The Asu catchment has an area of 12.43km2 with mean annual precipitation of 2442mm. The larger Wei catchment has an area of 24800km2 but with mean annual precipitation of only 512mm. The rainfall-runoff processes are simulated at a hourly time step from 2002 to 2005 in the Asu catchment and from 2001 to 2012 in the Wei catchment. The role of macropore flow on the catchment hydrology will be analyzed comparatively over the Asu and Wei catchments against the observed streamflow, evapotranspiration and other auxiliary data.

  19. Proximate and ultimate controls on carbon and nutrient dynamics of small agricultural catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Zahra; Abbott, Benjamin W.; Troccaz, Olivier; Baudry, Jacques; Pinay, Gilles

    2016-03-01

    Direct and indirect effects from human activity have dramatically increased nutrient loading to aquatic inland and estuarine ecosystems. Despite an abundance of studies investigating the impact of agricultural activity on water quality, our understanding of what determines the capacity of a watershed to remove or retain nutrients remains limited. The goal of this study was to identify proximate and ultimate controls on dissolved organic carbon and nutrient dynamics in small agricultural catchments by investigating the relationship between catchment characteristics, stream discharge, and water chemistry. We analyzed a 5-year, high-frequency water chemistry data set from three catchments in western France ranging from 2.3 to 10.8 km2. The relationship between hydrology and solute concentrations differed between the three catchments and was associated with hedgerow density, agricultural activity, and geology. The catchment with thicker soil and higher surface roughness had relatively invariant carbon and nutrient chemistry across hydrologic conditions, indicating high resilience to human disturbance. Conversely, the catchments with smoother, thinner soils responded to both intra- and interannual hydrologic variation with high concentrations of phosphate (PO43-) and ammonium (NH4+) in streams during low flow conditions and strong increases in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), sediment, and particulate organic matter during high flows. Despite contrasting agricultural activity between catchments, the physical context (geology, topography, and land-use configuration) appeared to be the most important determinant of catchment solute dynamics based on principle components analysis. The influence of geology and accompanying topographic and geomorphological factors on water quality was both direct and indirect because the distribution of agricultural activity in these catchments is largely a consequence of the geologic and topographic context. This link between inherent

  20. Estimation of Alpine Skier Posture Using Machine Learning Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bojan Nemec

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available High precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS measurements are becoming more and more popular in alpine skiing due to the relatively undemanding setup and excellent performance. However, GNSS provides only single-point measurements that are defined with the antenna placed typically behind the skier’s neck. A key issue is how to estimate other more relevant parameters of the skier’s body, like the center of mass (COM and ski trajectories. Previously, these parameters were estimated by modeling the skier’s body with an inverted-pendulum model that oversimplified the skier’s body. In this study, we propose two machine learning methods that overcome this shortcoming and estimate COM and skis trajectories based on a more faithful approximation of the skier’s body with nine degrees-of-freedom. The first method utilizes a well-established approach of artificial neural networks, while the second method is based on a state-of-the-art statistical generalization method. Both methods were evaluated using the reference measurements obtained on a typical giant slalom course and compared with the inverted-pendulum method. Our results outperform the results of commonly used inverted-pendulum methods and demonstrate the applicability of machine learning techniques in biomechanical measurements of alpine skiing.

  1. Climate change links fate of glaciers and an endemic alpine invertebrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Giersch, J. Joseph; Hauer, F. Richard; Pederson, Gregory T.; Luikart, Gordon; Peterson, Douglas P.; Downs, Christopher C.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2011-01-01

    Climate warming in the mid- to high-latitudes and high-elevation mountainous regions is occurring more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth, causing extensive loss of glaciers and snowpack. However, little is known about the effects of climate change on alpine stream biota, especially invertebrates. Here, we show a strong linkage between regional climate change and the fundamental niche of a rare aquatic invertebrate—themeltwater stonefly Lednia tumana—endemic toWaterton- Glacier International Peace Park, Canada and USA. L. tumana has been petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced glacier loss, yet little is known on specifically how climate impacts may threaten this rare species and many other enigmatic alpine aquatic species worldwide. During 14 years of research, we documented that L. tumana inhabits a narrow distribution, restricted to short sections (∼500 m) of cold, alpine streams directly below glaciers, permanent snowfields, and springs. Our simulation models suggest that climate change threatens the potential future distribution of these sensitive habitats and persistence of L. tumana through the loss of glaciers and snowfields. Mountaintop aquatic invertebrates are ideal early warning indicators of climate warming in mountain ecosystems. Research on alpine invertebrates is urgently needed to avoid extinctions and ecosystem change.

  2. Phosphate sorption characteristics of European alpine soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kaňa, Jiří; Kopáček, Jiří; Camarero, L.; Garcia-Pausas, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 75, č. 3 (2011), s. 862-870 ISSN 0361-5995 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/09/0567; GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB600960907 Grant - others:EU EMERGE(CZ) EVK1-CT-1999-00032 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : phosphate sorption * alpine soil s * acidification Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality Impact factor: 1.979, year: 2011

  3. Examining the Potential Travellers in Catchment Areas for Public Transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Landex, Alex; Hansen, Stephen

    2006-01-01

    The paper presents a method to examine the catchment areas for stops in high quality public transport systems based on the actual street network in the examined area. This is achieved by implementing the service area functions from the ArcGIS extension Network Analyst. The method is compared...

  4. Optimal catchment area and primary PCI centre volume revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schoos, Mikkel Malby; Pedersen, Frants; Holmvang, Lene

    2015-01-01

    AIMS: The currently stated optimal catchment population for a pPCI centre is 300,000-1,100,000, resulting in 200-800 procedures/year. pPCI centres are increasing in number even within small geographic areas. We describe the organisation and quality of care after merging two high-volume centres...

  5. Hydrology and landscape structure control subalpine catchment carbon export

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent Jerald Pacific

    2009-01-01

    Carbon export from high elevation ecosystems is a critical component of the global carbon cycle. Ecosystems in northern latitudes have become the focus of much research due to their potential as large sinks of carbon in the atmosphere. However, there exists limited understanding of the controls of carbon export from complex mountain catchments due to strong spatial and...

  6. Vulnerability of European freshwater catchments to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markovic, Danijela; Carrizo, Savrina F; Kärcher, Oskar; Walz, Ariane; David, Jonathan N W

    2017-09-01

    Climate change is expected to exacerbate the current threats to freshwater ecosystems, yet multifaceted studies on the potential impacts of climate change on freshwater biodiversity at scales that inform management planning are lacking. The aim of this study was to fill this void through the development of a novel framework for assessing climate change vulnerability tailored to freshwater ecosystems. The three dimensions of climate change vulnerability are as follows: (i) exposure to climate change, (ii) sensitivity to altered environmental conditions and (iii) resilience potential. Our vulnerability framework includes 1685 freshwater species of plants, fishes, molluscs, odonates, amphibians, crayfish and turtles alongside key features within and between catchments, such as topography and connectivity. Several methodologies were used to combine these dimensions across a variety of future climate change models and scenarios. The resulting indices were overlaid to assess the vulnerability of European freshwater ecosystems at the catchment scale (18 783 catchments). The Balkan Lakes Ohrid and Prespa and Mediterranean islands emerge as most vulnerable to climate change. For the 2030s, we showed a consensus among the applied methods whereby up to 573 lake and river catchments are highly vulnerable to climate change. The anthropogenic disruption of hydrological habitat connectivity by dams is the major factor reducing climate change resilience. A gap analysis demonstrated that the current European protected area network covers climate change. Priority should be placed on enhancing stakeholder cooperation at the major basin scale towards preventing further degradation of freshwater ecosystems and maintaining connectivity among catchments. The catchments identified as most vulnerable to climate change provide preliminary targets for development of climate change conservation management and mitigation strategies. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Organic carbon efflux from a deciduous forest catchment in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Kim

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Soil infiltration and surface discharge of precipitation are critical processes that affect the efflux of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC and Particulate Organic Carbon (POC in forested catchments. Concentrations of DOC and POC can be very high in the soil surface in most forest ecosystems and their efflux may not be negligible particularly under the monsoon climate. In East Asia, however, there are little data available to evaluate the role of such processes in forest carbon budget. In this paper, we address two basic questions: (1 how does stream discharge respond to storm events in a forest catchment? and (2 how much DOC and POC are exported from the catchment particularly during the summer monsoon period? To answer these questions, we collected hydrological data (e.g., precipitation, soil moisture, runoff discharge, groundwater level and conducted hydrochemical analyses (including DOC, POC, and six tracers in a deciduous forest catchment in Gwangneung National Arboretum in west-central Korea. Based on the end-member mixing analysis of the six storm events during the summer monsoon in 2005, the surface discharge was estimated as 30 to 80% of the total runoff discharge. The stream discharge responded to precipitation within 12 h during these storm events. The annual efflux of DOC and POC from the catchment was estimated as 0.04 and 0.05 t C ha−1 yr−1, respectively. Approximately 70% of the annual organic carbon efflux occurred during the summer monsoon period. Overall, the annual efflux of organic carbon was estimated to be about 10% of the Net Ecosystem carbon Exchange (NEE obtained by eddy covariance measurement at the same site. Considering the current trends of increasing intensity and amount of summer rainfall and the large interannual variability in NEE, ignoring the organic carbon efflux from forest catchments would result in an inaccurate estimation of the carbon sink strength of forest ecosystems in the monsoon

  8. Leaching of organic carbon and nitrogen from peatland-dominated catchments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kortelainen, P.

    1992-01-01

    The area of 13 study catchments is 2.5-56-3 km 2 and 37-87 % of the catchments is covered by peatlands. Ditching intensities varied from 0 to 100 %. Median total organic carbon (TOC) in runoff waters from the catchments was 10-30 mg/l - 1 and median nitrogen (N tot ) 380-1000 μg/1 -1 . The annual leaching of TOC and Ntot was calculated for five catchments for which daily runoff data was available. The range for mean annual leaching of TOC and N tot from the catchments was 4700-7300 kg/km 2 a and 190-250 kg/km -2 a -1 , respectively. The variation between different years was high and annual leaching was closely related to annual runoff. The regional variation in the leaching of TOC and N tot was small compared to the annual variation

  9. Determining the rates and drivers of headwall erosion within glaciated catchments in the NW Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, E.; Owen, L. A.; Saha, S.; Caffee, M. W.

    2017-12-01

    Rates of headwall erosion are defined for fourteen glaciated catchments in the NW Himalaya by measuring 10Be terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in supraglacial debris. The investigated catchments are located throughout three broad climatic zones, which include the Lesser Himalaya (rainfall >1000 mm a-1), Greater Himalaya (500-1000 mm a-1) and Transhimalaya (arid catchments that are occupied by sub-polar glaciers, suggesting that there are additional controls upon periglacial domain landscape change. Other factors and catchment-specific dynamics influencing these landscapes include, temperature, surface processes, topography, valley morphology, geologic setting and glacial history. Defining rates of headwall erosion is one of the first steps to understanding the nature of sediment production and transfer within high-altitude glaciated catchments, and highlights the importance of periglacial rockfall processes in landscape evolution.

  10. Working toward integrated models of alpine plant distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Randin, Christophe F; Boulangeat, Isabelle; Lavergne, Sébastien; Thuiller, Wilfried; Choler, Philippe

    2013-10-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) have been frequently employed to forecast the response of alpine plants to global changes. Efforts to model alpine plant distribution have thus far been primarily based on a correlative approach, in which ecological processes are implicitly addressed through a statistical relationship between observed species occurrences and environmental predictors. Recent evidence, however, highlights the shortcomings of correlative SDMs, especially in alpine landscapes where plant species tend to be decoupled from atmospheric conditions in micro-topographic habitats and are particularly exposed to geomorphic disturbances. While alpine plants respond to the same limiting factors as plants found at lower elevations, alpine environments impose a particular set of scale-dependent and hierarchical drivers that shape the realized niche of species and that require explicit consideration in a modelling context. Several recent studies in the European Alps have successfully integrated both correlative and process-based elements into distribution models of alpine plants, but for the time being a single integrative modelling framework that includes all key drivers remains elusive. As a first step in working toward a comprehensive integrated model applicable to alpine plant communities, we propose a conceptual framework that structures the primary mechanisms affecting alpine plant distributions. We group processes into four categories, including multi-scalar abiotic drivers, gradient dependent species interactions, dispersal and spatial-temporal plant responses to disturbance. Finally, we propose a methodological framework aimed at developing an integrated model to better predict alpine plant distribution.

  11. Soil Fauna Affects Dissolved Carbon and Nitrogen in Foliar Litter in Alpine Forest and Alpine Meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Shu; Yang, Wanqin; Tan, Yu; Peng, Yan; Li, Jun; Tan, Bo; Wu, Fuzhong

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) are generally considered important active biogeochemical pools of total carbon and nitrogen. Many studies have documented the contributions of soil fauna to litter decomposition, but the effects of the soil fauna on labile substances (i.e., DOC and TDN) in litter during early decomposition are not completely clear. Therefore, a field litterbag experiment was carried out from 13th November 2013 to 23rd October 2014 in an alpine forest and an alpine meadow located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Litterbags with different mesh sizes were used to provide access to or prohibit the access of the soil fauna, and the concentrations of DOC and TDN in the foliar litter were measured during the winter (the onset of freezing, deep freezing and thawing stage) and the growing season (early and late). After one year of field incubation, the concentration of DOC in the litter significantly decreased, whereas the TDN concentration in the litter increased. Similar dynamic patterns were detected under the effects of the soil fauna on both DOC and TDN in the litter between the alpine forest and the alpine meadow. The soil fauna showed greater positive effects on decreasing DOC concentration in the litter in the winter than in the growing season. In contrast, the dynamics of TND in the litter were related to seasonal changes in environmental factors, rather than the soil fauna. In addition, the soil fauna promoted a decrease in litter DOC/TDN ratio in both the alpine forest and the alpine meadow throughout the first year of decomposition, except for in the late growing season. These results suggest that the soil fauna can promote decreases in DOC and TDN concentrations in litter, contributing to early litter decomposition in these cold biomes.

  12. A high space-time resolution dataset linking meteorological forcing and hydro-sedimentary response in a mesoscale Mediterranean catchment (Auzon) of the Ardèche region, France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nord, Guillaume; Boudevillain, Brice; Berne, Alexis; Branger, Flora; Braud, Isabelle; Dramais, Guillaume; Gérard, Simon; Le Coz, Jérôme; Legoût, Cédric; Molinié, Gilles; Van Baelen, Joel; Vandervaere, Jean-Pierre; Andrieu, Julien; Aubert, Coralie; Calianno, Martin; Delrieu, Guy; Grazioli, Jacopo; Hachani, Sahar; Horner, Ivan; Huza, Jessica; Le Boursicaud, Raphaël; Raupach, Timothy H.; Teuling, Adriaan J.; Uber, Magdalena; Vincendon, Béatrice; Wijbrans, Annette

    2017-03-01

    A comprehensive hydrometeorological dataset is presented spanning the period 1 January 2011-31 December 2014 to improve the understanding of the hydrological processes leading to flash floods and the relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport in a mesoscale catchment (Auzon, 116 km2) of the Mediterranean region. Badlands are present in the Auzon catchment and well connected to high-gradient channels of bedrock rivers which promotes the transfer of suspended solids downstream. The number of observed variables, the various sensors involved (both in situ and remote) and the space-time resolution ( ˜ km2, ˜ min) of this comprehensive dataset make it a unique contribution to research communities focused on hydrometeorology, surface hydrology and erosion. Given that rainfall is highly variable in space and time in this region, the observation system enables assessment of the hydrological response to rainfall fields. Indeed, (i) rainfall data are provided by rain gauges (both a research network of 21 rain gauges with a 5 min time step and an operational network of 10 rain gauges with a 5 min or 1 h time step), S-band Doppler dual-polarization radars (1 km2, 5 min resolution), disdrometers (16 sensors working at 30 s or 1 min time step) and Micro Rain Radars (5 sensors, 100 m height resolution). Additionally, during the special observation period (SOP-1) of the HyMeX (Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment) project, two X-band radars provided precipitation measurements at very fine spatial and temporal scales (1 ha, 5 min). (ii) Other meteorological data are taken from the operational surface weather observation stations of Météo-France (including 2 m air temperature, atmospheric pressure, 2 m relative humidity, 10 m wind speed and direction, global radiation) at the hourly time resolution (six stations in the region of interest). (iii) The monitoring of surface hydrology and suspended sediment is multi-scale and based on nested

  13. Catchment Integration of Sensor Array Observations to Understand Hydrologic Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redfern, S.; Livneh, B.; Molotch, N. P.; Suding, K.; Neff, J. C.; Hinckley, E. L. S.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrologic connectivity and the land surface water balance are likely to be impacted by climate change in the coming years. Although recent work has started to demonstrate that climate modulates connectivity, we still lack knowledge of how local ecology will respond to environmental and atmospheric changes and subsequently interact with connectivity. The overarching goal of this research is to address and forecast how climate change will affect hydrologic connectivity in an alpine environment, through the use of near-surface observations (temperature, humidity, soil moisture, snow depth) from a new 16-sensor array (plus 5 precipitation gauges), together with a distributed hydrologic model, over a small catchment on Colorado's Niwot Ridge (above 3000m). Model simulations will be constrained to distributed sensor measurements taken in the study area and calibrated with streamflow. Periods of wetting and dry-down will be analyzed to identify signatures of connectivity across the landscape, its seasonal signals and its sensitivity to land cover. Further work will aim to develop future hydrologic projections, compare model output with related observations, conduct multi-physics experiments, and continue to expand the existing sensor network.

  14. Origin and Distribution of Methane Entrapped in Calcareous Alpine Proglacial Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Biqing; Schroth, Martin H.; Henneberger, Ruth; Kübler, Manuel; Zeyer, Josef

    2017-04-01

    Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas. The atmospheric methane concentration has been increasing in recent years, which is caused by imbalance between sources and sinks. Methane has been recently discovered to be entrapped in calcareous Swiss Alpine proglacial soil. This CH4 can be released upon mechanical impact and acidification. However, the amount, distribution and environmental fate of this entrapped CH4 in proglacial environment remain unknown. The entrapped CH4 in proglacial soil may be of modern or ancient origin. Modern origin includes ongoing or recent microbial CH4 production (methanogenesis) in subglacial or proglacial environments. An ancient origin mainly refers to CH4 produced thermogenically. This soil entrapped CH4 might be a common phenomenon along the entire glacial forefield, or it might only be present at few locations and depth. We present results of studies from two Swiss Alpine Glacier catchments, Wildstrubel Glacier (Canton Valais) and the Griessfirn Glacier (Canton Uri). Our main goals were 1) to assess the origin of CH4 entrapped in various glacial environments (subglacial, proglacial and supraglacial, soil and bedrocks) using geochemical and microbiological evidence; 2) to assess the spatial distribution of entrapped CH4. We performed geochemical analysis (CH4 content, gas wetness ([C1]/[C2-C3] alkane ratio), CH4 stable 13C- and 2H-isotopes, TOC) on subglacial, proglacial, and supraglacial soil samples collected from well-aerated and water-logged locations. Geochemical analysis was also selectively conducted on pore-water samples and on rock samples collected from different geological formations along the catchments. We also performed batch incubations on soil samples collected from subglacial, proglacial water-logged and supraglacial zones. In addition, for the aforementioned three types of samples, we also performed molecular analyses targeting the mcrA gene, which encodes the α-subunit of the enzyme methyl-coenzyme M reductase

  15. Evaluating the Contributions of Atmospheric Deposition of Carbon and Other Nutrients to Nitrification in Alpine Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldani, K. M.; Mladenov, N.; Williams, M. W.

    2013-12-01

    The Colorado Front Range of the Rocky Mountains contains undeveloped, barren soils, yet in this environment there is strong evidence for a microbial role in increased nitrogen (N) export. Barren soils in alpine environments are severely carbon-limited, which is the main energy source for microbial activity and sustenance of life. It has been shown that atmospheric deposition can contain high amounts of organic carbon (C). Atmospheric pollutants, dust events, and biological aerosols, such as bacteria, may be important contributors to the atmospheric organic C load. In this stage of the research we evaluated seasonal trends in the chemical composition and optical spectroscopic (fluorescence and UV-vis absorbance) signatures of snow, wet deposition, and dry deposition in an alpine environment at Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to obtain a better understanding of the sources and chemical character of atmospheric deposition. Our results reveal a positive trend between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and calcium, nitrate and sulfate concentrations in wet and dry deposition, which may be derived from such sources as dust and urban air pollution. We also observed the presence of seasonally-variable fluorescent components that may be attributed to fluorescent pigments in bacteria. These results are relevant because atmospheric inputs of carbon and other nutrients may influence nitrification in barren, alpine soils and, ultimately, the export of nitrate to alpine watersheds.

  16. A simple distributed sediment delivery approach for rural catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Lucas; Scherer, Ulrike

    2014-05-01

    The transfer of sediments from source areas to surface waters is a complex process. In process based erosion models sediment input is thus quantified by representing all relevant sub processes such as detachment, transport and deposition of sediment particles along the flow path to the river. A successful application of these models requires, however, a large amount of spatially highly resolved data on physical catchment characteristics, which is only available for a few, well examined small catchments. For the lack of appropriate models, the empirical Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is widely applied to quantify the sediment production in meso to large scale basins. As the USLE provides long-term mean soil loss rates, it is often combined with spatially lumped models to estimate the sediment delivery ratio (SDR). In these models, the SDR is related to data on morphological characteristics of the catchment such as average local relief, drainage density, proportion of depressions or soil texture. Some approaches include the relative distance between sediment source areas and the river channels. However, several studies showed that spatially lumped parameters describing the morphological characteristics are only of limited value to represent the factors of influence on sediment transport at the catchment scale. Sediment delivery is controlled by the location of the sediment source areas in the catchment and the morphology along the flow path to the surface water bodies. This complex interaction of spatially varied physiographic characteristics cannot be adequately represented by lumped morphological parameters. The objective of this study is to develop a simple but spatially distributed approach to quantify the sediment delivery ratio by considering the characteristics of the flow paths in a catchment. We selected a small catchment located in in an intensively cultivated loess region in Southwest Germany as study area for the development of the SDR approach. The

  17. Dendrochronological potential of the alpine shrub Rhododendron nivale on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Eryuan; Eckstein, Dieter

    2009-09-01

    Shrubs and dwarf shrubs are wider spread on the Tibetan Plateau than trees and hence offer a unique opportunity to expand the present dendrochronological network into extreme environments beyond the survival limit of trees. Alpine shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau are characterized by rhododendron species. The dendrochronological potential of one alpine rhododendron species and its growth response to the extreme environment on the south-east Tibetan Plateau were investigated. Twenty stem discs of the alpine snowy rhododendron (Rhododendron nivale) were collected close to the tongue of the Zuoqiupu Glacier in south-east Tibet, China. The skeleton plot technique was used for inter-comparison between samples to detect the growth pattern of each stem section. The ring-width chronology was developed by fitting a negative exponential function or a straight line of any slope. Bootstrapping correlations were calculated between the standard chronology and monthly climate data. The wood of snowy rhododendron is diffuse-porous with evenly distributed small-diameter vessels. It has well-defined growth rings. Most stem sections can be visually and statistically cross-dated. The resulting 75-year-long standard ring-width chronology is highly correlated with a timberline fir chronology about 200 km apart, providing a high degree of confidence in the cross-dating. The climate/growth association of alpine snowy rhododendron and of this timberline fir is similar, reflecting an impact of monthly mean minimum temperatures in November of the previous year and in July during the year of ring formation. The alpine snowy rhododendron offers new research directions to investigate the environmental history of the Tibetan Plateau in those regions where up to now there was no chance of applying dendrochronology.

  18. Scale and legacy controls on catchment nutrient export regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howden, N. J. K.; Burt, T.; Worrall, F.

    2017-12-01

    Nutrient dynamics in river catchments are complex: water and chemical fluxes are highly variable in low-order streams, but this variability declines as fluxes move through higher-order reaches. This poses a major challenge for process understanding as much effort is focussed on long-term monitoring of the main river channel (a high-order reach), and therefore the data available to support process understanding are predominantly derived from sites where much of the transient response of nutrient export is masked by the effect of averaging over both space and time. This may be further exacerbated at all scales by the accumulation of legacy nutrient sources in soils, aquifers and pore waters, where historical activities have led to nutrient accumulation where the catchment system is transport limited. Therefore it is of particular interest to investigate how the variability of nutrient export changes both with catchment scale (from low to high-order catchment streams) and with the presence of legacy sources, such that the context of infrequent monitoring on high-order streams can be better understood. This is not only a question of characterising nutrient export regimes per se, but also developing a more thorough understanding of how the concepts of scale and legacy may modify the statistical characteristics of observed responses across scales in both space and time. In this paper, we use synthetic data series and develop a model approach to consider how space and timescales combine with impacts of legacy sources to influence observed variability in catchment export. We find that: increasing space and timescales tend to reduce the observed variance in nutrient exports, due to an increase in travel times and greater mixing, and therefore averaging, of sources; increasing the influence of legacy sources inflates the variance, with the level of inflation dictated by the residence time of the respective sources.

  19. Urbanization increased metal levels in lake surface sediment and catchment topsoil of waterscape parks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Hong-Bo [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Yu, Shen, E-mail: syu@iue.ac.cn [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Li, Gui-Lin [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Liu, Yi; Yu, Guang-Bin [Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021 (China); Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Deng, Hong [Department of Environmental Sciences, Tiantong National Station of Forest Ecosystem, Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Ecological Restoration, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062 (China); Wu, Sheng-Chun [State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, Biology and Chemistry Department, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (China); Wong, Ming-Hung [Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong (China)

    2012-08-15

    Lake surface sediment is mainly derived from topsoil in its catchment. We hypothesized that distribution of anthropogenic metals would be homogenous in lake surface sediment and the lake's catchment topsoil. Anthropogenic metal distributions (cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)) in fourteen waterscape parks were investigated in surface sediments and catchment topsoils and possible source homogeneity was tested using stable Pb isotopic ratio analysis. The parks were located along an urbanization gradient consisting of suburban (SU), developing urban (DIU), developed urban (DDU), and central urban core (CUC) areas in Shanghai, China. Results indicated that surface lake sediments and catchment topsoils in the CUC parks were highly contaminated by the investigated anthropogenic metals. Total metal contents in surface sediment and topsoil gradually increased along the urbanization gradient from the SU to CUC areas. Generally, the surface sediments had greater total metal contents than their catchment topsoils. These results suggest that urbanization drives the anthropogenic metal enrichment in both surface sediment and its catchment topsoil in the waterscape parks. Soil fine particles (< 63 {mu}m) and surface sediments had similar enrichment ratios of metals, suggesting that surface runoff might act as a carrier for metals transporting from catchment to lake. Stable Pb isotope ratio analysis revealed that the major anthropogenic Pb source in surface sediment was coal combustion as in the catchment topsoil. Urbanization also correlated with chemical fractionation of metals in both surface sediment and catchment topsoil. From the SU to the CUC parks, amounts of labile metal fractions increased while the residual fraction of those metals remained rather constant. In short, urbanization in Shanghai drives anthropogenic metal distribution in environmental matrices and the sources were homogenous. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Obvious

  20. Urbanization increased metal levels in lake surface sediment and catchment topsoil of waterscape parks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Hong-Bo; Yu, Shen; Li, Gui-Lin; Liu, Yi; Yu, Guang-Bin; Deng, Hong; Wu, Sheng-Chun; Wong, Ming-Hung

    2012-01-01

    Lake surface sediment is mainly derived from topsoil in its catchment. We hypothesized that distribution of anthropogenic metals would be homogenous in lake surface sediment and the lake's catchment topsoil. Anthropogenic metal distributions (cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn)) in fourteen waterscape parks were investigated in surface sediments and catchment topsoils and possible source homogeneity was tested using stable Pb isotopic ratio analysis. The parks were located along an urbanization gradient consisting of suburban (SU), developing urban (DIU), developed urban (DDU), and central urban core (CUC) areas in Shanghai, China. Results indicated that surface lake sediments and catchment topsoils in the CUC parks were highly contaminated by the investigated anthropogenic metals. Total metal contents in surface sediment and topsoil gradually increased along the urbanization gradient from the SU to CUC areas. Generally, the surface sediments had greater total metal contents than their catchment topsoils. These results suggest that urbanization drives the anthropogenic metal enrichment in both surface sediment and its catchment topsoil in the waterscape parks. Soil fine particles (< 63 μm) and surface sediments had similar enrichment ratios of metals, suggesting that surface runoff might act as a carrier for metals transporting from catchment to lake. Stable Pb isotope ratio analysis revealed that the major anthropogenic Pb source in surface sediment was coal combustion as in the catchment topsoil. Urbanization also correlated with chemical fractionation of metals in both surface sediment and catchment topsoil. From the SU to the CUC parks, amounts of labile metal fractions increased while the residual fraction of those metals remained rather constant. In short, urbanization in Shanghai drives anthropogenic metal distribution in environmental matrices and the sources were homogenous. -- Highlights: ► Obvious urbanization effect on metal

  1. Permafrost conditions in peatlands regulate magnitude, timing, and chemical composition of catchment dissolved organic carbon export.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olefeldt, David; Roulet, Nigel T

    2014-10-01

    Permafrost thaw in peatlands has the potential to alter catchment export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and thus influence downstream aquatic C cycling. Subarctic peatlands are often mosaics of different peatland types, where permafrost conditions regulate the hydrological setting of each type. We show that hydrological setting is key to observed differences in magnitude, timing, and chemical composition of DOC export between permafrost and nonpermafrost peatland types, and that these differences influence the export of DOC of larger catchments even when peatlands are minor catchment components. In many aspects, DOC export from a studied peatland permafrost plateau was similar to that of a forested upland catchment. Similarities included low annual export (2-3 g C m(-2) ) dominated by the snow melt period (~70%), and how substantial DOC export following storms required wet antecedent conditions. Conversely, nonpermafrost fens had higher DOC export (7 g C m(-2) ), resulting from sustained hydrological connectivity during summer. Chemical composition of catchment DOC export arose from the mixing of highly aromatic DOC from organic soils from permafrost plateau soil water and upland forest surface horizons with nonaromatic DOC from mineral soil groundwater, but was further modulated by fens. Increasing aromaticity from fen inflow to outlet was substantial and depended on both water residence time and water temperature. The role of fens as catchment biogeochemical hotspots was further emphasized by their capacity for sulfate retention. As a result of fen characteristics, a 4% fen cover in a mixed catchment was responsible for 34% higher DOC export, 50% higher DOC concentrations and ~10% higher DOC aromaticity at the catchment outlet during summer compared to a nonpeatland upland catchment. Expansion of fens due to thaw thus has potential to influence landscape C cycling by increasing fen capacity to act as biogeochemical hotspots, amplifying aquatic C cycling, and

  2. Land use and cover changes in the Likangala catchment of the Lake ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    High soil losses of 100t ha–1 yr–1 were estimated in the upper reaches of the catchment. High rainfall kinetic energy and poor vegetation cover were major determinants of soil loss. Sediment yield was high (374t km–2 yr–1) in the more degraded catchment of the Likangala River, compared to 315t km–2 yr–1 in the less ...

  3. Biomechanical factors influencing the performance of elite Alpine ski racers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébert-Losier, Kim; Supej, Matej; Holmberg, Hans-Christer

    2014-04-01

    . Investigations on speed skiing (i.e., downhill and super-G) primarily examined the effect of aerodynamic drag on performance, whereas the others examined turn characteristics, energetic principles, technical and tactical skills, and individual traits of high-performing skiers. The range of biomechanical factors reported to influence performance included energy dissipation and conservation, aerodynamic drag and frictional forces, ground reaction force, turn radius, and trajectory of the skis and/or centre of mass. The biomechanical differences between turn techniques, inter-dependency of turns, and abilities of individuals were also identified as influential factors in skiing performance. In the case of slalom and giant slalom events, performance could be enhanced by steering the skis in such a manner to reduce the ski-snow friction and thereby energy dissipated. This was accomplished by earlier initiation of turns, longer path length and trajectory, earlier and smoother application of ground reaction forces, and carving (rather than skidding). During speed skiing, minimizing the exposed frontal area and positioning the arms close to the body were shown to reduce the energy loss due to aerodynamic drag and thereby decrease run times. In actual races, a consistently good performance (i.e., fast time) on different sections of the course, terrains, and snow conditions was a characteristic feature of winners during technical events because these skiers could maximize gains from their individual strengths and minimize losses from their respective weaknesses. Most of the articles reviewed were limited to investigating a relatively small sample size, which is a usual limitation in research on elite athletes. Of further concern was the low number of females studied, representing less than 4% of all the subjects examined in the articles reviewed. In addition, although overall run time is the ultimate measure of performance in alpine ski racing, several other measures of instantaneous

  4. A comparative phylogeographic study reveals discordant evolutionary histories of alpine ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Yi-Ming; Yang, Man-Miao; Yeh, Wen-Bin

    2016-04-01

    Taiwan, an island with three major mountain ranges, provides an ideal topography to study mountain-island effect on organisms that would be diversified in the isolation areas. Glaciations, however, might drive these organisms to lower elevations, causing gene flow among previously isolated populations. Two hypotheses have been proposed to depict the possible refugia for alpine organisms during glaciations. Nunatak hypothesis suggests that alpine species might have stayed in situ in high mountain areas during glaciations. Massif de refuge, on the other hand, proposes that alpine species might have migrated to lower ice-free areas. By sampling five sympatric carabid species of Nebria and Leistus, and using two mitochondrial genes and two nuclear genes, we evaluated the mountain-island effect on alpine carabids and tested the two proposed hypotheses with comparative phylogeographic method. Results from the phylogenetic relationships, network analysis, lineage calibration, and genetic structure indicate that the deep divergence among populations in all L. smetanai, N. formosana, and N. niitakana was subjected to long-term isolation, a phenomenon in agreement with the nunatak hypothesis. However, genetic admixture among populations of N. uenoiana and some populations of L. nokoensis complex suggests that gene flow occurred during glaciations, as a massif de refuge depicts. The speciation event in N. niitakana is estimated to have occurred before 1.89 million years ago (Mya), while differentiation among isolated populations in N. niitakana, N. formosana, L. smetanai, and L. nokoensis complex might have taken place during 0.65-1.65 Mya. While each of the alpine carabids arriving in Taiwan during different glaciation events acquired its evolutionary history, all of them had confronted the existing mountain ranges.

  5. Hydrology and sediment yield calibration for the Barasona reservoir catchment (Spain) using SWAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palazón, Leticia; Navas, Ana

    2013-04-01

    Hydrological and soil erosion models, as Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), have become very useful tools and increasingly serve as vital components of integrated environmental assessments that provide information outside of direct field experiments and causal observation. The purpose of this study was to improve the calibration of SWAT model to use it in an alpine catchment as a simulator of processes related to water quality and soil erosion. SWAT is spatially semi-distributed, agro-hydrological model that operates on a daily time step (as a minimum) at basin scale. It is designed to predict the impact of management on water, sediment and agricultural chemical yields in ungaged catchments. SWAT provides physically based algorithms as an option to define many of the important components of the hydrologic cycle. The input requirements of the model are used to describe the climate, soil properties, topography, vegetation, and land management practices. SWAT analyzes small or large catchments by discretising into sub-basins, which are then further subdivided into hydrological response units (HRUs) with homogeneous land use, soil type and slope. SWAT model (SWAT2009) coupled with a GIS interface (ArcSWAT), was applied to the Barasona reservoir catchment located in the central Spanish Pyrenees. The 1509 km2 agro-forestry catchment presents a mountain type climate, an altitudinal range close to 3000 meters and a precipitation variation close to 1000 mm/km. The mountainous characteristics of the catchment, in addition to the scarcity of climate data in the region, require specific calibration for some processes. Snowfall and snowmelt are significant processes in the hydrologic regime of the area and were calibrated in a previous work. In this work some of the challenges of the catchment to model with SWAT which affected the hydrology and the sediment yield simulation were performed as improvement of the previous calibration. Two reservoirs, a karst system which

  6. Accounting for Ecohydrologic Separation Alters Interpreted Catchment Hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, M. R.; Ward, A. S.; Hrachowitz, M.

    2017-12-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that in in some catchments, compartmentalized pools of water supply either plant transpiration (poorly mobile water) or streamflow and groundwater (highly mobile water), a phenomenon referred to as ecohydrologic separation. Although the literature has acknowledged that omission of ecohydrologic separation in hydrological models may influence estimates of residence times of water and solutes, no study has investigated how and when this compartmentalization might alter interpretations of fluxes and storages within a catchment. In this study, we develop two hydrochemical lumped rainfall-runoff models, one which incorporates ecohydrologic separation and one which does not for a watershed at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (Oregon, USA), the study site where ecohydrologic separation was first observed. The models are calibrated against stream discharge, as well as stream chloride concentration. The objectives of this study are (1) to compare calibrated parameters and identifiability across models, (2) to determine how and when compartmentalization of water in the vadose zone might alter interpretations of fluxes and stores within the catchment, and (3) to identify how and when these changes alter residence times. Preliminary results suggest that compartmentalization of the vadose zone alters interpretations of fluxes and storages in the catchment and improves our ability to simulate solute transport.

  7. COMPARISON OF MULTI-SCALE DIGITAL ELEVATION MODELS FOR DEFINING WATERWAYS AND CATCHMENTS OVER LARGE AREAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Harris

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Digital Elevation Models (DEMs allow for the efficient and consistent creation of waterways and catchment boundaries over large areas. Studies of waterway delineation from DEMs are usually undertaken over small or single catchment areas due to the nature of the problems being investigated. Improvements in Geographic Information Systems (GIS techniques, software, hardware and data allow for analysis of larger data sets and also facilitate a consistent tool for the creation and analysis of waterways over extensive areas. However, rarely are they developed over large regional areas because of the lack of available raw data sets and the amount of work required to create the underlying DEMs. This paper examines definition of waterways and catchments over an area of approximately 25,000 km2 to establish the optimal DEM scale required for waterway delineation over large regional projects. The comparative study analysed multi-scale DEMs over two test areas (Wivenhoe catchment, 543 km2 and a detailed 13 km2 within the Wivenhoe catchment including various data types, scales, quality, and variable catchment input parameters. Historic and available DEM data was compared to high resolution Lidar based DEMs to assess variations in the formation of stream networks. The results identified that, particularly in areas of high elevation change, DEMs at 20 m cell size created from broad scale 1:25,000 data (combined with more detailed data or manual delineation in flat areas are adequate for the creation of waterways and catchments at a regional scale.

  8. Comparison of Multi-Scale Digital Elevation Models for Defining Waterways and Catchments Over Large Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, B.; McDougall, K.; Barry, M.

    2012-07-01

    Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) allow for the efficient and consistent creation of waterways and catchment boundaries over large areas. Studies of waterway delineation from DEMs are usually undertaken over small or single catchment areas due to the nature of the problems being investigated. Improvements in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques, software, hardware and data allow for analysis of larger data sets and also facilitate a consistent tool for the creation and analysis of waterways over extensive areas. However, rarely are they developed over large regional areas because of the lack of available raw data sets and the amount of work required to create the underlying DEMs. This paper examines definition of waterways and catchments over an area of approximately 25,000 km2 to establish the optimal DEM scale required for waterway delineation over large regional projects. The comparative study analysed multi-scale DEMs over two test areas (Wivenhoe catchment, 543 km2 and a detailed 13 km2 within the Wivenhoe catchment) including various data types, scales, quality, and variable catchment input parameters. Historic and available DEM data was compared to high resolution Lidar based DEMs to assess variations in the formation of stream networks. The results identified that, particularly in areas of high elevation change, DEMs at 20 m cell size created from broad scale 1:25,000 data (combined with more detailed data or manual delineation in flat areas) are adequate for the creation of waterways and catchments at a regional scale.

  9. Rapid response of alpine timberline vegetation to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reasoner, M.A.; Jodry, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    Paleobotanical records from two high-altitude (>3,300 m) sites in Colorado show a clear and immediate response to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation. The Black Mountain Lake and Sky Pond records indicate that alpine timberline migrated upslope to near-modern elevations during the late Bolling-Allerod (13.6--12.9 ka). Subsequent declines in arboreal pollen percentages and accumulation rates during the Younger Dryas interval (12.9--11.7 ka) reflect a downslope displacement of the alpine timberline ecotone of 60--120 m in elevation. This change translates to a cooling of summer temperature by ∼0.4--0.9 C and is consistent with proposed Younger Dryas advances of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to positions close to Little Ice Age maxima. Alpine timberline readvanced upslope to elevations above both sites between 11.7 and 11.4 ka. The concomitant response of temperature-sensitive alpine timberline vegetation in Colorado and late-glacial changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulating implicates a rapid, widespread atmospheric transmission of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation

  10. Rapid response of alpine timberline vegetation to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reasoner, M.A.; Jodry, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    Paleobotanical records from two high-altitude (>3,300 m) sites in Colorado show a clear and immediate response to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation. The Black Mountain Lake and Sky Pond records indicate that alpine timberline migrated upslope to near-modern elevations during the late Bolling-Allerod (13.6--12.9 ka). Subsequent declines in arboreal pollen percentages and accumulation rates during the Younger Dryas interval (12.9--11.7 ka) reflect a downslope displacement of the alpine timberline ecotone of 60--120 m in elevation. This change translates to a cooling of summer temperature by {approximately}0.4--0.9 C and is consistent with proposed Younger Dryas advances of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to positions close to Little Ice Age maxima. Alpine timberline readvanced upslope to elevations above both sites between 11.7 and 11.4 ka. The concomitant response of temperature-sensitive alpine timberline vegetation in Colorado and late-glacial changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulating implicates a rapid, widespread atmospheric transmission of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation.

  11. A novel approach for runoff modelling in ungauged catchments by Catchment Morphing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, J.; Han, D.

    2017-12-01

    Runoff prediction in ungauged catchments has been one of the major challenges in the past decades. However, due to the tremendous heterogeneity of hydrological catchments, obstacles exist in deducing model parameters for ungauged catchments from gauged ones. We propose a novel approach to predict ungauged runoff with Catchment Morphing (CM) using a fully distributed model. CM is defined as by changing the catchment characteristics (area and slope here) from the baseline model built with a gauged catchment to model the ungauged ones. The advantages of CM are: (a) less demand of the similarity between the baseline catchment and the ungauged catchment, (b) less demand of available data, and (c) potentially applicable in varied catchments. A case study on seven catchments in the UK has been used to demonstrate the proposed scheme. To comprehensively examine the CM approach, distributed rainfall inputs are utilised in the model, and fractal landscapes are used to morph the land surface from the baseline model to the target model. The preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, which is promising in runoff simulation for ungauged catchments. Clearly, more work beyond this pilot study is needed to explore and develop this new approach further to maturity by the hydrological community.

  12. Decadal changes of weather types in the alpine region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stefanicki, G.; Talkner, P.; Weber, R.O. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1997-06-01

    The annual occurrence of different weather types of Schuepp`s synoptic classification in the Alpine region has changed since the beginning of its recording 1945. The annual frequency (number of days) of convective types has increased and that of advective types has decreased. In parallel the number of long-lasting convective episodes rose and the number of long-lasting advective episodes lessened. Most of the change took place in winter. The frequencies of different weather types and the annual mean of certain meteorological parameters are significantly correlated. Moreover, there is a strong interdependence between the subclass of high pressure types and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. (author) 3 figs., 3 refs.

  13. The Balearic Islands in the Alpine Orogeny

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourrouilh, R.

    2016-10-01

    The place of the Balearic Islands in the Alpine orogeny is examined using detailed sedimentology studies, stratigraphical studies from the Lower Devonian (Lochkovian) to modern times and a careful tectonic review of sedimentary formations from the Western Mediterranean. Despite being considered as the ultimate end of the north-eastern termination of the Betic Cordillera, the history of the Balearic archipelago seems to be closer to the tectonic opening of the Gulf of Valencia and to the Corsica-Sardinia rotation, and thus to the tectonic history of the Western Mediterranean Sea, than to the tectonics of the Betic Cordillera which appear as its symmetrical image with respect to this opening. (Author)

  14. Alpine vegetation communities and the alpine-treeline ecotone boundary in New England as biomonitors for climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth D. Kimball; Douglas M. Weihrauch

    2000-01-01

    This study mapped and analyzed the alpine-treeline ecotone (ATE) boundary and alpine plant communities on the Presidential Range, New Hampshire and Mount Katahdin, Maine. These are sensitive biomonitoring parameters for plant community responses to climatic change. The ATE boundary spans a considerable elevational range, suggesting that shorter growing seasons with...

  15. Statistical Downscaling Of Local Climate In The Alpine Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaspar, Severin; Philipp, Andreas; Jacobeit, Jucundus

    2016-04-01

    The impact of climate change on the alpine region was disproportional strong in the past decades compared to the surrounding areas, which becomes manifest in a higher increase in surface air temperature. Beside the thermal changes also implications for the hydrological cycle may be expected, acting as a very important factor not only for the ecosystem but also for mankind, in the form of water security or considering economical aspects like winter tourism etc. Therefore, in climate impact studies, it is necessary to focus on variables with high influence on the hydrological cycle, for example temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity and radiation. The aim of this study is to build statistical downscaling models which are able to reproduce temperature and precipitation at the mountainous alpine weather stations Zugspitze and Sonnblick and to further project these models into the future to identify possible changes in the behavior of these climate variables and with that in the hydrological cycle. Beside facing a in general very complex terrain in this high elevated regions, we have the advantage of a more direct atmospheric influence on the meteorology of the exposed weather stations from the large scale circulation. Two nonlinear statistical methods are developed to model the station-data series on a daily basis: On the one hand a conditional classification approach was used and on the other hand a model based on artificial neural networks (ANNs) was built. The latter is in focus of this presentation. One of the important steps of developing a new model approach is to find a reliable predictor setup with e.g. informative predictor variables or adequate location and size of the spatial domain. The question is: Can we include synoptic background knowledge to identify an optimal domain for an ANN approach? The yet developed ANN setups and configurations show promising results in downscaling both, temperature (up to 80 % of explained variance) and precipitation (up

  16. Modelling land cover change effects on catchment-to-lake sediment transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Hugh; Peñuela Fernández, Andres; Sellami, Haykel; Sangster, Heather; Boyle, John; Chiverrell, Richard; Riley, Mark

    2017-04-01

    Measurements of catchment soil erosion and sediment transfer to streams and lakes are limited and typically short duration (physical and social records coupled with high-resolution, sub-annual simulations of catchment-to-lake soil erosion and sedimentation. This choice of modelling period represents a compromise between the length of record and data availability for model parameterisation. We combine historic datasets for climate and land cover from four lake catchments in Britain with a fully revised catchment-scale modelling approach based on the Morgan-Morgan-Finney model, called MMF-TWI, that incorporates new elements representing plant growth, soil water balance and variable runoff and sediment contributing areas. The catchments comprise an intensively-farmed lowland agricultural catchment and three upland catchments. Historic change simulations were compared with sedimentation rates determined from multiple dated cores taken from each lake. Our revised modelling approach produced generally comparable rates of lake sediment flux to those based on sediment archives. Moreover, these centennial scale records form the basis for examining hypothetical scenarios linked to changes in crop rotation (lowland) and riparian re-afforestation (uplands), as well as providing an extended historic baseline against which to compare future climate effects on runoff, erosion and lake sediment delivery.

  17. Trends in stream nitrogen concentrations for forested reference catchments across the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Argerich, A; Greathouse, E; Johnson, S L; Sebestyen, S D; Rhoades, C C; Knoepp, J D; Adams, M B; Likens, G E; Campbell, J L; McDowell, W H; Scatena, F N; Ice, G G

    2013-01-01

    To examine whether stream nitrogen concentrations in forested reference catchments have changed over time and if patterns were consistent across the USA, we synthesized up to 44 yr of data collected from 22 catchments at seven USDA Forest Service Experimental Forests. Trends in stream nitrogen presented high spatial variability both among catchments at a site and among sites across the USA. We found both increasing and decreasing trends in monthly flow-weighted stream nitrate and ammonium concentrations. At a subset of the catchments, we found that the length and period of analysis influenced whether trends were positive, negative or non-significant. Trends also differed among neighboring catchments within several Experimental Forests, suggesting the importance of catchment-specific factors in determining nutrient exports. Over the longest time periods, trends were more consistent among catchments within sites, although there are fewer long-term records for analysis. These findings highlight the critical value of long-term, uninterrupted stream chemistry monitoring at a network of sites across the USA to elucidate patterns of change in nutrient concentrations at minimally disturbed forested sites. (letter)

  18. The relative age effect and the influence on performance in youth alpine ski racing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Lisa; Hildebrandt, Carolin; Raschner, Christian

    2015-03-01

    The relative age effect (RAE), which refers to an over representation of athletes born early in a selection year, recently was proven to be present in alpine skiing. However, it was not made apparent whether the RAE exists as early as at the youngest level of youth ski racing at national level, nor whether the relative age influences racing performance. As a consequence, the purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to examine the extent of the RAE and second, to assess the influence the relative age has on the overall performance at the youngest levels of youth ski racing. The study included the investigation of 1,438 participants of the Austrian Kids Cup and 1,004 participants of the Teenager Cup at the provincial level, as well as 250 finalists of the Kids Cup and 150 finalists of the Teenager Cup at the national level. Chi²-tests revealed a highly significant RAE already at the youngest level of youth ski racing (Kids Cup) at both the provincial and national levels. There are not again favorably selected the relatively older athletes from the first into the second level of youth ski racing (Teenager Cup). Among the athletes of the Kids Cup, the relative age quarter distribution differed highly significantly from the distribution of the total sample with an over representation of relatively older athletes by comparison taking the top three positions. The data revealed that relative age had a highly significant influence on performance. This study demonstrated that the RAE poses a problem as early as the youngest level of youth ski racing, thereby indicating that many young talented kids are discriminated against, diminishing any chance they might have of becoming elite athletes despite their talents and efforts. The RAE influences not only the participation rate in alpine skiing, but also the performances. As a result, changes in the talent development system are imperative. Key pointsThe relative age influences not only the participation in youth ski

  19. Metabolic Profiling of Alpine and Ecuadorian Lichens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena K. Mittermeier

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Non-targeted 1H-NMR methods were used to determine metabolite profiles from crude extracts of Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens collected from their natural habitats. In control experiments, the robustness of metabolite detection and quantification was estimated using replicate measurements of Stereocaulon alpinum extracts. The deviations in the overall metabolite fingerprints were low when analyzing S. alpinum collections from different locations or during different annual and seasonal periods. In contrast, metabolite profiles observed from extracts of different Alpine and Ecuadorian lichens clearly revealed genus- and species-specific profiles. The discriminating functions determining cluster formation in principle component analysis (PCA were due to differences in the amounts of genus-specific compounds such as sticticin from the Sticta species, but also in the amounts of ubiquitous metabolites, such as sugar alcohols or trehalose. However, varying concentrations of these metabolites from the same lichen species e.g., due to different environmental conditions appeared of minor relevance for the overall cluster formation in PCA. The metabolic clusters matched phylogenetic analyses using nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS sequences of lichen mycobionts, as exemplified for the genus Sticta. It can be concluded that NMR-based non-targeted metabolic profiling is a useful tool in the chemo-taxonomy of lichens. The same approach could also facilitate the discovery of novel lichen metabolites on a rapid and systematical basis.

  20. MAPPING ALPINE VEGETATION LOCATION PROPERTIES BY DENSE MATCHING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Niederheiser

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Highly accurate 3D micro topographic mapping in mountain research demands for light equipment and low cost solutions. Recent developments in structure from motion and dense matching techniques provide promising tools for such applications. In the following, the feasibility of terrestrial photogrammetry for mapping topographic location properties of sparsely vegetated areas in selected European mountain regions is investigated. Changes in species composition at alpine vegetation locations are indicators of climate change consequences, such as the pronounced rise of average temperatures in mountains compared to the global average. Better understanding of climate change effects on plants demand for investigations on a micro-topographic scale. We use professional and consumer grade digital single-lens reflex cameras mapping 288 plots each 3 x 3 m on 18 summits in the Alps and Mediterranean Mountains within the GLORIA (GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine environments network. Image matching tests result in accuracies that are in the order of millimetres in the XY-plane and below 0.5 mm in Z-direction at the second image pyramid level. Reconstructing vegetation proves to be a challenge due to its fine and small structured architecture and its permanent movement by wind during image acquisition, which is omnipresent on mountain summits. The produced 3D point clouds are gridded to 6 mm resolution from which topographic parameters such as slope, aspect and roughness are derived. At a later project stage these parameters will be statistically linked to botanical reference data in order to conclude on relations between specific location properties and species compositions.

  1. Land use and surface process domains on alpine hillslopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Caviezel, Chatrina; Hunziker, Matthias

    2015-04-01

    Shrubs and trees are generally considered to protect hillslopes from erosion. As a consequence, shrub encroachment on mountain pastures after abandoning grazing is not considered a threat to soils. However, the abandonment of mown or grazed grasslands causes a shift in vegetation composition and thus a change in landscape ecology and geomorphology. On many alpine slopes, current changes in land use and vegetation cover are accompanied by climate change, potentially generating a new geomorphic regime. Most of the debate focuses on the effect of land abandonment on water erosion rates. Generally, an established perennial vegetation cover improves the mechanical anchoring of the soil and the regulation of the soil water budget, including runoff generation and erosion. However, changing vegetation composition affects many other above- and below-ground properties like root density, -diversity and -geometry, soil structure, pore volume and acidity. Each combination of these properties can lead to a distinct scenario of dominating surface processes, often not reflected by common erosion risk assessment procedures. The study of soil properties along a chronosequence of green alder (alnusviridis) encroachment on the Unteralptal in central Switzerland reveals that shrub encroachment changes soil and vegetation properties towards an increase of resistance to run-off related erosion processes, but a decrease of slope stability against shallow landslides. The latter are a particular threat because of the currently increasing frequency of slide-triggering high magnitude rainfalls. The potential change of process domain on alpine pastures highlights the need for a careful use of erosion models when assessing future land use and climate scenarios. In mountains, but also other intensively managed agricultural landscapes, risk assessment without the appropriate reflection on the shifting relevance of surface processes carries the risk of missing future threats to environmental

  2. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Alatalo, Juha; K. Jägerbrand, Annika; Juhanson, Jaanis

    2017-01-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three...... contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from...

  3. A high space-time resolution dataset linking meteorological forcing and hydro-sedimentary response in a mesoscale Mediterranean catchment (Auzon) of the Ardèche region, France

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nord, Guillaume; Boudevillain, Brice; Berne, Alexis; Branger, Flora; Braud, Isabelle; Dramais, Guillaume; Gérard, Simon; Coz, Le Jérôme; Legoût, Cédric; Molinié, Gilles; Teuling, Ryan

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive hydrometeorological dataset is presented spanning the period 1 January 2011-31 December 2014 to improve the understanding of the hydrological processes leading to flash floods and the relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport in a mesoscale catchment

  4. Mean transit times in headwater catchments: insights from the Otway Ranges, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Howcroft

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the timescales of water flow through catchments and the sources of stream water at different flow conditions is critical for understanding catchment behaviour and managing water resources. Here, tritium (3H activities, major ion geochemistry and streamflow data were used in conjunction with lumped parameter models (LPMs to investigate mean transit times (MTTs and the stores of water in six headwater catchments in the Otway Ranges of southeastern Australia. 3H activities of stream water ranged from 0.20 to 2.14 TU, which are significantly lower than the annual average 3H activity of modern local rainfall, which is between 2.4 and 3.2 TU. The 3H activities of the stream water are lowest during low summer flows and increase with increasing streamflow. The concentrations of most major ions vary little with streamflow, which together with the low 3H activities imply that there is no significant direct input of recent rainfall at the streamflows sampled in this study. Instead, shallow younger water stores in the soils and regolith are most likely mobilised during the wetter months. MTTs vary from approximately 7 to 230 years. Despite uncertainties of several years in the MTTs that arise from having to assume an appropriate LPM, macroscopic mixing, and uncertainties in the 3H activities of rainfall, the conclusion that they range from years to decades is robust. Additionally, the relative differences in MTTs at different streamflows in the same catchment are estimated with more certainty. The MTTs in these and similar headwater catchments in southeastern Australia are longer than in many catchments globally. These differences may reflect the relatively low rainfall and high evapotranspiration rates in southeastern Australia compared with headwater catchments elsewhere. The long MTTs imply that there is a long-lived store of water in these catchments that can sustain the streams over drought periods lasting several years. However, the

  5. Mean transit times in headwater catchments: insights from the Otway Ranges, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howcroft, William; Cartwright, Ian; Morgenstern, Uwe

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the timescales of water flow through catchments and the sources of stream water at different flow conditions is critical for understanding catchment behaviour and managing water resources. Here, tritium (3H) activities, major ion geochemistry and streamflow data were used in conjunction with lumped parameter models (LPMs) to investigate mean transit times (MTTs) and the stores of water in six headwater catchments in the Otway Ranges of southeastern Australia. 3H activities of stream water ranged from 0.20 to 2.14 TU, which are significantly lower than the annual average 3H activity of modern local rainfall, which is between 2.4 and 3.2 TU. The 3H activities of the stream water are lowest during low summer flows and increase with increasing streamflow. The concentrations of most major ions vary little with streamflow, which together with the low 3H activities imply that there is no significant direct input of recent rainfall at the streamflows sampled in this study. Instead, shallow younger water stores in the soils and regolith are most likely mobilised during the wetter months. MTTs vary from approximately 7 to 230 years. Despite uncertainties of several years in the MTTs that arise from having to assume an appropriate LPM, macroscopic mixing, and uncertainties in the 3H activities of rainfall, the conclusion that they range from years to decades is robust. Additionally, the relative differences in MTTs at different streamflows in the same catchment are estimated with more certainty. The MTTs in these and similar headwater catchments in southeastern Australia are longer than in many catchments globally. These differences may reflect the relatively low rainfall and high evapotranspiration rates in southeastern Australia compared with headwater catchments elsewhere. The long MTTs imply that there is a long-lived store of water in these catchments that can sustain the streams over drought periods lasting several years. However, the catchments are likely

  6. Chalk Catchment Transit Time: Unresolved Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Darling, W. G.; Gooddy, D. C. [British Geological Survey, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom); Barker, J. A. [School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton (United Kingdom); Robinson, M. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)

    2013-07-15

    The mean transit time (MTT) of a catchment is the average residence time of water from rainfall to river outflow at the foot of the catchment. As such, MTT has important water quality as well as resource implications. Many catchments worldwide have been measured for MTT using environmental isotopes, yet the Chalk, an important aquifer in NW Europe, has received little attention in this regard. The catchment of the River Lambourn in southern England has been intermittently studied since the 1960s using isotopic methods. A tritium peak measured in the river during the 1970s indicates an apparent MTT of {approx}15 years, but the thick unsaturated zone (average {approx}50 m) of the catchment suggests that the MTT should be much greater because of the average downward movement through the Chalk of {approx}1 m/a consistently indicated by tritium and other tracers. Recent work in the catchment using SF{sub 6} as a residence time indicator has given groundwater ages in the narrow range 11-18 yrs, apparently supporting the river tritium data but in conflict with the unsaturated zone data even allowing for a moderate proportion of rapid bypass flow. The MTT of the catchment remains unresolved for the time being. (author)

  7. Integrating Multiple Geophysical Methods to Quantify Alpine Groundwater- Surface Water Interactions: Cordillera Blanca, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glas, R. L.; Lautz, L.; McKenzie, J. M.; Baker, E. A.; Somers, L. D.; Aubry-Wake, C.; Wigmore, O.; Mark, B. G.; Moucha, R.

    2016-12-01

    Groundwater- surface water interactions in alpine catchments are often poorly understood as groundwater and hydrologic data are difficult to acquire in these remote areas. The Cordillera Blanca of Peru is a region where dry-season water supply is increasingly stressed due to the accelerated melting of glaciers throughout the range, affecting millions of people country-wide. The alpine valleys of the Cordillera Blanca have shown potential for significant groundwater storage and discharge to valley streams, which could buffer the dry-season variability of streamflow throughout the watershed as glaciers continue to recede. Known as pampas, the clay-rich, low-relief valley bottoms are interfingered with talus deposits, providing a likely pathway for groundwater recharged at the valley edges to be stored and slowly released to the stream throughout the year by springs. Multiple geophysical methods were used to determine areas of groundwater recharge and discharge as well as aquifer geometry of the pampa system. Seismic refraction tomography, vertical electrical sounding (VES), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) seismic methods were used to determine the physical properties of the unconsolidated valley sediments, the depth to saturation, and the depth to bedrock for a representative section of the Quilcayhuanca Valley in the Cordillera Blanca. Depth to saturation and lithological boundaries were constrained by comparing geophysical results to continuous records of water levels and sediment core logs from a network of seven piezometers installed to depths of up to 6 m. Preliminary results show an average depth to bedrock for the study area of 25 m, which varies spatially along with water table depths across the valley. The conceptual model of groundwater flow and storage derived from these geophysical data will be used to inform future groundwater flow models of the area, allowing for the prediction of groundwater

  8. The hydrological cycle in the high Pamir Mountains: how temperature and seasonal precipitation distribution influence stream flow in the Gunt catchment, Tajikistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, E.; Knoche, M.; Gloaguen, R.; Andermann, C.; Krause, P.

    2014-12-01

    Complex climatic interactions control hydrological processes in high mountains that in their turn regulate the erosive forces shaping the relief. To unravel the hydrological cycle of a glaciated watershed (Gunt River) considered representative of the Pamirs' hydrologic regime we developed a remote sensing-based approach. At the boundary between two distinct climatic zones dominated by Westerlies and Indian summer monsoon, the Pamir is poorly instrumented and only a few in situ meteorological and hydrological data are available. We adapted a suitable conceptual distributed hydrological model (J2000g). Interpolations of the few available in situ data are inadequate due to strong, relief induced, spatial heterogeneities. Instead we use raster data, preferably from remote sensing sources depending on availability and validation. We evaluate remote sensing-based precipitation and temperature products. MODIS MOD11 surface temperatures show good agreement with in situ data, perform better than other products and represent a good proxy for air temperatures. For precipitation we tested remote sensing products as well as the HAR10 climate model data and the interpolation-based APHRODITE dataset. All products show substantial differences both in intensity and seasonal distribution with in-situ data. Despite low resolutions, the datasets are able to sustain high model efficiencies (NSE ≥0.85). In contrast to neighbouring regions in the Himalayas or the Hindukush, discharge is dominantly the product of snow and glacier melt and thus temperature is the essential controlling factor. 80% of annual precipitation is provided as snow in winter and spring contrasting peak discharges during summer. Hence, precipitation and discharge are negatively correlated and display complex hysteresis effects that allow to infer the effect of inter-annual climatic variability on river flow. We infer the existence of two subsurface reservoirs. The groundwater reservoir (providing 40% of annual

  9. N fluxes in two nitrogen saturated forested catchments in Germany: dynamics and modelling with INCA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-J. Langusch

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The N cycle in forests of the temperate zone in Europe has been changed substantially by the impact of atmospheric N deposition. Here, the fluxes and concentrations of mineral N in throughfall, soil solution and runoff in two German catchments, receiving high N inputs are investigated to test the applicability of an Integrated Nitrogen Model for European Catchments (INCA to small forested catchments. The Lehstenbach catchment (419 ha is located in the German Fichtelgebirge (NO Bavaria, 690-871 m asl. and is stocked with Norway spruce (Picea abies (L. Karst. of different ages. The Steinkreuz catchment (55 ha with European beech (Fagus sylvatica L. as the dominant tree species is located in the Steigerwald (NW Bavaria, 400-460 m asl.. The mean annual N fluxes with throughfall were slightly higher at the Lehstenbach (24.6 kg N ha-1 than at the Steinkreuz (20.4 kg N ha-1. In both catchments the N fluxes in the soil are dominated by NO3. At Lehstenbach, the N output with seepage at 90 cm soil depth was similar to the N flux with throughfall. At Steinkreuz more than 50 % of the N deposited was retained in the upper soil horizons. In both catchments, the NO3 fluxes with runoff were lower than those with seepage. The average annual NO3 concentrations in runoff in both catchments were between 0.7 to 1.4 mg NO3-N L-1 and no temporal trend was observed. The N budgets at the catchment scale indicated similar amounts of N retention (Lehstenbach: 19 kg N ha-1yr-1 ; Steinkreuz: 17 kg N ha-1yr-1. The parameter settings of the INCA model were simplified to reduce the model complexity. In both catchments, the NO3 concentrations and fluxes in runoff were matched well by the model. The seasonal patterns with lower NO3 runoff concentrations in summer at the Lehstenbach catchment were replicated. INCA underestimated the increased N3 concentrations during short periods of rewetting in late autumn at the Steinkreuz catchment. The model will be a helpful tool for the

  10. Assessing the protection function of Alpine forest ecosystems using BGC modelling theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pötzelsberger, E.; Hasenauer, H.; Petritsch, R.; Pietsch, S. A.

    2009-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the protection function of forests in Alpine areas by modelling the flux dynamics (water, carbon, nutrients) within a watershed as they may depend on the vegetation pattern and forest management impacts. The application case for this study was the catchment Schmittenbach, located in the province of Salzburg. Data available covered the hydrology (rainfall measurements from 1981 to 1998 and runoff measurements at the river Schmittenbach from 1981 to 2005), vegetation dynamics (currently 69% forest, predominantly Norway Spruce). The method of simulating the forest growth and water outflow was validated. For simulations of the key ecosystem processes (e.g. photosynthesis, carbon and nitrogen allocation in the different plant parts, litter fall, mineralisation, tree water uptake, transpiration, rainfall interception, evaporation, snow accumulation and snow melt, outflow of spare water) the biogeochemical ecosystem model Biome-BGC was applied. Relevant model extensions were the tree species specific parameter sets and the improved thinning regime. The model is sensitive to site characteristics and needs daily weather data and information on the atmospheric composition, which makes it sensitive to higher CO2-levels and climate change. For model validation 53 plots were selected covering the full range of site quality and stand age. Tree volume and soil was measured and compared with the respective model results. The outflow for the watershed was predicted by combining the simulated forest-outflow (derived from plot-outflow) with the outflow from the non-forest area (calculated with a fixed outflow/rainfall coefficient (OC)). The analysis of production and water related model outputs indicated that mechanistic modelling can be used as a tool to assess the performance of Alpine protection forests. The Water Use Efficiency (WUE), the ratio of Net primary production (NPP) and Transpiration, was found the highest for juvenile stands (

  11. Anterior cruciate ligament injury/reinjury in alpine ski racing: a narrative review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan MJ

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Matthew J Jordan,1 Per Aagaard,2 Walter Herzog1 1Human Performance Laboratory, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 2Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster (SMRC, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark Abstract: The purpose of the present review was to: 1 provide an overview of the current understanding on the epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and prevention methods for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injury in alpine ski racing; and 2 provide an overview of what is known pertaining to ACL reinjury and return to sport after ACL injury in alpine ski racing. Given that most of the scientific studies on ACL injuries in alpine ski racing have been descriptive, and that very few studies contributed higher level scientific evidence, a nonsystematic narrative review was employed. Three scholarly databases were searched for articles on ACL injury or knee injury in alpine ski racing. Studies were classified according to their relevance in relation to epidemiology, etiology, risk factors, and return to sport/reinjury prevention. Alpine ski racers (skiers were found to be at high risk for knee injuries, and ACL tears were the most frequent diagnosis. Three primary ACL injury mechanism were identified that involved tibial internal rotation and anteriorly directed shear forces from ski equipment and the environment. While trunk muscle strength imbalance and genetics were found to be predictive of ACL injuries in development-level skiers, there was limited scientific data on ACL injury risk factors among elite skiers. Based on expert opinion, research on injury risk factors should focus on equipment design, course settings/speed, and athlete factors (eg, fitness. While skiers seem to make a successful recovery following ACL injury, there may be persistent neuromuscular deficits. Future research efforts should be directed toward prospective studies on ACL injury/reinjury prevention in both

  12. Alpine ski and snowboarding traumatic injuries: incidence, injury patterns, and risk factors for 10 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBeth, Paul B; Ball, Chad G; Mulloy, Robert H; Kirkpatrick, Andrew W

    2009-05-01

    Alpine skiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports in Canada. Every year participation in these activities results in traumatic injury. The purpose of this study was to identify the incidence and injury patterns, as well as risk factors associated with ski and snowboarding injuries. A comprehensive 10-year retrospective review of Alpine ski and snowboarding injuries from 1996 to 2006 was conducted. The Alberta Trauma Registry was used as the primary source of data. A total of 196 patients (56.6% skiers, 43.4% snowboarders) were identified as having major traumatic injuries (Injury Severity Score, >or=12). Forty-three patients required intensive care unit support. The majority of injuries were related to falls and collisions with natural objects. Head injuries were most common, followed by chest, spinal, and extremity trauma. Seventy-nine patients required emergency surgery. Skiing and snowboarding represent activities with high potential for traumatic injury. Safety initiatives should be developed to target this population.

  13. Accessibility of tertiary hospitals in Finland: A comparison of administrative and normative catchment areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huotari, Tiina; Antikainen, Harri; Keistinen, Timo; Rusanen, Jarmo

    2017-06-01

    The determination of an appropriate catchment area for a hospital providing highly specialized (i.e. tertiary) health care is typically a trade-off between ensuring adequate client volumes and maintaining reasonable accessibility for all potential clients. This may pose considerable challenges, especially in sparsely inhabited regions. In Finland, tertiary health care is concentrated in five university hospitals, which provide services in their dedicated catchment areas. This study utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS), together with grid-based population data and travel-time estimates, to assess the spatial accessibility of these hospitals. The current geographical configuration of the hospitals is compared to a normative assignment, with and without capacity constraints. The aim is to define optimal catchment areas for tertiary hospitals so that their spatial accessibility is as equal as possible. The results indicate that relatively modest improvements can be achieved in accessibility by using normative assignment to determine catchment areas. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Aquifers Characterization and Productivity in Ellala Catchment ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    ... to weak degree of potentiality are found occupying flat to rugged topography of the catchment. ... government and non-governmental organizations. Among various .... Ellala River, forming something like graben structure. This is particularly ...

  15. Photosynthesis and photosynthetic electron flow in the alpine evergreen species Quercus guyavifolia in winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Huang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Alpine evergreen broadleaf tree species must regularly cope with low night temperatures in winter. However, the effects of low night temperatures on photosynthesis in alpine evergreen broadleaf tree species are unclear. We measured the diurnal photosynthetic parameters before and after cold snap for leaves of Quercus guyavifolia growing in its native habitat at 3290 m. On 11 and 12 December 2013 (before cold snap, stomatal and mesophyll conductances (gs and gm, CO2 assimilation rate (An, and total electron flow through PSII (JPSII at daytime were maintained at high levels. The major action of alternative electron flow was to provide extra ATP for primary metabolisms. On 20 December 2013 (after cold snap, the diurnal values of gs, gm, An and JPSII at daytime largely decreased, mainly due to the large decrease in night air temperature. Meanwhile, the ratio of photorespiration and alternative electron flow to JPSII largely increased on 20 December. Furthermore, the high levels of alternative electron flow were accompanied with low rates of extra ATP production. A quantitative limitation analysis reveals that the gm limitation increased on 20 December with decreased night air temperature. Therefore, the night air temperature was an important determinant of stomatal/mesophyll conductance and photosynthesis. When photosynthesis is inhibited following freezing night temperatures, photorespiration and alternative electron flow are important electron sinks, which support the role of photorespiration and alternative electron flow in photoportection for alpine plants under low temperatures.

  16. Seedling Regeneration in the Alpine Treeline Ecotone: Comparison of Wood Microsites and Adjacent Soil Substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adelaide Chapman Johnson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Although climate warming is generally expected to facilitate upward advance of forests, conifer seedling regeneration and survival may be hindered by low substrate moisture, high radiation, and both low and high snow accumulation. To better understand substrate-related factors promoting regeneration in the alpine treeline ecotone, this study compared 2 substrates supporting conifer seedlings: rotten downed wood and adjacent soil. Study locations, each with 3 levels of incoming radiation, were randomly selected at forest line–alpine meadow borders in Pacific Northwest wilderness areas extending along an east–west precipitation gradient. Associations among substrate type, seedling density, radiation, site moisture, site temperature, plant water potential, and plant stomatal conductance were assessed. Wood microsites, flush with the ground and supporting Abies spp conifer seedlings, extended up to 20 m into alpine meadows from the forest line. Although wood microsites thawed later in the spring and froze earlier in the fall, they had warmer summer temperatures, greater volumetric water content, and more growing degree hours, and seedlings growing on wood had higher water potentials than seedlings growing on adjacent soil. At drier eastern sites, there was a positive relationship between seedling density and volumetric water content. Further, there was a positive relationship between seedling stomatal conductance and volumetric water content. Our study indicates that in the Pacific Northwest. and likely elsewhere, seedlings benefit from wood microsites, which provide greater water content. Given predictions of increased summer drought in some locations globally, wood microsites at forest line–alpine meadows and forest line–grasslands borders may become increasingly important for successful conifer regeneration.

  17. Tracking snowmelt in the subsurface: time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging on an alpine hill slope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thayer, D.; Parsekian, A.; Hyde, K.; Beverly, D.; Speckman, H. N.; Ewers, B. E.

    2015-12-01

    In the mountain West region the winter snowpack provides more than 70% of our annual water supply. Modeling and predicting the timing and magnitude of snowmelt-driven water yield is difficult due to the complexities of hydrologic systems that move meltwater from snow to rivers. Particular challenges are understanding the temporal and spatial domain of subsurface hydraulic processes at relevant scales, which range from points to catchments. Subsurface characterization often requires borehole instrumentation, which is expensive and extremely difficult to install in remote, rugged terrain. Advancements in non-invasive geophysical methods allow us to monitor changes in geophysical parameters over time and infer changes in hydraulic processes. In the No-Name experimental catchment in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming, we are conducting a multi-season, time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging survey on a sub-alpine hill slope. This south-facing, partially forested slope ranges from 5 degrees to 35 degrees in steepness and consists of a soil mantle covering buried glacial talus deposits of unknown depth. A permanent grid of down-slope and cross-slope electrode arrays is monitored up to four times a day. The arrays span the entire vertical distance of the slope, from an exposed bedrock ridge to a seasonal drainage below, and cover treed and non-treed areas. Geophysical measurements are augmented by temperature and moisture time-series instrumented below the surface in a contiguous 3 meter borehole. A time-series of multiple resistivity models each day from May to July shows the changing distribution of subsurface moisture during a seasonal drying sequence punctuated by isolated rain events. Spatial patterns of changing moisture indicate that soil and gravel in the top two meters drain into a saturated layer parallel to the slope which overlies less saturated material. These results suggest that water from snowmelt and rain events tends to move down-slope beneath

  18. The nitrate response of a lowland catchment and groundwater travel times

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Velde, Ype; Rozemeijer, Joachim; de Rooij, Gerrit; van Geer, Frans

    2010-05-01

    Intensive agriculture in lowland catchments causes eutrophication of downstream waters. To determine effective measures to reduce the nutrient loads from upstream lowland catchments, we need to understand the origin of long-term and daily variations in surface water nutrient concentrations. Surface water concentrations are often linked to travel time distributions of water passing through the saturated and unsaturated soil of the contributing catchment. This distribution represents the contact time over which sorption, desorption and degradation takes place. However, travel time distributions are strongly influenced by processes like tube drain flow, overland flow and the dynamics of draining ditches and streams and therefore exhibit strong daily and seasonal variations. The study we will present is situated in the 6.6 km2 Hupsel brook catchment in The Netherlands. In this catchment nitrate and chloride concentrations have been intensively monitored for the past 26 years under steadily decreasing agricultural inputs. We described the complicated dynamics of subsurface water fluxes as streams, ditches and tube drains locally switch between active or passive depending on the ambient groundwater level by a groundwater model with high spatial and temporal resolutions. A transient particle tracking approach is used to derive a unique catchment-scale travel time distribution for each day during the 26 year model period. These transient travel time distributions are not smooth distributions, but distributions that are strongly spiked reflecting the contribution of past rainfall events to the current discharge. We will show that a catchment-scale mass response function approach that only describes catchment-scale mixing and degradation suffices to accurately reproduce observed chloride and nitrate surface water concentrations as long as the mass response functions include the dynamics of travel time distributions caused by the highly variable connectivity of the surface

  19. The nitrate export in subtropical mountainous catchment: implication for land use change impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, J.-C.; Lee, T.-Y.; Kao, S.-J.; Hsu, S.-C.; Lin, H.-J.; Peng, T.-R.

    2010-12-01

    Agricultural activity is the dominant factor affecting water quality and nitrate export, which causes eutrophication and episodic acidification in downstream water bodies (e.g., reservoirs, lakes, and coastal zones). However, in subtropical mountainous areas such environmental impact due to the land use change was rarely documented. In this study, we investigated 16 sub-catchments during 2007 and 2008 in the Chi-Chia-Wan catchment where is the sole habitat for the endemic species, Formosan landlocked salmon (Oncorhynchus masou formosanus). The results revealed that the NO3-N concentration in pristine catchments varied from 0.144 to 0.151 mg/L without significant seasonal variation. This concentration was comparable with other forestry catchments around the world. However, the annual nitrate export was around 375.3-677.1 kg/km2/yr, much higher than other catchments due to the greater amount of rainfall. This is an important baseline for comparisons with other climate areas. As for the impact of agricultural activities, the catchments with some human disturbance, ~5.2% of the catchment area, might yield 5947.2 kg N/km2/yr - over 10-times higher than that of pristine catchment. Such high export caused by such a low level of disturbance might indicate that subtropical mountainous area is highly sensitive to agricultural activities. As for the land-use effect on nitrate yield, the forestry land might yield 488.5 ± 325.1 kg/km2/yr and the vegetable farm could yield 298 465.4 ± 3347.2 kg/km2/yr - 1000-times greater than the forestry. The estimated nitrate yields for land use classes were a crucial basis and useful for the land manager to assess the possible impacts (e.g., non-point source pollution evaluation and the recovery of land expropriation).

  20. Hydrological observation of the artificial catchment `Chicken Creek

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazur, K.; Biemelt, D.; Schoenheinz, D.; Grünewald, U.

    2009-04-01

    redesigned. Likewise, first simulations of hydrological models were not able to reproduce the high surface runoff due to an overestimation of infiltration by the models. This is assumed to be due to the application of the parameters porosity and hydraulic conductivity only, while properties and processes, e.g. as hydrophobicity or the formation of crusts, were neglected in the models so far. Such properties and processes might be significant for the formation of surface runoff. These aspects have to be considered for the adjustment of the measure concept. Generally, a continuous adjustment of both the monitoring programme and the experimental set-up turns out to be necessary due to the improved process understanding (e.g. runoff behaviour, soil surface structures), the gradual development of the catchment (e.g. formation of gullies, vegetation), the technical demands (e.g. unsuitable working range of probes).

  1. The relationship between soil physical properties and alpine plant diversity on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Tang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Through a large-scale research, we examined the heterogeneity of soil properties and plant diversity, as well as their relationships across alpine grassland types on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The soil pH and EC value increased with the constant deepening of the soil in all the three alpine grassland types which in order of absolute value in every soil layer were alpine desert steppe, alpine steppe and alpine meadow. Among the three grassland types, the alpine meadow possessed the highest SM but the lowest SBD. For plant diversity, alpine meadow was the highest, alpine desert steppe ranked the second and alpine steppe was the last. SM and SBD were the highest influential soil physical properties to species richness, but with opposite effects.

  2. Catchment Dispersion Mechanisms in an Urban Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gironas, J. A.; Mejia, A.; Rossel, F.; Rinaldo, A.; Rodriguez, F.

    2014-12-01

    Dispersion mechanisms have been examined in-depth in natural catchments in previous studies. However, these dispersion mechanisms have been studied little in urban catchments, where artificial transport elements and morphological arrangements are expected to modify travel times and mobilize excess rainfall from spatially distributed impervious sites. Thus, these features can modify the variance of the catchment's travel times and hence the total dispersion. This work quantifies the dispersion mechanisms in an urban catchment using the theory of transport by travel times as represented by the Urban Morpho-climatic Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph (U-McIUH) model. This model computes travel times based on kinematic wave theory and accounts explicitly for the path heterogeneities and altered connectivity patterns characteristic of an urban drainage network. The analysis is illustrated using the Aubinière urban catchment (France) as a case study. We found that kinematic dispersion is dominant for small rainfall intensities, whereas geomorphologic dispersion becomes more dominant for larger intensities. The total dispersion scales with the drainage area in a power law fashion. The kinematic dispersion is dominant across spatial scales up to a threshold of approximately 2-3 km2, after which the geomorphologic dispersion becomes more dominant. Overall, overland flow is responsible for most of the dispersion, while conduits tend to counteract the increase of the geomorphologic dispersion with a negative kinematic dispersion. Further studies with other catchments are needed to assess whether the latter is a general feature of urban drainage networks.

  3. Catchment Classification: Connecting Climate, Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawicz, K. A.; Wagener, T.; Sivapalan, M.; Troch, P. A.; Carrillo, G. A.

    2010-12-01

    Hydrology does not yet possess a generally accepted catchment classification framework. Such a classification framework needs to: [1] give names to things, i.e. the main classification step, [2] permit transfer of information, i.e. regionalization of information, [3] permit development of generalizations, i.e. to develop new theory, and [4] provide a first order environmental change impact assessment, i.e., the hydrologic implications of climate, land use and land cover change. One strategy is to create a catchment classification framework based on the notion of catchment functions (partitioning, storage, and release). Results of an empirical study presented here connects climate and structure to catchment function (in the form of select hydrologic signatures), based on analyzing over 300 US catchments. Initial results indicate a wide assortment of signature relationships with properties of climate, geology, and vegetation. The uncertainty in the different regionalized signatures varies widely, and therefore there is variability in the robustness of classifying ungauged basins. This research provides insight into the controls of hydrologic behavior of a catchment, and enables a classification framework applicable to gauged and ungauged across the study domain. This study sheds light on what we can expect to achieve in mapping climate, structure and function in a top-down manner. Results of this study complement work done using a bottom-up physically-based modeling framework to generalize this approach (Carrillo et al., this session).

  4. A new perspective on catchment storage gained from a nested catchment experiment in Luxembourg (Europe)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Laurent; Klaus, Julian; Hissler, Christophe; François Iffly, Jean; Gourdol, Laurent; Martinez-Carreras, Nuria; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.

    2014-05-01

    Recent hydrological process research focussed on how much water a catchment can store and how these catchments store and release water. Storage can be a valuable metric for catchment description, inter-comparison, and classification. Further storage controls catchment mixing, non-linearities in rainfall-runoff transformation and eco-hydrological processes. Various methods exist to determine catchment storage (e.g. natural tracer, soil moisture and groundwater data, hydrological models). Today it remains unclear what parts of the catchment storage are measured with the different models. Here we present a new hydrometric approach to answer the question how much water a catchment can store. We tested our approach in a dense hydro-climatological monitoring network that encompasses 16 recording streamgauges and 21 pluviographs in the Alzette River basin in Luxembourg (Europe). Catchment scales are ranging from 0.47 to 285 km2 and they have clean- and mixed combinations of distinct geologies ranging from schists to marls, sandstone, dolomite and limestone. Previous investigations in the area of interest have shown that geology largely controls winter runoff coefficients. Here, we focus at how catchment geology is ultimately affecting catchment storage. We used the approach of Sayama et al. (2011) to compute catchment dynamic storage changes for each winter season over the period 2002-2012 (based on precipitation as input; discharge and evapotranspiration as output). We determined dynamic storage changes for each winter semester (October to March) in all 16 catchments over the period 2002-2012. At the beginning of each hydrological winter season, all catchments showed similar trends in storage change. A few weeks into the winter season, catchments with lowest permeability (e.g. marls) started to plateau. The highest storage values were reached several months later in the season in catchments dominated by permeable substrate (e.g. sandstone). For most catchments, we found

  5. Tomography images of the Alpine roots and surrounding upper mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Babuska, Vladislav

    2017-04-01

    Teleseismic body-wave tomography represents powerful tool to study regional velocity structure of the upper mantle and to image velocity anomalies, such as subducted lithosphere plates in collisional zones. In this contribution, we recapitulate 3D models of the upper mantle beneath the Alps, which developed at a collision zone of the Eurasian and African plates. Seismic tomography studies indicate a leading role of the rigid mantle lithosphere that functioned as a major stress guide during the plate collisions. Interactions of the European lithosphere with several micro-plates in the south resulted in an arcuate shape of this mountain range on the surface and in a complicated geometry of the Alpine subductions in the mantle. Early models with one bended lithosphere root have been replaced with more advanced models showing two separate lithosphere roots beneath the Western and Eastern Alps (Babuska et al., Tectonophysics 1990; Lippitsch et al., JGR 2003). The standard isotropic velocity tomography, based on pre-AlpArray data (the currently performed passive seismic experiment in the Alps and surroundings) images the south-eastward dipping curved slab of the Eurasian lithosphere in the Western Alps. On the contrary, beneath the Eastern Alps the results indicate a very steep northward dipping root that resulted from the collision of the European plate with the Adriatic microplate. Dando et al. (2011) interpret high-velocity heterogeneities at the bottom of their regional tomographic model as a graveyard of old subducted lithospheres. High density of stations, large amount of rays and dense ray-coverage of the volume studied are not the only essential pre-requisites for reliable tomography results. A compromise between the amount of pre-processed data and the high-quality of the tomography input (travel-time residuals) is of the high importance as well. For the first time, the existence of two separate roots beneath the Alps has been revealed from carefully pre

  6. Rice agriculture impacts catchment hydrographic patterns and nitrogen export characteristics in subtropical central China: a paired-catchment study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yi; Liu, Xinliang; Wang, Hua; Li, Yong; Li, Yuyuan; Liu, Feng; Xiao, Runlin; Shen, Jianlin; Wu, Jinshui

    2017-06-01

    Increased nitrogen (N) concentrations in water bodies have highlighted issues regarding nutrient pollution in agricultural catchments. In this study, the ammonium-N (NH 4 + -N), nitrate-N (NO 3 - -N), and total N (TN) concentrations were observed in the stream water and groundwater of two contrasting catchments (named Tuojia and Jianshan) in subtropical central China from 2010 to 2014, to determine the rice agriculture impacts on the hydrographic patterns, and N export characteristics of the catchments. The results suggested that greater amounts of stream flow (523.0 vs. 434.7 mm year -1 ) and base flow (237.6 vs. 142.8 mm year -1 ) were produced in Tuojia than in Jianshan, and a greater base flow contribution to stream flow and higher frequencies of high-base flow days were observed during the fallow season than during the rice-growing season, indicating that intensive rice agriculture strongly influences the catchment hydrographic pattern. Rice agriculture resulted in moderate N pollution in the stream water and groundwater, particularly in Tuojia. Primarily, rice agriculture increased the NH 4 + -N concentration in the stream water; however, it increased the NO 3 - -N concentrations in the groundwater, suggesting that the different N species in the paddy fields migrated out of the catchments through distinct hydrological pathways. The average TN loading via stream flow and base flow was greater in Tuojia than in Jianshan (1.72 and 0.58 vs. 0.72 and 0.15 kg N ha -1  month -1 , respectively). Greater TN loading via stream flow was observed during the fallow season in Tuojia and during the rice-growing season in Jianshan, and these different results were most likely a result of the higher base flow contribution to TN loading (33.5 vs. 21.3%) and greater base flow enrichment ratio (1.062 vs. 0.876) in Tuojia than in Jianshan. Therefore, the impact of rice agriculture on catchment eco-hydrological processes should be considered when performing water quality

  7. Drivers of spatial heterogeneity in nitrogen processing among three alpine plant communities in the Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.; Beers, A.; Grinath, J.; Bowman, W. D.

    2017-12-01

    Nitrogen cycling across the globe has been fundamentally altered due to regional elevated N deposition and there is a cascade of ecosystem consequences including shifts in species composition, eutrophication, and soil acidification. Making predictions that encompass the factors that drive these ecosystem changes has frequently been limited to single ecosystem types, or areas with fairly homogenous abiotic conditions. The alpine is an ecosystem type that exhibits changes under relatively low levels of N depositions due to short growing seasons and shallow soils limiting N storage. While recent work provided estimates for the magnitude of N associated with ecosystem changes, less is known about the within-site factors that may interact to stabilize or amplify the differential response of N pools under future conditions of resource deposition. To examine numerous potential within-site and regional factors (both biotic and abiotic) affecting ecosystem N pools we examined the relationship between those factors and a suite of ecosystem pools of N followed by model selection procedures and structural equation modelling. Measurements were conducted at Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research site and in Rocky Mountain National Park in three distinct alpine meadow ecosystems (dry, moist, and wet meadows). These meadows span a moisture gradient as well as plant community composition, thereby providing high variability of potential biotic and abiotic drivers across small spatial scales in the alpine. In general, regional scale abiotic factors such as site levels of annual average N deposition or precipitation were poor predictors of seasonal pools of N, while spring soil water pools of N were negatively correlated with elevation. Models containing multiple abiotic and biotic drivers, however, were best at predicting soil and plant pools of N across the two sites. Future analysis will include highlight interactions among with-site factors affecting N pools in the alpine using

  8. Glacial refugia, recolonization patterns and diversification forces in Alpine-endemic Megabunus harvestmen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Gregor A; Papadopoulou, Anna; Muster, Christoph; Arthofer, Wolfgang; Knowles, L Lacey; Steiner, Florian M; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2016-06-01

    The Pleistocene climatic fluctuations had a huge impact on all life forms, and various hypotheses regarding the survival of organisms during glacial periods have been postulated. In the European Alps, evidence has been found in support of refugia outside the ice shield (massifs de refuge) acting as sources for postglacial recolonization of inner-Alpine areas. In contrast, evidence for survival on nunataks, ice-free areas above the glacier, remains scarce. Here, we combine multivariate genetic analyses with ecological niche models (ENMs) through multiple timescales to elucidate the history of Alpine Megabunus harvestmen throughout the ice ages, a genus that comprises eight high-altitude endemics. ENMs suggest two types of refugia throughout the last glacial maximum, inner-Alpine survival on nunataks for four species and peripheral refugia for further four species. In some geographic regions, the patterns of genetic variation are consistent with long-distance dispersal out of massifs de refuge, repeatedly coupled with geographic parthenogenesis. In other regions, long-term persistence in nunataks may dominate the patterns of genetic divergence. Overall, our results suggest that glacial cycles contributed to allopatric diversification in Alpine Megabunus, both within and at the margins of the ice shield. These findings exemplify the power of ENM projections coupled with genetic analyses to identify hypotheses about the position and the number of glacial refugia and thus to evaluate the role of Pleistocene glaciations in driving species-specific responses of recolonization or persistence that may have contributed to observed patterns of biodiversity. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Regional climate models downscaling in the Alpine area with multimodel superensemble

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Cane

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The climatic scenarios show a strong signal of warming in the Alpine area already for the mid-XXI century. The climate simulations, however, even when obtained with regional climate models (RCMs, are affected by strong errors when compared with observations, due both to their difficulties in representing the complex orography of the Alps and to limitations in their physical parametrization. Therefore, the aim of this work is to reduce these model biases by using a specific post processing statistic technique, in order to obtain a more suitable projection of climate change scenarios in the Alpine area. For our purposes we used a selection of regional climate models (RCMs runs which were developed in the framework of the ENSEMBLES project. They were carefully chosen with the aim to maximise the variety of leading global climate models and of the RCMs themselves, calculated on the SRES scenario A1B. The reference observations for the greater Alpine area were extracted from the European dataset E-OBS (produced by the ENSEMBLES project, which have an available resolution of 25 km. For the study area of Piedmont daily temperature and precipitation observations (covering the period from 1957 to the present were carefully gridded on a 14 km grid over Piedmont region through the use of an optimal interpolation technique. Hence, we applied the multimodel superensemble technique to temperature fields, reducing the high biases of RCMs temperature field compared to observations in the control period. We also proposed the application of a brand new probabilistic multimodel superensemble dressing technique, already applied to weather forecast models successfully, to RCMS: the aim was to estimate precipitation fields, with careful description of precipitation probability density functions conditioned to the model outputs. This technique allowed for reducing the strong precipitation overestimation, arising from the use of RCMs, over the Alpine chain and to

  10. The evolution of dwarf shrubs in alpine environments: a case study of Alchemilla in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehrke, Berit; Kandziora, Martha; Pirie, Michael D

    2016-01-01

    Alpine and arctic environments worldwide, including high mountains, are dominated by short-stature woody plants (dwarf shrubs). This conspicuous life form asserts considerable influence on local environmental conditions above the treeline, creating its own microhabitat. This study reconstructs the evolution of dwarf shrubs in Alchemilla in the African tropical alpine environment, where they represent one of the largest clades and are among the most common and abundant plants. Different phylogenetic inference methods were used with plastid and nuclear DNA sequence markers, molecular dating (BEAST and RelTime), analyses of diversification rate shifts (MEDUSA and BAMM) and ancestral character and area reconstructions (Mesquite). It is inferred that African Alchemilla species originated following long-distance dispersal to tropical East Africa, but that the evolution of dwarf shrubs occurred in Ethiopia and in tropical East Africa independently. Establishing a timeframe is challenging given inconsistencies in age estimates, but it seems likely that they originated in the Pleistocene, or at the earliest in the late Miocene. The adaptation to alpine-like environments in the form of dwarf shrubs has apparently not led to enhanced diversification rates. Ancestral reconstructions indicate reversals in Alchemilla from plants with a woody base to entirely herbaceous forms, a transition that is rarely reported in angiosperms. Alchemilla is a clear example of in situ tropical alpine speciation. The dwarf shrub life form typical of African Alchemilla has evolved twice independently, further indicating its selective advantage in these harsh environments. However, it has not influenced diversification, which, although recent, was not rapid. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Regional climate models downscaling in the Alpine area with multimodel superensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cane, D.; Barbarino, S.; Renier, L. A.; Ronchi, C.

    2013-05-01

    The climatic scenarios show a strong signal of warming in the Alpine area already for the mid-XXI century. The climate simulations, however, even when obtained with regional climate models (RCMs), are affected by strong errors when compared with observations, due both to their difficulties in representing the complex orography of the Alps and to limitations in their physical parametrization. Therefore, the aim of this work is to reduce these model biases by using a specific post processing statistic technique, in order to obtain a more suitable projection of climate change scenarios in the Alpine area. For our purposes we used a selection of regional climate models (RCMs) runs which were developed in the framework of the ENSEMBLES project. They were carefully chosen with the aim to maximise the variety of leading global climate models and of the RCMs themselves, calculated on the SRES scenario A1B. The reference observations for the greater Alpine area were extracted from the European dataset E-OBS (produced by the ENSEMBLES project), which have an available resolution of 25 km. For the study area of Piedmont daily temperature and precipitation observations (covering the period from 1957 to the present) were carefully gridded on a 14 km grid over Piedmont region through the use of an optimal interpolation technique. Hence, we applied the multimodel superensemble technique to temperature fields, reducing the high biases of RCMs temperature field compared to observations in the control period. We also proposed the application of a brand new probabilistic multimodel superensemble dressing technique, already applied to weather forecast models successfully, to RCMS: the aim was to estimate precipitation fields, with careful description of precipitation probability density functions conditioned to the model outputs. This technique allowed for reducing the strong precipitation overestimation, arising from the use of RCMs, over the Alpine chain and to reproduce well the

  12. Estimation of Biomass Dynamics in Alpine Treeline Ecotone using Airborne Lidar and Repeat Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCaffrey, D. R.; Hopkinson, C.

    2016-12-01

    Historic photographs provide visual records of landscapes which pre-date aerial and satellite observations, but analysis of these photographs has largely been qualitative due to varying spatial scale within an oblique image. Recent technological advances, such as the WSL monoplotting tool, provide the ability to georeference single oblique images, allowing for quantitative spatial analysis of land cover change between historic photographs and contemporary repeat photographs. The WSL monoplotting tool was used to compare alpine land cover change between 12 photographs from a 1914 survey of the West Castle valley (Alberta, Canada; 49.3° N, 114.4° W) and 12 repeat photographs, collected in 2006 by the Mountain Legacy Project. We tested for correlations between land cover shifts over the 92 year observation period and geomorphic controls (e.g. elevation, slope, aspect), with a focus on vegetative change in the alpine treeline ecotone (ATE). A model of above ground biomass was generated using an airborne lidar observation of the valley (2014) and ground validated measurements of tree height, diameter at breast height, and leaf area index from 25 plots (400 m2). By creating a high resolution map of ATE dynamics over a 92 year interval and incorporating a model of above ground biomass, the relative magnitude of anthropogenic, orographic, and climatic controls on ATE can be explored. This research provides a unique opportunity to understand the impact that continued atmospheric warming could have on vegetative boundaries in sensitive alpine systems, such as the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

  13. Warming-induced upward migration of the alpine treeline in the Changbai Mountains, northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Haibo; Liu, Jie; Li, Mai-He; Büntgen, Ulf; Yang, Yue; Wang, Lei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hong S

    2018-03-01

    Treeline responses to environmental changes describe an important phenomenon in global change research. Often conflicting results and generally too short observations are, however, still challenging our understanding of climate-induced treeline dynamics. Here, we use a state-of-the-art dendroecological approach to reconstruct long-term changes in the position of the alpine treeline in relation to air temperature at two sides in the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Over the past 160 years, the treeline increased by around 80 m, a process that can be divided into three phases of different rates and drives. The first phase was mainly influenced by vegetation recovery after an eruption of the Tianchi volcano in 1702. The slowly upward shift in the second phase was consistent with the slowly increasing temperature. The last phase coincided with rapid warming since 1985, and shows with 33 m per 1°C, the most intense upward shift. The spatial distribution and age structure of trees beyond the current treeline confirm the latest, warming-induced upward shift. Our results suggest that the alpine treeline will continue to rise, and that the alpine tundra may disappear if temperatures will increase further. This study not only enhances mechanistic understanding of long-term treeline dynamics, but also highlights the effects of rising temperatures on high-elevation vegetation dynamics. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. A new approach for surveying the Alpine Salamander (Salamandra atra in Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula Reinthaler-Lottermoser

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Alpine Salamander is a small pitch black amphibian which is endemic to the European Alps and the Dinarides. It is strictly protected according to the European FFH guidelines. Despite its central role in the alpine ecosystem our actual published record in Austria is small. In order to resolve this shortcoming our project explores its distribution in Austria. It uses a participatory and community based approach to gather data. Everybody can enter and look at Alpine Salamander observations on our website www.alpensalamander.eu. This approach also allows us to establish an “oral history” of Salamander observations in the past 50 years by conducting interviews in the local community. Since July 2009 the website and salamander report database are online. From the actual data (more than 5600 records we already obtained an overview about the present distribution and data quality. The data are an excellent basis for detailed scientific studies on these remarkable amphibians. With this new and highly interactive approach science and education are combined to initiate protection measures with the public.

  15. Characterization of the shallow groundwater system in an alpine watershed: Handcart Gulch, Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Katherine G.; Ge, Shemin; Caine, Jonathan S.; Manning, A.

    2008-01-01

    Water-table elevation measurements and aquifer parameter estimates are rare in alpine settings because few wells exist in these environments. Alpine groundwater systems may be a primary source of recharge to regional groundwater flow systems. Handcart Gulch is an alpine watershed in Colorado, USA comprised of highly fractured Proterozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks with wells completed to various depths. Primary study objectives include determining hydrologic properties of shallow bedrock and surficial materials, developing a watershed water budget, and testing the consistency of measured hydrologic properties and water budget by constructing a simple model incorporating groundwater and surface water for water year 2005. Water enters the study area as precipitation and exits as discharge in the trunk stream or potential recharge for the deeper aquifer. Surficial infiltration rates ranged from 0.1-6.2??0-5 m/s. Discharge was estimated at 1.28??10-3 km3. Numerical modeling analysis of single-well aquifer tests predicted lower specific storage in crystalline bedrock than in ferricrete and colluvial material (6.7??10-5-2.10??0-3 l/m). Hydraulic conductivity in crystalline bedrock was significantly lower than in colluvial and alluvial material (4.3??10-9 -2.0??10-4 m/s). Water budget results suggest that during normal precipitation and temperatures water is available to recharge the deeper groundwater flow system. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  16. Technical Note: Seasonality in alpine water resources management - a regional assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanham, D.; Fleischhacker, E.; Rauch, W.

    2008-01-01

    Alpine regions are particularly affected by seasonal variations in water demand and water availability. Especially the winter period is critical from an operational point of view, as being characterised by high water demands due to tourism and low water availability due to the temporal storage of precipitation as snow and ice. The clear definition of summer and winter periods is thus an essential prerequisite for water resource management in alpine regions. This paper presents a GIS-based multi criteria method to determine the winter season. A snow cover duration dataset serves as basis for this analysis. Different water demand stakeholders, the alpine hydrology and the present day water supply infrastructure are taken into account. Technical snow-making and (winter) tourism were identified as the two major seasonal water demand stakeholders in the study area, which is the Kitzbueheler region in the Austrian Alps. Based upon different geographical datasets winter was defined as the period from December to March, and summer as the period from April to November. By determining potential regional water balance deficits or surpluses in the present day situation and in future, important management decisions such as water storage and allocation can be made and transposed to the local level.

  17. Seasonal inorganic nitrogen release in alpine lakes on the Colorado western slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inyan, B.I.; Williams, M.W.; Tonnessen, K.; Turk, J.T.; Campbell, D.H.

    1998-01-01

    In the Rocky Mountains, the association of increases in acidic deposition with increased atmospheric loading of sulfate and direct changes in surface water chemistry has been well established. The importance, though, of increased nitrogen (N) deposition in the episodic acidification of alpine lakes and N saturation in alpine ecosystems is only beginning to be documented. In alpine areas of the Colorado Front Range, modest loadings of N in deposition have been associated with leakage of N to surface waters. On the Colorado western slope, however, no leakage of N to surface waters has been reported. A 1995 study that included early season under-ice water samples that were not available in earlier studies showed that there is, in fact, N leakage to surface waters in some western slope basins. Under-ice nitrate (NO3-) concentrations were as high as 10.5 ??q L-1, and only decreased to detection limits in September. Landscape type appears to be important in leakage of N to surface waters, which is associated with basins having steep slopes, thin soils, and large amounts of exposed bedrock. NO3- leakage compounds the existing sensitivity to episodic acidification from low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), which is less than 40 ??eq L-1 in those basins.

  18. Trade-offs Between Electricity Production from Small Hydropower Plants and Ecosystem Services in Alpine River Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Philipp; Schwemmle, Robin; Viviroli, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the decision to phase out nuclear power plants in Switzerland and Germany increases pressure to develop the remaining hydropower potential in Alpine catchments. Since most of the potential for large reservoirs is already exploited, future development focusses on small run-of-the-river hydropower plants (SHP). Being considered a relatively environment-friendly electricity source, investment in SHP is promoted through subsidies. However, SHP can have a significant impact on riverine ecosystems, especially in the Alpine region where residual flow reaches tend to be long. An increase in hydropower exploitation will therefore increase pressure on ecosystems. While a number of studies assessed the potential for hydropower development in the Alps, two main factors were so far not assessed in detail: (i) ecological impacts within a whole river network, and (ii) economic conditions under which electricity is sold. We present a framework that establishes trade-offs between multiple objectives regarding environmental impacts, electricity production and economic evaluation. While it is inevitable that some ecosystems are compromised by hydropower plants, the context of these impacts within a river network should be considered when selecting suitable sites for SHP. From an ecological point of view, the diversity of habitats, and therefore the diversity of species, should be maintained within a river basin. This asks for objectives that go beyond lumped parameters of hydrological alteration, but also consider habitat diversity and the spatial configuration. Energy production in run-of-the-river power plants depends on available discharge, which can have large fluctuations. In a deregulated electricity market with strong price variations, an economic valuation should therefore be based on the expected market value of energy produced. Trade-off curves between different objectives can help decision makers to define policies

  19. Runoff of small rocky headwater catchments: Field observations and hydrological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregoretti, C.; Degetto, M.; Bernard, M.; Crucil, G.; Pimazzoni, A.; De Vido, G.; Berti, M.; Simoni, A.; Lanzoni, S.

    2016-10-01

    In dolomitic headwater catchments, intense rainstorms of short duration produce runoff discharges that often trigger debris flows on the scree slopes at the base of rock cliffs. In order to measure these discharges, we placed a measuring facility at the outlet (elevation 1770 m a.s.l.) of a small, rocky headwater catchment (area ˜0.032 km2, average slope ˜320%) located in the Venetian Dolomites (North Eastern Italian Alps). The facility consists of an approximately rectangular basin, ending with a sharp-crested weir. Six runoff events were recorded in the period 2011-2014, providing a unique opportunity for characterizing the hydrological response of the catchment. The measured hydrographs display impulsive shapes, with an abrupt raise up to the peak, followed by a rapidly decreasing tail, until a nearly constant plateau is eventually reached. This behavior can be simulated by means of a distributed hydrological model if the excess rainfall is determined accurately. We show that using the Soil Conservation Service Curve-Number (SCS-CN) method and assuming a constant routing velocity invariably results in an underestimated peak flow and a delayed peak time. A satisfactory prediction of the impulsive hydrograph shape, including peak value and timing, is obtained only by combining the SCS-CN procedure with a simplified version of the Horton equation, and simulating runoff routing along the channel network through a matched diffusivity kinematic wave model. The robustness of the proposed methodology is tested through a comparison between simulated and observed timings of runoff or debris flow occurrence in two neighboring alpine basins.

  20. Runoff generation in a Mediterranean semi-arid landscape: Thresholds, scale, rainfall and catchment characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ries, Fabian; Schmidt, Sebastian; Sauter, Martin; Lange, Jens

    2016-04-01

    Surface runoff acts as an integrated response of catchment characteristics and hydrological processes. In the Eastern Mediterranean region, a lack of runoff data has hindered a better understanding of runoff generation processes on the catchment scale, despite the importance of surface runoff as a water resource or flood hazard. Our main aim was to identify and explain differences in catchment runoff reactions across a variety of scales. Over a period of five years, we observed runoff in ephemeral streams of seven watersheds with sizes between 3 and 129 km2. Landuse and surface cover types (share of vegetation, bare soil and rock outcrops) were derived from aerial images by objective classification techniques. Using data from a dense rainfall network we analysed the effects of scale, catchment properties and aridity on runoff generation. Thereby we extracted rainfall and corresponding runoff events from our time-series to calculate event based rainfall characteristics and catchment runoff coefficients. Soil moisture observations provided additional information on antecedent moisture conditions, infiltration characteristics and the evolution of saturated areas. In contrast to the prevailing opinion that the proportion of Hortonian overland flow increases with aridity, we found that in our area the largest share (> 95 %) of runoff is generated by saturation excess overland flow in response to long lasting, rainfall events of high amount. This was supported by a strong correlation between event runoff and precipitation totals. Similar rainfall thresholds (50 mm) for runoff generation were observed in all investigated catchments. No scale effects on runoff coefficients were found; instead we identified up to three-fold runoff coefficients in catchments with larger extension of arid areas, higher percentage of rock outcrops and urbanization. Comparing two headwater catchments with noticeable differences in extent of olive orchards, no difference in runoff generation was

  1. SEASONAL CHANGES IN PHOSPHORUS LOAD FLOWING OUT OF SMALL AGRICULTURAL CATCHMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Pulikowski

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article distribution of monthly phosphorus loads flowing out of two agricultural catchments which are located in different physiographic conditions of Lower Silesia was analysed. Loads of phosphorus runoff from the catchment located in the piedmont part of Lower Silesia in each month rarely exceed 0.10 kg P ∙ ha-1. The size of annual load is determined by loads obtained in two months of early spring. Much lower loads obtained for lowland catchment, located near Wroclaw. Values ​​calculated for each month rarely exceed the value of 0.01 kg P ∙ ha-1. Culmination of loads bringing away is a bit more extended in a time compared to the catchment located on Sudety Mts. Foreland. Much higher loads are observed during the period from January to April – this period has a major impact on the size of phosphorus load that flows out from this catchment during whole hydrological year. The obtained results clearly indicate that the threat of watercourses and water reservoirs supply in phosphorus compounds from agricultural land is periodic and it is particularly high during early spring. Phosphorus load flowing out from the analyzed catchments is very diverse. From facility located on Sudety Foothill in hydrological year, during research period, flowed away average 0.81 kg P ∙ ha-1. Significantly lower values were obtained for second facility and it was average 0.15 kg P ∙ ha-1 during a year. The size of load discharged during a year is largely determined by amount of phosphorus load flowing out during winter half of the year (from XI to IV. In case of foothill catchment in this period flowed out average 0.56 kg P ∙ ha-1, which presents 69% of annual load and in lowland catchment this percentage was even slightly higher and was 73%.

  2. Flash flood warning in mountainaious areas: using damages reports to evaluate the method at small ungauged catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defrance, Dimitri; Javelle, Pierre; Ecrepont, Stéphane; Andreassian, Vazken

    2013-04-01

    In Europe, flash floods mainly occur in the Mediterranean area on small catchments with a short concentration time. Anticipating this kind of events is a major issue in order to reduce the resulting damages. But for many of the impacted catchments, no data are available to calibrate and evaluate hydrological models. In this context, the aims of this study is to develop and evaluate a warning method for the Southern French Alps. This area is of particular interest, because it regroups different hydrological regimes, from purely Mediterranean to purely Alpine influences. Two main issues should be addressed: - How to define the hydrological model and its parameterization for an application in an ungauged context? - How to evaluate the final results on 'real' ungauged catchments? The first issue is a classic one. Using a 'observed' data set (154 streamflow stations with catchment areas ranging from 5 to 1000 km² and distributed rainfall available on the 1997-2006 period), we developed a regional model specifically for the studied area. For this purpose, the AIGA method, initially developed for Mediterranean catchments was adapted, in order to take into account snowmelt and to produce baseflows. Then, different parameterizations were tested, derived from different simple regionalisation techniques: - the same parameters set for the whole area defined as the median of the local calibrated parameters; - the same technique as the previous case, but by considering different sub-areas, defined as "hydro-climatically" homogeneous by previous studies; - and finally the neighbour's method. The second issue is more original. Indeed, in most studies the final evaluation is done using gauged stations as they were 'ungauged', ie keeping the at-site discharge data only for validation ant not for calibration. The main disadvantage of this approach is that the evaluation is made at the scale of the gauged catchments, which are in general greater than the catchments impacted by flash

  3. Comparison of Water Flows in Four European Lagoon Catchments under a Set of Future Climate Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Hesse

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is supposed to remarkably affect the water resources of coastal lagoons as they are highly vulnerable to changes occurring at their catchment and/or ocean or sea boundaries. Probable impacts of projected climate changes on catchment hydrology and freshwater input were assessed using the eco-hydrological model SWIM (Soil and Water Integrated Model for the drainage areas of four European lagoons: Ria de Aveiro (Portugal, Mar Menor (Spain, Tyligulskyi Liman (Ukraine and Vistula Lagoon (Poland/Russia under a set of 15 climate scenarios covering the time period until the year 2100. Climate change signals for all regions show continuously increasing trends in temperature, but various trends in precipitation. Precipitation is projected to decrease in two catchments on the Iberian Peninsula and increase in the Baltic region catchment, and does not show a clear trend in the catchment located near the Black Sea. The average projected changes in freshwater inputs reflect these changes in climate conditions, but often show variability between the scenarios, in future periods, and within the catchments. According to the individual degrees of water management influences in the four drainage basins, the climate sensitivity of river inflows is differently pronounced in each.

  4. Temporal relations between cs-137 in catchments and lakes. Samband mellan laeckage av cs-137 fran avrinningsomraden och haltutvecklingen i sjoear

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nylen, T; Andersson, T; Lundell, A

    1994-06-01

    The aim of this work is to identify lakes and catchments in the boreal zone with high transfer of radioactive cesium (Cs-137) to water. Radiocesium turnover in lakes and distribution in the surrounding catchments are reported. The turnover is calculated by means of lakes specific parameters and the relative occurrence of mires in the catchments. A high transfer can be expected in lakes with slower turnover surrounded by catchments with large parts of opem mires. Another important factor for the concentration of radiocesium in water is the resuspension at sediments which is related to the depth of the lakes.

  5. Risk-based flood protection planning under climate change and modeling uncertainty: a pre-alpine case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittes, Beatrice; Kaiser, Maria; Špačková, Olga; Rieger, Wolfgang; Disse, Markus; Straub, Daniel

    2018-05-01

    Planning authorities are faced with a range of questions when planning flood protection measures: is the existing protection adequate for current and future demands or should it be extended? How will flood patterns change in the future? How should the uncertainty pertaining to this influence the planning decision, e.g., for delaying planning or including a safety margin? Is it sufficient to follow a protection criterion (e.g., to protect from the 100-year flood) or should the planning be conducted in a risk-based way? How important is it for flood protection planning to accurately estimate flood frequency (changes), costs and damage? These are questions that we address for a medium-sized pre-alpine catchment in southern Germany, using a sequential Bayesian decision making framework that quantitatively addresses the full spectrum of uncertainty. We evaluate different flood protection systems considered by local agencies in a test study catchment. Despite large uncertainties in damage, cost and climate, the recommendation is robust for the most conservative approach. This demonstrates the feasibility of making robust decisions under large uncertainty. Furthermore, by comparison to a previous study, it highlights the benefits of risk-based planning over the planning of flood protection to a prescribed return period.

  6. Risk-based flood protection planning under climate change and modeling uncertainty: a pre-alpine case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Dittes

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Planning authorities are faced with a range of questions when planning flood protection measures: is the existing protection adequate for current and future demands or should it be extended? How will flood patterns change in the future? How should the uncertainty pertaining to this influence the planning decision, e.g., for delaying planning or including a safety margin? Is it sufficient to follow a protection criterion (e.g., to protect from the 100-year flood or should the planning be conducted in a risk-based way? How important is it for flood protection planning to accurately estimate flood frequency (changes, costs and damage? These are questions that we address for a medium-sized pre-alpine catchment in southern Germany, using a sequential Bayesian decision making framework that quantitatively addresses the full spectrum of uncertainty. We evaluate different flood protection systems considered by local agencies in a test study catchment. Despite large uncertainties in damage, cost and climate, the recommendation is robust for the most conservative approach. This demonstrates the feasibility of making robust decisions under large uncertainty. Furthermore, by comparison to a previous study, it highlights the benefits of risk-based planning over the planning of flood protection to a prescribed return period.

  7. Hydrological impacts of urbanization at the catchment scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oudin, Ludovic; Salavati, Bahar; Furusho-Percot, Carina; Ribstein, Pierre; Saadi, Mohamed

    2018-04-01

    The impacts of urbanization on floods, droughts and the overall river regime have been largely investigated in the past few decades, but the quantification and the prediction of such impacts still remain a challenge in hydrology. We gathered a sample of 142 catchments that have a documented increase in urban areas over the hydrometeorological record period in the United States. The changes in river flow regimes due to urban spread were differentiated from climate variability using the GR4J conceptual hydrological model. High, low and mean flows were impacted at a threshold of a 10% total impervious area. Moreover, the historical evolution of urban landscape spatial patterns was used to further detail the urbanization process in terms of extent and fragmentation of urban areas throughout the catchment and to help interpret the divergent impacts observed in streamflow behaviors. Regression analysis pointed out the importance of major wastewater treatment facilities that might overpass the effects of imperviousness, and therefore further research should either take them explicitly into account or select a wastewater facility-free catchment sample to clearly evaluate the impacts of urban landscape on low flows.

  8. Drones application on snow and ice surveys in alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rocca, Leonardo; Bonetti, Luigi; Fioletti, Matteo; Peretti, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    First results from Climate change are now clear in Europe, and in Italy in particular, with the natural disasters that damaged irreparably the territory and the habitat due to extreme meteorological events. The Directive 2007/60/EC highlight that an "effective natural hazards prevention and mitigation that requires coordination between Member States above all on natural hazards prevention" is necessary. A climate change adaptation strategy is identified on the basis of the guidelines of the European Community program 2007-2013. Following the directives provided in the financial instrument for civil protection "Union Civil Protection Mechanism" under Decision No. 1313/2013 / EU of the European Parliament and Council, a cross-cutting approach that takes into account a large number of implementation tools of EU policies is proposed as climate change adaptation strategy. In last 7 years a network of trans-Alpine area's authorities was created between Italy and Switzerland to define an adaptive strategy on climate change effects on natural enviroment based on non structural remedies. The Interreg IT - CH STRADA Project (STRategie di ADAttamento al cambiamento climatico) was born to join all the non structural remedies to climate change effects caused by snow and avalanches, on mountain sources, extreme hydrological events and to manage all transnational hydrological resources, involving all stakeholders from Italy and Switzerland. The STRADA project involved all civil protection authorities and all research centers in charge of snow, hydrology end civil protection. The Snow - meteorological center of the Regional Agency for Environment Protection (CNM of ARPA Lombardia) and the Civil Protection of Lombardy Region created a research team to develop tools for avalanche prediction and to observe and predict snow cover on Alpine area. With this aim a lot of aerial photo using Drone as been performed in unusual landscape. Results of all surveys were really interesting on a

  9. A framework for managing runoff and pollution in the rural landscape using a Catchment Systems Engineering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, M E; Quinn, P F; Barber, N J; Jonczyk, J

    2014-01-15

    Intense farming plays a key role in increasing local scale runoff and erosion rates, resulting in water quality issues and flooding problems. There is potential for agricultural management to become a major part of improved strategies for controlling runoff. Here, a Catchment Systems Engineering (CSE) approach has been explored to solve the above problem. CSE is an interventionist approach to altering the catchment scale runoff regime through the manipulation of hydrological flow pathways throughout the catchment. By targeting hydrological flow pathways at source, such as overland flow, field drain and ditch function, a significant component of the runoff generation can be managed in turn reducing soil nutrient losses. The Belford catchment (5.7 km(2)) is a catchment scale study for which a CSE approach has been used to tackle a number of environmental issues. A variety of Runoff Attenuation Features (RAFs) have been implemented throughout the catchment to address diffuse pollution and flooding issues. The RAFs include bunds disconnecting flow pathways, diversion structures in ditches to spill and store high flows, large wood debris structure within the channel, and riparian zone management. Here a framework for applying a CSE approach to the catchment is shown in a step by step guide to implementing mitigation measures in the Belford Burn catchment. The framework is based around engagement with catchment stakeholders and uses evidence arising from field science. Using the framework, the flooding issue has been addressed at the catchment scale by altering the runoff regime. Initial findings suggest that RAFs have functioned as designed to reduce/attenuate runoff locally. However, evidence suggested that some RAFs needed modification and new RAFs be created to address diffuse pollution issues during storm events. Initial findings from these modified RAFs are showing improvements in sediment trapping capacities and reductions in phosphorus, nitrate and suspended

  10. Analyzing catchment behavior through catchment modeling in the Gilgel Abay, Upper Blue Nile River Basin, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Uhlenbrook

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding catchment hydrological processes is essential for water resources management, in particular in data scarce regions. The Gilgel Abay catchment (a major tributary into Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile is undergoing intensive plans for water management, which is part of larger development plans in the Blue Nile basin in Ethiopia. To obtain a better understanding of the water balance dynamics and runoff generation mechanisms and to evaluate model transferability, catchment modeling has been conducted using the conceptual hydrological model HBV. Accordingly, the catchment of the Gilgel Abay has been divided into two gauged sub-catchments (Upper Gilgel Abay and Koga and the un-gauged part of the catchment. All available data sets were tested for stationarity, consistency and homogeneity and the data limitations (quality and quantity are discussed. Manual calibration of the daily models for three different catchment representations, i.e. (i lumped, (ii lumped with multiple vegetation zones, and (iii semi-distributed with multiple vegetation and elevation zones, showed good to satisfactory model performances with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies Reff > 0.75 and > 0.6 for the Upper Gilgel Abay and Koga sub-catchments, respectively. Better model results could not be obtained with manual calibration, very likely due to the limited data quality and model insufficiencies. Increasing the computation time step to 15 and 30 days improved the model performance in both sub-catchments to Reff > 0.8. Model parameter transferability tests have been conducted by interchanging parameters sets between the two gauged sub-catchments. Results showed poor performances for the daily models (0.30 < Reff < 0.67, but better performances for the 15 and 30 days models, Reff > 0.80. The transferability tests together with a sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo simulations (more than 1 million

  11. The alpine cushion plant Silene acaulis as foundation species: a bug's-eye view to facilitation and microclimate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Molenda

    Full Text Available Alpine ecosystems are important globally with high levels of endemic and rare species. Given that they will be highly impacted by climate change, understanding biotic factors that maintain diversity is critical. Silene acaulis is a common alpine nurse plant shown to positively influence the diversity and abundance of organisms--predominantly other plant species. The hypothesis that cushion or nurse plants in general are important to multiple trophic levels has been proposed but rarely tested. Alpine arthropod diversity is also largely understudied worldwide, and the plant-arthropod interactions reported are mostly negative, that is,. herbivory. Plant and arthropod diversity and abundance were sampled on S. acaulis and at paired adjacent microsites with other non-cushion forming vegetation present on Whistler Mountain, B.C., Canada to examine the relative trophic effects of cushion plants. Plant species richness and abundance but not Simpson's diversity index was higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetation. Arthropod richness, abundance, and diversity were all higher on cushion microsites relative to other vegetated sites. On a microclimatic scale, S. acaulis ameliorated stressful conditions for plants and invertebrates living inside it, but the highest levels of arthropod diversity were observed on cushions with tall plant growth. Hence, alpine cushion plants can be foundation species not only for other plant species but other trophic levels, and these impacts are expressed through both direct and indirect effects associated with altered environmental conditions and localized productivity. Whilst this case study tests a limited subset of the membership of alpine animal communities, it clearly demonstrates that cushion-forming plant species are an important consideration in understanding resilience to global changes for many organisms in addition to other plants.

  12. Contribution of atmospheric nitrogen deposition to diffuse pollution in a typical hilly red soil catchment in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Jianlin; Liu, Jieyun; Li, Yong; Li, Yuyuan; Wang, Yi; Liu, Xuejun; Wu, Jinshui

    2014-09-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is currently high and meanwhile diffuse N pollution is also serious in China. The correlation between N deposition and riverine N export and the contribution of N deposition to riverine N export were investigated in a typical hilly red soil catchment in southern China over a two-year period. N deposition was as high as 26.1 to 55.8kgN/(ha·yr) across different land uses in the studied catchment, while the riverine N exports ranged from 7.2 to 9.6kgN/(ha·yr) in the forest sub-catchment and 27.4 to 30.3kgN/(ha·yr) in the agricultural sub-catchment. The correlations between both wet N deposition and riverine N export and precipitation were highly positive, and so were the correlations between NH4(+)-N or NO3(-)-N wet deposition and riverine NH4(+)-N or NO3(-)-N exports except for NH4(+)-N in the agricultural sub-catchment, indicating that N deposition contributed to riverine N export. The monthly export coefficients of atmospheric deposited N from land to river in the forest sub-catchment (with a mean of 14%) presented a significant positive correlation with precipitation, while the monthly contributions of atmospheric deposition to riverine N export (with a mean of 18.7% in the agricultural sub-catchment and a mean of 21.0% in the whole catchment) were significantly and negatively correlated with precipitation. The relatively high contribution of N deposition to diffuse N pollution in the catchment suggests that efforts should be done to control anthropogenic reactive N emissions to the atmosphere in hilly red soil regions in southern China. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. A 15,400-year record of environmental magnetic variations in sub-alpine lake sediments from the western Nanling Mountains in South China: Implications for palaeoenvironmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Wei; Wei, Zhiqiang; Shang, Shentan; Ye, Susu; Tang, Xiaowen; Zhu, Chan; Xue, Jibin; Ouyang, Jun; Smol, John P.

    2018-04-01

    A detailed environmental magnetic investigation has been performed on a sub-alpine sedimentary succession deposited over the past 15,400 years in Daping Swamp in the western Nanling Mountains of South China. Magnetic parameters reveal that fine grains of pseudo-single domain (PSD) magnetite or titanomagnetite are the dominant magnetic minerals in the lake sediments and surface soils collected from the catchment, which suggests that magnetic minerals in lake sediments mainly originated from surface soil erosion of the catchment. Variation of surface runoff caused by rainfall is interpreted as the main process for transportation of weathered soils into the lake. In the Last Deglacial period (LGP, 15,400-11,500 cal a BP), the influx of magnetic minerals of detrital material may have been significantly affected by the severe dry and cold conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum. Stabilised conditions of the catchment associated with increased vegetation coverage (e.g., 8000-4500 and 2500-1000 cal a BP) limited the input of magnetic minerals. Intensive soil erosion caused by increased human activity may have given rise to abnormal increases in multiple magnetic parameters after 1000 cal a BP. Because changes in runoff and vegetation coverage are closely related to Asian summer monsoon (ASM) intensity, the sedimentary magnetism of Daping Swamp provides another source of information to investigate the evolution of the ASM.

  14. Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karg, Sabine

    Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands.......Human behaviour towards climatic change during the 4th millennium BC in the Swiss Alpine forelands....

  15. Ecohydrological interactions between soil and trees in Alpine apple orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Daniele; Scandellari, Francesca; Zanotelli, Damiano; Michael, Engel; Tagliavini, Massimo; Comiti, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Tracer-based investigations of water exchanges between soil and trees in natural forested catchments are receiving relevant attention in modern ecohydrology. However, the interactions between tree water use and the hydrological cycle in agricultural environments are still poorly understood. In this work, we use stable isotopes of water (2H and 18O) and electric conductivity as tracers to improve our understanding of the functional interrelations between water generating surface runoff and recharging groundwater, and water taken up by apple trees (Malus domestica, cv. 'Pinova') in an Alpine valley in South Tyrol, Northern Italy. From April to October 2015 we monitored two orchards approximately of the same size (roughly 400 m2) and soil texture (silt loam) located in a flat area at different distance from the Adige/Etsch River (50 m vs. 450 m). We have addressed the following questions: i) at which soil depth do apple trees take up water? ii) do apple trees take up water from shallow groundwater? iii) are there differences in the isotopic composition of the water fluxes between the two sites? Samples for isotopic analysis were taken approximately fortnightly from the river, two groundwater wells close to each field, mobile soil water (from suction cups at 25 cm and 50 cm), open area precipitation, throughfall, irrigation and sap (through a portable pressure bomb). Tightly-bound soil water was also cryogenically extracted from samples taken every 10 cm from 60 cm-long soil cores taken at three locations for each field on one occasion in mid-summer. Ancillary measurements were electrical conductivity of all water sources except for sap. In addition to meteorological and discharge data, soil moisture was continuously measured at 10 cm and 50 cm in three locations, and sap flow on three trees, for each field. Preliminary results show that two water pools with distinct isotopic signature exist: i) river water, groundwater and irrigation water show values relatively

  16. Geological controls on isotopic signatures of streamflow: results from a nested catchment experiment in Luxembourg (Europe)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfister, Laurent; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.; Hissler, Christophe; Martinez-Carreras, Nuria; Gourdol, Laurent; Klaus, Julian; François Iffly, Jean; Barnich, François; Stewart, Mike K.

    2014-05-01

    Controls of geology and topography on hydrological metrics, like summer low flow (Grant and Tague, 2004) or dynamic storage (Sayama et al., 2011), have been identified in nested catchment experiments. However, most tracer-based studies on streamflow generation have been carried out in small (10 km2) homogenous catchments (Klaus and McDonnell, 2013). The controlling effects of catchment physiography on how catchments store and release water, and how this eventually controls stream isotope behaviour over a large range of scale are poorly understood. Here, we present results from a nested catchment analysis in the Alzette River basin (Luxembourg, Europe). Our hydro-climatological network consists of 16 recording streamgauges and 21 pluviographs. Catchment areas range from 0.47 to 285 km2, with clean and mixed combinations of distinct geologies ranging from schists to marls, sandstone, dolomite and limestone. Our objective was to identify geological controls on (i) winter runoff ratios, (ii) maximum storage and (iii) isotopic signatures in streamflow. For each catchment we determined average runoff ratios from winter season precipitation-discharge double-mass curves. Maximum catchment storage was based on the dynamic storage change approach of Sayama et al. (2011). Changes in isotopic signatures of streamflow were documented along individual catchment flow duration curves. We found strong correlations between average winter runoff ratios, maximum storage and the prevailing geological settings. Catchments with impermeable bedrock (e.g. marls or schists) were characterised by small storage potential and high average filling ratios. As a consequence, these catchments also exhibited the highest average runoff ratios. In catchments underlain by permeable bedrock (e.g. sandstone), storage potential was significantly higher and runoff ratios were considerably smaller. The isotopic signatures of streamflow showed large differences between catchments. In catchments dominated by

  17. Catchment scale multi-objective flood management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Steve; Worrall, Peter; Rosolova, Zdenka; Hammond, Gene

    2010-05-01

    Rural land management is known to affect both the generation and propagation of flooding at the local scale, but there is still a general lack of good evidence that this impact is still significant at the larger catchment scale given the complexity of physical interactions and climatic variability taking place at this level. The National Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency, are managing an innovative project on the Holnicote Estate in south west England to demonstrate the benefits of using good rural land management practices to reduce flood risk at the both the catchment and sub-catchment scales. The Holnicote Estate is owned by the National Trust and comprises about 5,000 hectares of land, from the uplands of Exmoor to the sea, incorporating most of the catchments of the river Horner and Aller Water. There are nearly 100 houses across three villages that are at risk from flooding which could potentially benefit from changes in land management practices in the surrounding catchment providing a more sustainable flood attenuation function. In addition to the contribution being made to flood risk management there are a range of other ecosystems services that will be enhanced through these targeted land management changes. Alterations in land management will create new opportunities for wildlife and habitats and help to improve the local surface water quality. Such improvements will not only create additional wildlife resources locally but also serve the landscape response to climate change effects by creating and enhancing wildlife networks within the region. Land management changes will also restore and sustain landscape heritage resources and provide opportunities for amenity, recreation and tourism. The project delivery team is working with the National Trust from source to sea across the entire Holnicote Estate, to identify and subsequently implement suitable land management techniques to manage local flood risk within the catchments. These

  18. Monitoring soil moisture patterns in alpine meadows using ground sensor networks and remote sensing techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertoldi, Giacomo; Brenner, Johannes; Notarnicola, Claudia; Greifeneder, Felix; Nicolini, Irene; Della Chiesa, Stefano; Niedrist, Georg; Tappeiner, Ulrike

    2015-04-01

    Soil moisture content (SMC) is a key factor for numerous processes, including runoff generation, groundwater recharge, evapotranspiration, soil respiration, and biological productivity. Understanding the controls on the spatial and temporal variability of SMC in mountain catchments is an essential step towards improving quantitative predictions of catchment hydrological processes and related ecosystem services. The interacting influences of precipitation, soil properties, vegetation, and topography on SMC and the influence of SMC patterns on runoff generation processes have been extensively investigated (Vereecken et al., 2014). However, in mountain areas, obtaining reliable SMC estimations is still challenging, because of the high variability in topography, soil and vegetation properties. In the last few years, there has been an increasing interest in the estimation of surface SMC at local scales. On the one hand, low cost wireless sensor networks provide high-resolution SMC time series. On the other hand, active remote sensing microwave techniques, such as Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs), show promising results (Bertoldi et al. 2014). As these data provide continuous coverage of large spatial extents with high spatial resolution (10-20 m), they are particularly in demand for mountain areas. However, there are still limitations related to the fact that the SAR signal can penetrate only a few centimeters in the soil. Moreover, the signal is strongly influenced by vegetation, surface roughness and topography. In this contribution, we analyse the spatial and temporal dynamics of surface and root-zone SMC (2.5 - 5 - 25 cm depth) of alpine meadows and pastures in the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Area Mazia Valley (South Tyrol - Italy) with different techniques: (I) a network of 18 stations; (II) field campaigns with mobile ground sensors; (III) 20-m resolution RADARSAT2 SAR images; (IV) numerical simulations using the GEOtop hydrological model (Rigon et al

  19. Effect of catchment properties and flood generation regime on copula selection for bivariate flood frequency analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipova, Valeriya; Lawrence, Deborah; Klempe, Harald

    2018-02-01

    Applying copula-based bivariate flood frequency analysis is advantageous because the results provide information on both the flood peak and volume. More data are, however, required for such an analysis, and it is often the case that only data series with a limited record length are available. To overcome this issue of limited record length, data regarding climatic and geomorphological properties can be used to complement statistical methods. In this paper, we present a study of 27 catchments located throughout Norway, in which we assess whether catchment properties, flood generation processes and flood regime have an effect on the correlation between flood peak and volume and, in turn, on the selection of copulas. To achieve this, the annual maximum flood events were first classified into events generated primarily by rainfall, snowmelt or a combination of these. The catchments were then classified into flood regime, depending on the predominant flood generation process producing the annual maximum flood events. A contingency table and Fisher's exact test were used to determine the factors that affect the selection of copulas in the study area. The results show that the two-parameter copulas BB1 and BB7 are more commonly selected in catchments with high steepness, high mean annual runoff and rainfall flood regime. These findings suggest that in these types of catchments, the dependence structure between flood peak and volume is more complex and cannot be modeled effectively using a one-parameter copula. The results illustrate that by relating copula types to flood regime and catchment properties, additional information can be supplied for selecting copulas in catchments with limited data.

  20. CAOS: the nested catchment soil-vegetation-atmosphere observation platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiler, Markus; Blume, Theresa

    2016-04-01

    Most catchment based observations linking hydrometeorology, ecohydrology, soil hydrology and hydrogeology are typically not integrated with each other and lack a consistent and appropriate spatial-temporal resolution. Within the research network CAOS (Catchments As Organized Systems), we have initiated and developed a novel and integrated observation platform in several catchments in Luxembourg. In 20 nested catchments covering three distinct geologies the subscale processes at the bedrock-soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface are being monitored at 46 sensor cluster locations. Each sensor cluster is designed to observe a variety of different fluxes and state variables above and below ground, in the saturated and unsaturated zone. The numbers of sensors are chosen to capture the spatial variability as well the average dynamics. At each of these sensor clusters three soil moisture profiles with sensors at different depths, four soil temperature profiles as well as matric potential, air temperature, relative humidity, global radiation, rainfall/throughfall, sapflow and shallow groundwater and stream water levels are measured continuously. In addition, most sensors also measure temperature (water, soil, atmosphere) and electrical conductivity. This setup allows us to determine the local water and energy balance at each of these sites. The discharge gauging sites in the nested catchments are also equipped with automatic water samplers to monitor water quality and water stable isotopes continuously. Furthermore, water temperature and electrical conductivity observations are extended to over 120 locations distributed across the entire stream network to capture the energy exchange between the groundwater, stream water and atmosphere. The measurements at the sensor clusters are complemented by hydrometeorological observations (rain radar, network of distrometers and dense network of precipitation gauges) and linked with high resolution meteorological models. In this

  1. Microbial diversity in European alpine permafrost and active layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Beat; Rime, Thomas; Phillips, Marcia; Stierli, Beat; Hajdas, Irka; Widmer, Franco; Hartmann, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Permafrost represents a largely understudied genetic resource. Thawing of permafrost with global warming will not only promote microbial carbon turnover with direct feedback on greenhouse gases, but also unlock an unknown microbial diversity. Pioneering metagenomic efforts have shed light on the permafrost microbiome in polar regions, but temperate mountain permafrost is largely understudied. We applied a unique experimental design coupled to high-throughput sequencing of ribosomal markers to characterize the microbiota at the long-term alpine permafrost study site 'Muot-da-Barba-Peider' in eastern Switzerland with an approximate radiocarbon age of 12 000 years. Compared to the active layers, the permafrost community was more diverse and enriched with members of the superphylum Patescibacteria (OD1, TM7, GN02 and OP11). These understudied phyla with no cultured representatives proposedly feature small streamlined genomes with reduced metabolic capabilities, adaptations to anaerobic fermentative metabolisms and potential ectosymbiotic lifestyles. The permafrost microbiota was also enriched with yeasts and lichenized fungi known to harbour various structural and functional adaptation mechanisms to survive under extreme sub-zero conditions. These data yield an unprecedented view on microbial life in temperate mountain permafrost, which is increasingly important for understanding the biological dynamics of permafrost in order to anticipate potential ecological trajectories in a warming world. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Optimization of the thermal performances of the Alpine Pixel Detector

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Zhan; Di Ciaccio, Lucia

    The ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) detector is the largest detector of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the most important goals of ATLAS was to search for the missing piece of the Standard Model, the Higgs boson that had been found in 2012. In order to keep looking for the unknowns, it is planned to upgrade the LHC. The High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) is a novel configuration of the accelerator, aiming at increasing the luminosity by a factor five or more above the nominal LHC design. In parallel with the accelerator upgrade also the ATLAS will be upgraded to cope with detector aging and to achieve the same or better performance under increased event rate and radiation dose expected at the HL-LHC. This thesis discusses a novel design for the ATLAS Pixel Detector called the "Alpine" layout for the HL-LHC. To support this design, a local support structure is proposed, optimized and tested with an advanced CO2 evaporative cooling system. A numerical program called “CoBra” simulating the twophase heat ...

  3. Estimating Catchment-Scale Snowpack Variability in Complex Forested Terrain, Valles Caldera National Preserve, NM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpold, A. A.; Brooks, P. D.; Biederman, J. A.; Swetnam, T.

    2011-12-01

    canopy), which further explained snow depth variability. The importance of SFI for explaining catchment-scale snow depth variability demonstrates that aspect is not a sufficient metric for direct radiation in complex terrain where slope and remote topographic shading are significant. Surprisingly, the net effects of interception and shading by vegetation on snow depths were minimal compared to elevation and aspect in these catchments. Th