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Sample records for high alpine catchments

  1. Spatially continuous mapping of snow depth in high alpine catchments using digital photogrammetry

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    Y. Bühler

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Information on snow depth and its spatial distribution is crucial for many applications in snow and avalanche research as well as in hydrology and ecology. Today snow depth distributions are usually estimated using point measurements performed by automated weather stations and observers in the field combined with interpolation algorithms. However, these methodologies are not able to capture the high spatial variability of the snow depth distribution present in alpine terrain. Continuous and accurate snow depth mapping has been done using laser scanning but this method can only cover limited areas and is expensive. We use the airborne ADS80 opto-electronic scanner with 0.25 m spatial resolution to derive digital surface models (DSMs of winter and summer terrains in the neighborhood of Davos, Switzerland. The DSMs are generated using photogrammetric image correlation techniques based on the multispectral nadir and backward looking sensor data. We compare these products with the following independent datasets acquired simultaneously: (a manually measured snow depth plots (b differential Global Navigation Satellite System (dGNSS points (c Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS and (d Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR datasets, to assess the accuracy of the photogrammetric products. The results of this investigation demonstrate the potential of optical scanners for wide-area, continuous and high spatial resolution snow-depth mapping over alpine catchments above tree line.

  2. Characterizing streamflow generation in Alpine catchments

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    Chiogna, Gabriele; Cano Paoli, Karina; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    Developing effective hydrological models for streamflow generation in Alpine catchments is challenging due to the inherent complexity of the intertwined processes controlling water transfer from hillslopes to streams and along the river network. With water discharge as the sole observational variable it is impossible to differentiate between different streamflow sources, and modelling activity is often limited to simplified phenomenological rainfall-runoff models. This study focuses on quantifying streamflow sources at different temporal scales and the associated uncertainty by using natural tracer data (electrical conductivity, oxygen and hydrogen stable isotopes ratios) as observational variables supplementing streamflow measurements. We determine the spatial and temporal hydrological behavior and the mean residence time of water in the Vermigliana catchment, North-Eastern Italy and we separate contributions to streamflow originating from Presena and Presanella glaciers, both exerting a strong control on the hydrologic budget of the study site. Furthermore, we identify a seasonal control on the effect of storm events. The catchment responded rapidly to precipitation events in early autumn, it was unaffected by precipitation events in early spring, while runoff generation was enhanced by snow melting in late autumn. Air temperature is identified as the main controlling parameter, in addition to precipitation. Two-component mixing analysis showed that the relative contribution of new water, which can contribute up to 75% of total streamflow, is very rapid. Only two hours time-lag was observed between the beginning of the precipitation event and the emergence of a significant contribution of new water. These results evidence the relevance of mixing between pre-event and event water in the Vermigliana catchment, and in similar high elevation Alpine catchments. This study provides new insights on the dynamics of streamflow generation in Alpine catchments and a

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

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    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

  4. Snow depth mapping in high-alpine catchments using digital photogrammetry

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    Bühler, Y.; Marty, M.; Egli, L.; Veitinger, J.; Jonas, T.; Thee, P.; Ginzler, C.

    2015-02-01

    Information on snow depth and its spatial distribution is crucial for numerous applications in snow and avalanche research as well as in hydrology and ecology. Today, snow depth distributions are usually estimated using point measurements performed by automated weather stations and observers in the field combined with interpolation algorithms. However, these methodologies are not able to capture the high spatial variability of the snow depth distribution present in alpine terrain. Continuous and accurate snow depth mapping has been successfully performed using laser scanning but this method can only cover limited areas and is expensive. We use the airborne ADS80 optoelectronic scanner, acquiring stereo imagery with 0.25 m spatial resolution to derive digital surface models (DSMs) of winter and summer terrains in the neighborhood of Davos, Switzerland. The DSMs are generated using photogrammetric image correlation techniques based on the multispectral nadir and backward-looking sensor data. In order to assess the accuracy of the photogrammetric products, we compare these products with the following independent data sets acquired simultaneously: (a) manually measured snow depth plots; (b) differential Global Navigation Satellite System (dGNSS) points; (c) terrestrial laser scanning (TLS); and (d) ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data sets. We demonstrate that the method presented can be used to map snow depth at 2 m resolution with a vertical depth accuracy of ±30 cm (root mean square error) in the complex topography of the Alps. The snow depth maps presented have an average accuracy that is better than 15 % compared to the average snow depth of 2.2 m over the entire test site.

  5. Inverse distributed hydrological modelling of alpine catchments

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    H. Kunstmann

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Even in physically based distributed hydrological models, various remaining parameters must be estimated for each sub-catchment. This can involve tremendous effort, especially when the number of sub-catchments is large and the applied hydrological model is computationally expensive. Automatic parameter estimation tools can significantly facilitate the calibration process. Hence, we combined the nonlinear parameter estimation tool PEST with the distributed hydrological model WaSiM. PEST is based on the Gauss-Marquardt-Levenberg method, a gradient-based nonlinear parameter estimation algorithm. WaSiM is a fully distributed hydrological model using physically based algorithms for most of the process descriptions.

    WaSiM was applied to the alpine/prealpine Ammer River catchment (southern Germany, 710 km2 in a 100×100 m2 horizontal resolution. The catchment is heterogeneous in terms of geology, pedology and land use and shows a complex orography (the difference of elevation is around 1600 m. Using the developed PEST-WaSiM interface, the hydrological model was calibrated by comparing simulated and observed runoff at eight gauges for the hydrologic year 1997 and validated for the hydrologic year 1993. For each sub-catchment four parameters had to be calibrated: the recession constants of direct runoff and interflow, the drainage density, and the hydraulic conductivity of the uppermost aquifer. Additionally, five snowmelt specific parameters were adjusted for the entire catchment. Altogether, 37 parameters had to be calibrated. Additional a priori information (e.g. from flood hydrograph analysis narrowed the parameter space of the solutions and improved the non-uniqueness of the fitted values. A reasonable quality of fit was achieved. Discrepancies between modelled and observed runoff were also due to the small number of meteorological stations and corresponding interpolation artefacts in the orographically complex

  6. Crossing thresholds: Analysis of hazardous tipping points in alpine catchments

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    Lutzmann, Silke; Sass, Oliver

    2016-04-01

    Steep mountain channels or torrents in small alpine catchments are characterized by high geomorphic activity with sediment dynamics being inherently nonlinear and threshold-mediated. Localized, high intensity rainstorms can drive torrential systems past a tipping point resulting in a sudden onset of hazardous events like (flash-) flooding, heavy bedload transport or debris flows. Such responses exhibit an abrupt switch in the fluvial system's mode (e.g. transport / supply limited). Changes in functional connectivity may persist beyond the tipping point. Torrential hazards cause costly damage in the densely populated Alpine Region. Thus, there is a rising interest in potential effects of climate change on torrential sediment dynamics. Understanding critical conditions close to tipping points is important to reduce uncertainty in predicting sediment fluxes. In this study we aim at (i) establishing threshold precipitation characteristics for the Eastern Alps of Austria. Precipitation is hypothesized to be the main forcing factor of torrential events. (ii) How do thresholds vary in space and time? (iii) The effect of external triggers is strongly mediated by the internal disposition of catchments to respond. Which internal conditions are critical for susceptibility? (iv) Is there a change in magnitude or frequency in the recent past and what can be expected for the future? The 71 km2 catchment of the river Schöttlbach in the East Alpine Region of Styria (Austria) is monitored since a heavy precipitation event resulted in a catastrophic flood in July 2011. Sediment mobilization from slopes as well as within-channel storage and bedload transport are regularly measured using photogrammetric methods and sediment impact sensors. Thus, detailed knowledge exists on magnitude and spatial propagation of sediment waves through the catchment. The associated hydro-meteorological (pre-) conditions can be inferred from a dense station network. Changing bedload transport rates and

  7. Winter streamflow analysis in frozen, alpine catchments to quantify groundwater contribution and properties

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    Stoelzle, Michael; Weiler, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Alpine catchments are often considered as quickly responding systems where streamflow contributions from subsurface storages (groundwater) are mostly negligible due to the steep topography, low permeable bedrock and the absence of well-developed soils. Many studies in high altitude catchments have hence focused on water stored in snowpack and glaciers or on rainfall-runoff processes as the dominant streamflow contributions. Interestingly less effort has been devoted to winter streamflow analysis when melt- or rainfall-driven contributions are switched off due to the frozen state of the catchment. Considering projected changes in the alpine cryosphere (e.g. snow, glacier, permafrost) quantification of groundwater storage and contribution to streamflow is crucial to assess the social and ecological implications for downstream areas (e.g. water temperature, drought propagation). In this study we hypothesize that groundwater is the main streamflow contribution during winter and thus being responsible for the perennial regime of many alpine catchments. The hypothesis is investigated with well-known methods based on recession and breakpoint analysis of the streamflow regimes and temperature data to determine frozen periods. Analyzing nine catchments in Switzerland with mean elevation between 1000 and 2400 m asl, we found that above a mean elevation of 1800 m asl winter recessions are sufficient long and persistent enough to quantify groundwater contribution to streamflow and to characterize the properties of subsurface storage. The results show that groundwater in alpine catchment is the dominant streamflow contribution for nearly half a year and accountable for several hundred millimeter of annual streamflow. In sub-alpine catchments, driven by a mix of snowmelt and rainfall, a clear quantification of groundwater contributions is rather challenging due to discontinuous frozen periods in winter. We found that the inter-annual variability of different streamflow

  8. Use of remote sensing for hydrological parameterisation of Alpine catchments

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    H. Bach

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Physically-based water balance models require a realistic parameterisation of land surface characteristics of a catchment. Alpine areas are very complex with strong topographically-induced gradients of environmental conditions, which makes the hydrological parameterisation of Alpine catchments difficult. Within a few kilometres the water balance of a region (mountain peak or valley can differ completely. Hence, remote sensing is invaluable for retrieving hydrologically relevant land surface parameters. The assimilation of the retrieved information into the water balance model PROMET is demonstrated for the Toce basin in Piemonte/Northern Italy. In addition to land use, albedos and leaf area indices were derived from LANDSAT-TM imagery. Runoff, modelled by a water balance approach, agreed well with observations without calibration of the hydrological model. Keywords: PROMET, fuzzy logic based land use classification, albedo, leaf area index

  9. Keeping it simple: a conceptual model of DOC dynamics in a subarctic alpine catchment

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    Lessels, J. S.; Tetzlaff, D.; Carey, S. K.; Soulsby, C.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding hydrological processes in subarctic alpine catchments characterised with discontinuous permafrost is important in order to understand carbon exports. Subarctic catchments have large storages of carbon in organic and permafrost soils. Active layer depth is one of the largest controlling factors of the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) due to its control on runoff pathways. Therefore, any change of this depth will affect the amount of DOC mobilised from these catchments. Simple low parameterised conceptual models offer the ability to characterise hydrological processes and linked DOC dynamics without introducing many of the uncertainties linked to high parameterised models. Lumped models can also be used to identify sources of DOC within catchments. Here, we investigate hydrological sources, flow pathways and consequently DOC dynamics in the Granger Basin, Canada, a subarctic alpine catchment using data collected from 2001 to 2008. The catchment is distinguished by aspect dependant discontinuous permafrost and seasonal frost, compounded further by differences in soil and vegetation types. Applying a simple low parameterised conceptual model allowed identification of the dominant flow paths of the main hydrological response units. The results showed that it was necessary to include active layer dynamics combined with aspect to represent the hydrological and DOC dynamics. The model provides information on the effect of climatic conditions on DOC releases. By identifying the key flow paths and relating these to spring freshet DOC exports over multiple years it is possible to gain an insight of the how climatic changes might affect hydrological processes within subarctic catchments.

  10. Comparison of subsurface connectivity in Alpine headwater catchments

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    Zuecco, Giulia; Rinderer, Michael; van Meerveld, Ilja; Penna, Daniele; Borga, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Saturation at the soil-bedrock interface or the rise of shallow groundwater into more permeable soil layers results in subsurface stormflow and can lead to hillslope-stream connectivity. Despite the importance of subsurface connectivity for streamflow and streamwater chemistry, the factors controlling its spatial and temporal variability are still poorly understood. This study takes advantage of networks of spatially-distributed piezometers in five small (stream when shallow groundwater was observed in the piezometer and it was connected by the edges to the stream. Weights were given to each piezometer based on Thiessen polygons to determine the area of the catchment that was connected to the stream. For the Swiss pre-alpine catchments the duration that nodes were connected to the stream was significantly correlated to the local and upslope site characteristics, such as the topographic wetness index, local slope and curvature. For the dolomitic catchment with the largest riparian zone, the time that nodes were connected to the stream was correlated with downslope site characteristics, such as the vertical distance to the nearest stream. The temporal changes in the area of the catchment that was connected to the stream reflected the streamflow dynamics for all catchments. Subsurface connectivity increased during rainfall events but there was a short delay compared to streamflow, suggesting that other processes (e.g. direct channel precipitation, runoff from near stream saturated areas) contributed to streamflow at the beginning of the event. Groundwater levels declined later and slower than streamflow, resulting in complex but mainly anti-clockwise hysteretic relations between streamflow and the area that was connected to the stream. Threshold-like relations between maximum connectivity and total stormflow and between maximum connectivity and the sum of total rainfall plus antecedent rainfall were more evident for the dolomitic catchments, where the riparian zone is

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

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    Wever, Nander; Comola, Francesco; Bavay, Mathias; Lehning, Michael

    2017-08-01

    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 surface simulations exists and

  12. Catchment-mediated atmospheric nitrogen deposition drives ecological change in two alpine lakes in SE Tibet.

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    Hu, Zhujun; Anderson, Nicholas John; Yang, Xiangdong; McGowan, Suzanne

    2014-05-01

    The south-east margin of Tibet is highly sensitive to global environmental change pressures, in particular, high contemporary reactive nitrogen (Nr) deposition rates (ca. 40 kg ha(-1)  yr(-1) ), but the extent and timescale of recent ecological change is not well prescribed. Multiproxy analyses (diatoms, pigments and geochemistry) of (210) Pb-dated sediment cores from two alpine lakes in Sichuan were used to assess whether they have undergone ecological change comparable to those in Europe and North America over the last two centuries. The study lakes have contrasting catchment-to-lake ratios and vegetation cover: Shade Co has a relatively larger catchment and denser alpine shrub than Moon Lake. Both lakes exhibited unambiguous increasing production since the late 19th to early 20th. Principle component analysis was used to summarize the trends of diatom and pigment data after the little ice age (LIA). There was strong linear change in biological proxies at both lakes, which were not consistent with regional temperature, suggesting that climate is not the primary driver of ecological change. The multiproxy analysis indicated an indirect ecological response to Nr deposition at Shade Co mediated through catchment processes since ca. 1930, while ecological change at Moon Lake started earlier (ca. 1880) and was more directly related to Nr deposition (depleted δ(15) N). The only pronounced climate effect was evidenced by changes during the LIA when photoautotrophic groups shifted dramatically at Shade Co (a 4-fold increase in lutein concentration) and planktonic diatom abundance declined at both sites because of longer ice cover. The substantial increases in aquatic production over the last ca. 100 years required a substantial nutrient subsidy and the geochemical data point to a major role for Nr deposition although dust cannot be excluded. The study also highlights the importance of lake and catchment morphology for determining the response of alpine lakes to

  13. Micrometeorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment

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    R. Mott

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Mountain snow covers typically become patchy over the course of a melting season. The snow pattern during melt is mainly governed by the end of winter snow depth distribution and the local energy balance. The objective of this study is to investigate micrometeorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment. For this purpose we combine a meteorological model (ARPS with a fully distributed energy balance model (Alpine3D. Turbulent fluxes above melting snow are further investigated by using data from eddy-correlation systems. We compare modelled snow ablation to measured ablation rates as obtained from a series of Terrestrial Laser Scanning campaigns covering a complete ablation season. The measured ablation rates indicate that the advection of sensible heat causes locally increased ablation rates at the upwind edges of the snow patches. The effect, however, appears to be active over rather short distances except for very strong wind conditions. Neglecting this effect, the model is able to capture the mean ablation rates for early ablation periods but strongly overestimates snow ablation once the fraction of snow coverage is below a critical value. While radiation dominates snow ablation early in the season, the turbulent flux contribution becomes important late in the season. Simulation results indicate that the air temperatures appear to overestimate the local air temperature above snow patches once the snow coverage is below a critical value. Measured turbulent fluxes support these findings by suggesting a stable internal boundary layer close to the snow surface causing a strong decrease of the sensible heat flux towards the snow cover. Thus, the existence of a stable internal boundary layer above a patchy snow cover exerts a dominant control on the timing and magnitude of snow ablation for patchy snow covers.

  14. Longterm Measurements of Bedload-Transport in alpine Catchments

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    Achleitner, Stefan; Kammerlander, Johannes; Eichner, Bernhard; Schöber, Johannes; Chiari, Michael

    2016-04-01

    In recent years the necessity of predicting the long-term behavior of sediment transport has increased. On the one hand, the effects of technical measures (e.g. retaining measures, hydropower, etc.) in the natural system are to be evaluated. On the other hand long term ecological studies that are strongly linked to the sediment budgets and its variation are more and more evolving. The ACRP Project DevoBeta-CC addresses the dynamics of long term sediment transport dynamics and its temporal altering. The focus is put on smaller tributary catchments enabling the model development. In total the data from ten catchments connected to the hydropower station Kaunertal (Tyrol/Austria) and eleven catchments linked to the power plant group Sellrain-Silz (Tyrol/Austria) are available. The considered catchments vary regarding their characteristics such as size (3 km³ to 27 km²), glaciation (0 % to 53 %), mean catchment slope (53 % to 92 %) and mean channel gradient (4 % to 49 %). The main data basis are records from the water intake structures operated (partly since 1965) by the TIWAG (Tiroler Wasserkraft AG). The sedimentation dynamics and operational flushings of the connected settling basins are used to measure the transported sediments. Since 1985 even high resolution data (15min intervals) are available. At selected catchments, the operationally recorded data (flushings, load membrane measurements,...) are verified within measuring campaigns using bed load traps upstream. Further, the sedimentation dynamics and grain size distributions in the settling basins are evaluated. Therefor two water intakes were put temporally out of operation, allowing an improved measurement of settled volumes by means of terrestrial surveying. Uncertainty assessments reveal an overall accuracy of estimated annual bed load volumes lower than a factor of two. Additionally, the data set enables to address sediment transport at a sub-annual basis, hence, the presented data set is unique regarding

  15. Micrometeorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment

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    R. Mott

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Mountain snow covers typically become patchy over the course of a melting season. The snow pattern during melt is mainly governed by the end of winter snow depth distribution and the local energy balance. The objective of this study is to investigate micro-meteorological processes driving snow ablation in an Alpine catchment. For this purpose we combine a meteorological boundary-layer model (Advanced Regional Prediction System with a fully distributed energy balance model (Alpine3D. Turbulent fluxes above melting snow are further investigated by using data from eddy-correlation systems. We compare modeled snow ablation to measured ablation rates as obtained from a series of Terrestrial Laser Scanning campaigns covering a complete ablation season. The measured ablation rates indicate that the advection of sensible heat causes locally increased ablation rates at the upwind edges of the snow patches. The effect, however, appears to be active over rather short distances of about 4–6 m. Measurements suggest that mean wind velocities of about 5 m s−1 are required for advective heat transport to increase snow ablation over a long fetch distance of about 20 m. Neglecting this effect, the model is able to capture the mean ablation rates for early ablation periods but strongly overestimates snow ablation once the fraction of snow coverage is below a critical value of approximately 0.6. While radiation dominates snow ablation early in the season, the turbulent flux contribution becomes important late in the season. Simulation results indicate that the air temperatures appear to overestimate the local air temperature above snow patches once the snow coverage is low. Measured turbulent fluxes support these findings by suggesting a stable internal boundary layer close to the snow surface causing a strong decrease of the sensible heat flux towards the snow cover. Thus, the existence of a stable internal boundary layer above a patchy snow cover

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

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    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

  17. Climate Change Increasing Calcium and Magnesium Leaching from Granitic Alpine Catchments.

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    Kopáček, Jiří; Kaňa, Jiří; Bičárová, Svetlana; Fernandez, Ivan J; Hejzlar, Josef; Kahounová, Marie; Norton, Stephen A; Stuchlík, Evžen

    2017-01-03

    Climate change can reverse trends of decreasing calcium and magnesium [Ca + Mg] leaching to surface waters in granitic alpine regions recovering from acidification. Despite decreasing concentrations of strong acid anions (-1.4 μeq L(-1) yr(-1)) during 2004-2016 in nonacidic alpine lakes in the Tatra Mountains (Central Europe), the average [Ca + Mg] concentrations increased (2.5 μeq L(-1) yr(-1)), together with elevated terrestrial export of bicarbonate (HCO3(-); 3.6 μeq L(-1) yr(-1)). The percent increase in [Ca + Mg] concentrations in nonacidic lakes (0.3-3.2% yr(-1)) was significantly and positively correlated with scree proportion in the catchment area and negatively correlated with the extent of soil cover. Leaching experiments with freshly crushed granodiorite, the dominant bedrock, showed that accessory calcite and (to a lesser extent) apatite were important sources of Ca. We hypothesize that elevated terrestrial export of [Ca + Mg] and HCO3(-) resulted from increased weathering caused by accelerated physical erosion of rocks due to elevated climate-related mechanical forces (an increasing frequency of days with high precipitation amounts and air temperatures fluctuating around 0 °C) during the last 2-3 decades. These climatic effects on water chemistry are especially strong in catchments where fragmented rocks are more exposed to weathering, and their position is less stable than in soil.

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

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    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

  19. Sensitivity of runoff behaviour of Alpine catchments to system conditions - looking at the current and future situation

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    Meißl, Gertraud; Klebinder, Klaus; Kerl, Florian; Dobler, Christian; Geitner, Clemens; Schöberl, Friedrich; Kohl, Bernhard; Markart, Gerhard; Sotier, Bernadette; Formayer, Herbert; Goler, Robert; Gorgas, Theresa; Bürger, Gerd; Bronstert, Axel

    2014-05-01

    Alpine settlements are often situated on alluvial fans at the outlet of small catchments. Thus they are - due to the short response time - exposed to a high risk in case of flash floods. Within the project "Sensitivity of the runoff characteristics of small Alpine catchments to climate change" we aim at identifying the critical combinations of event characteristics (intensity and duration of rain) and system conditions (soil moisture, state of vegetation and land use, snow cover) producing flash floods in order to improve the predictability of such events. We have investigated three Alpine catchments in western Austria with different altitudes and precipitation regimes. On the plot scale, field measurements, especially irrigation experiments, revealed that the rainfall-runoff reaction of slopes producing a high or low amount of surface runoff is relatively independent of the actual soil moisture content. However, plots producing a medium amount of surface runoff at dry conditions may generate significantly increased surface runoff volumes at moist conditions. Intensive grazing raises the amount of surface runoff with the duration of pasture season. Event analysis and mapping of the catchment inventories showed that the catchments with low (Ruggbachtal, 400 - 1000 m a.s.l, Vorarlberg) and medium altitude (Brixenbachtal, 800 - 2000 m a.s.l., Tyrol) tend to be sensitive to antecedent precipitation. Due to the high amount of pastured areas, the Brixenbach catchment shows a seasonal variation of runoff behaviour with a maximum of surface runoff in the late summer. The highly situated catchment (Längental, 2000 - 3000 m a.s.l., Tyrol) may show an increased runoff response at rain-on-snow-events. Because of its high portion of rock and talus slopes the runoff reaction of the catchment is quite insensitive to antecedent soil moisture content and grazing intensity. Currently ongoing hydrological modelling will show how seasonal system conditions (duration of snow cover

  20. 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

  1. Interaction of various flow systems in small alpine catchments: conceptual model of the upper Gurk Valley aquifer, Carinthia, Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilberg, Sylke; Riepler, Franz

    2016-08-01

    Small alpine valleys usually show a heterogeneous hydraulic situation. Recurring landslides create temporal barriers for the surface runoff. As a result of these postglacial processes, temporal lakes form, and thus lacustrine fine-grained sedimentation intercalates with alluvial coarse-grained layers. A sequence of alluvial sediments (confined and thus well protected aquifers) and lacustrine sediments (aquitards) is characteristic for such an environment. The hydrogeological situation of fractured hard-rock aquifers in the framing mountain ranges is characterized by superficially high hydraulic conductivities as the result of tectonic processes, deglaciation and postglacial weathering. Fracture permeability and high hydraulic gradients in small-scaled alpine catchments result in the interaction of various flow systems in various kinds of aquifers. Spatial restrictions and conflicts between the current land use and the requirements of drinking-water protection represent a special challenge for water resource management in usually densely populated small alpine valleys. The presented case study describes hydrogeological investigations within the small alpine valley of the upper Gurktal (Upper Carinthia, Austria) and the adjacent Höllenberg Massif (1,772 m above sea level). Hydrogeological mapping, drilling, and hydrochemical and stable isotope analyses of springs and groundwater were conducted to identify a sustainable drinking-water supply for approximately 1,500 inhabitants. The results contribute to a conceptual hydrogeological model with three interacting flow systems. The local and the intermediate flow systems are assigned to the catchment of the Höllenberg Massif, whereas the regional flow system refers to the bordering Gurktal Alps to the north and provides an appropriate drinking water reservoir.

  2. Ground water occurrence and contributions to streamflow in an alpine catchment, Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clow, D.W.; Schrott, L.; Webb, R.; Campbell, D.H.; Torizzo, A.O.; Dornblaser, M.

    2003-01-01

    Ground water occurrence, movement, and its contribution to streamflow were investigated in Loch Vale, an alpine catchment in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Hydrogeomorphologic mapping, seismic refraction measurements, and porosity and permeability estimates indicate that talus slopes are the primary ground water reservoir, with a maximum storage capacity that is equal to, or greater than, total annual discharge from the basin (5.4 ± 0.8 × 106 m3). Although snowmelt and glacial melt provide the majority of annual water flux to the basin, tracer tests and gauging along a stream transect indicate that ground water flowing from talus can account for ≥75% of streamflow during storms and the winter base flow period. The discharge response of talus springs to storms and snowmelt reflects rapid transmittal of water through coarse debris at the talus surface and slower release of water from finer-grained sediments at depth.Ice stored in permafrost (including rock glaciers) is the second largest ground water reservoir in Loch Vale; it represents a significant, but seldom recognized, ground water reservoir in alpine terrain. Mean annual air temperatures are sufficiently cold to support permafrost above 3460 m; however, air temperatures have increased 1.1° to 1.4°C since the early 1990s, consistent with long-term (1976–2000) increases in air temperature measured at other high-elevation sites in the Front Range, European Alps, and Peruvian Andes. If other climatic factors remain constant, the increase in air temperatures at Loch Vale is sufficient to increase the lower elevational limit of permafrost by 150 to 190 m. Although this could cause a short-term increase in streamflow, it may ultimately result in decreased flow in the future.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. An Extended-range Hydrometeorological Ensemble Prediction System for Alpine Catchments in Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monhart, Samuel; Bogner, Konrad; Spirig, Christoph; Bhend, Jonas; Liniger, Mark A.; Zappa, Massimiliano; Schär, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    In recent years meteorological ensemble prediction systems have increasingly be used to feed hydrological models in order to provide probabilistic streamflow forecasts. Such hydrological ensemble prediction systems (HEPS) have been analyzed for different lead times from short-term to seasonal predictions and are used for different applications. Especially at longer lead times both such forecasts exhibit systematic biases which can be removed by applying bias correction techniques to both the meteorological and/or the hydrological output. However, it is still an open question if pre- or post-processing techniques or both should be applied. We will present first results of the analysis of pre- and post-processed extended-range hydrometeorological forecasts. In a first step the performance of bias corrected and downscaled (using quantile mapping) extended-range meteorological forecasts provided by the ECMWF is assessed for approximately 1000 ground observation sites across Europe. Generally, bias corrected meteorological forecasts show positive skill in terms of CRPSS up to three (two) weeks for weekly mean temperature (precipitation) compared to climatological forecasts. For the Alpine region the absolute skill is generally lower but the relative gain in skill resulting from the bias correction is larger. These pre-processed meteorological forecasts of one year of ECMWF extended-range forecasts and corresponding hindcasts are used to feed a hydrological model for a selected catchment in the Alpine area in Switzerland. Furthermore, different post-processing techniques are tested to correct the resulting streamflow forecasts. This will allow to determine the relative effect of pre- and post-processing of extended-range hydrometeorological predictions in Alpine catchments. Future work will include the combination of these corrected streamflow forecasts with electricity price forecasts to optimize the operations and revenues of hydropower systems in the Alps.

  6. Modelled seasonal forecasts of snow water equivalent and runoff in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Förster, Kristian; Hanzer, Florian; Schöber, Johannes; Huttenlau, Matthias; Achleitner, Stefan; Strasser, Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    Seasonal forecasts of water balance components are becoming increasingly important for hydrological applications. These forecasts are typically derived from coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models, which enable physically based seasonal forecasts. In mountainous regions, however, topography is complex whilst typical spatial resolutions of the climate models are still comparably coarse, i.e in the data, ridges and valleys are not represented with sufficient accuracy. Therefore, seasonal predictions of atmospheric variables require consideration of representative gradients. We present first results of seasonal forecasts and re-forecasts processed by the NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2). These are prepared for monthly time steps in order to be used for ensemble runs of water balance simulation using the Alpine Water balance And Runoff Estimation model (AWARE). This model has been designed for monthly seasonal predictions in ice- and snowmelt dominated catchments. The study area is the Inn catchment in Tyrol/Austria, including its headwaters in Switzerland. Results are evaluated for both anomalies of meteorological input data (temperature and precipitation), as well as balance components including snow water equivalent and runoff, both simulated with AWARE. Based on model skill evaluations derived from forecasts and observations, the model chain CFSv2 - AWARE proves helpful to analyse possible future hydrological system states of mountainous catchments with emphasis on spatio-temporal snow cover evolution.

  7. Hydrological response of an Alpine catchment to rainfall and snowmelt events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, D.; van Meerveld, H. J.; Zuecco, G.; Dalla Fontana, G.; Borga, M.

    2016-06-01

    Alpine catchments are important sources of fresh water but compared to lower altitude catchments our understanding of the hydrological functioning of these catchments during rainfall and snowmelt events is still limited. The objectives of this study were i) to identify the dominant runoff generation mechanisms in the 0.14-km2 Bridge Creek Catchment in the Italian Dolomites during nine rainfall-runoff events and six snowmelt-runoff events in spring, summer and autumn of 2010-2012; and ii) to assess the effect of the selection of the pre-event water sample on the isotope hydrograph separation results. The isotopic composition of the pre-event water was determined by either a stream water sample taken prior to the event or the average of 19 stream water samples taken during baseflow conditions. The hydrograph separation results for the two methods were very similar for the rainfall events but differed for the snowmelt events. Average event water contributions ranged between 4% and 19% or 2% and 20% of the total runoff during rainfall events, and between 7% and 25% or 9% and 38% during snowmelt events, depending on the method used to determine the isotopic composition of pre-event water. Event water contributions were important during large rainfall events, intense rainfall events and late in the snowmelt season, with maximum event water contributions up to 37% and 46%, depending on the method used for determining the pre-event water composition. The electrical conductivity of stream water tended to first decrease and reach a minimum before peak streamflow and then to increase above pre-event values. The results of this study suggest that during dry conditions, direct channel precipitation and overland flow from the permanently saturated part of the riparian zone dominated the runoff response, with limited contributions of riparian or hillslope groundwater. During wet or very wet conditions (large rainfall events or peak snowmelt), saturation overland flow increased

  8. On the influence of temporal change on the validity of landslide susceptibility maps in an alpine catchment, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meusburger, K.; Alewell, C.

    2009-04-01

    Global change (as a combination of climate and land use change) poses a risk to stability of alpine soils, and may enhance landslide hazard. The occurrence of landslides depends on static catchment characteristics (e.g. geology, topography etc.), as well as triggering factors that are variable in time (dynamic factors), such as event characteristics and land use. However, in literature the effects of temporal change are still discussed controversially and most statistical landslide prediction models rely on static catchment characteristics alone. In this study, we aim to assess the additional influence of dynamic factors on landslide susceptibility and on the validity of commonly used statistical landslide models. The Urseren Valley (Central Swiss Alps) was chosen as study area due to the evidence of climate and land use change. To assess the influence of catchment characteristics on landslide susceptibility, we set up a logistic regression model using 20 static predictor variables. The additional impact of dynamic risk factors was evaluated with historic data (aerial photographs and meteorological time series). We found that geology, slope and stream density were the most significant static predictors and could explain 70% of the landslide variation. However, the area affected by landslides increased by 92% from 1959 to 2004, which highlights the crucial role of dynamic landslide triggering factors. Furthermore, more recent landslides (since 2000) could only in part be predicted, which confirmed our proposed hypothesis that the validity of statistical hazard models may worsen over time. Discrepancies between predicted susceptibility and observed landslides mainly occurred in areas that have undergone land use changes. Consequently, slopes, that have formerly been classified as only "medium" landslide susceptibility may nonetheless have a high probability to fail under changed management. Spatial information of the impact of land use on landslide susceptibility

  9. Volumes of sediment stored in an Alpine catchment using geological, geomorphological and geophysical expertise: Peynin catchment (Queyras, Southern French Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, Benoît; Carlier, Gabriel; Lissak, Candide; Gance, Julien; Malet, Jean-Philippe; Graff, Kevin; Viel, Vincent; Arnaud-Fassetta, Gilles; Fort, Monique; Bétard, François; Madelin, Malika

    2017-04-01

    The combination of predisposing factors (schist bedrock supplying abundant debris, high slope gradient and strong hillslope-channel connectivity), makes the Upper Guil catchment particularly prone to torrential hazards such as floods or debris flows. The occurrence of "Lombarde easterlies" episodes may generate intense rainfall over short time periods (320 mm in 8 days in June 1957). During such events, the observed damages are mainly related to the sediment transport (fine sediments and metric boulders) in the torrential streams, as in 1946 and 1957, and more recently in 2000, 2008 and 2010. In order to evaluate mountainous hazards in a Global Change context (i.e. climatic and socio-economic), the French funded ANR project SAMCO put the emphasis on the hydrogeomorphological functioning of the Upper Guil catchment. In this context, a sedimentary budget analysis at the Holocene timescale was elaborated for the active Peynin catchment (≈ 15 km2). The volumes of sediments stored on the slopes and in the channels are evaluated using geophysical and geomorphological investigations in order to establish the amount of material potentially mobilized during low frequency/high magnitude flood events. On the basis of intensive fieldwork and GIS mapping (geology and geomorphology), two models of sediment thickness are proposed. The first one, inspired by the work of Schrott et al. (2003), is based on the modelling of the supposed bedrock roof using polynomial functions and GIS modelling (high estimate). The second model is field based and results from a geological and geomorphological analysis of 46 topographic and geologic cross sections (low estimate). To reduce the error margins in sediment thickness estimates, three seismic refraction profiles made in summer 2014 have been interpreted and integrated to these models. The volumes of sediments stored in the Peynin catchment were respectively estimated to 0.423 km3 (high estimate) and 0.171 km3 (low estimate). This

  10. 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

  11. Implementation and validation of a Wilks-type multi-site daily precipitation generator over a typical Alpine river catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, D. E.; Fischer, A. M.; Frei, C.; Liniger, M. A.; Appenzeller, C.; Knutti, R.

    2015-05-01

    Many climate impact assessments require high-resolution precipitation time series that have a spatio-temporal correlation structure consistent with observations, for simulating either current or future climate conditions. In this respect, weather generators (WGs) designed and calibrated for multiple sites are an appealing statistical downscaling technique to stochastically simulate multiple realisations of possible future time series consistent with the local precipitation characteristics and their expected future changes. In this study, we present the implementation and validation of a multi-site daily precipitation generator re-built after the methodology described in Wilks (1998). The generator consists of several Richardson-type WGs run with spatially correlated random number streams. This study aims at investigating the capabilities, the added value and the limitations of the precipitation generator for a typical Alpine river catchment in the Swiss Alpine region under current climate. The calibrated multi-site WG is skilful at individual sites in representing the annual cycle of the precipitation statistics, such as mean wet day frequency and intensity as well as monthly precipitation sums. It reproduces realistically the multi-day statistics such as the frequencies of dry and wet spell lengths and precipitation sums over consecutive wet days. Substantial added value is demonstrated in simulating daily areal precipitation sums in comparison to multiple WGs that lack the spatial dependency in the stochastic process. Limitations are seen in reproducing daily and multi-day extreme precipitation sums, observed variability from year to year and in reproducing long dry spell lengths. Given the performance of the presented generator, we conclude that it is a useful tool to generate precipitation series consistent with the mean climatic aspects and likely helpful to be used as a downscaling technique for climate change scenarios.

  12. Impact of river regulation on potential sediment mobilization and transport in an Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter; Lane, Stuart N.; Bakker, Maarten

    2015-04-01

    identify the grain size-dependent effects of streamflow regulation, computations are applied to different grain sizes taken from grain size distributions of river bed sediment. The results show that flow regulation has indeed resulted in higher potential mobility of finer grain sizes during winter due to the increased flow, but not for the coarsest fractions which are mobilized only during summer high flows. Many studies of the impacts of major flow regulation have focused upon the effects of dams and flow diversions on sediment flux. In contrast, here we focus upon the effects of flow regulation on sediment transport potential downstream of a region of major flow regulation in an Alpine catchment. We show that the seasonal changes in streamflow arising from flow regulation impact upon sediment transport potential and these may be important in terms of the seasonal dynamics of sediment production (e.g. glacier erosion, landslides, rockfalls produced by heavy seasonal rainfall). In this context we also analyse suspended sediment concentration data and turbidity data at the outlet of the basin, in order to identify specific features of fine sediment production and transport processes. The present work is part of the research project SEDFATE funded by the SNF Sinergia Programme, which aims at quantifying the human impacts on the observed reduction of suspended sediment inflows to Lake Geneva.

  13. 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

  14. High abundance of genetic Bacteroidetes markers for total fecal pollution in pristine alpine soils suggests lack in specificity for feces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vierheilig, Julia; Farnleitner, Andreas H.; Kollanur, Denny; Blöschl, Günter; Reischer, Georg H.

    2012-01-01

    Two frequently applied genetic Bacteroidetes markers for total fecal pollution (AllBac and BacUni) were found in high numbers in pristine soil samples of two alpine catchment areas casting doubt on their value as fecal indicators. This finding underlines the necessity to evaluate assays locally and against non-intestinal samples before application. PMID:22285854

  15. Integrating structural and functional connectivity to characterize sediment dynamics in a small Alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalli, Marco; Crema, Stefano; Blok, Michiel; Lucía, Ana; Comiti, Francesco; Marchi, Lorenzo; Keesstra, Saskia

    2016-04-01

    Sediment connectivity can be regarded as a descriptor of the internal linkages between different landscape components within a catchment. The recent focus of the scientific community on connectivity related topics, both concerning hydrological and sediment connectivity, stresses the importance of understanding the main active pathways for a better estimation of energy and matter transfer at catchment scale. This task can be addressed using topography-based indices that analyse the linkages between landscape units. This approach to characterize connectivity is known as structural connectivity. The main limitation of structural connectivity is that it does not account for the processes driving sediment and energy fluxes (i.e., functional connectivity). In this work the integration between structural and functional approaches is proposed for characterizing sediment connectivity in mountain catchments. The structural approach, based on a topography-based sediment connectivity index, was used for assessing hillslope-to-channel connectivity. Since field data on processes driving sediment transport along the channel network are available, a functional approach has been devised to estimate within-channel connectivity. An index of unit stream power computed from the hydraulic properties of the channel (i.e., discharge, slope and channel width) has been compared with the critical unit stream power computed from incipient motion thresholds derived from field data to identify the cells of the Digital Terrain Model (DTM) in which sediment can be mobilized under near-bankfull conditions. The index expressing the within-channel connectivity is given by the length of the reaches consisting of contiguous cells that exceed the critical unit stream power. During high-magnitude floods, when unit stream power values exceed the threshold for incipient motion, channels experience an increase in both hydrological and sediment connectivity. The proposed index characterizes those sections

  16. 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

  17. A continuous high resolution water isotope dataset to constrain Alpine water balance estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelon, Anthony; Ceperley, Natalie; Beria, Harsh; Larsen, Josh; Schaefli, Bettina

    2017-04-01

    Water delivered from Alpine environments is a crucial resource for many countries around the world. Precipitation accumulated during cold seasons as snowpack or glaciers is often an important source of water during warm (dry) season but also a dominant contributor to the annual water balance. In Switzerland, water from high Alpine, glacier-fed catchments provides a large portion of both the hydroelectric power and water supply. However, large uncertainties regarding changes in glacier volume and snow accumulation can have significant impacts on hydrologic, biologic, physical and economic understanding, modeling, and predictions. Accurately quantifying these water resources is therefore an on-going challenge. Given the well-known difficulty observing solid precipitation (snowfall), it can be assumed that most of the uncertainty in water balance estimates for snow-dominated environments is due to: 1) Poor measurement of winter precipitation and 2) A poor estimation of timing and amount of snow melt. It is noteworthy that the timing of melt plays a crucial role even for annual water balance estimates since it might significantly influence melt runoff flow paths and thereby groundwater recharge. We use continuous monitoring of water stable isotopes over the entire annual cycle in an Alpine catchment to shed light on how such observations can constrain water balance estimates. The selected catchment is the experimental Vallon de Nant catchment in the Vaud Alps of Switzerland, where detailed hydrologic observations have recently started in addition to the existing vegetation and soil investigations. The Vallon de Nant (14 km2, and an altitude ranging from 1200 to 3051 m) is a narrow valley that accumulates large amounts of snow during winter. In spring and summer, the river discharge is mainly supplied by snowmelt, with additional inputs from a small glacier and rainfall. Continuous monitoring of water stable isotopes (δO18 and δD) is combined with measurements of

  18. Quantifying postglacial sediment storage and denudation rates in a small alpine catchment of the Făgăraș Mountains (Romania).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardelean, Adrian C; Onaca, Alexandru; Urdea, Petru; Sărășan, Adriana

    2017-12-01

    The study of sediment production, transport, storage and discharge in alpine drainage basins is an essential prerequisite for a better understanding of the postglacial evolution of the alpine landscape. To get an overview on sediment production and alpine landscape evolution in Romania, the current study presents the first alpine sediment storage quantification in the Romanian Carpathians. Postglacial denudation was quantified within the small alpine catchment of the Doamnei Valley (3.62km(2)), located in the central part of the Făgăraș Mountains. The quantification of sediment volumes was performed through a combined approach consisting of: (i) detailed geomorphological mapping of sediment storage landforms, by means of high accuracy field and remote mapping of sediment storage landforms, (ii) shallow geophysical investigations and (iii) geographic information systems modeling techniques. A total of 64 ground penetrating radar profiles were conducted through the valley for sediment thickness determination of individual landforms. Through parallel profiling, 5 electrical resistivity tomography profiles were also performed for the comparison of bedrock depths in order to determine the overall degree of accuracy of the geophysical investigations applied. In total, 79 sediment storage landforms were identified. Talus sheets were found to be the most dominant landforms within the investigated area, followed by talus cones, moraines and fluvio-torrential deposits. Sediment volume for the Doamnei Valley was calculated to be 7.08±1.42 10(6)m(3), corresponding to a mean sediment thickness of 4.20m, with the hanging cirques and valleys subsystem storing 48.58% of the total sediment volume, despite covering just 22% of the investigated area. Sediment volume was used in the determination of mean annual denudation rates for the entire catchment (0.20mm/y±0.04mm/y) as well as for mean annual mass transfer (406.2±31.6t/km(2)/y), based on a time span of 13ka. Copyright

  19. Performance of a coupled lagged ensemble weather and river runoff prediction model system for the Alpine Ammer River catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiatek, G.; Kunstmann, H.; Werhahn, J.

    2012-04-01

    The Ammer River catchment located in the Bavarian Ammergau Alps and alpine forelands, Germany, represents with elevations reaching 2185 m and annual mean precipitation between1100 and 2000 mm a very demanding test ground for a river runoff prediction system. Large flooding events in 1999 and 2005 motivated the development of a physically based prediction tool in this area. Such a tool is the coupled high resolution numerical weather and river runoff forecasting system AM-POE that is being studied in several configurations in various experiments starting from the year 2005. Corner stones of the coupled system are the hydrological water balance model WaSiM-ETH run at 100 m grid resolution, the numerical weather prediction model (NWP) MM5 driven at 3.5 km grid cell resolution and the Perl Object Environment (POE) framework. POE implements the input data download from various sources, the input data provision via SOAP based WEB services as well as the runs of the hydrology model both with observed and with NWP predicted meteorology input. The one way coupled system utilizes a lagged ensemble prediction system (EPS) taking into account combination of recent and previous NWP forecasts. Results obtained in the years 2005-2011 reveal that river runoff simulations depict high correlation with observed runoff when driven with monitored observations in hindcast experiments. The ability to runoff forecasts is depending on lead times in the lagged ensemble prediction and shows still limitations resulting from errors in timing and total amount of the predicted precipitation in the complex mountainous area. The presentation describes the system implementation, and demonstrates the application of the POE framework in networking, distributed computing and in the setup of various experiments as well as long term results of the system application in the years 2005 - 2011.

  20. Stakeholder discourse and water management – implementation of the participatory model CATCH in a Northern Italian alpine sub-catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Collentine

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The Water Framework Directive (WFD, directive 2000/60/EC was created to ensure the sustainable use of water resources in the European Union. A central guideline included throughout the directive is a call for the participation of stakeholders in the management of these resources. Involving stakeholders is an important step to ensure that catchment management plans take into consideration local experience in the development of these plans and the impact of the plans on local interests. This paper describes and analyses the results of a series of workshops to facilitate implementation of the WFD at a catchment level based on the stakeholder participation model, CATCH. To test the usefulness of the CATCH model, developed for water management in a catchment area, a sub-catchment in an alpine valley in the north-east of Italy, the Alta Valsugana in the Province of Trento, was chosen as the setting for a series of workshops. In this valley water is fundamental for activities associated with agriculture, domestic use, energy production, sports and recreation. In the recent past the valley has had serious problems related to water quality and quantity. Implementation of water management plans under the WFD may lead to conflicts within the catchment between different stakeholder interest groups. Including stakeholders in the development of management plans not only follows the guidelines of the WFD but also could result in a more locally adapted and acceptable plan for the catchment. A new stakeholder analysis methodology was developed and implemented in order to identify the relevant stakeholders of the area and then two sets of workshops involving the key stakeholders identified were conducted in Spring 2006. The CATCH meetings were a new experience for the participants, who had to deal with both the principles of the WFD in general and the participation requirement in particular. During the meetings, the CATCH model played a very important role in

  1. Sensitivity of the Runoff Characteristics of Small Alpine Catchments to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meißl, Gertraud; Klebinder, Klaus; Formayer, Herbert; Kerl, Florian; Schöberl, Friedrich; Geitner, Clemens; Markart, Gerhard; Kohl, Bernhard; Nadeem, Imran; Leidinger, David; Bronstert, Axel; Bürger, Gerd

    2016-04-01

    Floods and debris flows in small torrent catchments (Nardus stricta) may show increased surface runoff in case of precipitation events with high intensity after dry periods. The analyses of the maximum intensity of heavy precipitation events indicate a clear increase up to 10% till the end of the century. If one of these trends equalizes the other out resulting in unchanged occurrence probabilities of extreme runoff events, cannot be answered generally because of the local characteristics of relevant processes and uncertainties regarding the modelling chain. Regardless of the open question about its return period, peak runoff of extreme events may increase by approximately 25% comparing to current peak runoff due to the higher rain intensities.

  2. Response of stream benthic macroinvertebrates to current water management in Alpine catchments massively developed for hydropower.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quadroni, Silvia; Crosa, Giuseppe; Gentili, Gaetano; Espa, Paolo

    2017-12-31

    The present work focuses on evaluating the ecological effects of hydropower-induced streamflow alteration within four catchments in the central Italian Alps. Downstream from the water diversions, minimum flows are released as an environmental protection measure, ranging approximately from 5 to 10% of the mean annual natural flow estimated at the intake section. Benthic macroinvertebrates as well as daily averaged streamflow were monitored for five years at twenty regulated stream reaches, and possible relationships between benthos-based stream quality metrics and environmental variables were investigated. Despite the non-negligible inter-site differences in basic streamflow metrics, benthic macroinvertebrate communities were generally dominated by few highly resilient taxa. The highest level of diversity was detected at sites where upstream minimum flow exceedance is higher and further anthropogenic pressures (other than hydropower) are lower. However, according to the current Italian normative index, the ecological quality was good/high on average at all of the investigated reaches, thus complying the Water Framework Directive standards. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. THE DICHOTOMY OF ACTUAL TORRENT CATCHMENTS:IS THERE AN ALPINE DISEASE?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peter ERGENZINGER; Carmen de JONG

    2001-01-01

    Mountain torrents comprise zones of sediment erosion, transport and accumulation and constitute one of the most common geomorphological units of the Alpine region. During the second half of the 19th century the dynamics of these torrent basins were modified: the dichotomy created by new approaches of environmental engineering. The rise of 'Wildbachverbauung' (torrent engineering) led to the concept of storing as much sediment as possible in prior zones of erosion and transport. After less than one century, the former geomorphological setting was replaced by engineered torrent systems. In contrast to natural systems a zone of reduced erosion is followed by a step-like sequence of small dams and storage basins and led to an eroded fan area, which is protected from further erosion by an additional series of small dams and protective measures.Mountain torrent engineering was based on the claim that zones of erosion are "ill" developed parts of torrent basins which have to be "cured" in order to create "healthy" nature. These arguments oppose historic approaches. Flood and sediment problems in the Lainbach basin in Upper Bavaria south of Munich were treated by the administration of the monastery in Benediktbeuem with more rational and closer co-operation to nature and far less bolstered budgets than nowadays. Nobody wrote about "diseases" of mountain torrents. Instead, hazards and danger were taken for granted and damages were mitigated in the cheapest ways possible. Limited by actual financial constraints, these historic approaches are of high interest for future development of cheaper and more sustainable strategies of sediment and flood control in mountain torrents.

  4. Quantifying the present-day human influence on temperature, precipitation, and runoff in an pre-Alpine Swiss catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mülchi, Regula; Rössler, Ole; Romppainen-Martius, Olivia; Pall, Pardeep; Weingartner, Rolf

    2017-04-01

    Understanding the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on climate and environmental variables is still a challenge in science. Many detection and attribution studies have been carried out focusing on global and regional scales or on single events. However, the influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission on both, runoff regime and driving meteorological characteristics is still an open question. This study assesses the influence of anthropogenic GHG emissions on temperature, precipitation, and river runoff in a pre-Alpine catchment in Switzerland. For this purpose, thousands of one-year (April 2000-March 2001) simulations representing both, a present-day climate with actual anthropogenic GHG concentrations (A2000), and a climate with pre-industrial GHG concentrations (A2000N) were bias-corrected and used to analyze changes in temperature and precipitation. The two variables were then used to drive the hydrological model GR4J including the snow module Cemaneige for the river Thur (1700 km2). Comparing the runoff of the two scenarios and calculating the fraction of attributable risk (FAR) as well as the change in probability of occurrence (PR) for specific runoff thresholds enabled the assessment of the influence of anthropogenic GHG emissions. We found higher mean runoff in winter and spring in the A2000 scenario compared to the A2000N scenario. This is mainly caused by the combination of higher precipitation and higher temperatures in winter resulting in less snow accumulation in the A2000 scenario. Therefore, more liquid water is available in the hydrological model leading to enhanced runoff. In contrast, the A2000 simulations exhibit lower runoff in summer and autumn than the A2000N simulations. We relate this to higher temperatures in the A2000 scenario enhancing evapotranspiration and lower precipitation amounts. The calculation of FAR and PR for different runoff thresholds indicates that the FAR and PR increase with higher thresholds

  5. Process-based modeling of vegetation dynamics, snow, evapotranspiration and soil moisture patterns in an alpine catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertoldi, Giacomo; Della Chiesa, Stefano; Engel, Michael; Niedrist, Georg; Brenner, Johannes G.; Endrizzi, Stefano; Dall'Amico, Matteo; Cordano, Emanuele; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Rigon, Riccardo

    2014-05-01

    Mountain regions are particularly sensitive to climate change and at the same time they represent a key water resource not only locally but as well for lowland areas. Because of the complexity of mountain landscapes and the high climatic variability at a local scale, detailed quantification of key water budget components as snow cover, soil moisture and groundwater recharge is required. Therefore, there is a strong need to improve the capability of hydrological models to identify patterns in complex terrain (i.e. when variability of spatial characteristics counts), and to quantify changes of the water cycle components explicitly, considering interactions and feedbacks with climate and vegetation. Process-based hydrological models represent promising tools for addressing those needs. However, even if their inherent complexity sometimes limits their applicability for operational purpose, they offer great potential in terms of tools to test hypotheses, which can be verified in the field. GEOtop is a hydrological model that calculates the energy and mass exchanges between soil, vegetation, and atmosphere, accounting for land cover, water redistribution, snow processes, glacier mass budget and the effects of complex terrain and thus is one of the few models that was built with this complexity in mind. Recently, it has also been coupled with a dynamic vegetation model in order to simulate alpine grassland ecosystems. In this contribution, we want to present an application of the GEOtop model in simulating above ground biomass (Bag) production, evapotranspiration (ET), soil moisture (SM) and snow water equivalent (SWE) patterns for a catchment of about 100 km2, located in the Venosta/Vinschgau valley in the European Alps. Despite the Alps are one of the 'water towers of Europe', water scarcity issues can affect the region where the model is applied, and an intensive hydrological and ecological monitoring activity with ground observations and remote-sensing products has

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Unexpected response of high Alpine Lake waters to climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thies, Hansjörg; Nickus, Ulrike; Mair, Volkmar; Tessadri, Richard; Tait, Danilo; Thaler, Bertha; Psenner, Roland

    2007-11-01

    Over the past two decades, we have observed a substantial rise in solute concentration at two remote high mountain lakes in catchments of metamorphic rocks in the European Alps. At Rasass See, the electrical conductivity increased 18-fold. Unexpectedly high nickel concentrations at Rasass See, which exceeded the limit in drinking water by more than 1 order of magnitude, cannot be related to catchment geology. We attribute these changes in lake water quality to solute release from the ice of an active rock glacier in the catchment as a response to climate warming. Similar processes occurred at the higher elevation lake Schwarzsee ob Sölden, where electrical conductivity has risen 3-fold during the past two decades.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pili, Eric; Tisserand, Delphine; Bureau, Sarah

    2013-11-15

    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(34)SSO4 and [As] is interpreted as a Rayleigh-type sulfur-isotope fractionation during increasing pyrite dissolution. The observed positive correlation between δ(18)OSO4 and As(V)/As(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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Relating stable isotope and geochemical data to conclude on water residence times in four small alpine headwater catchments with differing vegetation cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. H. Mueller

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The mean water residence time (MRT in a catchment gives information about storage, flow pathways, sources of water and thus also about retention and release of solutes in a catchment. To our knowledge there are no catchment studies on the influence of vegetation cover change on base flow mean water residence times. 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 catchments in the Swiss Alps (Ursern valley were investigated to relate different vegetation cover to water residence times and geochemical behaviour of runoff.

    Time series of water stable isotopes were used to calculate mean water residence times. The high temporal variation of the stable isotope signals in precipitation was strongly dampened in stream base flow samples. Mean water residence times of the four catchments were 64–98 weeks. The strong dampening of our input signal might point to deeper flow paths and mixing of waters of different ages at the catchments outlets. Parent geological materials are mainly gneisses and schists but they can contain dolomite, carbonate or gypsum rich zones. The major part of the quickly infiltrating precipitation likely percolates through these deeper zones. Relatively high stream water pH, Ca and SO42− concentrations in micro catchment outlets support this conclusion.

    We conclude that in mountainous headwater catchments with relatively thin soil layers the geological and topographical situation and snow dynamics influence storage, mixing and release of meteoric waters and its geochemistry in a stronger way than vegetation cover or catchment size do.

  15. Climate change and storage response in alpine geologic endmember catchments using integrated modeling and baseflow recession analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markovich, K. H.; Fogg, G. E.; Maxwell, R. M.; Arumi, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    Runoff generation in snowmelt-dominated alpine systems predominantly occurs in subsurface, be it in the soil, saprolite, or fractured bedrock zone, and shifts in timing and amount of runoff due to climate change remains an open topic of research. Furthermore, the degree to which subsurface storage offsets the loss of snow storage in porous and fractured alpine terrains, i.e., the hydrogeologic buffering capacity, is still largely unknown. The snowmelt-dominated alpine watersheds in California and Chile are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to their Mediterranean climate, where winter snowpack sustains the demand of urban and agricultural needs during the dry summers. The streams draining the western slope of the Sierra Nevada and Andes mountains show a decline in snowmelt runoff, with an earlier shift in spring pulse and center of mass timing over the past 50 years. Following the snowmelt period, summer low flows are sustained by groundwater, and interbasin baseflow trends have been shown to correlate with geology, and to some extent, soil thickness in less permeable basins. However, the interannual (intrabasin) baseflow trends have not been explored with respect to climate change impacts to storage-discharge relationships. Here we estimate long-term groundwater storage trends via baseflow recession analysis for two geologically distinct alpine basins: the granitic Middle Fork Kaweah in the southern Sierra Nevada, California (640 masl, 264.2 km2 with daily data back to 1949) and the volcanic Diguillín in the central Andes, Bío Bío Region, Chile (670 masl and 334 km2 with daily data back to 1959). We employ a simple linear reservoir model for estimating storage from baseflow, and investigate the sensitivity to watershed characteristics, such as depth of groundwater circulation and storage on the results. We supplement these results with numerical experiments conducted using ParFlow-CLM, a fully-integrated hydrologic model coupled to a land surface

  16. Karst morphology and groundwater vulnerability of high alpine karst plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plan, Lukas; Decker, Kurt; Faber, Robert; Wagreich, Michael; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2009-07-01

    High alpine karst plateaus are recharge areas for major drinking water resources in the Alps and many other regions. Well-established methods for the vulnerability mapping of groundwater to contamination have not been applied to such areas yet. The paper characterises this karst type and shows that two common vulnerability assessment methods (COP and PI) classify most of the areas with high vulnerability classes. In the test site on the Hochschwab plateau (Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria), overlying layers are mostly absent, not protective or even enhance point recharge, where they have aquiclude character. The COP method classifies 82% of the area as highly or extremely vulnerable. The resulting maps are reasonable, but do not differentiate vulnerabilities to the extent that the results can be used for protective measures. An extension for the upper end of the vulnerability scale is presented that allows identifying ultra vulnerable areas. The proposed enhancement of the conventional approach points out that infiltration conditions are of key importance for vulnerability. The method accounts for karst genetical and hydrologic processes using qualitative and quantitative properties of karst depressions and sinking streams including parameters calculated from digital elevations models. The method is tested on the Hochschwab plateau where 1.7% of the area is delineated as ultra vulnerable. This differentiation could not be reached by the COP and PI methods. The resulting vulnerability map highlights spots of maximum vulnerability and the combination with a hazard map enables protective measures for a manageable area and number of sites.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Tracing the spatial and temporal variability of different water sources in a glacierized Alpine catchment (Eastern Italian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Michael; Penna, Daniele; Comiti, Francesco; Vignoli, Gianluca; Simoni, Silvia; Dinale, Roberto

    2016-04-01

    Glacierized catchments are important sources of fresh water. Although recent tracer-based studies have been carried out in these environments, more investigations are needed to understand more in detail the complex dynamics of snowmelt, glacier melt and groundwater contributions to stream water, the spatial and temporal variability of these sources of runoff and suspended sediment. In this study we used stable isotopes of water and electrical conductivity (EC) as tracers to identify the origin of different waters in the glacierized Sulden/Solda catchment (130 km², Eastern Italian Alps). The site ranges in elevation between 1112 and 3905 m a.s.l. and includes two major sub-catchments. Rainfall samples were taken from bulk collectors placed along an elevation gradient (905-2585 m a.s.l.). Winter-integrated snowmelt samples were collected from passive capillary samplers installed at different elevations (1600-2825 m a.s.l.), whereas snowmelt was sampled from dripping snow patches. Glacier melt samples were taken in summer from small rivulets on the glacier surface. Samples from the two main streams were collected monthly in 2014 and 2015 at different stream sections, major tributaries and springs. At the outlet, stream water was sampled daily by an automatic sampler, and EC, turbidity and water stage were measured every 5 minutes. Meteorological data were measured by two weather stations at 1600 and 2825 m a.s.l.. Manual samples were taken from February 2014 to November 2015 while the automatic sampling at the outlet was carried out from May to October 2014 and 2015. Results indicate that precipitation originated from air masses coming from the Atlantic Ocean, with limited influence of Mediterrean air masses. Snowmelt showed a pronounced isotopic enrichment during summer, which was also found for glacier melt, but less strong. Spring water from both sub-catchments seemed to be affected by infiltrating snowmelt during summer and represented the major stream component

  20. 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

  1. The "Teflon basin" myth: Snow-soil interactions in mountain catchments in the western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, M. W.; Cowie, R. M.

    2015-12-01

    In much of western North America, snow and snowmelt provide the primary means for storage of winter precipitation, effectively transferring water from the relatively wet winter season to the typically dry summers. A common assumption is that high-elevation catchments in the western United States behave like "Teflon basins" and that water released from seasonal storage in snow packs flows directly into streams with little or no interaction with underlying soils. Here I present information from a variety of catchments in the Colorado Front Range on snowmelt/soil interactions using isotopic, geochemical, nutrient and hydrometric data in 2- and 3- component hydrograph separations, along with end-member mixing analysis (EMMA). For most catchments we measured these parameters in weekly precipitation, the seasonal snowpack, snowmelt before contact with the ground, discharge, springs, soil solution, and groundwater. We ran EMMA at the catchment scale for catchments that represent the rain-snow transition zone in the montane forest, the seasonally snow covered sub-alpine to alpine transition zone, and a high-elevation alpine zone near the continental divide. In all catchments three end-members were the source waters for about 95% of discharge. Two end-members were the same in all catchments, snow and groundwater. For the alpine catchment talus springs was the third water source, while rain was the third water source in the two lower-elevation catchments. For all three catchments, soil solution plotted with stream waters along or near a line connecting the snow and groundwater end-members. Thus, for seasonally snow-covered catchments from montane to alpine ecosystems, snowmelt infiltrates underlying soils before snowmelt recharges groundwater reservoirs and contributes to surface flows. Seasonally snow-covered catchments are not Teflon basins. Rather, snowmelt infiltrates soils where solute concentrations are changed by biological and geochemical processes.

  2. Temporal variability of suspended sediment sources in an alpine catchment combining river/rainfall monitoring and sediment fingerprinting

    OpenAIRE

    Navratil, O.; Evrard, O.; Esteves, Michel; Legout, C.; Ayrault, S.; Nemery, J.; Mate-Marin, A.; .M. Ahmadi; Lefevre, I.; Poirel, A.; Bonte, P.

    2012-01-01

    Influence of the rainfall regime on erosion and transfer of suspended sediment in a 905-km(2) mountainous catchment of the southern French Alps was investigated by combining sediment monitoring, rainfall data, and sediment fingerprinting (based on geochemistry and radionuclide concentrations). Suspended sediment yields were monitored between October 2007 and December 2009 in four subcatchments (22-713km(2)). Automatic sediment sampling was triggered during floods to trace the sediment origin ...

  3. Assessment of zinc loading in an acid rock drainage alpine catchment using a tracer-injection and synoptic-sampling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouch, C. M.; McKnight, D. M.; Todd, A.

    2010-12-01

    Seasonal low flow conditions in acid rock drainage (ARD) streams result in increased acidity and metal ion concentrations - changes that have been shown to become more pronounced with longer dry periods. These resulting increases in acidity and metals concentrations may pose an increasing danger to aquatic ecosystems and drinking water supplies. For example, in many ARD-impacted mountain streams, fish populations are not self-sustaining. The study site in the Upper Snake River watershed in Colorado is an alpine catchment impacted by acid rock drainage thought to originate from the natural weathering of pyrite whereas the main stem of the Snake River and its other tributaries are impacted by accelerated ARD resulting from historic mining activities. Because concentrations toxic to aquatic life persist well downstream of the ARD inputs, dissolved zinc is the primary metal of concern in this study. A compilation of historic data from the Snake River Watershed during the low flow months of September and October indicates that zinc concentrations have increased four-fold over the past 30 years. We hypothesize that this increase is due to changes in groundwater flow patterns caused by climate change and associated earlier peak snowmelt (by 2-3 weeks), resulting in lower stream flows and drier soils in late summer. The observed increase in background metals concentrations has implications for mitigation of former mining sites. A synoptic study to identify discrete surface water sources of zinc loading indicated a significant input from a tributary on the north side of the catchment. Zinc concentrations here measured an order of magnitude higher than in the main stem of the stream, and were correlated with increases in sulfate, hardness, and total metals, supporting our contention that increasing zinc concentrations are driven by the acceleration of ARD in the watershed. The current research further investigates sources of metal-rich inflows to the tributary using a tracer

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Chemical regulation of alpine headwater streams during a storm event (Bogong High Plains, Victoria, Australia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karis, Terry; Silvester, Ewen; Rees, Gavin

    2016-11-01

    The headwater streams originating in the Australian Alps are the highest water yielding landscape in South-Eastern Australia and are projected to be impacted by climate change through longer dry periods and more episodic rainfall. In this work we studied the major ion and DOC responses of three alpine peatlands (and the broader catchment containing these systems) to a high intensity (summer) storm event. Despite the high volume of rainfall, major ions in stream waters remained strongly chemostatic throughout the event. This was particularly the case for Ca2+ and Mg2+, as well as the alkalinity by association, and suggests that chemical regulation of these particular cations occurs through rapid equilibration processes. DOC concentrations increased during the storm pulse, leading to a shift in alkalinity partitioning from bicarbonate to organic anions and a decrease in pH, mediated by the CO2 saturation levels in the stream water. Our results suggest that alkalinity generation (Ca2+ and Mg2+ acquisition) and partitioning (DOC export) are decoupled processes that may respond differently to repeat storm events depending on the capacity of these systems to provide these constituents. Under extreme case scenarios depletion of DOC (at constant alkalinity) would lead to a smaller pH dip during a storm pulse, while depletion of alkalinity would lead to a larger pH dip, with buffering controlled by free acid. We have not identified the mechanism for the chemostasis of Ca2+ and Mg2+ (and therefore alkalinity) in this work, but this will be critical to understanding the capacity of these peatlands to respond to repeat and more intense storm events.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. A conceptual glacio-hydrological model for high mountainous catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Schaefli

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In high mountainous catchments, the spatial precipitation and therefore the overall water balance is generally difficult to estimate. The present paper describes the structure and calibration of a semi-lumped conceptual glacio-hydrological model for the joint simulation of daily discharge and annual glacier mass balance that represents a better integrator of the water balance. The model has been developed for climate change impact studies and has therefore a parsimonious structure; it requires three input times series – precipitation, temperature and potential evapotranspiration – and has 7 parameters to calibrate. A multi-signal approach considering daily discharge and – if available – annual glacier mass balance has been developed for the calibration of these parameters. The model has been calibrated for three different catchments in the Swiss Alps having glaciation rates between 37% and 52%. It simulates well the observed daily discharge, the hydrological regime and some basic glaciological features, such as the annual mass balance.

  10. 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.

  11. Personal UV exposure in high albedo alpine sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Siani

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Mountain sites experience enhanced UV radiation levels due to the concurrent effects of shorter radiation path-length, low aerosol load and high reflectivity of the snow surfaces. This study was encouraged by the possibility to collect original data of personal dose on a specific anatomical site (erythemally effective UV dose on the forehead of two groups of volunteers (ski instructors and skiers in the mountainous areas of Italy (the Alpine site of La Thuile-Les Suches in Valle d'Aosta region. Personal doses were assessed using polysulphone dosimetry. Exposure Ratio (ER, defined as the ratio between the personal dose and the corresponding ambient dose (i.e. erythemally weighted dose received by a horizontal surface during the same exposure period was taken into account. In addition measuring skin colours as biological markers of individual response to UV exposure, was also carried out on the forearm and cheek of each volunteer before and after exposure.

    The median ER, taking into account the whole sample, is 0.60 in winter, with a range of 0.29 to 1.46, and 1.02 in spring, ranging from 0.46 to 1.72. No differences in ERs were found between skiers and instructors in spring while in winter skiers experienced lower values.

    Regarding skin colorimetric parameters the main result was that both skiers and instructors had on average significantly lower values of luminance after exposure i.e.~they became darker. It was found that the use of sunscreen and individual skin photo-type did not produce significant variations in ER across instructor/skier group by day and by seasons (p>0.05. It seems that sunscreen use only at the beginning of the exposure or in a few cases a couple of times during exposure (at difference with the specific instructions sheets, was not sufficient to change significantly skin colorimetric parameters across participants.

    In conclusion UV personal doses on the ski-fields are often

  12. Catchment Very-High Frequency Hydrochemistry: the Critex Chemical House

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floury, P.; Gaillardet, J.; Tallec, G.; Blanchouin, A.; Ansart, P.

    2015-12-01

    Exploring the variations of river quality at very high frequency is still a big challenge that has fundamental implications both for understanding catchment ecosystems and for water quality monitoring. Within the French Critical Zone program CRITEX, we have proposed to develop a prototype called "Chemical House", applying the "lab on field" concept to one of the stream of the Orgeval Critical Zone Observatory. The Orgeval catchment (45 km2) is part of the Critical Zone RBV ("Réseau des bassins versants") network. It is a typical temperate agricultural catchment that has been intensively monitored for the last 50 years for hydrology and nutrient chemistry. Agricultural inputs and land use are also finely monitored making Orgeval an ideal basin to test the response of the Critical Zone to agricultural forcing. Geology consists of a typical sedimentary basin of Cenozoic age with horizontal layers of limestones, silcrete and marls, covered by a thin loamy layer. Two main aquifers are present within the catchment: the Brie and the Champigny aquifers. Mean runoff is 780 mm/yr. The Chemical House is a fully automated lab and installed directly along the river, which performs measurement of all major dissolved elements such as Na, Cl, Mg, Ca, NO3, SO4 and K every half hour. It also records all physical parameters (Temperature, pH, conductivity, O2 dissolved, Turbidity) of the water every minute. Orgeval Chemical House started to measure river chemistry on June 12, 2015 and has successfully now recorded several months of data. We will present the architecture of the Chemical House and the first reproducibility and accuracy tests made during the summer drought 2015 period. Preliminary results show that the chemical house is recoding significant nychtemeral (day/night) cycles for each element. We also observe that each element has its own behaviour along a day. First results open great prospects.

  13. High-resolution dynamical downscaling of reanalysis data and coupling to a distributed hydrological model in high alpine terrain - a case study in the Berchtesgaden Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, Michael; Wagner, Sven; Laux, Patrick; Smiatek, Gerhard; Kunstmann, Harald

    2017-04-01

    High-resolution dynamical downscaling of ERA-Interim reanalysis data is performed for the high alpine region of the Berchtesgaden Alps using the regional climate model (RCM) WRF. The spatial resolutions of the two nested RCM model domains are 15 km and 5 km respectively. The RCM data is subsequently coupled to the distributed hydrological model (HM) WaSiM using several bias correction methods. A gridded observation dataset (REGNIE, German Weather Service - DWD), meteorological data from a dense station network in the region, and runoff gauge data are used to validate the RCM and HM results. The RCM results of both model domains as well as the forcing data are compared to observations on an hourly, daily and monthly basis. The focus is on the variables necessary to force the HM, which are temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and global radiation. The comparisons reveal that the high spatial resolution of 5 km is necessary to reproduce small scale spatial variations in the complex alpine terrain. The RCM simulations show an added value compared to the forcing atmospheric data by improving absolute values and temporal dynamics of the meteorological variables, especially for precipitation. However, it is shown that the spatial resolution is still not sufficient to cover and reproduce all spatial heterogeneities in the catchment, and that there are still biases in the RCM data. Therefore, several statistical bias correction methods are used to correct the RCM data for biases and elevation effects. The HM is subsequently forced using the corrected data, and model results are compared to runoff gauge data. The results show that regional dynamical downscaling in alpine regions has to be performed in very high spatial resolutions in order to reproduce small scale spatial variations and to reduce model biases. Despite these improvements, subsequent bias correction of the RCM data is still necessary to facilitate meaningful hydrological predictions.

  14. High resolution modeling of a small urban catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skouri-Plakali, Ilektra; Ichiba, Abdellah; Gires, Auguste; Tchiguirinskaia, Ioulia; Schertzer, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Flooding is one of the most complex issues that urban environments have to deal with. In France, flooding remains the first natural risk with 72% of decrees state of natural disaster issued between October 1982 and mid-November 2014. Flooding is a result of meteorological extremes that are usually aggravated by the hydrological behavior of urban catchments and human factors. The continuing urbanization process is indeed changing the whole urban water cycle by limiting the infiltration and promoting runoff. Urban environments are very complex systems due to their extreme variability, the interference between human activities and natural processes but also the effect of the ongoing urbanization process that changes the landscape and hardly influences their hydrologic behavior. Moreover, many recent works highlight the need to simulate all urban water processes at their specific temporal and spatial scales. However, considering urban catchments heterogeneity still challenging for urban hydrology, even after advances noticed in term of high-resolution data collection and computational resources. This issue is more to be related to the architecture of urban models being used and how far these models are ready to take into account the extreme variability of urban catchments. In this work, high spatio-temporal resolution modeling is performed for a small and well-equipped urban catchment. The aim of this work is to identify urban modeling needs in terms of spatial and temporal resolution especially for a very small urban area (3.7 ha urban catchment located in the Perreux-sur-Marne city at the southeast of Paris) MultiHydro model was selected to carry out this work, it is a physical based and fully distributed model that interacts four existing modules each of them representing a portion of the water cycle in urban environments. MultiHydro was implemented at 10m, 5m and 2m resolution. Simulations were performed at different spatio-temporal resolutions and analyzed with

  15. Hydrological significance of soil frost for pre-alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stähli, Manfred

    2017-03-01

    Soil frost can have a substantial impact on water flows at the soil surface and-potentially-alter the dynamics of catchment runoff. While these findings are mainly based on studies from alpine and Northern-latitude areas (including permafrost areas), little is known about the significance of soil frost for hydrology in pre-alpine areas, i.e. the region at the transition from central European lowlands to high-alpine areas. Here I synthesize soil temperature data and soil frost observations from ten sites in Switzerland to assess the occurrence of soil frost and to determine its impact on catchment runoff. In addition, a well-established numerical model was used to reconstruct the presence of soil frost in two first-order catchments for single runoff events and winters. The data clearly demonstrates that shallow soil frost has formed regularly in this altitudinal range over the past decade. The presence of a frozen soil surface was found to be highly variable among the sites under study and did not significantly correlate with altitude or forest density. For the first-order catchments, it was not possible to relate important flood peaks or increased runoff coefficients to winter situations with substantial soil frost. Thus, the present analysis suggests that although soil frost is widespread and regularly occurring at this altitudinal range, it has no significant impact on winter runoff in pre-alpine watersheds.

  16. Changes in chloroplast ultrastructure in some high-alpine plants: adaptation to metabolic demands and climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lütz, C; Engel, L

    2007-01-01

    The cytology of leaf cells from five different high-alpine plants was studied and compared with structures in chloroplasts from the typical high-alpine plant Ranunculus glacialis previously described as having frequent envelope plus stroma protrusions. The plants under investigation ranged from subalpine/alpine Geum montanum through alpine Geum reptans, Poa alpina var. vivipara, and Oxyria digyna to nival Cerastium uniflorum and R. glacialis. The general leaf structure (by light microscopy) and leaf mesophyll cell ultrastructure (by transmission electron microscopy [TEM]) did not show any specialized structures unique to these mountain species. However, chloroplast protrusion formation could be found in G. reptans and, to a greater extent, in O. digyna. The other species exhibited only a low percentage of such chloroplast structural changes. Occurrence of protrusions in samples of G. montanum and O. digyna growing in a mild climate at about 50 m above sea level was drastically reduced. Serial TEM sections of O. digyna cells showed that the protrusions can appear as rather broad and long appendices of plastids, often forming pocketlike structures where mitochondria and microbodies are in close vicinity to the plastid and to each other. It is suggested that some high-alpine plants may form such protrusions to facilitate fast exchange of molecules between cytoplasm and plastid as an adaptation to the short, often unfavorable vegetation period in the Alps, while other species may have developed different types of adaptation that are not expressed in ultrastructural changes of the plastids.

  17. Methane-cycling microorganisms in soils of a high-alpine altitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Pauli, Harald; Praeg, Nadine; Wagner, Andreas O; Illmer, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Methanogens and methanotrophs play unique roles as producers and consumers of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) in soils, respectively. Here, we aimed to reveal whether and to which extent methane-cyclers occur in high-alpine soils, and to assess their spatial distribution along an altitudinal gradient (2700-3500 m) in the Austrian Alps at sites located within the alpine (2700-2900 m), the alpine-nival (3000-3100 m) and the nival belts (3200-3500 m). Methanococcales and Methanocella spp. were most abundant among all quantified methanogenic guilds, whereas Methanosarcinales were not detected in the studied soil. The detected methanogens seem to be capable of persisting despite a highly oxic low-temperature environment. Methanogenic and methanotrophic activities and abundances of methanotrophs, Methanococcales and Methanocella spp. declined with altitude. Methanogenic and methanotrophic abundances were best explained by mean annual soil temperature and dissolved organic carbon, respectively. Alpine belt soils harbored significantly more methane-cyclers than those of the nival belt, indicating some influence of plant cover. Our results show that methanogens are capable of persisting in high-alpine cold soils and might help to understand future changes of these environments caused by climate warming.

  18. From the groundwater to the boundary layer: a fully-coupled hydrometeorologic modeling approach for a catchment of the Alpine foothils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fersch, Benjamin; Kunstmann, Harald; Gochis, David

    2016-04-01

    Through capillary rise, shallow groundwater tables can considerably affect the soil moisture contents within the root layer of the vadose zone and consequently govern the exchange of moisture and energy between the land-surface and the atmospheric boundary layer. In addition, they play an important role for channel flow and substantial quantities of recharge water are subject to lateral redistribution. A combination of these processes can lead to various non-linear dependencies, feedback and back coupling. As a physically based hydrometeorologic modeling system, WRF-Hydro enables the study of the interactions between the atmospheric boundary layer and the hydrological quantities above and within the soil. However, in its current version a linear storage (bucket) model is employed to simulate the groundwater with single direction from the recharge towards the channel. For an improved representation, we present an extension to the hydrological component of WRF-Hydro that features a 2-dimensional, finite-difference, single-layer, porous groundwater flow model, a Darcy-flux parametrization of vertical water flux from and to the unsaturated zone, and a head-gradient based groundwater coupling to the river channel network. The developed model system is applied for the diverse Alpine foothill catchment of the Ammer river (650 km²), in Southern Germany, characterized by complex terrain, ranging from 550 to more than 2200 m.a.s.l. We will present an overview on the model structure and the coupling approach. Moreover, first results of the stand-alone model calibration and the fully coupled application will be shown.

  19. Geochemistry of surface water in alpine catchments in central Colorado, USA: Resolving host-rock effects at different spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanty, R.B.; Verplanck, P.L.; San, Juan C.A.; Church, S.E.; Schmidt, T.S.; Fey, D.L.; deWitt, E.H.; Klein, T.L.

    2009-01-01

    The US Geological Survey is conducting a study of surface-water quality in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado, an area of approximately 55,000 km2. Using new and existing geologic maps, the more than 200 rock formations represented in the area were arranged into 17 groups based on lithologic similarity. The dominant regional geologic feature affecting water quality in central Colorado is the Colorado mineral belt (CMB), a NE-trending zone hosting many polymetallic vein or replacement deposits, and porphyry Mo deposits, many of which have been mined historically. The influence of the CMB is seen in lower surface-water pH (100 mg/L) and chalcophile metals such as Cu (>10 ??g/L), Zn (>100 ??g/L), and Cd (>1 ??g/L) relative to surface water outside the CMB. Not all streams within the CMB have been affected by mineralization, as there are numerous catchments within the CMB that have no mineralization or alteration exposed at the surface. At the regional-scale, and away from sites affected by mineralization, hydrothermal alteration, or mining, the effects of lithology on water quality can be distinguished using geochemical reaction modeling and principal components analysis. At local scales (100 s of km2), effects of individual rock units on water chemistry are subtle but discernible, as shown by variations in concentrations of major lithophile elements or ratios between them. These results demonstrate the usefulness of regional geochemical sampling of surface waters and process-based interpretations incorporating geologic and geochemical understanding to establish geochemical baselines.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparison of Stream Temperature Modeling Approaches: The Case of a High Alpine Watershed in the Context of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallice, A.

    2015-12-01

    Stream temperature controls important aspects of the riverine habitat, such as the rate of spawning or death of many fish species, or the concentration of numerous dissolved substances. In the current context of accelerating climate change, the future evolution of stream temperature is regarded as uncertain, particularly in the Alps. This uncertainty fostered the development of many prediction models, which are usually classified in two categories: mechanistic models and statistical models. Based on the numerical resolution of physical conservation laws, mechanistic models are generally considered to provide more reliable long-term estimates than regression models. However, despite their physical basis, these models are observed to differ quite significantly in some aspects of their implementation, notably (1) the routing of water in the river channel and (2) the estimation of the temperature of groundwater discharging into the stream. For each one of these two aspects, we considered several of the standard modeling approaches reported in the literature and implemented them in a new modular framework. The latter is based on the spatially-distributed snow model Alpine3D, which is essentially used in the framework to compute the amount of water infiltrating in the upper soil layer. Starting from there, different methods can be selected for the computation of the water and energy fluxes in the hillslopes and in the river network. We relied on this framework to compare the various methodologies for river channel routing and groundwater temperature modeling. We notably assessed the impact of each these approaches on the long-term stream temperature predictions of the model under a typical climate change scenario. The case study was conducted over a high Alpine catchment in Switzerland, whose hydrological and thermal regimes are expected to be markedly affected by climate change. The results show that the various modeling approaches lead to significant differences in the

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Quantification of long-term erosion rates from root exposure/tree age relationships in an alpine meadow catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scuderi, Louis A.

    2017-04-01

    Erosion rates derived using dendrogeomorphology have been used to quantify slope degradation in many localities globally. However, with the exception of the western United States, most of these estimates are derived from short-lived trees whose lifetimes may not adequately reflect the complete range of slope processes which can include erosion, deposition, impacts of extreme events and even long-term hiatuses. Erosion rate estimates at a given site using standard techniques therefore reflect censored local point erosion estimates rather than long-term rates. We applied a modified dendrogeomorphic approach to rapidly estimate erosion rates from dbh/age relationships to assess the difference between short and long-term rates and found that the mean short-term rate was 0.13 cm/yr with high variability, while the uncensored long-term rate was 0.06 cm/yr. The results indicate that rates calculated from short-lived trees, while possibly appropriate for local short-term point estimates of erosion, are highly variable and may overestimate regional long-term rates by > 50%. While these findings do not invalidate the use of dendrogeomorphology to estimate erosion rates they do suggest that care must be taken to select older trees that incorporate a range of slope histories in order to best approximate regional long-term rates.

  6. 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

  7. Fate and Transport of Nitrate in an Alpine Catchment Based on Dual-Isotopic and End-Member Mixing Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, M. W.; Liu, F.; Kendall, C.

    2003-12-01

    Attempts to understand nitrate loss from small watersheds have been the focus of much research. In general, these results have shown that understanding how sources and flowpaths of nitrate-rich waters change with time necessitates a combination of isotopic, chemical, and hydrometric data. New and evolving tools to understand the fate and transport of nitrate include dual-isotopic analysis of both the nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the nitrate molecule, and end-member mixing analysis (EMMA). However, to-date no one has combined these two approaches. Here we present results from both dual-isotope analysis and EMMA to understand the fate and transport of nitrate in the high-elevation Green Lakes watershed of the Colorado Front Range. Thirty-five samples were collected and analyzed for the dual isotopes of nitrate, and showed that values of δ 18O in atmospheric deposition had considerable overlap with values in stream waters. There was a strong counterclockwise pattern of hysteresis when δ 18O is plotted versus stream discharge, consistent with a mixture of atmospheric and microbial nitrate sources on the rising limb of the hydrograph, then mostly a microbial source on the recession limb of the hydrograph. A chemograph of nitrate sources developed using EMMA shows atmospheric deposition the predominant source at the initiation of snowmelt runoff, with soil water and talus becoming the dominant source at peak runoff, and talus-water and baseflow both important on the recession limb of the hydrograph. We were able to qualitatively evaluate the EMMA results by developing a 2-component nitrate source model using the dual-isotope values. The dual-isotope mixing model agreed well with the atmospheric and subsurface sources of nitrate identified using EMMA.

  8. Metals, nutrients and total suspended solids discharged during different flow conditions in highly urbanised catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Hayden J; Birch, Gavin F

    2012-01-01

    Stormwater discharged from highly urbanised catchments on the southern shore of Sydney estuary, Australia, has been identified as the primary source of contaminants responsible for ecological degradation and reduction in recreational value of the waterway. Effective management of this pollution requires knowledge of contaminant loads associated with various stormwater flow conditions in three highly urbanised catchments in Sydney estuary catchment. The majority (>90%) of metal (Cu, Pb and Zn) and total suspended solid annual loads were contributed during high-flow conditions (>50 mm rainfall day(t1)), whereas ≤55% of TN and ≤21% of total phosphorus were contributed to annual loading by dry weather base-flow conditions. All flow conditions posed an in-stream ecological threat because contaminant concentrations exceeded water quality guidelines for all analytes measured, except Pb. Irregular, temporal variability in contaminant concentrations associated with base-flow (within day and amongst days), high-flow (amongst events) and irregular discharges indicated that contaminant contributions in stormwater were strongly controlled by human activity in the three catchments. Significant variation in contaminant concentrations under all flow conditions revealed unique chemical signatures for each catchment despite similarities in land uses, location and geology amongst catchments. These characteristics indicate that assessment and management of stormwater pollution needs to be conducted on an individual-catchment basis for highly urbanised regions of Sydney estuary catchment.

  9. Melting Alpine glaciers enrich high-elevation lakes with reactive nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saros, Jasmine E; Rose, Kevin C; Clow, David W; Stephens, Verlin C; Nurse, Andrea B; Arnett, Heather A; Stone, Jeffery R; Williamson, Craig E; Wolfe, Alexander P

    2010-07-01

    Alpine glaciers have receded substantially over the last century in many regions of the world. Resulting changes in glacial runoff not only affect the hydrological cycle, but can also alter the physical (i.e., turbidity from glacial flour) and biogeochemical properties of downstream ecosystems. Here we compare nutrient concentrations, transparency gradients, algal biomass, and fossil diatom species richness in two sets of high-elevation lakes: those fed by snowpack melt alone (SF lakes) and those fed by both glacial and snowpack meltwaters (GSF lakes). We found that nitrate (NO(3)(-)) concentrations in the GSF lakes were 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than in SF lakes. Although nitrogen (N) limitation is common in alpine lakes, algal biomass was lower in highly N-enriched GSF lakes than in the N-poor SF lakes. Contrary to expectations, GSF lakes were more transparent than SF lakes to ultraviolet and equally transparent to photosynthetically active radiation. Sediment diatom assemblages had lower taxonomic richness in the GSF lakes, a feature that has persisted over the last century. Our results demonstrate that the presence of glaciers on alpine watersheds more strongly influences NO(3)(-)concentrations in high-elevation lake ecosystems than any other geomorphic or biogeographic characteristic.

  10. Upper mantle structure beneath the Alpine orogen from high-resolution teleseismic tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippitsch, Regina; Kissling, Edi; Ansorge, JöRg

    2003-08-01

    To understand the evolution of the Alpine orogen, knowledge of the actual structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system is important. We perform high-resolution teleseismic tomography with manually picked P wave arrival times from seismograms recorded in the greater Alpine region. The resulting data set consists of 4199 relative P wave arrivals and 499 absolute P wave arrivals from 76 teleseismic events, corrected for the contribution of the Alpine crust to the travel times. The three-dimensional (3-D) crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data for that purpose represents the large-scale Alpine crustal structure. Absolute P wave arrival times are used to compute an initial reference model for the inversion. Tests with synthetic data document that the combination of nonlinear inversion, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3-D crustal model allows a reliable resolution of cells at 50 km × 50 km × 30 km. Hence structures as small as two cells can be resolved in the upper mantle. Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km. Along strike of the Alps, the inversion reveals a high-velocity structure that dips toward the SE beneath the Adriatic microplate in the western and central Alps. In the eastern Alps we observe a northeastward dipping feature, subducting beneath the European plate. We interpret this feature in the western and central Alps as subducted, mainly continental European lower lithosphere. For the east, we propose that parts of the Vardar oceanic basin were subducted toward the NE, forcing continental Adriatic lower lithosphere to subduct northeastward beneath the European plate.

  11. 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

  12. The effect of background hydrometeorological conditions on the sensitivity of evapotranspiration to model parameters: analysis with measurements from an Italian alpine catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Montaldo

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments have made land-surface models (LSMs more complex through the inclusion of more processes and controlling variables, increasing numbers of parameters and uncertainty in their estimates. To overcome these uncertainties, prior to applying a distributed LSM over the whole Toce basin (Italian Alps, a field campaign was carried out at an experimental plot within the basin before exploring the skill and parameter importance (sensitivity using the TOPLATS model, an existing LSM. In the summer and autumn of 1999, which included both wet (atmosphere controlled and dry (soil controlled periods, actual evapotranspiration estimates were performed using Bowen ratio and, for a short period, eddy correlation methods. Measurements performed with the two methods are in good agreement. The calibrated LSM predicts actual evapotranspiration quite well over the whole observation period. A sensitivity analysis of the evapotranspiration to model parameters was performed through the global multivariate technique during both wet and dry periods of the campaign. This approach studies the influence of each parameter without conditioning on certain values of the other variables. Hence, all parameters are varied simultaneously using, for instance, a uniform sampling strategy through a Monte Carlo simulation framework. The evapotranspiration is highly sensitive to the soil parameters, especially during wet periods. However, the evapotranspiration is also sensitive to some vegetation parameters and, during dry periods, wilting point is the most critical for evapotranspiration predictions. This result confirms the importance of correct representation of vegetation properties which, in water-limited conditions, control evapotranspiration. Keywords: evapotranspiration, sensitivity analysis, land surface model, eddy correlation, Alpine basin

  13. Column Water Vapour using a PFR Radiometer at a High-Alpine Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyeki, S.; Vuilleumier, L.; Heimo, A.; Kämpfer, N.; Mätzler, C.; Vernez, A.; Viatte, P.

    2003-04-01

    The Swiss Atmospheric Radiation Monitoring program (CHARM) integrates a number of solar and atmospheric radiation monitoring tasks within the Swiss contribution to GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch) of the WMO. Columnar water vapor (CWV) is derived from sun photometers at four locations within the CHARM network. A four-year dataset of CWV measured at the Jungfraujoch high-alpine research station (3580 m asl, Switzerland) using a Precision Filter Radiometer (PFR) is reported. Observations indicated that CWV above station altitude varied between 1 and 4 (+/- 1) kg.m-2 in winter and summer, respectively, confirming an earlier 12-month study in 1999.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts.) were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation) accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolína Bílá

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo, which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butterflies at alpine sites in the High Sudetes Mountains (Mts. were sampled using Moericke yellow water traps. The results of a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA indicated that at a local scale the area of alpine habitats is the main limiting factor for native species of alpine butterflies. Butterfly assemblages are associated with distance to the tree-line with the optimum situated in the lower forest zone. In addition the CCA revealed that biotic factors (i.e. Pinus mugo and alpine tundra vegetation accounted for a significant amount of the variability in species data. Regionally, the CCA identified that the species composition of butterflies and moths is associated with presence and origin of Pinus mugo. Our study provides evidence that the structure of the Lepidopteran fauna that formed during the postglacial period and also the present composition of species assemblages is associated with the presence of Pinus mugo. With global warming, Pinus mugo has the potential to spread further into alpine areas and negatively affect the local species communities.

  16. Enhanced summer convective rainfall at Alpine high elevations in response to climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgi, Filippo; Torma, Csaba; Coppola, Erika; Ban, Nikolina; Schär, Christoph; Somot, Samuel

    2016-08-01

    Global climate projections consistently indicate a future decrease in summer precipitation over the European Alps. However, topography can substantially modulate precipitation change signals. For example, the shadowing effect by topographic barriers can modify winter precipitation change patterns, and orographic convection might also play an important role. Here we analyse summer precipitation over the Alpine region in an ensemble of twenty-first-century projections with high-resolution (~12 km) regional climate models driven by recent global climate model simulations. A broad-scale summer precipitation reduction is projected by both model ensembles. However, the regional models simulate an increase in precipitation over the high Alpine elevations that is not present in the global simulations. This is associated with increased convective rainfall due to enhanced potential instability by high-elevation surface heating and moistening. The robustness of this signal, which is found also for precipitation extremes, is supported by the consistency across models and future time slices, the identification of an underlying mechanism (enhanced convection), results from a convection-resolving simulation, the statistical significance of the signal and the consistency with some observed trends. Our results challenge the picture of a ubiquitous decrease of summer precipitation over the Alps found in coarse-scale projections.

  17. Eight hundred years of environmental changes in a high Alpine lake (Gossenköllesee, Tyrol inferred from sediment records

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roland PSENNER

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Documentary and sediment records (diatoms, chrysophyte stomatocysts, plant pigments, carbon and nitrogen, metals and mineral magnetics were used to reconstruct environmental changes in the high alpine lake Gossenköllesee (Tyrol, Austria during the last 800 years. The records revealed complex interactions between human impact and climate. Gossenköllesee was predominantly influenced by land-use, which supplied nutrients to the lake. Documentary records report intensive sheep and cattle farming in the area around Gossenköllesee during medieval times. Pigments and chrysophyte stomatocysts indicated high nutrient concentrations prior to ca 1770 AD. First changes in land-use, however, were already detected ca 1670 AD. In 1675 AD the “Schwaighof” near Gossenköllesee, a perennial high altitude settlement, was sold to the Earl of Spaur, and farm management probably changed. After approx. 1770 AD in-lake production was reduced, indicating a decrease in land-use. According to historical records, the perennial settlement near Gossenköllesee was abandoned by at least 1890 AD. Gossenköllesee was also affected by fish stocking. Arctic charr (Salmo trutta morpha fario L. was introduced into the lake, most probably at the end of the 15th century. A decline in carbon, nitrogen and the pigments alloxanthin (cryptophytes and astaxanthin (grazers indicate a significant removal of grazers by fish. Superimposed on human activity, climate changes have also had a significant impact on Gossenköllesee. High productivity during the 12th century suggested by the plant pigment records might have been favoured by temperature increases, indicated by pronounced glacier retreats which began during the 10th/11th century. The “Schwaighof” near Gossenköllesee was sold to the Earl of Spaur when winter temperatures declined substantially in the 1670s. Changes in C/N ratio, iron, manganese and mineral magnetics indicated increased detrital input from the catchment

  18. Using high-resolution phosphorus data to investigate mitigation measures in headwater river catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Campbell

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study reports the use of high resolution water quality monitoring to assess the influence of changes in landuse management on total phosphorus (TP transfers in two 5 km2 agricultural sub-catchments. Specifically, the work investigates the "wicked problem" of agricultural soil P management and subsequent diffuse transfers at high river flows over a five year timescale. The work also investigates the phenomenon of low flow P pollution from septic tank systems (STS and mitigation efforts – here termed the "filthy issue" of rural catchment management. Results showed an inconsistent response to soil P management over five years with one catchment showing a convergence to optimum P concentrations and the other an overall increase. Both catchments indicated an overall increase in P concentration in defined high flow ranges. Low flow P concentration showed little change or higher P concentrations in defined low flow ranges despite replacement of defective systems and this is possibly due to a number of confounding reasons including increased housing densities due to new-builds. The work indicates fractured responses to catchment management advice and mitigation and that the short to medium term may be an insufficient time to expect the full implementation of policies (here defined as convergence to optimum soil P concentration and mitigation of STS and also to gauge their effectiveness.

  19. Using high-resolution phosphorus data to investigate mitigation measures in headwater river catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J. M.; Jordan, P.; Arnscheidt, J.

    2014-09-01

    This study reports the use of high resolution water quality monitoring to assess the influence of changes in landuse management on total phosphorus (TP) transfers in two 5 km2 agricultural sub-catchments. Specifically, the work investigates the "wicked problem" of agricultural soil P management and subsequent diffuse transfers at high river flows over a five year timescale. The work also investigates the phenomenon of low flow P pollution from septic tank systems (STS) and mitigation efforts - here termed the "filthy issue" of rural catchment management. Results showed an inconsistent response to soil P management over five years with one catchment showing a convergence to optimum P concentrations and the other an overall increase. Both catchments indicated an overall increase in P concentration in defined high flow ranges. Low flow P concentration showed little change or higher P concentrations in defined low flow ranges despite replacement of defective systems and this is possibly due to a number of confounding reasons including increased housing densities due to new-builds. The work indicates fractured responses to catchment management advice and mitigation and that the short to medium term may be an insufficient time to expect the full implementation of policies (here defined as convergence to optimum soil P concentration and mitigation of STS) and also to gauge their effectiveness.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bílá, Karolína; Šipoš, Jan; Kindlmann, Pavel; Kuras, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the global climate, isolated alpine sites have become one of the most vulnerable habitats worldwide. The indigenous fauna in these habitats is threatened by an invasive species, dwarf pine (Pinus mugo), which is highly competitive and could be important in determining the composition of the invertebrate community. In this study, the association of species richness and abundance of butterflies with the extent of Pinus mugo cover at individual alpine sites was determined. Butt...

  1. River recharge sources and the partitioning of catchment evapotranspiration fluxes as revealed by stable isotope signals in a typical high-elevation arid catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiaoyu; Tian, Lide; Wang, Lei; Yu, Wusheng; Qu, Dongmei

    2017-06-01

    Catchment-scale hydrological cycles are expected to suffer more extremes under a background of climate change. Quantifying hydrological changes in high and remote areas is practically challenging. However, stable isotopes in river water can be seen to vary, dependent upon the combined influence exerted by recharge sources and local climatic conditions; the study of river water stable isotopes can therefore provide a meaningful method for delineating catchment-scale hydrological studies. In this study, we present high-resolution time series of river δ18O and d-excess values; additionally, we identify the seasonal dynamics of river recharge sources and major components of the catchment-scale water balance, together with precipitation and groundwater isotopes, and concurrent meteorological data recorded in Magazangbu catchment on the northwestern Tibetan Plateau (TP). Using isotopic analysis, and within a proportional framework, we partitioned the isotopic fractionation (E1) or non-fractionation (E2) from soil evaporation fluxes (Esoil) apparent in different processes, using NDVI (Normal Differential Vegetation Index) data collected by MODIS satellites to calculate the vegetation fractional coverage (VFC), and Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) records to determine evapotranspiration data (ET). Finally, the contributions made by each ET component (Esoil and plant transpiration) to total catchment ET were computed for the high and remote northwestern TP. Our results show that: (1) river δ18O values were high in summer and low in winter, while d-excess values displayed a contrary seasonal cycle; (2) for the monsoon period, precipitation contributed 60.6% to Magazangbu catchment runoff. Deeper groundwater was the main water source for the winter low base flow, and shallow groundwater or high elevation snowmelt was the principal component of the spring thaw and autumn freezing periods; and (3) a substantial proportion of Esoil (96.4% annually; 92.2% during

  2. 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.

  3. A comparative high-altitude meteorological analysis from three catchments in the Nepalese Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shea, J. M.; Wagnon, P.; Immerzeel, W. W.; Biron, R.; Brun, F.; Pellicciotti, F.

    2015-01-01

    Meteorological studies in high-mountain environments form the basis of our understanding of catchment hydrology and glacier accumulation and melt processes, yet high-altitude (>4000 m above sea level, asl) observatories are rare. This research presents meteorological data recorded between December 2

  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. Contribution of snow and glacier melt to discharge for highly glacierised catchments in Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Engelhardt

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Glacierised catchments significantly alter the streamflow regime due to snow and glacier meltwater contribution to discharge. In this study, we modelled the mass balance and discharge rates for three highly glacierised catchments (>50% glacier cover in western Norway over the period 1961–2012. The spatial pattern of the catchments follows a gradient in climate continentality from west to east. The model uses gridded temperature and precipitation values from seNorge (http://senorge.no as input which are available at a daily resolution. It accounts for accumulation of snow, transformation of snow to firn and ice, evaporation and melt. The model was calibrated for each catchment based on measurements of seasonal glacier mass-balances and daily discharge rates. For validation, daily melt rates were compared with measurements from sonic rangers located in the ablation zones of two of the glaciers and an uncertainty analysis was performed for the third catchment. The discharge contributions from snowmelt, glacier melt and rain were analysed with respect to spatial variations and temporal evolution. The model simulations reveal an increase of the relative contribution from glacier melt for the three catchments from less than 10% in the early 1990s to 15–30% in the late 2000s. The decline in precipitation by 10–20% in the same period was therefore overcompensated resulting in an increase of the annual discharge by 5–20%. Annual discharge sums and annual glacier melt are strongest correlated with annual and winter precipitation at the most maritime glacier and, with increased climate continentality, variations in both glacier melt contribution and annual discharge are becoming stronger correlated with variations in summer temperatures.

  8. Contribution of snow and glacier melt to discharge for highly glacierised catchments in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelhardt, M.; Schuler, T. V.; Andreassen, L. M.

    2014-02-01

    Glacierised catchments show a discharge regime that is strongly influenced by snow and glacier meltwaters. In this study, we modelled the mass balance and discharge rates for three highly glacierised catchments (>50% glacier cover) in western Norway over the period 1961-2012. The spatial pattern of the catchments follows a gradient in climate continentality from west to east. The model input were gridded temperature and precipitation values from seNorge (http://senorge.no) which are available at daily resolution. The model accounted for accumulation of snow, transformation of snow to firn and ice, evaporation and melt. Calibration and validation were performed for each catchment based on measurements of seasonal glacier mass balances and daily discharge rates, as additional validation data served daily melt rates from sonic rangers located in the ablation zones of two of the glaciers. The discharge sources snowmelt, glacier melt and rain were analysed with respect to spatial variations and temporal evolution. Model simulations reveal an increase in the relative contribution from glacier melt to total discharge for the three catchments from less than 10% in the early 1990s to 15-30% in the late 2000s. The decline in precipitation by 10-20% in the same period was therefore overcompensated, resulting in an increase in annual discharge by 5-20%. Annual discharge sums and annual glacier melt are most strongly correlated with annual and winter precipitation at the most maritime glacier and, with increased climate continentality, variations in both glacier melt contribution and annual discharge are becoming more strongly correlated with variations in summer temperatures. Therefore, glaciers in more continental climates are especially vulnerable to decrease in both annual and summer discharge with continued rise in summer temperatures and subsequent decrease in glacier extent. This may lead to significant changes to the discharge regime, with increase during spring but

  9. Chemical Analysis of Pottery Demonstrates Prehistoric Origin for High-Altitude Alpine Dairying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrer, Francesco; Colonese, André Carlo; Lucquin, Alexandre; Petersen Guedes, Eduardo; Thompson, Anu; Walsh, Kevin; Reitmaier, Thomas; Craig, Oliver E

    2016-01-01

    The European high Alps are internationally renowned for their dairy produce, which are of huge cultural and economic significance to the region. Although the recent history of alpine dairying has been well studied, virtually nothing is known regarding the origins of this practice. This is due to poor preservation of high altitude archaeological sites and the ephemeral nature of transhumance economic practices. Archaeologists have suggested that stone structures that appear around 3,000 years ago are associated with more intense seasonal occupation of the high Alps and perhaps the establishment of new economic strategies. Here, we report on organic residue analysis of small fragments of pottery sherds that are occasionally preserved both at these sites and earlier prehistoric rock-shelters. Based mainly on isotopic criteria, dairy lipids could only be identified on ceramics from the stone structures, which date to the Iron Age (ca. 3,000-2,500 BP), providing the earliest evidence of this practice in the high Alps. Dairy production in such a marginal environment implies a high degree of risk even by today's standards. We postulate that this practice was driven by population increase and climate deterioration that put pressure on lowland agropastoral systems and the establishment of more extensive trade networks, leading to greater demand for highly nutritious and transportable dairy products.

  10. Guided Waves within the Alpine Fault, central Westland, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eccles, J. D.; Gulley, A. K.; Boese, C. M.; Malin, P.; Townend, J.; Sutherland, R.

    2013-12-01

    Fault Zone Guided waves (FZGWs), seismic energy trapped within the low-velocity ';damage zone', have been observed for the first time within the Alpine Fault of New Zealand. This major transpressional fault accommodates up to 75% of relative motion between the Australian and Pacific plates. Two three-component, 2 Hz, borehole seismometers were installed as part of the first phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1) which drilled two shallow (101 m and 151 m) boreholes into the central Alpine Fault principal slip zone at Gaunt Creek, central Westland. These seismometers, part of the DFDP-1 borehole observatory, were installed within the mylonitic cataclasites of the hanging wall and the granitic cataclasite sequence of the footwall, within 20 m of what are thought to be the principal slip surfaces. Seismic data quality is high, revealing high rates of local microseismic activity with approximately fifty proximal events (P-S times array also reveals the strong structural control on incident seismic energy. Recent deployments of borehole and surface seismic networks to observe microseismic activity show somewhat diffuse patterns of seismicity and retain ambiguity as to the location and character of the Alpine Fault principal slip zone at depth. The locations of the events that generated FZGWs indicate the location and connectivity of the main Alpine Fault zone, which is segmented at a catchment scale at the surface. Initial modelling of the FZGWs also gives an estimate of fault zone properties at depth. Paleoseismic evidence indicates the Alpine Fault, capable of producing Mw > 8, is late in its seismic cycle and, despite previously appearing relatively aseismic on timescales of instrumentation, the observation of Fault Zone Guided Waves confirms that episodic, low magnitude seismic activity actually occurs on the main Alpine Fault zone (or strongly linked faults) both as single events and microseismic swarms.

  11. Optimization of precipitation inputs for SWAT modeling in mountainous catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuo, Ye; Chiogna, Gabriele; Disse, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Precipitation is often the most important input data in hydrological models when simulating streamflow in mountainous catchment. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a widely used hydrological model, only makes use of data from one precipitation gauging station which is nearest to the centroid of each subcatchment, eventually corrected using the band elevation method. This leads in general to inaccurate subcatchment precipitation representation, which results in unreliable simulation results in mountainous catchment. To investigate the impact of the precipitation inputs and consider the high spatial and temporal variability of precipitation, we first interpolated 21 years (1990-2010) of daily measured data using the Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) method. Averaged IDW daily values have been calculated at the subcatchment scale to be further supplied as optimized precipitation inputs for SWAT. Both datasets (Measured data and IDW data) are applied to three Alpine subcatchments of the Adige catchment (North-eastern Italy, 12100 km2) as precipitation inputs. Based on the calibration and validation results, model performances are evaluated according to the Nash Sutchliffe Efficiency (NSE) and Coefficient of Determination (R2). For all three subcatchments, the simulation results with IDW inputs are better than the original method which uses measured inputs from the nearest station. This suggests that IDW method could improve the model performance in Alpine catchments to some extent. By taking into account and weighting the distance between precipitation records, IDW supplies more accurate precipitation inputs for each individual Alpine subcatchment, which would as a whole lead to an improved description of the hydrological behavior of the entire Adige catchment.

  12. Carbon budget estimation of a subarctic catchment using a dynamic ecosystem model at high spatial resolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Tang

    2015-01-01

    Eriophorum, Sphagnum and then tundra heath during the observation periods. The catchment-level carbon fluxes from aquatic systems are dominated by CO2 emissions from streams. Integrated across the whole catchment, we estimate that the area is a carbon sink at present, and will become an even stronger carbon sink by 2080, which is mainly a result of a projected densification of birch forest and its encroachment into tundra heath. However, the magnitudes of the modelled sinks are very dependent on future atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Furthermore, comparisons of global warming potentials between two simulations with and without CO2 increase since 1960 reveal that the increased methane emission from the peatland could double the warming effects of the whole catchment by 2080 in the absence of CO2 fertilization of the vegetation. This is the first process-based model study of the temporal evolution of a catchment-level carbon budget at high spatial resolution, integrating comprehensive and diverse fluxes including both terrestrial and aquatic carbon. Though this study also highlights some limitations in modelling subarctic ecosystem responses to climate change including aquatic system flux dynamics, nutrient limitation, herbivory and other disturbances and peatland expansion, our application provides a mechanism to resolve the complexity of carbon cycling in subarctic ecosystems while simultaneously pointing out the key model developments for capturing complex subarctic processes.

  13. High-resolution seismic monitoring of geomorphic activity in a catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burtin, A.; Hovius, N.; Turowski, J.; McArdell, B.; Vergne, J.

    2012-04-01

    Continuous survey of the surface activity in a river catchment is essential for the understanding of the landscape dynamics. In steep mountain catchments, a detailed spatial and temporal monitoring of geomorphic processes is generally impossible. The classic techniques (imagery and in situ channel approaches) are not adapted to the extreme conditions that occur during strong rainstorms. There is a real need to develop a method and to define the procedures that will allow the study of surface processes without any environmental dependency. Nowadays, more and more studies explore the use of the seismic instruments to survey the catchment activity. Seismometers can be deployed in sheltered area, which allow us to record in continuous the ground vibrations induced by surface processes, like the sediment transport and mass movements. To continue the exploration of this potential, we deployed a dense array of 10 seismometers in the Illgraben, a 10-km2 catchment in the Swiss Alps, during the summer 2011. This catchment is highly prone to hillslope and debris flow activity, so almost every summer convective storms trigger geomorphic events. The network was designed to monitor the spatial and temporal features of every type of surface activity. Thus during rainstorms, the stations located along the main stream well record the channel activity like the passage of sediment flows, while the instruments installed around the catchment reveal the occurrences of many rockfalls. These latter events show a spectral seismic signature at high frequencies (> 1 Hz), whereas the channel activity is dominant between 10 and 30 Hz. For the largest debris flow of the summer, we are able to identify the location of its initiation from the hillslope. Then, we can map the secondary events, which were triggered by the propagation of the debris flow. With these preliminary results, we demonstrate that the use of a dense seismic array is relevant to map in real time the landscape dynamics at the

  14. High-frequency nutrient monitoring to infer seasonal patterns in catchment source availability, mobilisation and delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bende-Michl, Ulrike; Verburg, Kirsten; Cresswell, Hamish P

    2013-11-01

    To explore the value of high-frequency monitoring to characterise and explain riverine nutrient concentration dynamics, total phosphorus (TP), reactive phosphorus (RP), ammonium (NH4-N) and nitrate (NO3-N) concentrations were measured hourly over a 2-year period in the Duck River, in north-western Tasmania, Australia, draining a 369-km(2) mixed land use catchment area. River discharge was observed at the same location and frequency, spanning a wide range of hydrological conditions. Nutrient concentrations changed rapidly and were higher than previously observed. Maximum nutrient concentrations were 2,577 μg L(-1) TP, 1,572 μg L(-1) RP, 972 μg L(-1) NH₄-N and 1,983 μg L(-1) NO₃-N, respectively. Different nutrient response patterns were evident at seasonal, individual event and diurnal time scales-patterns that had gone largely undetected in previous less frequent water quality sampling. Interpretation of these patterns in terms of nutrient source availability, mobilisation and delivery to the stream allowed the development of a conceptual model of catchment nutrient dynamics. Functional stages of nutrient release were identified for the Duck River catchment and were supported by a cluster analysis which confirmed the similarities and differences in nutrient responses caused by the sequence of hydrologic events: (1) a build-up of nutrients during periods with low hydrologic activity, (2) flushing of readily available nutrient sources at the onset of the high flow period, followed by (3) a switch from transport to supply limitation, (4) the accessibility of new nutrient sources with increasing catchment wetness and hydrologic connectivity and (5) high nutrient spikes occurring when new sources become available that are easily mobilised with quickly re-established hydrologic connectivity. Diurnal variations that could be influenced by riverine processes and/or localised point sources were also identified as part of stage (1) and during late recession of some of

  15. 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 < 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Temporal and Spatial Variation in Tributary and Mainstem Suspended Sediment Fluxes in Big Creek, a Recently Burned Sub-Alpine Idaho Catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, E. J.; Crosby, B. T.; Olson, N. F.

    2008-12-01

    We analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of suspended sediment flux through the tributaries and mainstem of Big Creek, a 1445 km2 tributary to the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho. A series of fires of varying severity over the last 100 years have influenced the volume and timing of suspended sediment delivery. The persistence of elevated sediment delivery following forest fires exert direct pressure on aquatic ecosystems and affects the viability of floodplains and other riparian environments. During the Spring and Summer of 2008, we measured suspended sediment concentrations in 10 tributaries or various burn ages and within the mainstem. Roughly 3 catchments have experienced severe recent burns, 3 have had recent but less severe burns and 3 have not been burned in over 20 years. Samples from the mainstem were collected using both automated pump samplers and a tethered isokinetic suspended sediment sampler deployed from the Taylor Ranch Field Station Bridge. A hand held isokinetic sampler was used in tributaries. Isokinetic samples from the mainstem and tributaries were collected roughly every 3 days during stable weather and at higher frequency during large discharge events associated with spring runoff or late summer precipitation. The automated sampler collected samples from the mainstem 4 times a day to provide a more complete temporal record of the sediment flux. For the 246 water samples collected, we measured the mass of both organic and inorganic sediment. Stage height in the 10 tributaries and mainstem channel was measured continuously using pressure or radar sensors and calibrated to discharge using either an acoustic Doppler velocimeter or profiler depending on flow level. Temporal and spatial variations in sediment discharge are analyzed to reveal the dynamic dependence of sediment flux on season, storm severity and burn severity. Hysteresis in sediment flux within the mainstem and select tributaries is also analyzed with regard to storm and burn

  18. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei number concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Jurányi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS=0.12–1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.. In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using dry number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN number concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation.

    Despite the high average organic mass fraction (~45% in the fine mode, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA, AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used to determine particle hygroscopicity required for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  19. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurányi, Z.; Gysel, M.; Weingartner, E.; Decarlo, P. F.; Kammermann, L.; Baltensperger, U.

    2010-04-01

    Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS = 0.12-1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m asl.). In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS) and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP) in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation. Despite the high average organic mass fraction (45%) during the measurement campaign, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA), AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used as a chemical composition proxy for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  20. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Jurányi

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS = 0.12–1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m asl.. In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation.

    Despite the high average organic mass fraction (45% during the measurement campaign, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA, AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used as a chemical composition proxy for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  1. Measured and modelled cloud condensation nuclei number concentration at the high alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurányi, Z.; Gysel, M.; Weingartner, E.; Decarlo, P. F.; Kammermann, L.; Baltensperger, U.

    2010-08-01

    Atmospheric aerosol particles are able to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and are therefore important for the climate and the hydrological cycle, but their properties are not fully understood. Total CCN number concentrations at 10 different supersaturations in the range of SS=0.12-1.18% were measured in May 2008 at the remote high alpine research station, Jungfraujoch, Switzerland (3580 m a.s.l.). In this paper, we present a closure study between measured and predicted CCN number concentrations. CCN predictions were done using dry number size distribution (scanning particle mobility sizer, SMPS) and bulk chemical composition data (aerosol mass spectrometer, AMS, and multi-angle absorption photometer, MAAP) in a simplified Köhler theory. The predicted and the measured CCN number concentrations agree very well and are highly correlated. A sensitivity study showed that the temporal variability of the chemical composition at the Jungfraujoch can be neglected for a reliable CCN prediction, whereas it is important to know the mean chemical composition. The exact bias introduced by using a too low or too high hygroscopicity parameter for CCN prediction was further quantified and shown to be substantial for the lowest supersaturation. Despite the high average organic mass fraction (~45%) in the fine mode, there was no indication that the surface tension was substantially reduced at the point of CCN activation. A comparison between hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analyzer (HTDMA), AMS/MAAP, and CCN derived κ values showed that HTDMA measurements can be used to determine particle hygroscopicity required for CCN predictions if no suitable chemical composition data are available.

  2. High temporal resolution water chemistry information for catchment understanding and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaney, S. M.; Deasy, C.; Ockenden, M.; Perks, M.; Quinton, J.

    2013-12-01

    Many rivers and lakes are currently not meeting their full ecological potential due to environmental pressures including non-point source pollution from the catchment. These pressures include sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture and other sources. Each of these pollutants is transferred through the landscape with different hydrological processes and along different pathways. Therefore, to effectively select and spatially target mitigation actions in the landscape, an understanding of the dominant hydrological processes and dynamics which are causing the transfer of material is required. Recent advances in environmental monitoring have enabled the collection of new rich datasets with a high temporal sampling frequency. In the UK, these techniques have been implemented in the Defra Demonstration Test Catchments project and with Natural England for targeted site investigations. Measurements include weather, hydrological flows, sediment, oxygen isotopes, nitrogen and phosphorus from a combination of in-field labs, water chemistry sondes and storm samplers. The detailed time series data can then be analysed to give insights into catchment processes through the analysis of the measured process dynamics. For example, evidence of the transfer of material along surface (or pipe) flow paths can be found from the co-incident timing of the sediment and flow record, or the timing of temperature variations after a storm event can give insight into the contribution of shallow groundwater. Given this evidence of catchment hydrological dynamics it is possible to determine the probable pathways which are transferring pollutants and hence it is possible to select suitable mitigation options in the landscape to improve the river or lake. For example, evidence of a pollutant transfer occurring as shallow soil flows suggests that buffer strips would not be an effective solution since these measures intercept surface pathways. Information on catchment residence time not

  3. The origins of ice crystals measured in mixed phase clouds at High-Alpine site Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lloyd

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available During the winter of 2013 and 2014 measurements of cloud microphysical properties over a five week period at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch, Switzerland were carried out as part of the Cloud Aerosol Characterisation Experiments (CLACE and the Ice Nucleation Process Investigation and Quantification project (INUPIAQ Measurements of aerosol properties at a second, lower site, Schilthorn, Switzerland, were used as input for a primary ice nucleation scheme to predict ice nuclei concentrations at Jungfraujoch Frequent, rapid transitions in the ice and liquid properties of the clouds at Jungfraujoch were identified that led to large fluctuations in ice mass fractions over temporal scales of seconds to hours. During the measurement period we observed high concentrations of ice particles that exceeded 1000 L−1 at temperatures around −15 °C, verified by multiple instruments These concentrations could not be explained using the usual primary ice nucleation schemes, which predicted ice nucleus concentrations several orders of magnitude smaller than the peak ice crystal number concentrations. Secondary ice production through the Hallet–Mossop process as a possible explanation was ruled out, as the cloud was rarely within the active temperature range for this process It is shown that other mechanisms of secondary ice particle production cannot explain the highest ice particle concentrations. We describe 4 possible mechanisms that could lead to high cloud ice concentrations generated from the snow covered surfaces surrounding the measurement site. Of these we show that hoar frost crystals generated at the cloud enveloped snow surface could be the most important source of cloud ice concentrations Blowing snow was also observed to make significant contributions at higher wind speeds when ice crystal concentrations were −1.

  4. Mapping the Structure of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere System Under the Alpine Orogen with High-Resolution Teleseismic Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippitsch, R.; Kissling, E.; Ansorge, J.

    2001-12-01

    Understanding the evolution of the Alpine orogen and the interaction between different lithospheric blocks requires precise knowledge of the structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system. To assess the gross features of the uppermost mantel we perform high-resolution teleseismic tomography. The data base encompasses 5000 manually picked first P-arrivals from 220 teleseismic events with even azimuthal distribution recorded at permanent and temporary seismic networks in the greater Alpine area. The tomographic study consists of these components: (1) Corrections for the contribution of the Alpine crust to travel-times of incoming wave fields that may account for up to 50% of the observed travel-time residuals. The 3-D crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data represents the large-scale Alpine crustal structure which clearly reflects the effects of the African-European plate collision. (2) Tests with synthetic data document that the combination of non-linear inversions, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3-D crustal model allows reliable resolution of cells at 50km*50km*30km with a velocity variation in the order of +/- 3% in the upper mantle. (3) Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km reflecting the complex processes that formed the Alpine orogen when three different plates were amalgamated (European, Adriatic, and Ligurian plates). In the western Alps, the inversion results show a steep W-E dipping high-velocity anomaly which we interpret as the subducting European plate. In the eastern Alps we find high-velocity anomalies in a depth range of 150 km to 300 km beneath the axis of the orogen. At present, the relation of this material with European or Adriatic lithosphere remains unclear. Our results are in general agreement with earlier lithospheric studies. However, the increase in resolution illuminates significantly more complex lithospheric slab geometries, which

  5. Carbon budget estimation of a subarctic catchment using a dynamic ecosystem model at high spatial resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Miller, P. A.; Persson, A.; Olefeldt, D.; Pilesjo, P.; Heliasz, M.; Jackowicz-Korczynski, M.; Yang, Z.; Smith, B.; Callaghan, T. V.; Christensen, T. R.

    2015-05-01

    A large amount of organic carbon is stored in high-latitude soils. A substantial proportion of this carbon stock is vulnerable and may decompose rapidly due to temperature increases that are already greater than the global average. It is therefore crucial to quantify and understand carbon exchange between the atmosphere and subarctic/arctic ecosystems. In this paper, we combine an Arctic-enabled version of the process-based dynamic ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS (version LPJG-WHyMe-TFM) with comprehensive observations of terrestrial and aquatic carbon fluxes to simulate long-term carbon exchange in a subarctic catchment at 50 m resolution. Integrating the observed carbon fluxes from aquatic systems with the modeled terrestrial carbon fluxes across the whole catchment, we estimate that the area is a carbon sink at present and will become an even stronger carbon sink by 2080, which is mainly a result of a projected densification of birch forest and its encroachment into tundra heath. However, the magnitudes of the modeled sinks are very dependent on future atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Furthermore, comparisons of global warming potentials between two simulations with and without CO2 increase since 1960 reveal that the increased methane emission from the peatland could double the warming effects of the whole catchment by 2080 in the absence of CO2 fertilization of the vegetation. This is the first process-based model study of the temporal evolution of a catchment-level carbon budget at high spatial resolution, including both terrestrial and aquatic carbon. Though this study also highlights some limitations in modeling subarctic ecosystem responses to climate change, such as aquatic system flux dynamics, nutrient limitation, herbivory and other disturbances, and peatland expansion, our study provides one process-based approach to resolve the complexity of carbon cycling in subarctic ecosystems while simultaneously pointing out the key model developments for capturing

  6. The Structure of The Lithosphere-asthenosphere System Beneath The Alpine Orogen Derived From High-resolution Teleseismic Tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippitsch, R.; Kissling, E.; Ansorge, J.; Transalp Working Group

    In the tectonically complex Alpine region, three different plates (European, Adriatic, and Ligurian) amalgamated when the orogen was formed. To understand the evolution of this orogen and the interactions between the three lithospheric blocks, knowledge of the actual structure of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system is of great importance. To illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle we perform high-resolution tele- seismic tomography. Our data set consists of 4200 manually picked first P-arrivals from 220 teleseismic events with even azimuthal distribution recorded at permanent and temporary seismic networks in the greater Alpine area. In the first step of this study corrections are calculated for the contribution of the Alpine crust to travel-times of incoming wave fields that may account for up to 50% of the observed travel-time residuals. The 3D crustal model established from controlled-source seismology data represents the large-scale shallow Alpine structure which clearly reflects the effects of the Africa Europe plate collision. Tests with synthetic data document that the combi- nation of non-linear inversion, high-quality teleseismic data, and usage of an a priori 3D crustal model allows a reliable resolution of cells at 50km*50km*30km with a velocity variation in the order of +/- 3% in the upper mantle. Our tomographic images illuminate the structure of the uppermost mantle to depth of 400 km and reflect the cur- rent status of the complex processes that formed the Alpine orogen. Along strike of the Alps, the inversion reveals a fast, slab-like body beneath the orogen. We interpret this feature as the subducted mainly oceanic lithosphere, which is in many places still attached to continental European lower lithosphere. Down to 250 km depths, this slab seems to be rather thin (less than 80 km) and steeply dipping. It significantly broad- ens at greater depth. Our results are in general agreement with earlier tomographic studies. However, the increase

  7. THE ABUNDANCE, DIVERSITY AND METABOLIC FOOTPRINT OF SOIL NEMATODES IS HIGHEST IN HIGH ELEVATION ALPINE GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Kergunteuil

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes are key components of soil biodiversity and represent valuable bio-indicators of soil food webs. Numerous community indices have been developed in order to track variations in soil ecosystem processes, but their use is mainly restricted to anthropogenic stresses. In this study, we propose to expand the use of nematodes’ derived ecological indices in order to shed light on variations of soil food webs in natural systems distributed along elevation gradients. For this purpose, we aimed at determining how elevation affects the community structure and the trophic diversity by studying the abundance, the composition and the functional diversity of nematode communities. Nematode communities were sampled every 200 m across five transects that span about 2000 m in elevation in the Alps. To understand the underlying ecological parameters driving these patterns we studied both abiotic factors (soil properties and biotic factors (trophic links, relationships with plant diversity. We found that (1 nematode abundance increases with elevation of lowland forests and alpine meadows; (2 differences in nematodes communities rely on habitat-specific functional diversity (e.g. tolerance to harsh environments, colonizer/persister status while most trophic groups are ubiquitous; and (3 the metabolic footprint of the complete nematode community increases with elevation. We thus conclude that the contribution of soil dwelling nematodes to belowground ecosystem processes, including carbon and energy flow, is stronger at high elevation. The resulting cascading effects on the soil food web structure are discussed from an ecosystem functioning perspective. Overall, this study highlights the importance of nematodes in soil ecosystems and brings insights in their enhanced role along ecological gradients.

  8. Effects of redox fluctuations on microbial community ecology post-wildfire in a high elevation mixed-conifer catchment in northern New Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairbanks, D.; Green, K.; Murphy, M. A.; Shepard, C.; Chorover, J.; Rich, V. I.; Gallery, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires are increasing in size and severity across the western United States with impacts on regional biogeochemical cycling. The resiliency of resident soil microbial communities determines rates of nutrient transformations as well as forest structure and recovery. Redox conditions in soil determine metabolic activities of microorganisms, which first consume oxygen and a succession of alternative terminal electron acceptors to support growth and metabolism using a variety of carbon sources. Controls on redox zonation are largely unknown in dominantly oxic soils, and microbial community adaptation and response to fluctuations in redox potential in a sub-alpine forested post-disturbance catchment has not been studied. Previous work has shown that fluctuating or rising water tables result in redox-dynamic sites, which can be 'hot spots' of biogeochemical activity depending on landscape position. Fire-induced tree mortality results in altered hydrologic flow paths and decreased evapotranspiration, leading to potential for intensified hot spot activity. We are testing such coupling of microbial activity with fluctuations in redox status using field measurements and laboratory incubation experiments. The 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez River Basin (NM) Critical Zone Observatory provides a highly-contextualized opportunity to examine how disturbance regime affects changes in soil microbial community dynamics and fluctuations in reduction-oxidation potential (as quantified by continuous CZO measurements of O2, CO2 and Eh as a function of soil depth and landscape location). We hypothesize that areas of depositional convergence in the catchment, which have been shown to exhibit more reducing conditions, will host microbial communities that are better adapted to fluctuating redox conditions and exhibit a greater diversity in functional capabilities. In these mixed conifer forests we find shifts in redox potential status in relation to depth and topography where more

  9. Crossing historical and sedimentary archives to reconstruct an extreme flood event calendar in high alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, B.; Giguet-Covex, C.; Arnaud, F.; Allignol, F.; Legaz, A.; Melo, A.

    2010-09-01

    Torrential flood hazard is expected to increase in the context of global warming. However, long time-series of climate and gauge data at high-elevation sites are too sparse to assess reliably recurrence times of such events in high mountain areas. Historical documents are an alternative which provide valuable information. However, historic archives are by nature subjective and variable in quality owing to hazard perception and vulnerability according to the banks land-use throughout time. To overcome these limits, natural archives may be used as complementary records. Among the various natural archives lake sediments have the advantage to be continuous records in which particular events are preserved such as earthquakes and especially flood events. Furthermore an objective magnitude of these events can be assessed from the thickness of noteworthy event-triggered deposits. However if the recognition of major event-triggered deposits can be simple, a high-resolution dating of these events is more difficult over the historical period due to a lack of chronological markers. In this paper, we present a sediment record study of a French high alpine lake where an important effort was undertaken to date precisely 56 flood events over the last three centuries from the use of historical archives. The caesium and the lead were measured to detect the fallouts of the Chernobyl accident (1986), the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests (1955-1963) and the use of leaded gasoline which culminated in the 70's. In parallel local and regional historical archives were going through in order to correlate the thickest sediment deposits triggered by major floods and earthquakes with their potential triggering historic events. Thus we were able to associate 12 historic flood and 4 earthquake dates to particular sediment deposits. The resulting flood calendar is very well-constrained thanks to 19 chronological marks over the last 270 years, i.e. one mark by 14 years. This method permitted so

  10. Improving catchment scale water quality modelling with continuous high resolution monitoring of metals in runoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saari, Markus; Rossi, Pekka; Blomberg von der Geest, Kalle; Mäkinen, Ari; Postila, Heini; Marttila, Hannu

    2017-04-01

    High metal concentrations in natural waters is one of the key environmental and health problems globally. Continuous in-situ analysis of metals from runoff water is technically challenging but essential for the better understanding of processes which lead to pollutant transport. Currently, typical analytical methods for monitoring elements in liquids are off-line laboratory methods such as ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy) and ICP-MS (ICP combined with a mass spectrometer). Disadvantage of the both techniques is time consuming sample collection, preparation, and off-line analysis at laboratory conditions. Thus use of these techniques lack possibility for real-time monitoring of element transport. We combined a novel high resolution on-line metal concentration monitoring with catchment scale physical hydrological modelling in Mustijoki river in Southern Finland in order to study dynamics of processes and form a predictive warning system for leaching of metals. A novel on-line measurement technique based on micro plasma emission spectroscopy (MPES) is tested for on-line detection of selected elements (e.g. Na, Mg, Al, K, Ca, Fe, Ni, Cu, Cd and Pb) in runoff waters. The preliminary results indicate that MPES can sufficiently detect and monitor metal concentrations from river water. Water and Soil Assessment Tool (SWAT) catchment scale model was further calibrated with high resolution metal concentration data. We show that by combining high resolution monitoring and catchment scale physical based modelling, further process studies and creation of early warning systems, for example to optimization of drinking water uptake from rivers, can be achieved.

  11. Geometrical properties of a discontinuity network in gneissic rock, a case study in high alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppensteiner, Matthias; Zangerl, Christian

    2017-04-01

    For the purposes of estimating slope stability and investigating landslide formation processes, it is indispensable to obtain information about the discontinuity properties of the rock mass. These properties control failure processes, deformation behaviour and groundwater flow. Scanline measurements represent a systematic surveying method, however they make certain demands in case of natural outcorps in a high alpine terrain. The performance of the scanline method is tested and the thereby obtained and evaluated data is compared to findings from other studies. An area of a well exposed, fractured rock mass composed of granodioritic gneisses in the Oetztal-Stubai crytalline basement of the Alps (Austria) has been chosen to perform the investigations. Eight scanlines have been measured on a single hillside with varying lengths between 8 and 30 meters. The orientations of the scanlines have been varied in order to minimize the sampling bias associated with the angle between the scanlines and the intersected discontinuities. For every intersecting discontinuity at a certain tape length, the orientation, the trace length and the terminations of the trace have been recorded. Primarily, the discontinuity data from all scanlines have been analyzed with the software package Dips (Rocscience, 1989) in order to determine their allocation in sets. For the evaluation of the spacing and trace length properties, two scripts have been developed in the language Matlab (The MathWorks, 1984) to faciliate setwise processing of the entire dataset. Variation of the scanline directions and lengths returned homogeneous sample sizes for the individual discontinuity sets. Both, normal spacings and trace lengths show negative exponential distributions for all sets. A comparison of four different methods to estimate trace lengths show that the result is highly dependent on the chosen method itself. However, when the relation of the results for the respective sets within one of the methods is

  12. Influence of high resolution rainfall data on the hydrological response of urban flat catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristiano, Elena; ten Veldhuis, Marie-claire; van de Giesen, Nick

    2016-04-01

    In the last decades, cities have become more and more urbanized and population density in urban areas is increased. At the same time, due to the climate changes, rainfall events present higher intensity and shorter duration than in the past. The increase of imperviousness degree, due to urbanization, combined with short and intense rainfall events, determinates a fast hydrological response of the urban catchment and in some cases it can lead to flooding. Urban runoff processes are sensitive to rainfall spatial and temporal variability and, for this reason, high resolution rainfall data are required as input for the hydrological model. A better knowledge of the hydrological response of system can help to prevent damages caused by flooding. This study aims to evaluate the sensitivity of urban hydrological response to spatial and temporal rainfall variability in urban areas, focusing especially on understanding the hydrological behaviour in lowland areas. In flat systems, during intense rainfall events, the flow in the sewer network can be pressurized and it can change direction, depending on the setting of pumping stations and CSOs (combined sewer overflow). In many cases these systems are also looped and it means that the water can follow different paths, depending on the pipe filling process. For these reasons, hydrological response of flat and looped catchments is particularly complex and it can be difficult characterize and predict it. A new dual polarimetric X-band weather radar, able to measure rainfall with temporal resolution of 1 min and spatial resolution of 100mX100m, was recently installed in the city of Rotterdam (NL). With this instrument, high resolution rainfall data were measured and used, in this work, as input for the hydrodynamic model. High detailed, semi-distributed hydrodynamic models of some districts of Rotterdam were used to investigate the hydrological response of flat catchments to high resolution rainfall data. In particular, the

  13. The influence of environmental variables on the distribution of diatom communities in an alpine proglacial stream, Taillon-Babiétous catchment, french Pyrénées

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown, L. E.

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Algae are important components of stream ecosystems but their distribution in alpine streams has received little attention. We studied diatom communities within a small alpine glacierized catchment (Taillon-Gabiétous, French Pyrénées to explore longitudinal patterns in diatom genera and identify principal physicochemical habitat variables determining distributions. Diatoms, hydrochemical and physical habitat data were collected from four sites along the Taillon Glacier stream and one site on a groundwater fed tributary (Tourettes between July-August, 2002 (peak glacial melt. Diatom genera increased from three at the glacier snout to 13 approximately 1.2 km downstream, influenced predominantly by increased water temperature, channel stability and conductivity. Cymbella, Fragilaria and Navicula dominated at all sites. Cocconeis was relatively abundant in the Tourettes groundwater stream where higher water temperature may have enhanced colonisation.

    [fr]
    Bien que les algues soient d'importants composants des écosystèmes des eaux courantes, leur distribution dans les torrents de montagne a été peu étudiée. Nous avons étudié ici les communautés de Diatomées dans un petit bassin alpin soumis à l'influence glaciaire (Taillon-Gabiétous, Pyrénées françaises dans le but d'explorer les modèles de distribution longitudinale des genres de Diatomées et d'identifier les principaux paramètres physico-chimiques de l'habitat qui les conditionne. Aussi bien les Diatomées que les données hydrochimiques et physiques ont été échantillonnés en quatre points au long du ruisseau du glacier du Taillon et sur un autre point dans l'eau d'un ruisseau tributaire (Tourettes entre Juillet et Août 2002, précisément pendant la période de fusion maximale. Les genres de Diatomées augmentent depuis 3 au bord du glacier jusqu'à 13 à 1,2 km plus bas, grâce à l'augmentation de la température de l'eau, à sa

  14. Zonal characterization of hillslope erosion processes in a semi-arid high mountain catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Raquel; Millares, Agustín; Aguilar, Cristina; Moñino, Antonio; Ángel Losada, Miguel; José Polo, María

    2013-04-01

    Mediterranean and semi-arid catchments, generally suffer heterogeneous erosive processes at different spatio-temporal scales which produce, in a synergistic manner, a large amount of sediment supply. In mountainous catchments, the influence of pluvio-nival hydrological regime leads to a clear subdivision into homogeneous zones regarding the nature of hillslope processes. Here, a distinction could be addressed with 1) subsurface erosion due to saturated soil by intense snowmelt pulses and 2) steepest mid-mountain soil loss with rill/interrill, small-scale landslides and ephemeral or permanent gullying. Furthermore, the associated channels in these areas are formed by wide alluvial floodplains with important bedload contributions. This complexity conditions the evaluation of erosion and monitoring at catchment scale with elevated costs in time, devices and staff. The catchment of the Guadalfeo river encloses 1200 km², with important presence of snow in the summits height on its right margin, and semiarid low range hills with very erodible soils on its left margin. Gully erosion, landslides and stream bed-load processes, extremely actives in this area, are responsible of a real problem of soil loss and desertification with a high associated cost. This work suggests a methodology for the zonal assessment of different erosive processes taking into account the described heterogeneity and the reduction of research costs. To do this, high resolution bathymetric and topographic surveys supported in a reservoir (110 hm3) allowed the differentiation of bedload and suspended sediments as both are deposited in different locations and hence the validation of the hillslope sediment yield. In parallel, measurements in homogeneous areas were selected in order to obtain zonal results to achieve the representative processes involved. The use of portable samplers allows the remote changing of sampling routines, and thus to capture the temporal scale of the processes and the

  15. High-resolution seismic analysis of the coastal Mecklenburg Bay (North German Basin): the pre-Alpine evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zöllner, H.; Reicherter, K.; Schikowsky, P.

    2008-09-01

    The pre-Alpine structural and geological evolution in the northern part of the North German Basin have been revealed on the basis of a very dense reflection seismic profile grid. The study area is situated in the coastal Mecklenburg Bay (Germany), part of the southwestern Baltic Sea. From the central part of the North German Basin to the northern basin margin in the Grimmen High area a series of high-resolution maps show the evolution from the base Zechstein to the Lower Jurassic. We present a map of basement faults affecting the pre-Zechstein. The pre-Alpine structural evolution of the region has been determined from digital mapping of post-Permian key horizons traced on the processed seismic time sections. The geological evolution of the North German Basin can be separated into four distinct periods in the Rerik study area. During Late Permian and Early Triassic evaporites and clastics were deposited. Salt movement was initiated after the deposition of the Middle Triassic Muschelkalk. Salt pillows, which were previously unmapped in the study area, are responsible for the creation of smaller subsidence centers and angular unconformities in the Late Triassic Keuper, especially in the vicinity of the fault-bounded Grimmen High. In this area, partly Lower Jurassic sediments overlie the Keuper unconformably. The change from extension to compression in the regional stress field remobilized the salt, leading to a major unconformity marked at the base of the Late Cretaceous.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niemann, H.; Stadnitskaia, A.; Wirth, S.B.; Gilli, A.; Anselmetti, F.S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.S.; Schouten, S.; Hopmans, E.C.; Lehmann, M.F.

    2012-01-01

    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 te

  17. Effects of species-diverse high-alpine forage on in vitro ruminal fermentation when used as donor cow's feed or directly incubated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khiaosa-Ard, R; Soliva, C R; Kreuzer, M; Leiber, F

    2012-11-01

    Alpine forages are assumed to have specific effects on ruminal digestion when fed to cattle. These effects were investigated in an experiment from two perspectives, either by using such forages as a substrate for incubation or as feed for a rumen fluid donor cow. In total, six 24-h in vitro batch culture runs were performed. Rumen fluid was collected from a non-lactating donor cow after having grazed pastures at ∼2000 m above sea level for 2, 6 and 10 weeks. These 'alpine runs' were compared with three lowland samplings from before and 2 and 6 weeks after the alpine grazing where a silage-concentrate mix was fed. In each run, nine replicates of four forages each were incubated. These forages differed in type and origin (alpine hay, lowland ryegrass hay, grass-maize silage mix, pure hemicellulose) as well as in the content of nutrients. Concentrations of phenolic compounds in the incubated forages were (g/kg dry matter (DM)): 20 (tannin proportion: 0.47), 8 (0.27), 15 (0.52) and 0 (0), respectively. Crude protein was highest in the silage mix and lowest with hemicellulose, whereas the opposite was the case for fiber. The total phenol contents (g/kg DM) for the high altitude and the lowland diet of the donor cow were 27 (tannins: 0.50 of phenols) and 12 (0.27), respectively. Independent of the origin of the rumen fluid, the incubation with alpine hay decreased (P fermentation gas amount, volatile fatty acid (VFA) production as well as ammonia and methane concentrations in fermentation gas (the latter two being not lower when compared with hemicellulose). Alpine grazing of the cow in turn increased (P feeding. Further, alpine grazing decreased protozoal count (P type incubated and feeding period of the donor cow in protozoal counts, acetate:propionate ratio, fermentation gas production and its content of methane, in vitro organic matter digestibility and metabolizable energy. Although increased phenolic compounds were the most consistent common property of the

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Concentrations and fluxes of dissolved organic carbon in runoff from a forested catchment: insights from high frequency measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Strohmeier

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC in runoff from catchments are often subject to substantial short-term variations. The aim of this study was to identify the compartmental sources of DOC in a forested catchment and the causes for short-term variations in runoff. Furthermore, we investigated the implication of short-term variations for the calculation of annual runoff fluxes. High frequency measurements (30 min intervals of DOC in runoff, of discharge and groundwater table were conducted for one year in the 4.2 km2 forested Lehstenbach catchment, Germany. Riparian wetland soils represent about 30% of the catchment area. The quality of DOC was investigated by three dimensional fluorescence excitation-emission matrices in samples taken from runoff, deep groundwater and shallow groundwater from the riparian wetland soils. The concentrations of DOC in runoff were highly variable at an hourly to daily time scale, ranging from 2.6 mg L−1 to 34 mg L−1 with an annual average of 9.2 mg L−1. The concentrations were positively related to discharge, with a counter clockwise hysteresis. Relations of DOC to discharge were steeper and the degree of hysteresis larger in the summer/fall than in the winter/spring period. Dynamics of groundwater table, discharge, DOC concentrations and DOC quality parameters indicated that DOC in runoff originated mainly from the riparian wetland soils, both under low and high flow conditions. The annual export of DOC from the catchment was 84 kg C ha−1 yr−1 when calculated from the high frequency measurements. If the annual export was calculated by simulated samplings of >2 days intervals substantial deviations resulted.

    Predicted changes in precipitation and discharge patterns as well as generally increasing temperatures likely will cause raising DOC exports from this catchment.

  1. Tradeoffs for the implementation of a process-based catchment model in a poorly gauged, highly glacierized Himalayan headwater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Konz

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents a catchment modeling approach for remote glacierized Himalayan catchments. The distributed catchment model TACD, which is widely based on the HBV model, was further developed for the application in highly glacierized catchments on a daily timestep and applied to the Nepalese Himalayan headwater Langtang Khola (360 km2. Low laying reference stations are taken for temperature extrapolation applying a second order polynomial function. Probability based statistical methods enable bridging data gaps in daily precipitation time series and the redistribution of cumulated precipitation sums over the previous days. Snow and ice melt was calculated in a distributed way based on the temperature-index method employing calculated daily potential sunshine durations. Different melting conditions of snow and ice and melting of ice under debris layers were considered. The spatial delineation of hydrological response units was achieved by taking topographic and physiographic information from maps and satellite images into account, and enabled to incorporate process knowledge into the model. Simulation results demonstrated that the model is able to simulate daily discharge for a period of 10 years and point glacier mass balances observed in the research area with an adequate reliability. The simple but robust data pre-processing and modeling approach enables the determination of the components of the water balance of a remote, data scarce catchment with a minimum of input data.

  2. Molecular genetics and diversity of primary biogenic aerosol particles in urban, rural, and high-alpine air

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    V. Després

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available This study explores the applicability of molecular methods 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 aliquots 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 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 ~105 haploid human genomes.

    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 Basidiomycetes (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.

    Over 80% of the 53 bacterial sequences could be matched with about 40% of the 19 T-RF peaks (58

  3. 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

  4. Aerosol size distributions measured in urban, rural and high-alpine air with an electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Held, A.; Zerrath, A.; McKeon, U.; Fehrenbach, T.; Niessner, R.; Plass-Dülmer, C.; Kaminski, U.; Berresheim, H.; Pöschl, U.

    An electrical low pressure impactor (ELPI) was used to study atmospheric aerosol particle number, surface, and mass concentrations and size distributions over a diameter range of 7 nm-10 μm at urban, rural and high-alpine locations along an alpine altitude transect across Southern Germany. The measurements were performed in the city of Munich and at the global atmosphere watch (GAW) stations Hohenpeißenberg and Zugspitze in the years 2001-2004. To minimize particle bounce effects and enable chemical analysis of the collected particles without disturbance by grease on the impaction substrates, the sample flow was conditioned to about 75% relative humidity. The performance of the ELPI instrument was evaluated by comparison with well-established aerosol measurement techniques including condensation particle counters, scanning and differential mobility particle sizers, filter sampling, and gravimetric determination of particulate mass. In general, particle number concentrations, size distributions, and PM2.5 concentrations determined with the ELPI were in good agreement with alternative techniques (rank correlation coefficients ρ = 0.70-0.95). The ELPI filter stage data for the particle diameter range of 7-30 nm, however, appeared to be strongly biased towards high values. Long-term measurements at the rural site (Hohenpeißenberg) revealed distinct seasonal patterns with the highest number concentrations in summer (median daily average: 3100 cm -3) and the highest mass concentrations in spring and fall (median daily average PM2.5 and PM10: 21-25 and 27-35 μg m -3, respectively). In spring and fall we also observed pronounced maxima of particle surface and mass concentration in the coarse mode (peak at ˜3 μm), which are most likely due to primary biological material. Relatively clean air (PM10 urban air from Munich (NE) clearly contributed to elevated particle mass loadings (PM10 > = 10 μg m -3).

  5. Assessing the relative impact of urban expansion and climate change on high flows in a small catchment in Flanders (Belgium)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelmans, Lien; van Rompaey, Anton; Ntegeka, Victor; Willems, Patrick

    2010-05-01

    Flood risk is in Belgium, as well as in other European countries, of considerable importance because of the dense population and high industrialisation along the river banks. During the last decades it has become evident that global climate change has the potential to produce changes in the temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration and as a consequence will bring along changes in hydrological extremes (floods and low flows). In addition, land use change can significantly affect the catchment hydrology by altering several hydrological processes such as infiltration, evapotranspiration and surface runoff. Examining the sensitivity of hydrologic responses to these human-induced climate and land use changes is essential in order to formulate solid water management policies that effectively deal with the changing conditions. Hydrological models provide a framework for analysing the complex impacts on catchment hydrology. The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the relative impact of urban expansion and climate change on the catchment hydrology. The Molenbeek catchment (48 km²) in central Belgium is taken as an example application. The streamflow in the selected catchment was simulated by coupling a simplified runoff model (SRM) to a complex hydrodynamic model, implemented in the InfoWorks RS modelling system. The model was calibrated and validated using observed land cover maps of 1988 and 2000 and a 15-min series of water depths, measured at the catchment outlet. Preliminary results show that the calibrated model is able to predict both the peak flows and the total flow volumes relatively well for a selection of summer and winter rainfall events. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess possible future high flows in the catchment under different scenarios of urban expansion and climate change. In a first step, the impacts of climate change and urban expansion were evaluated separately. Next, the

  6. Geochemical responses of forested catchments to bark beetle infestation: Evidence from high frequency in-stream electrical conductivity monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Ye; Langhammer, Jakub; Jarsjö, Jerker

    2017-07-01

    Under the present conditions of climate warming, there has been an increased frequency of bark beetle-induced tree mortality in Asia, Europe, and North America. This study analyzed seven years of high frequency monitoring of in-stream electrical conductivity (EC), hydro-climatic conditions, and vegetation dynamics in four experimental catchments located in headwaters of the Sumava Mountains, Central Europe. The aim was to determine the effects of insect-induced forest disturbance on in-stream EC at multiple timescales, including annual and seasonal average conditions, daily variability, and responses to individual rainfall events. Results showed increased annual average in-stream EC values in the bark beetle-infected catchments, with particularly elevated EC values during baseflow conditions. This is likely caused by the cumulative loading of soil water and groundwater that discharge excess amounts of substances such as nitrogen and carbon, which are released via the decomposition of the needles, branches, and trunks of dead trees, into streams. Furthermore, we concluded that infestation-induced changes in event-scale dynamics may be largely responsible for the observed shifts in annual average conditions. For example, systematic EC differences between baseflow conditions and event flow conditions in relatively undisturbed catchments were essentially eliminated in catchments that were highly disturbed by bark beetles. These changes developed relatively rapidly after infestation and have long-lasting (decadal-scale) effects, implying that cumulative impacts of increasingly frequent bark beetle outbreaks may contribute to alterations of the hydrogeochemical conditions in more vulnerable mountain regions.

  7. High T-P frictional strength and stability of exhumed fault core gouges, Alpine Fault, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulton, C. J.; Moore, D. E.; Lockner, D. A.; Toy, V. G.; Townend, J.; Sutherland, R.

    2013-12-01

    Borehole temperature measurements acquired during the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1) reveal a high geothermal gradient at shallow depths on the central Alpine Fault, New Zealand [62.6×2.1°C/km; Sutherland et al., 2012]. To investigate how an elevated geothermal gradient might affect fault strength and stability, eighteen hydrothermal shearing experiments have been performed using samples of two fault gouges recovered from depths of 90 m and 128 m. Using a triaxial deformation apparatus, ten experiments were conducted following a lithostatic pressure gradient (average crustal density, ρ, = 2650 kg/m3), hydrostatic pore fluid pressure (pore fluid factor, λ, = 0.40), and a 35°C/km geothermal gradient. Six experiments were conducted at equivalent effective normal stresses with elevated temperatures, and two experiments were conducted at room temperature, σn'=31.2 MPa. Sliding velocities varied between 0.01 μm/s and 3 μm/s. The coefficient of friction of montmorillonite-bearing DFDP-1B brown gouge was observed to increase markedly with temperature and pressure (T=70°C to 210°C, σn'=31.2 MPa to 93.6 MPa), from μ=0.49 to μ=0.74; it also underwent a stability transition from positive to negative rate dependence at 140°C, σn'=62.4 MPa. The chlorite/white mica-bearing DFDP-1A blue gouge was frictionally strong (μ=0.61-0.76) across a range of experimental conditions (T=70°C to 350°C, σn'=31.2 MPa to 156 MPa) and underwent a stability transition from positive to negative rate dependence at 210°C, σn'≥31.2 MPa. To investigate the conditions necessary for shear failure to occur on a fault plane composed of the 1A blue gouge, the experimentally determined coefficient of friction (μ=0.70 at T=210°C and σn'=62.4 MPa to 93.6 MPa) was used with the seismologically determined stress tensor [Boese et al., 2012] in a three-dimensional analysis following the method of Leclère and Fabbri [2013]. A low stress ratio, (σ2-σ3)/(σ1-σ3)≤0.30, and/or pore

  8. Hydrogeology of an alpine rockfall aquifer system and its role in flood attenuation and maintaining baseflow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Lauber

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events in alpine regions is projected to increase with climate change. The goal of this study was to better understand the functioning of aquifers composed of complex alluvial and rockfall deposits in alpine valleys and to quantify the role of these natural storage spaces in flood attenuation and baseflow maintenance. Geomorphological and hydrogeological mapping, tracer tests, and continuous flow measurements were conducted in the Reintal valley (German Alps, where runoff from a karst spring infiltrates into a series of postglacial alluvial/rockfall aquifers. During high-flow conditions, groundwater velocities of 30 m h−1 were determined along 500 m; hydrograph analyses revealed short lag times (5 h between discharge peaks upstream and downstream from the aquifer series; the maximum discharge ratio downstream (22 and the peak recession coefficient (0.196 d−1 are low compared with other alpine catchments. During low-flow conditions, the underground flow path length increased to 2 km and groundwater velocities decreased to 13 m h−1. Downstream hydrographs revealed a delayed discharge response after 101 h and peaks dampened by a factor of 1.5. These results indicate that alluvial/rockfall aquifers might play an important role in the flow regime and attenuation of floods in alpine regions.

  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. Combining data sources to characterise climatic variability for hydrological modelling in high mountain catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, David; Fowler, Hayley; Bardossy, Andras; O'Donnell, Greg; Forsythe, Nathan

    2016-04-01

    Robust hydrological modelling of high mountain catchments to support water resources management depends critically on the accuracy of climatic input data. However, the hydroclimatological complexity and sparse measurement networks typically characteristic of these environments present significant challenges for determining the structure of spatial and temporal variability in key climatic variables. Focusing on the Upper Indus Basin (UIB), this research explores how different data sources can be combined in order to characterise climatic patterns and related uncertainties at the scales required in hydrological modelling. Analysis of local observations with respect to underlying climatic processes and variability is extended relative to previous studies in this region, which forms a basis for evaluating the domains of applicability and potential insights associated with selected remote sensing and reanalysis products. As part of this, the information content of recent high resolution simulations for understanding climatic patterns is assessed, with particular reference to the High Asia Refined Analysis (HAR). A strategy for integrating these different data sources to obtain plausible realisations of the distributed climatic fields needed for hydrological modelling is developed on the basis of this analysis, which provides a platform for exploring uncertainties arising from potential biases and other sources of error. The interaction between uncertainties in climatic input data and alternative approaches to process parameterisation in hydrological and cryospheric modelling is explored.

  11. The chemical signature of a livestock farming catchment: synthesis from a high-frequency multi-element long term monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Aubert

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the impact of human pressures on water quality is difficult. First, there is a high temporal and spatial variability of climate and human activity. Second, chemical elements have their own characteristics mixing short and long term dynamics. High frequency, long-term and multi-element measurements are required. But, such data series are scarce. This paper aims at determining what the hydro-chemical particularities of a livestock farming catchment are in a temperate climatic context.

    It is based on an original and never published time series, from Kervidy-Naizin headwater catchment. Stream chemistry was monitored daily and shallow groundwater roughly every four month, for 10 yr and five elements (nitrate, sulphate, chloride, and dissolved organic and inorganic carbon.

    The five elements present strong but different seasonal patterns. Nitrate and chloride present a seasonal flush, all along or at the beginning of the wet season, respectively. Sulphate, organic and inorganic carbon present storm flushes, with constant or decreasing peaks throughout the wet season. These depicted nitrate and chloride patterns are typical of a livestock farming catchment. There, nitrate and chloride coming from organic fertilisation have been accumulating over years in the shallow groundwater. They are seasonally flushed when the groundwater connects to the stream. Sulphate, organic and inorganic carbon patterns do not seem specific to agricultural catchments. These elements are produced each year and flushed by storms. Finally, a generic classification of temporal patterns and elements is established for agricultural catchments. It is based on the distance of the source component to the stream and the dominant controlling process (accumulation versus production. This classification could be applied to any chemical element and help assessing the level of water disturbances.

  12. Monitoring mountain lakes in a changing Alpine cryosphere: the Lago Nero project (Ticino, Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scapozza, Cristian; Bruder, Andreas; Domenici, Mattia; Lepori, Fabio; Pera, Sebastian; Pozzoni, Maurizio; Rioggi, Stefano; Colombo, Luca

    2017-04-01

    vegetation). First results suggest that Lago Nero is particularly sensitive to changes in the cryosphere, particularly concerning thickness of snow cover, snowmelt date and duration, and length of ice-free period of the lake surface. Probable storage of ground ice during the 1966-1985 period (deduced from the nearby Basòdino Glacier) and its significant melting in the last decades may explain the high amounts of sulphur measured in the outflow of the rock glacier. High levels of sulphur are likely to have ecological effects on the sensitive biota of the Lago Nero catchment, for instance by retarding the recovery from past acidification. REFERENCES Bruder A., Lepori F., Pozzoni M., Pera S., Scapozza C., Rioggi S., Domenici M. & Colombo L. (2016). Lago Nero - a new site to assess the effects of environmental change on high-alpine lakes and their catchments. In: S. Kleemola & M. Forsius (eds.), 25th Annual Report 2016. Convention on Long-range transboundary air pollution. Reports of the Finnish Environments Institute 29: 52-56. Scapozza C. & Mari S. (2010). Catasto, caratteristiche e dinamica dei rock glacier delle Alpi Ticinesi. Bollettino della Società ticinese di Scienze naturali 98: 15-29. [http://repository.supsi.ch/2152/

  13. 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.

  14. Chemical denudation rates of a small torrential catchment in the Northern Calcareous Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trost, Georg; Robl, Jörg; Hauzenberger, Christoph; Hilberg, Sylke; Schmidt, Rudolf

    2016-04-01

    Our understanding on the decay of alpine landscapes and the pace of landscape adjustment to climatic or tectonic changes rely on catchment wide erosion rates. In general, these data stem from cosmogenic isotope dating of quartz grains and are therefore only applicable at catchments providing suitable bedrock. However, denudation caused by the dissolution of rocks is not explicitly considered by this method. In the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) crystalline rocks are missing and intensive karstification suggests that chemical denudation is an important player for destroying topography. In this study we present chemical denudation rates derived from measuring the dissolved load of an alpine catchment located in the country of Salzburg, Austria. The catchment has a drainage area of about 7 km2 and is predominantly covered by limestone rich glacial deposits and carbonatic rocks as characteristic for the NCA. In order to obtain catchment wide chemical denudation rates we have integrated discharge time series that where measured by a permanent water gauge of the Austrian Service for Torrent and Avalanche Control to compute the total discharge of the investigated catchment over a period of one year. During the same period samples were taken at several campaigns to consider variations of the dissolved load. Samples were taken at high and low run-off conditions to study the effect of precipitation and at different locations along the tributaries to account for lithological variations of the river beds on the dissolved load. The concentrations of various cations in water samples were measured by the ICP-MS facility at the University of Graz. For the investigation period of one year 3.02 ∗ 106m3 of discharge was measured at the catchment outlet. The summed cation-concentration is varying between about 85 mg/l for dry-conditions and 75 mg/l for rainy-conditions at the gauge and consists predominantly of Ca+ cations. Based on the total discharge of the river integrated over a

  15. 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

  16. Rainfall intensity–duration thresholds for bedload transport initiation in small Alpine watersheds

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    A. Badoux

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Although channel discharge represents one of the primary controls of bedload transport rates in mountain streams, it is rarely measured in small, steep catchments. Thus, it is often impossible to use it as a predictor of hazardous bedload events. In this study, the characteristics of rainfall events leading to bedload transport were investigated in five small Alpine catchments located in different geographical and morphological regions of Switzerland, Italy and France. Using rainfall data at high temporal resolution, a total of 370 rainfall events were identified that led to abundant sediment transport in the different catchments, and corresponding threshold lines were defined using a power law in intensity–duration space. Even though considerable differences in the distribution of the rainfall data were identified between catchments located in various regions, the determined threshold lines show rather similar characteristics.

    Such threshold lines indicate critical conditions for bedload transport initiation, but rainfall events that do not cause transport activity (so called no-bedload events can still plot above them. With 0.67 overall in the Erlenbach (Swiss Prealps and 0.90 for long-duration, low-intensity rainfall, the false alarm rate is considerable. However, for short-duration, high-intensity events, it is substantially smaller (0.33 and comparable to values determined in previous studies on the triggering of Alpine debris flows. Our results support the applicability of a traditional, generalized threshold for prediction or warning purposes during high-intensity rainfall. Such (often convective rainfall events are unfortunately (i difficult to measure, even by dense rain gauge networks, and (ii difficult to accurately predict, both due to their small spatial and temporal scales. Still, for the protection of human life (e.g. along transportation infrastructure such as roads and railway automated alerts based on power law

  17. Radar rainfall estimates in an alpine environment using inverse hydrological modelling

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    A. Marx

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The quality of hydrological modelling is limited due to the restricted availability of high resolution temporal and spatial input data such as temperature, global radiation, and precipitation. Radar-based rain measurements provide good spatial information. On the other hand, using radar data is accompanied by basic difficulties such as clutter, shielding, variations of Z/R-relationships, beam-resolution and attenuation. Instead of accounting for all errors involved separately, a robust Z/R-relationship is estimated in this study for the short range (up to 40 km distance using inverse hydrological modelling for a continuous period of three months in summer 2001. River gauge measurements from catchment sizes around 100 km2 are used to estimate areal precipitation and finally Z/R-relationships using a calibrated hydrological model. The study is performed in the alpine Ammer catchment with very short reaction times of the river gauges to rainfall events.

  18. Ecology and life history affect different aspects of the population structure of 27 high-alpine plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirmans, Patrick G; Goudet, Jerome; Gaggiotti, Oscar E

    2011-08-01

    A plant species' genetic population structure is the result of a complex combination of its life history, ecological preferences, position in the ecosystem and historical factors. As a result, many different statistical methods exist that measure different aspects of species' genetic structure. However, little is known about how these methods are interrelated and how they are related to a species' ecology and life history. In this study, we used the IntraBioDiv amplified fragment length polymorphisms data set from 27 high-alpine species to calculate eight genetic summary statistics that we jointly correlate to a set of six ecological and life-history traits. We found that there is a large amount of redundancy among the calculated summary statistics and that there is a significant association with the matrix of species traits. In a multivariate analysis, two main aspects of population structure were visible among the 27 species. The first aspect is related to the species' dispersal capacities and the second is most likely related to the species' postglacial recolonization of the Alps. Furthermore, we found that some summary statistics, most importantly Mantel's r and Jost's D, show different behaviour than expected based on theory. We therefore advise caution in drawing too strong conclusions from these statistics.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  1. Mountain substitutability and peak load pricing of high alpine peaks as a management tool to reduce environmental damage: a contingent valuation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loomis, John B; Keske, Catherine M

    2009-04-01

    High alpine peaks throughout the world are under increasing environmental pressure from hikers, trekkers, and climbers. Colorado's "Fourteeners", peaks with summits above 14,000 feet are no exception. Most of these peaks have no entrance fees, and reach ecological and social carrying capacity on weekends. This paper illustrates how a series of dichotomous choice contingent valuation questions can be used to evaluate substitutability between different alpine peaks and quantify the price responsiveness to an entrance fee. Using this approach, we find that peak load pricing would decrease use of popular Fourteeners in Colorado by 22%. This reduction is due almost entirely to substitution, rather than income effects. There is also price inelastic demand, as 60% of the hikers find no substitution for their specific Fourteener at the varying cost increases posed in the survey. The no substitute group has a mean net benefit of $294 per hiker, per trip, considerably higher than visitor net benefits in most recreational use studies.

  2. Vertical distribution of the alpine lepidoptera in the Carpathians and in the Balkan peninsula in relation to the zonation of the vegetation

    OpenAIRE

    Varga, Z. S.; Varga-Sipos, J. I.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution of arctic-alpine, alpine and Balkanic oreal species is discussed in connection with the vertical zonation of the vegetation, climatic conditions, substrate, type of alpine vegetation and co-occurrences of related species. Arctic-alpine species have mostly a Eurasian distribution and occur in the Arctic and in the alpine and subnival zones of the Central and Southern European high mountains with expressed glacial morphology and alpine vegetation. Alpine species are mo...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Tautges, C.; Eichler, A.; Schwikowski, M.; Pezzatti, G. B.; Conedera, M.; Hoffmann, T.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. Rainfall–Runoff Simulations to Assess the Potential of SuDS for Mitigating Flooding in Highly Urbanized Catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Jato-Espino

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS constitute an alternative to conventional drainage when managing stormwater in cities, reducing the impact of urbanization by decreasing the amount of runoff generated by a rainfall event. This paper shows the potential benefits of installing different types of SuDS in preventing flooding in comparison with the common urban drainage strategies consisting of sewer networks of manholes and pipes. The impact of these systems on urban water was studied using Geographic Information Systems (GIS, which are useful tools when both delineating catchments and parameterizing the elements that define a stormwater drainage system. Taking these GIS-based data as inputs, a series of rainfall–runoff simulations were run in a real catchment located in the city of Donostia (Northern Spain using stormwater computer models, in order to compare the flow rates and depths produced by a design storm before and after installing SuDS. The proposed methodology overcomes the lack of precision found in former GIS-based stormwater approaches when dealing with the modeling of highly urbanized catchments, while the results demonstrated the usefulness of these systems in reducing the volume of water generated after a rainfall event and their ability to prevent localized flooding and surcharges along the sewer network.

  5. Rainfall-Runoff Simulations to Assess the Potential of SuDS for Mitigating Flooding in Highly Urbanized Catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jato-Espino, Daniel; Charlesworth, Susanne M; Bayon, Joseba R; Warwick, Frank

    2016-01-21

    Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) constitute an alternative to conventional drainage when managing stormwater in cities, reducing the impact of urbanization by decreasing the amount of runoff generated by a rainfall event. This paper shows the potential benefits of installing different types of SuDS in preventing flooding in comparison with the common urban drainage strategies consisting of sewer networks of manholes and pipes. The impact of these systems on urban water was studied using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are useful tools when both delineating catchments and parameterizing the elements that define a stormwater drainage system. Taking these GIS-based data as inputs, a series of rainfall-runoff simulations were run in a real catchment located in the city of Donostia (Northern Spain) using stormwater computer models, in order to compare the flow rates and depths produced by a design storm before and after installing SuDS. The proposed methodology overcomes the lack of precision found in former GIS-based stormwater approaches when dealing with the modeling of highly urbanized catchments, while the results demonstrated the usefulness of these systems in reducing the volume of water generated after a rainfall event and their ability to prevent localized flooding and surcharges along the sewer network.

  6. Rainfall–Runoff Simulations to Assess the Potential of SuDS for Mitigating Flooding in Highly Urbanized Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jato-Espino, Daniel; Charlesworth, Susanne M.; Bayon, Joseba R.; Warwick, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) constitute an alternative to conventional drainage when managing stormwater in cities, reducing the impact of urbanization by decreasing the amount of runoff generated by a rainfall event. This paper shows the potential benefits of installing different types of SuDS in preventing flooding in comparison with the common urban drainage strategies consisting of sewer networks of manholes and pipes. The impact of these systems on urban water was studied using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are useful tools when both delineating catchments and parameterizing the elements that define a stormwater drainage system. Taking these GIS-based data as inputs, a series of rainfall–runoff simulations were run in a real catchment located in the city of Donostia (Northern Spain) using stormwater computer models, in order to compare the flow rates and depths produced by a design storm before and after installing SuDS. The proposed methodology overcomes the lack of precision found in former GIS-based stormwater approaches when dealing with the modeling of highly urbanized catchments, while the results demonstrated the usefulness of these systems in reducing the volume of water generated after a rainfall event and their ability to prevent localized flooding and surcharges along the sewer network. PMID:26805864

  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. Estimation of background CO2 concentrations at the high alpine station Schneefernerhaus by atmospheric observations and inverse modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giemsa, Esther; Jacobeit, Jucundus; Ries, Ludwig; Frank, Gabriele; Hachinger, Stephan; Meyer-Arnek, Julian

    2016-04-01

    In order to estimate the influence of Central European CO2 emissions, a new method to retrieve background concentrations based on statistics of radon-222 and backward trajectories is developed and applied to the CO2 observations at the alpine high-altitude research station Schneefernerhaus (2670 m a.s.l.). The reliable identification of baseline conditions is important for perceiving changes in time as well as in the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and thereby assessing the efficiency of existing mitigation strategies. In the particular case of Central Europe, the analysis of background concentrations could add further insights on the question why background CO2 concentrations increased in the last few decades, despite a significant decrease in the reported emissions. Ongoing effort to define the baseline conditions has led to a variety of data selection techniques. In this diversity of data filtering concepts, a relatively recent data selection method effectively appropriates observations of radon-222 to reliably and unambiguously identify baseline air masses. Owing to its relatively constant emission rate from the ice-free land surface and its half-life of 3.8 days that is solely achieved through radioactive decay, the tropospheric background concentration of the inert radioactive gas is low and temporal variations caused by changes in atmospheric transport are precisely detectable. For defining the baseline air masses reaching the high alpine research station Schneefernerhaus, an objective analysis approach is applied to the two-hourly radon records. The CO2 values of days by the radon method associated with prevailing atmospheric background conditions result in the CO2 concentrations representing the least land influenced air masses. Additionally, three-dimensional back-trajectories were retrieved using the Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Model (LPDM) FLEXPART driven by analysis fields of the Global Forecast System (GFS) produced by the National Centers

  10. Climate change and probabilistic scenario of streamflow extremes in an alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tao; Wang, Xiaoyan; Yu, Zhongbo; Krysanova, Valentina; Chen, Xi; Schwartz, Franklin W.; Sudicky, Edward A.

    2014-07-01

    Future projections of streamflow extremes are of paramount significance in assessing the climate impacts on social and natural systems, particularly for the Himalayan alpine region in the Tibetan Plateau known as the Asian water tower. This study strives to quantify the uncertainties from different sources in simulating future extreme flows and seeks to construct reliable scenarios of future extreme flows for the headwater catchment of the Yellow River Basin in the 21st century. The results can be formulated as follows: (1) The revised snow model based on a daily active temperature method is superior to the commonly used degree-day method in simulating snowmelt processes. (2) In general, hydrological models contribute more uncertainties than the downscaling methods in high flow and low flow over the cryospheric alpine regions characterized by the snow-rainfall-induced runoff processes under most scenarios. Meanwhile, impacts to uncertainty vary with time. (3) The ultimate probability of high flow exhibits a downward trend in future by using an unconditional method, whereas positive changes in the probability of low flow are projected. The method in the work includes a variety of influence from different contributing factors (e.g., downscaling models, hydrological models, model parameters, and their simulation skills) on streamflow projection, therefore can offer more information (i.e., different percentiles of flow and uncertainty ranges) for future water resource planning compared with the purely deterministic approaches. Hence, the results are beneficial to boost our current methodologies of climate impact research in the Himalayan alpine zone.

  11. Climate change and probabilistic scenario of streamflow extremes in a cryospheric alpine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tao; Gao, Cheng

    2015-04-01

    Future projections of streamflow extremes are of paramount significance in assessing the climate impacts on social and natural systems, particularly for the Himalayan alpine region in the Tibetan Plateau known as the Asian Water Tower. This study strives to quantify the uncertainties from different sources in simulating future extreme flows and seeks to construct reliable scenarios of future extreme flows for the headwater catchment of the Yellow River Basin in the 21st century. The results can be formulated as follows: (1) The revised snow model based on a daily active temperature method is superior to the commonly used degree-day method in simulating snowmelt processes. (2) In general, hydrological models contribute more uncertainties than the downscaling methods in high flow and low flow over the cryospheric alpine regions characterized by the snow-rainfall induced runoff processes under most scenarios. Meanwhile, impacts to uncertainty vary with time. (3) The ultimate probability of high-flow exhibits a downward trend in future by using an unconditional method, whereas positive changes in probability of low-flow are projected. The method in the work includes a variety of influence from different contributing factors (e.g. downscaling models, hydrological models, model parameters, and their simulation skills) on streamflow projection, therefore can offer more information (i.e. different percentiles of flow and uncertainty ranges) for future water resources planning compared with the purely deterministic approaches. Hence, the results are beneficial to boost our current methodologies of climate impact research in the Himalayan alpine zone.

  12. The Alps 2: Controls on crustal subduction and (ultra)high-pressure rock exhumation in Alpine-type orogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Jared P.; Beaumont, Christopher; Jamieson, Rebecca A.

    2014-07-01

    Building on our previous results, we use 2-D upper mantle-scale thermomechanical numerical models to explore key controls on the evolution of Alpine-type orogens and the Alps per se, focusing on (ultra)high-pressure ((U)HP) metamorphic rocks. The models show that UHP rocks form and exhume by burial and subsequent buoyant ascent of continental crust in the subduction conduit. Here we test the sensitivity of the models to surface erosion rate, crustal heat production, plate convergence/divergence rates, geometry of the subducting continental margin, and strength of the retrocontinent. Surface erosion affects crustal exhumation but not early buoyant exhumation. Metamorphic temperatures increase with crustal radioactive heat production. Maximum burial depth prior to exhumation increases with plate convergence rates, but exhumation rates are only weakly dependent on subduction rates. Onset of absolute plate divergence does not trigger exhumation in these models. We conclude that contrasting peak pressures, exhumation rates, and volumes of (U)HP crust exhumed in the Alps orogen primarily reflect along-strike contrasts in the geometry, thermal structure, and/or strength of the subducting microcontinent (Briançonnais) and continental (European margin) crust. The experiments also support the interpretation that the Western Alps (U)HP Internal Crystalline Massifs exhumed as composite, stacked plumes and that these plumes drove local crustal extension during orogen-scale shortening. For weak upper plate retrocrusts, postexhumation retrothrusting forms a retrowedge. Overall, these results are consistent with predictions using the exhumation number (ratio of buoyancy to side traction forces in the conduit), which expresses the combined parameter control of the depth/volume of crustal subduction and the transition to buoyant exhumation.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available The chemical composition of submicron (fine mode and supermicron (coarse mode aerosol particles has been investigated since 1999 within the GAW aerosol monitoring program at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m a.s.l., Switzerland. Clear seasonality was observed for all major components in the last 9 years 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 experiments in March 2004, February–March 2005 and August 2005. Ionic, carbonaceous and 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 in winter (February–March 2005 was found. Organics, sulfate, ammonium, and nitrate were the major identified components of the fine aerosol fraction, while calcium and nitrate were the two major measured components in the coarse mode. The aerosol mass concentrations for fine and coarse mode aerosol 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.

  15. Hydrological modelling of alpine headwaters using centurial glacier evolution, snow and long-term discharge dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Irene; Vis, Marc; Freudiger, Daphné; Seibert, Jan; Weiler, Markus; Stahl, Kerstin

    2016-04-01

    The response of alpine streamflows to long-term climate variations is highly relevant for the supply of water to adjacent lowlands. A key challenge in modelling high-elevation catchments is the complexity and spatial variability of processes, whereas data availability is rather often poor, restricting options for model calibration and validation. Glaciers represent a long-term storage component that changes over long time-scales and thus introduces additional calibration parameters into the modelling challenge. The presented study aimed to model daily streamflow as well as the contributions of ice and snow melt for all 49 of the River Rhine's glaciated headwater catchments over the long time-period from 1901 to 2006. To constrain the models we used multiple data sources and developed an adapted modelling framework based on an extended version of the HBV model that also includes a time-variable glacier change model and a conceptual representation of snow redistribution. In this study constraints were applied in several ways. A water balance approach was applied to correct precipitation input in order to avoid calibration of precipitation; glacier area change from maps and satellite products and information on snow depth and snow covered area were used for the calibration of each catchment model; and finally, specific seasonal and dynamic aspects of discharge were used for calibration. Additional data like glacier mass balances were used to evaluate the model in selected catchments. The modelling experiment showed that the long-term development of the coupled glacier and streamflow change was particularly important to constrain the model through an objective function incorporating three benchmarks of glacier retreat during the 20th Century. Modelling using only streamflow as calibration criteria had resulted in disproportionate under and over estimation of glacier retreat, even though the simulated and observed streamflow agreed well. Also, even short discharge time

  16. Understanding and improving mitigation strategies for reducing catchment scale nutrient loads using high resolution observations and uncertainty analysis approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, A.; Lloyd, C.; Freer, J. E.; Johnes, P.; Stirling, M.

    2012-12-01

    One of the biggest challenges in catchment water quality management is tackling the problem of reducing water pollution from agriculture whilst ensuring food security nationally. Improvements to catchment management plans are needed if we are to enhance biodiversity and maintain good ecological status in freshwater ecosystems, while producing enough food to support a growing global population. In order to plan for a more sustainable and secure future, research needs to quantify the uncertainties and understand the complexities in the source-mobilisation-delivery-impact continuum of pollution and nutrients at all scales. In the UK the Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) project has been set up to improve water quality specifically from diffuse pollution from agriculture by enhanced high resolution monitoring and targeted mitigation experiments. The DTC project aims to detect shifts in the baseline trend of the most ecologically-significant pollutants resulting from targeted on-farm measures at field to farm scales and assessing their effects on ecosystem function. The DTC programme involves three catchments across the UK that are indicative of three different typologies and land uses. This paper will focus on the Hampshire Avon DTC, where a total of 12 parameters are monitored by bank-side stations at two sampling sites, including flow, turbidity, phosphate and nitrate concentrations at 30 min resolution. This monitoring is supported by daily resolution sampling at 5 other sites and storm sampling at all locations. Part of the DTC project aims to understand how observations of water quality within river systems at different temporal resolutions and types of monitoring strategies enable us to understand and detect changes over and above the natural variability. Baseline monitoring is currently underway and early results show that high-resolution data is essential at this sub-catchment scale to understand important process dynamics. This is critical if we are to design

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

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    N. Mladenov

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

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    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.

  1. 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

  2. ALPINE3D: a detailed model of mountain surface processes and its application to snow hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehning, Michael; Völksch, Ingo; Gustafsson, David; Nguyen, Tuan Anh; Stähli, Manfred; Zappa, Massimiliano

    2006-06-01

    Current models of snow cover distribution, soil moisture, surface runoff and river discharge typically have very simple parameterizations of surface processes, such as degree-day factors or single-layer snow cover representation. For the purpose of reproducing catchment runoff, simple snowmelt routines have proven to be accurate, provided that they are carefully calibrated specifically for the catchment they are applied to. The use of more detailed models is, however, useful to understand and quantify the role of individual surface processes for catchment hydrology, snow cover status and soil moisture distribution.We introduce ALPINE3D, a model for the high-resolution simulation of alpine surface processes, in particular snow processes. The model can be driven by measurements from automatic weather stations or by meteorological model outputs. As a preprocessing alternative, specific high-resolution meteorological fields can be created by running a meteorological model. The core three-dimensional ALPINE3D modules consist of a radiation balance model (which uses a view-factor approach and includes shortwave scattering and longwave emission from terrain and tall vegetation) and a drifting snow model solving a diffusion equation for suspended snow and a saltation transport equation. The processes in the atmosphere are thus treated in three dimensions and are coupled to a distributed (in the hydrological sense of having a spatial representation of the catchment properties) one-dimensional model of vegetation, snow and soil (SNOWPACK) using the assumption that lateral exchange is small in these media. The model is completed by a conceptual runoff module. The model can be run with a choice of modules, thus generating more or less detailed surface forcing data as input for runoff generation simulations. The model modules can be run in a parallel (distributed) mode using a GRID infrastructure to allow computationally demanding tasks. In a case study from the Dischma Valley

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

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    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

  4. Bed load size distribution and flow conditions in a high mountain catchment of Central Pyrenees

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    Martínez-Castroviejo, Ricardo

    1990-06-01

    Full Text Available The bed load size distribution caused by different types of flow are compared in a high mountain catchment located in the upper Gallego river basin (Central Spanish’ Pyrenees. Three kinds of hydrologic events could be defined: those triggered by heavy autumn rainfalls, those originated by isolated summer rainstorms and those promoted by snowmelting. Each one is characterized by a peculiar bed load size distribution. Thus, it could be demonstrated that the coarser fractions, above 30 mm in diameter, are up to six times more abundant, in percentage of total weight, in transports caused by heavy rainfalls than in the material collected after snowmelt flows. In its turn, bed load mobilized by snowmelt flows is mainly composed by medium and fine gravel, from 2 to 8 mm. These may amount up to 60 % of total weight of bed load. The reasons for these so different size distributions are discussed.

    [es] En una cuenca de alta montaña localizada en el alto valle del río Gallego (Pirineo central se comparan las distribuciones por tamaños de los acarreos movilizados por diferentes tipos de caudal. Tres tipos de eventos hidrológicos han podido ser caracterizados: los ocasionados por intensas lluvias de otoño, los originados por tormentas estivales aisladas y los producidos por la fusión de la nieve acumulada durante el invierno. Se concluye que cada uno de ellos lleva asociada una distribución por tamaños típica de la carga de fondo. Así, se ha comprobado que las fracciones más gruesas consideradas -superiores a los 30 mm de diámetro- son hasta seis veces más abundantes -en porcentaje sobre el peso total- en las exportaciones causadas por lluvias de gran intensidad que en las generadas por caudales de fusión. A su vez, las descargas ocasionadas por la fusión arrastran principalmente gravas de calibre medio y fino -entre 2y8 mm- que llegan a suponer el 60 % en peso del volumen movilizado. Este artículo discute las razones que provocan

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

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    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.

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

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    Chris J Brauer

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The Aiguille du Midi (Mont Blanc massif): a unique high-Alpine site to study bedrock permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deline, P.; Coviello, V.; Cremonese, E.; Gruber, S.; Krautblatter, M.; Malet, S. Jaillet (1), E.; Morra di Cella, U.; Noetzli, J.; Pogliotti, P.; Verleysdonk, S.

    2009-04-01

    Permafrost and its change in steep high-Alpine rock walls remain insufficiently understood because of the difficulties of in situ measurements. A large proportion of permafrost studies is mainly based on modelling, with a few existing instrumented sites and a resulting lack of process understanding. Yet, a number of rockfalls that occurred in the last decade in the Alps are likely related to climatically-driven permafrost degradation, as indicated by ice in starting zones, increased air temperature, and modelling studies. Starting off in the framework of the French-Italian PERMAdataROC project and presently under development within the EU co-funded project PermaNET (Permafrost long-term monitoring network: www.permanet-alpinespace.eu), our investigations at the Aiguille du Midi begin in 2005. The summit (3842 m a.s.l) is accessible from Chamonix by a cable car which was built at the end of the 1950s. Half a million tourists visit the site each year. Because of its elevation, geometry, and year-round accessibility to rock slopes of diverse aspects and to galleries, the site was chosen for: - Monitoring of the thermal regime in steep rock walls. Thermistors were installed at depths of 2, 10, 30 and 55 cm, at all aspects and with slope angles in the range 60-90° (determining e.g. the presence and influence of snow). - Measurements of high altitude climatic data (air temperature and humidity, incoming and outgoing solar radiation, wind speed and direction) perpendicular to the rockwall surface, by movable automatic weather stations. Together with the rock temperature measurements, these data (see Morra et al., poster in session CR4.1) can be used for physically-based model validation (see Pogliotti et al., oral presentation in session CR4.1) or statistical models construction of rock temperature distribution and variability in the rock walls. - Making a 3D-high-resolution DEM by long-range (rock walls) and short-range (galleries) terrestrial laser scanning

  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. Stability of alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Huakun; ZHOU Li; ZHAO Xinquan; LIU Wei; LI Yingnian; GU Song; ZHOU Xinmin

    2006-01-01

    The meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is considered to be sensitive to climate change. An understanding of the alpine meadow ecosystem is therefore important for predicting the response of ecosystems to climate change. In this study, we use the coefficients of variation (Cv) and stability (E) obtained from the Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station to characterize the ecosystem stability. The results suggest that the net primary production of the alpine meadow ecosystem was more stable (Cv = 13.18%) than annual precipitation (Cv = 16.55%) and annual mean air temperature (Cv = 28.82%). The net primary production was insensitive to either the precipitation (E = 0.0782) or air temperature (E = 0.1113). In summary, the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau is much stable. Comparison of alpine meadow ecosystem stability with other five natural grassland ecosystems in Israel and southern African indicates that the alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is the most stable ecosystem. The alpine meadow ecosystem with relatively simple structure has high stability, which indicates that community stability is not only correlated with biodiversity and community complicity but also with environmental stability. An average oscillation cycles of 3―4 years existed in annual precipitation, annual mean air temperature, net primary production and the population size of consumers at the Haibei natural ecosystem. The high stability of the alpine meadow ecosystem may be resulting also from the adaptation of the ecosystem to the alpine environment.

  11. Tropical high-altitude Andean lakes located above the tree line attenuate UV-A radiation more strongly than typical temperate alpine lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilera, Ximena; Lazzaro, Xavier; Coronel, Jorge S

    2013-09-01

    Tropical high-altitude Andean lakes are physically harsh ecosystems. Located above the treeline (≥4000 m a.s.l.), they share common features with temperate alpine lakes, which impose extreme conditions on their aquatic organisms: e.g., strong winds, broad diel variations in water temperature, and intense solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). However, because of their latitude, they differ in two major ecological characteristics: they lack ice cover during the winter and they do not present summer water column stratification. We sampled 26 tropical high-altitude Andean lakes from three regions of the Bolivian Eastern Andes Cordillera during the wet period (austral summer). We performed an ordination to better describe the typology of Andean lakes in relation to the environmental variables, and we assessed the relationships among them, focussing on the UV-A transparency (360 nm) throughout the water column. We found a positive correlation between UV-A transparency calculated as Z(1%) (the depth which reaches 1% of the surface UV-A), the lake maximum depth and Secchi transparency (r = 0.61). Z(1%) of UV-A was smaller in shallow lakes than in deep lakes, indicating that shallow lakes are less transparent to UV-A than deep lakes. We hypothesize that, compared to shallow lakes, deep lakes (maximum depth > 10 m) may have lower dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations (that absorb UV radiation) due to lower temperature and reduced macrophyte cover. Based on our data, tropical high-altitude Andean lakes are less transparent to UV-A (K(d) range = 1.4-11.0 m(-1); Z(1%) depth range = 0.4-3.2 m) than typical temperate alpine lakes (1-6 m(-1), 3-45 m, respectively). Moreover, they differ in vertical profiles of UV-A, chlorophyll-a, and temperature, suggesting that they may have a distinct ecological functioning. Such peculiarities justify treating tropical high-altitude Andean lakes as a separate category of alpine lakes. Tropical high-altitude Andean lakes have been poorly

  12. 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

  13. Estimating subsurface water volumes and transit times in Hokkaido river catchments, Japan, using high-accuracy tritium analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusyev, Maksym; Yamazaki, Yusuke; Morgenstern, Uwe; Stewart, Mike; Kashiwaya, Kazuhisa; Hirai, Yasuyuki; Kuribayashi, Daisuke; Sawano, Hisaya

    2015-04-01

    The goal of this study is to estimate subsurface water transit times and volumes in headwater catchments of Hokkaido, Japan, using the New Zealand high-accuracy tritium analysis technique. Transit time provides insights into the subsurface water storage and therefore provides a robust and quick approach to quantifying the subsurface groundwater volume. Our method is based on tritium measurements in river water. Tritium is a component of meteoric water, decays with a half-life of 12.32 years, and is inert in the subsurface after the water enters the groundwater system. Therefore, tritium is ideally suited for characterization of the catchment's responses and can provide information on mean water transit times up to 200 years. Only in recent years has it become possible to use tritium for dating of stream and river water, due to the fading impact of the bomb-tritium from thermo-nuclear weapons testing, and due to improved measurement accuracy for the extremely low natural tritium concentrations. Transit time of the water discharge is one of the most crucial parameters for understanding the response of catchments and estimating subsurface water volume. While many tritium transit time studies have been conducted in New Zealand, only a limited number of tritium studies have been conducted in Japan. In addition, the meteorological, orographic and geological conditions of Hokkaido Island are similar to those in parts of New Zealand, allowing for comparison between these regions. In 2014, three field trips were conducted in Hokkaido in June, July and October to sample river water at river gauging stations operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). These stations have altitudes between 36 m and 860 m MSL and drainage areas between 45 and 377 km2. Each sampled point is located upstream of MLIT dams, with hourly measurements of precipitation and river water levels enabling us to distinguish between the snow melt and baseflow contributions

  14. Critical Loads of Heavy Metals in a Highly Polluted Catchment Area in Egypt

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ahmed A. Melegy; T. Paces

    2004-01-01

    Heavy metals in different environmental compartments can be hazardous to ecosystems. Budgets of Cd, Pb and Zn in small ecosystems of the Shubra El-Kheima area in Egypt are presented. The budgets are not in steady state because they change with time. So the concentrations of the metals are a function of time. The critical loads of heavy metals to soils can be calculated from an inventory of inputs and outputs of the trace components in the catchment area. Critical time is an important parameter for critical load evaluation because it can indicate which of the heavy metals may be the most acute threat to the soils. Egyptian soil in the Shubra El-Kheima area seems to be in danger of heavy metal pollution by Zn, Cd and Pb. The calculated critical loads and their exceedances are approximate indicators of the hazards in the soil system. The critical time is a warning signal to initiate an environmental evaluation of possible pollution hazards.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Unusual phenolic compounds contribute to ecophysiological performance in the purple-colored green alga zygogonium ericetorum (zygnematophyceae, streptophyta) from a high-alpine habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aigner, Siegfried; Remias, Daniel; Karsten, Ulf; Holzinger, Andreas

    2013-08-01

    The filamentous green alga Zygogonium ericetorum (Zygnematophyceae, Streptophyta) was collected in a high-alpine rivulet in Tyrol, Austria. Two different morphotypes of this alga were found: a purple morph with a visible purple vacuolar content and a green morph lacking this coloration. These morphotypes were compared with respect to their secondary metabolites, ultrastructure, and ecophysiological properties. Colorimetric tests with aqueous extracts of the purple morph indicated the presence of soluble compounds such as phenolics and hydrolyzable tannins. High-performance liquid chromatography-screening showed that Z. ericetorum contained several large phenolic peaks with absorption maxima at ∼280 nm and sometimes with minor maxima at ∼380 nm. Such compounds are uncommon for freshwater green microalgae, and could contribute to protect the organism against increased UV and visible (VIS) irradiation. The purple Z. ericetorum contained larger amounts (per dry weight) of the putative phenolic substances than the green morph; exposure to irradiation may be a key factor for accumulation of these phenolic compounds. Transmission electron microscopy of the purple morph showed massive vacuolization with homogenous medium electron-dense content in the cell periphery, which possibly contains the secondary compounds. In contrast, the green morph had smaller, electron-translucent vacuoles. The ecophysiological data on photosynthesis and desiccation tolerance indicated that increasing photon fluence densities led to much higher relative electron transport rates (rETR) in the purple than in the green morph. These data suggest that the secondary metabolites in the purple morph are important for light acclimation in high-alpine habitats. However, the green morph recovered better after 4 d of rehydration following desiccation stress.

  19. 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.

  20. Alpine Groundwater - Pristine Aquifers Under Threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, P.; Lange, A.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier and permafrost retreat are prominent climate change indicators. However, the characteristics of climate and hydrology in mountain areas remain poorly understood relative to lowland areas. Specifically, not much is known about alpine groundwater, its recharge and water quality variations, as these remote reservoirs are rarely monitored. As global temperatures rise, glaciers and permafrost will continue to retreat forming new sediment deposits and changing infiltration conditions in high alpine terrain. Climate change impacts the hydro-chemical composition of alpine waters, accelerates weathering processes, and potentially triggers mobilization of pollutants. Accordingly, we monitored groundwater quantity and quality parameters of an alpine porous aquifer near the Tiefenbach glacier in the Gotthard Massif in Switzerland. The goal of this research was to assess quality and seasonal storage dynamics of groundwater above the timberline (2000 m). To translate hydrological science into an ecosystem service context, we focused on four attributes: Water quantity: observations of groundwater level fluctuations combined with analysis of contributing water sources based on stable isotope analysis to give a quantitative understanding of origin and amount of water, Water quality: groundwater level, groundwater temperature and electrical conductivity were used as proxies for sampling of hydro-chemical parameters with automated water samplers during primary groundwater recharge periods (snowmelt and rainfall events), Location: Alpine terrain above the timberline, especially recharge into/out of an alpine porous aquifer at a pro-glacial floodplain and Date of annual melt (albedo effect) and timing of flow (snow- and icemelt from May to September) and groundwater recharge during the growing season. The study found that the summer groundwater temperatures depend on the date of annual melt and are more sensitive to climate forcing than lowland groundwater temperatures

  1. Preliminary results for potential climatic signals in dD of wood lignin methoxyl groups from high-elevation alpine larch trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichelmann, Dana F. C.; Greule, Markus; Esper, Jan; Keppler, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Tree-rings of high alpine larch trees (Larix decidua) were investigated using a recently established method that measures dD values of the wood lignin methoxyl groups (Greule et al. 2008). The resulting dD time series were tested for their potential to preserve climatic signals. 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 dD of the wood lignin methoxyl groups (dDmethoxyl) were measured at annual resolution from 1971-2009 and at pentadal resolution from 1781-2009. The inter-series correlation of the five annually resolved dDmethoxyl series is 0.53 (p Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 22(24): 3983-3988.

  2. Modelling high-resolution snow cover precipitation supply for German river catchments with SNOW 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, Uwe; Reich, Thomas; Schneider, Gerold; Fiedler, Anett

    2013-04-01

    Formation of snow cover causes a delayed response of surface to precipitation. Both melting of snow and release of liquid water retained within the snow cover form precipitation supply which contributes to runoff and infiltration. The model SNOW 4 is developed to simulate snow cover accumulation and depletion and the resulting precipitation supply on a regular grid. The core of the model is formed by a set of equations which describe the snow cover energy and mass balance. The snow surface energy balance is calculated as a result of the radiation balance and the heat fluxes between atmosphere, soil and snow cover. The available melting heat enters the mass balance computation part of the model and melting of snow or freezing of liquid water within the snow layer takes place depending on its sign. Retention, aging and snow cover regeneration are taken into consideration. The model runs operationally 4 times a day and provides both a snow cover and precipitation supply analysis for the last 30 hours and a forecast for up to 72 hours. For the 30-hour analysis, regionalised observations are used both to define the initial state and force the model. Hourly measurements of air temperature, water vapour pressure, wind speed, global radiation or sunshine duration and precipitation are interpolated to the model grid. For the forecast period, SNOW 4 obtains the required input data from the operational products of the COSMO-EU weather forecast model. The size of a grid box is 1km2. The model area covers a region of 1100x1000km2 and includes the catchments of the German rivers completely. The internal time step is set to 1 hour. Once a day, the compliance between model and regionalized snow cover data is assessed. If discrepancies exceed certain thresholds, the model must be adjusted by a weighted approach towards the observations. The model simulations are updated every six hours based on the most recent observations and weather forecasts. The model works operationally since

  3. 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

  4. Long-term, high-frequency water quality monitoring in an agricultural catchment: insights from spectral analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubert, Alice; Kirchner, James; Faucheux, Mikael; Merot, Philippe; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    measurements. At higher frequencies, however, the spectra steepen to a slope of -2, indicating that at sub-daily time scales the concentration time series become relatively smooth. However, at time scales shorter than 2-3 hours, the spectra flatten to a slope near zero (white noise), reflecting analytical noise in the measurement probe. This result demonstrates that measuring water quality dynamics at high frequencies also requires high measurement precision, because as measurements are taken closer and closer together in time, the real-world differences that must be measured between adjacent measurements become smaller and smaller. Our results highlight the importance of quantifying the spectral properties of analytical noise in environmental measurements, to identify frequency ranges where measurements could be dominated by analytical noise instead of real-world signals. 1. Kirchner, J.W., Feng, X., Neal, C., Robson, A.J., 2004. The fine structure of water-quality dynamics: the (high-frequency) wave of the future. Hydrological Processes, 18(7): 1353-1359 2. Aubert, A.H. et al., 2012. The chemical signature of a livestock farming catchment: synthesis from a high-frequency multi-element long term monitoring. HESSD, 9(8): 9715 - 9741 3. Kirchner, J.W. and Neal, C., 2013. Universal fractal scaling in water quality dynamics across the periodic table. Manuscript in review.

  5. High-frequency monitoring of nitrogen and phosphorus response in three rural catchments to the end of the 2011-2012 drought in England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Outram, F. N.; Lloyd, C. E. M.; Jonczyk, J.; Benskin, C. McW. H.; Grant, F.; Perks, M. T.; Deasy, C.; Burke, S. P.; Collins, A. L.; Freer, J.; Haygarth, P. M.; Hiscock, K. M.; Johnes, P. J.; Lovett, A. L.

    2014-09-01

    This paper uses high-frequency bankside measurements from three catchments selected as part of the UK government-funded Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project. We compare the hydrological and hydrochemical patterns during the water year 2011-2012 from the Wylye tributary of the River Avon with mixed land use, the Blackwater tributary of the River Wensum with arable land use and the Newby Beck tributary of the River Eden with grassland land use. The beginning of the hydrological year was unusually dry and all three catchments were in states of drought. A sudden change to a wet summer occurred in April 2012 when a heavy rainfall event affected all three catchments. The year-long time series and the individual storm responses captured by in situ nutrient measurements of nitrate and phosphorus (total phosphorus and total reactive phosphorus) concentrations at each site reveal different pollutant sources and pathways operating in each catchment. Large storm-induced nutrient transfers of nitrogen and or phosphorus to each stream were recorded at all three sites during the late April rainfall event. Hysteresis loops suggested transport-limited delivery of nitrate in the Blackwater and of total phosphorus in the Wylye and Newby Beck, which was thought to be exacerbated by the dry antecedent conditions prior to the storm. The high rate of nutrient transport in each system highlights the scale of the challenges faced by environmental managers when designing mitigation measures to reduce the flux of nutrients to rivers from diffuse agricultural sources. It also highlights the scale of the challenge in adapting to future extreme weather events under a changing climate.

  6. High-resolution monitoring of stormwater quality in an urbanising catchment in the United Kingdom during the 2013/2014 winter storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrane, S. J.; Hutchins, M. G.; Kjeldsen, T. R.; Miller, J. D.; Bussi, G.; Loewenthal, M.

    2015-12-01

    Urban areas are widely recognised as a key source of contaminants entering our freshwater systems, yet in spite of this, our understanding of stormwater quality dynamics remains limited. The development of in-situ, high-resolution monitoring equipment has revolutionised our capability to capture flow and water quality data at a sub-hourly resolution, enabling us to potentially enhance our understanding of hydrochemical variations from contrasting landscapes during storm events. During the winter of 2013/2014, the United Kingdom experienced a succession of intense storm events, where the south of the country experienced 200% of the average rainfall, resulting in widespread flooding across the Thames basin. We applied high-frequency (15 minute resolution) water quality monitoring across ten contrasting subcatchments (including rural, urban and mixed land-use catchments), seeking to classify the disparity in water quality conditions both within- and between events. Rural catchments increasingly behave like "urban" catchments as soils wet up and become increasingly responsive to subsequent events, however water quality response during the winter months remains limited. By contrast, increasingly urban catchments yield greater contaminant loads during events, and pre-event baseline chemistry highlights a resupply source in dense urban catchments. Wastewater treatment plants were shown to dominate baseline chemistry during low-flow events but also yield a considerable impact on stormwater outputs during peak-flow events, as hydraulic push results in the outflow of untreated solid wastes into the river system. Results are discussed in the context of water quality policy; urban growth scenarios and BMP for stormwater runoff in contrasting landscapes.

  7. The importance of snowmelt spatiotemporal variability for isotope-based hydrograph separation in a high-elevation catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmieder, Jan; Hanzer, Florian; Marke, Thomas; Garvelmann, Jakob; Warscher, Michael; Kunstmann, Harald; Strasser, Ulrich

    2016-12-01

    Seasonal snow cover is an important temporary water storage in high-elevation regions. Especially in remote areas, the available data are often insufficient to accurately quantify snowmelt contributions to streamflow. The limited knowledge about the spatiotemporal variability of the snowmelt isotopic composition, as well as pronounced spatial variation in snowmelt rates, leads to high uncertainties in applying the isotope-based hydrograph separation method. The stable isotopic signatures of snowmelt water samples collected during two spring 2014 snowmelt events at a north- and a south-facing slope were volume weighted with snowmelt rates derived from a distributed physics-based snow model in order to transfer the measured plot-scale isotopic composition of snowmelt to the catchment scale. The observed δ18O values and modeled snowmelt rates showed distinct inter- and intra-event variations, as well as marked differences between north- and south-facing slopes. Accounting for these differences, two-component isotopic hydrograph separation revealed snowmelt contributions to streamflow of 35 ± 3 and 75 ± 14 % for the early and peak melt season, respectively. These values differed from those determined by formerly used weighting methods (e.g., using observed plot-scale melt rates) or considering either the north- or south-facing slope by up to 5 and 15 %, respectively.

  8. Soil Microbial Nitrogen Cycling Responses to Wildfire in a High Elevation Forested Catchment in Jemez Mountains, NM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, M. A.; Fairbanks, D.; Chorover, J.; Rich, V. I.; Gallery, R. E.; Boyer, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial communities mediate major ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, and their recovery after disturbances plays a substantial role in overall ecosystem recovery and resilience. Disturbances directly shift microbial communities and their related processes, and the severity of impact typically varies significantly with landscape position, depth, and hydrological conditions such that different conditions indicate that a specific process will be dominant. Wildfires in the southwest US are a major source of landscape-scale disturbance, and are predicted to continue increasing in size and intensity under climate change. This study investigates changing nitrogen cycling across a post-wildfire catchment within the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory. This site experienced a mixed (intermediate to high) burn severity wildfire in June 2013. Nitrogen cycling was investigated by profiling via qPCR the abundance of five key genes involved in microbial nitrogen cycling (nifH, amoA, nirS, nirK, nosZ), at points along and within the catchment. These results are being analyzed in the context of broader microbial community data (enzyme assays, microbial cell counts and biomass, and 16S rRNA gene amplicons surveys) and biogeochemical data (total organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH, graviametric water content, etc). W 22 sites along the sides of the basin (planar zones) and within the hollow (convergent zone) were sampled at 13 days, one, and two years post-fire, at six discrete depth increments from 0 to 40 cm from the surface. We attribute significance of variation in gene abundance in planar versus convergent zones, and among depths, to the strong correlation of nitrogen cycling processes (i.e., nitrification and denitrification) with specific C:N ratios, total organic carbon content, and other biogeochemical and soil edaphic parameters that vary with landscape position and wildfire. Data were also interrogated for evidence of multi-year patterns in nutrient

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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......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...

  10. 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

  11. Long-term effects of high nitrogen loads on cation and carbon riverine export in agricultural catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquilina, Luc; Poszwa, Anne; Walter, Christian; Vergnaud, Virginie; Pierson-Wickmann, Anne-Catherine; Ruiz, Laurent

    2012-09-01

    The intensification of agriculture in recent decades has resulted in extremely high nitrogen inputs to ecosystems. One effect has been H(+) release through NH(4)(+) oxidation in soils, which increases rock weathering and leads to acidification processes such as base-cation leaching from the soil exchange complex. This study investigated the evolution of cation concentrations over the past 50 years in rivers from the Armorican crystalline shield (Brittany, western France). On a regional scale, acidification has resulted in increased base-cation riverine exports (Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Na(+), K(+)) correlated with the increased NO(3)(-) concentration. The estimated cation increase is 0.7 mmol(+)/L for Ca(2+) + Mg(2+) and 0.85 mmol(+)/L for total cations. According to mass balance, cation loss represents >30% of the base-cation exchange capacity of soils. Long-term acidification thus contributes to a decline in soil productivity. Estimates of the total organic nitrogen annually produced worldwide indicate that acidification may also constitute an additional carbon source in crystalline catchments if compensated by liming practices.

  12. Origin and temporal variability of unusually low δ13C-DOC values in two High Arctic catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindshaw, R. S.; Lang, S. Q.; Bernasconi, S. M.; Heaton, T. H. E.; Lindsay, M. R.; Boyd, E. S.

    2016-04-01

    The stable carbon isotopic composition of dissolved organic matter (δ13C-DOC) reveals information about its source and extent of biological processing. Here we report the lowest δ13C-DOC values (-43.8‰) measured to date in surface waters. The streams were located in the High Arctic, a region currently experiencing rapid changes in climate and carbon cycling. Based on the widespread occurrence of methane cycling in permafrost regions and the detection of the pmoA gene, a proxy for aerobic methanotrophs, we conclude that the low δ13C-DOC values are due to organic matter partially derived from methanotrophs consuming biologically produced, 13C-depleted methane. These findings demonstrate the significant impact that biological activity has on the stream water chemistry exported from permafrost and glaciated environments in the Arctic. Given that the catchments studied here are representative of larger areas of the Arctic, occurrences of low δ13C-DOC values may be more widespread than previously recognized, with implications for understanding C cycling in these environments.

  13. Effects of climate change on three flow regime-related ecosystem services in a highly-regulated Alpine river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolli, Mauro; Zolezzi, Guido; Geneletti, Davide; Majone, Bruno; Bellin, Alberto

    2016-04-01

    River systems provide several flow regime-related ecosystem services (ES) to society. The flow regime of several Alpine rivers is often regulated by hydropower production, which represents one of the most relevant ES in the area. Climate change is expected to modify the flow regime of rivers, with possible relevant consequences on the suitability of related ES. In this work we applied an approach aimed at evaluating the variations of ES under different flow regime conditions and consequently, the possibility to quantify the effects of different climate change scenarios on river ecosystem services. The case-study is the Noce River, a gravel-bed river in the Italian Alps (Trentino, North East Italy) which hydrological regime is subject to daily alterations of flow regime (hydropeaking) induced by the management of large hydropower plants. Here we considered three ES indicators: habitat for adult marble trout as representative for habitat provisioning service, rafting for recreational services, and small hydropower production as provisioning service. In particular, we evaluated the daily variations of these indicators under three different operating scenarios: a reference scenarios (REF, from 1970 to 2000) and two future scenarios (from 2040 to 2070), with (FUT) and without (FUT CC) the inclusion of the required minimum environmental flow (minimum vital flow) recently implemented in the regional water resources policy. For each scenario, four climate models have been applied (see Majone et al., 2016). Future scenarios indicate a modification of the flow regime, with a direct effect on the suitability of related ES. The effects on ES differ according with climate models and management scenarios: as a general result and considering the comparison with respect to the reference period, the applied models predict a temporal shift from late to early summer in the rafting suitability, a decrease of the suitability for trout in spring months and an increase of the suitability

  14. 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

  15. Modeling of debris flow depositional patterns according to the catchment and sediment source area characteristics

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    A method to predict the most probable flow rheology in Alpine debris flows is presented. The methods classifies outcropping rock masses in catchments on the basis of the type of resulting unconsolidated deposits. The grain size distribution of the debris material and the depositional style of past debris flow events are related to the dominant flow processes: viscoplastic and frictional/collisional. Three catchments in the upper Susa Valley (Western Alps), characterized by different lithologi...

  16. 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

    2010-01-01

    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, R2 = 0.86; p < 0.01), but inconsistently correlated over time, indicating seasonal and interannual variability in external factors and a differential response of 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. PMID:20582227

  17. 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

  18. High frequency turbidity as a proxy for total phosphorus: application in a mixed land use catchment in Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lannergård, Emma; Ledesma, José L. J.; Fölster, Jens; Futter, Martyn N.

    2017-04-01

    Surface water eutrophication resulting from excessive phosphorus (P) input is one of the most challenging water issues of today. Total phosphorus (TP) concentrations have high temporal variability, which makes the parameter hard to monitor adequately. We explored the possibility of using high frequency turbidity as a proxy for TP in Sävjaån, a stream in a mixed land use catchment in Sweden. An in situ sensor (YSI 600OMS VS) monitoring turbidity every 10th minute, was situated close to the outlet of Sävjaån during 2014 and 2015. In situ and grab sample turbidity measurements were highly correlated (linear regression, r2=0.90). The maximum turbidity concentration measured by the sensor was at most 13 times higher than the highest concentration from the grab samples. The average turbidity concentration from the two methods was close to similar, as well as the Ecological Quality Ratios (EQR) calculated from the two data sets. The correlation between TP and high frequency turbidity was very high (r2=0.79) and between TSS and turbidity high (r2=0.67). When comparing load estimations from the high frequency data with monthly grab sampling and linear interpolation, the high frequency load was 7 % smaller in 2014 and 17 % larger in 2015. In 2014 the monthly grab sampling caught peaks in TP concentration, which with linear interpolation affected the nearby months and furthermore the yearly load. However, in 2015 peaks in concentration were overlooked when using grab sampling, which gave a larger yearly load when using the high frequency data. Season and flow intensity may affect the relationship between turbidity and TP, however this could not be statistically proven in this study. The proxy relationship could also result in uncertainties tied to unexplained diurnal variations of turbidity, proportion particulate bound P or hysteresis. Uncertainties arising from the use of sensors (e.g. sensor calibration and spatial representation) must as well be recognized. To

  19. Permafrost aggradation in recently deglaciated alpine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leopold, Matthias; Dusik, Jana; Stocker-Waldhuber, Martin; Völkel, Jörg; Becht, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Permafrost degradation is of major interest in the present discussion about alpine climate change and natural hazard prevention. Glacial retreat since the Little Ice Age (LIA) is followed by destabilisation of the surrounding mountains due to melting permafrost in bedrock and sediments. Glacial retreat also exposes huge areas of lateral and ground moraines. Areas of formerly temperate glaciers experience colder temperatures only since their ice cover has melted and basal meltwater no longer heats the ground. With a huge pore volume in the sediment body, water supply during the melt season and large daily temperature variations in high mountains, distinct freeze and thaw processes start and generate periglacial forms like patterned ground in the direct glacier forefield. Those geomorphic features are precursors for possible permafrost aggradation in proglacial areas. The work presented is part of the joint project PROSA (High-resolution measurements of morphodynamics in rapidly changing PROglacial Systems of the Alps) that aims in the quantification of a sediment budget for the upper Kaunertal valley, Austrian Central Alps. In this sense and to find out about erosion causing prerequisites and processes, permafrost and ground ice occurrence, as well as sediment thickness is measured by i.a. application of geophysical measurements, multitemporal airborne and terrestrial LiDAR, as well as aerial photographs. In this case study we examine the spatial and temporal settings for permafrost aggradation in a recently deglaciated cirque, belonging to the catchment area of the Gepatschferner glacier using electric resistivity tomography (ERT) and basal temperature of the winterly snowcover (BTS) measurements to detect the state of the permafrost, multitemporal aerial photographs dating back to 1953 to reproduce recent deglaciation of the cirque and multitemporal airborne LiDAR data to gain information about surface elevation changes. The northeast facing cirque is situated in

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Post 17th-century changes of European PAH emissions recorded in high-altitude Alpine snow and ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrieli, Jacopo; Vallelonga, Paul; Cozzi, Giulio; Gabrielli, Paolo; Gambaro, Andrea; Sigl, Michael; Decet, Fabio; Schwikowski, Margit; Gäggeler, Heinz; Boutron, Claude; Cescon, Paolo; Barbante, Carlo

    2010-05-01

    The occurrence of organic pollutants in European Alpine snow/ice has been reconstructed over the past three centuries using a new online extraction method for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) followed by liquid chromatographic determination. The meltwater flow from a continuous ice core melting system was split into two aliquots, with one aliquot directed to an inductively coupled plasma quadrupole mass spectrometer for continuous trace elements determinations and the second introduced into a solid phase C18 (SPE) cartridge for semicontinuous PAH extraction. The depth resolution for PAH extractions ranged from 40 to 70 cm, and corresponds to 0.7-5 years per sample. The concentrations of 11 PAH were determined in dated snow/ice samples to reconstruct the atmospheric concentration of these compounds in Europe for the last 300 years. The PAH pattern is dominated by phenanthrene (Phe), fluoranthene (Fla), and pyrene (Pyr), which represent 60-80% of the total PAH mass. Before 1875 the sum of PAH concentration (SigmaPAH) was very low with total mean concentrations less than 2 ng/kg and 0.08 ng/kg for the heavier compounds (SigmaPAH*, more than four aromatic rings). During the first phase of the industrial revolution (1770-1830) the PAH deposition showed a weak increase which became much greater from the start of the second phase of the industrial revolution at the end of 19th Century. In the 1920s, economic recession in Europe decreased PAH emissions until the 1930s when they increased again and reached a maximum concentration of 32 ng/kg from 1945 to 1955. From 1955 to 1975 the PAH concentrations decreased significantly, reflecting improvements in emission controls especially from major point sources, while from 1975 to 2003 they rose to levels equivalent to those in 1910. The Fla/(Fla+Pyr) ratio is often used for source assignment and here indicates an increase in the relative contribution of gasoline and diesel combustion with respect to coal and wood burning

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2007-09-01

    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 of high chronic N

  5. Coupled prediction of flash flood response and debris flow occurrence in an alpine basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amponsah, William

    2015-04-01

    Coupled prediction of flash flood response and debris flow occurrence in an alpine basin Author(s): William Amponsah1, E.I. Nikolopoulos2, Lorenzo Marchi1, Roberto Dinale4, Francesco Marra3,Davide Zoccatelli2 , Marco Borga2 Affiliation(s): 1CNR - IRPI, Corso Stati Uniti 4, 35127, Padova, ITALY, 2Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova,VialeDell'Università 16, 35020, Legnaro PD, ITALY 3Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL 4Ufficio Idrografico, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy This contribution examines the main hydrologic and morphologic metrics responsible for widespread triggering of debris-flows associated with flash flood occurrences in headwater alpine catchments.To achieve this objective, we investigate the precipitation forcing, hydrologic responses and landslides and debris-flow occurrences that prevailed during the August 4-5, 2012 extreme flash flood on the 140 km2 Vizze basin in the Eastern Alps of Italy. An intensive post-event survey was carried out a few days after the flood. This included the surveys of cross-sectional geometry and flood marks for the estimation of the peak discharges at multiple river sections and of the initiation and deposition areas of several debris flows. Rainfall estimates are based on careful analysis of weather radar observations and raingauge data. These data and observations permitted the implementation and calibration of a spatially distributed hydrological model, which was used to derive simulated flood hydrographs in 58 tributaries of the Vizze basin. Of these, 33 generated debris-flows, with area ranging from 0.02 km2 to 10 km2, with an average of 1.5 km2. With 130 mm peak event rainfall and a duration of 4 hours (with a max intensity of 90 mm h-1 for 10 min), model-simulated unit peak discharges range from 4 m3 s-1 km-2for elementary catchments up to 10 km2 to 2 m3 s-1 km-2 for catchments in the range of 50 - 100 km2. These are very high

  6. Debris flows and cosmogenic catchment wide denudation rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kober, F.; Hippe, K.; Salcher, B.; Ivy-Ochs, S.; Kubik, P. W.; Christl, M.; Wacker, L.

    2012-04-01

    One of the basic question in alpine Quantitative Geomorphology is: Are widely measured cosmogenic nuclide-derived denudation rates in alpine catchments truly representative for the whole catchment at any given time? Or in contrast can they vary markedly in response to extreme events and perturbations? And if such perturbations affect cosmogenic nuclide-derived denudation rates then what bias can occur when such denudation rates are compared with sediment yield or thermochronological data or to various morphometric parameters, such as slope, mean elevation or uplift rates as potential controlling factors? We present 10Be and 14C results measured in sand samples from an active river channel from a single catchment (upper Aare), in the Swiss Alps (up to monthly sampling between 2008 to 2011). Our goal was to establish a time series to see if extreme events (such as landslides or debris flows) do have a discernible effect on derived denudation rates. The admixture of sediment of debris flows in 2009, originating upstream of the sampling spot, began to have a marked effect on 10Be concentrations and thus catchment wide denudation rates that are assumed to be in a long-term range mode prior to 2009. In summer of 2010, several extreme debris flows were recorded in the studied catchment. Samples taken document a doubling of denudation rates over the values determined from 2008. These cosmogenic nuclide data clearly demonstrate the impact of episodic events on sediment flux and the related perturbation of catchment wide denudation rates. We have recently expanded this dataset into 2011, with i) a spatial sub-sampling of debris flow and non-debris flow catchment compartments and ii) including again a major debris flow event in early autumn 2011. These data will be presented at the conference. Never-the-less the fact that the CWDR's only doubled does suggest a certain robustness in the method beyond a certain catchment size. In addition to the 10Be data, in situ 14C

  7. Advanced catchment characterization with a combination of different methods - a case study from the Austrian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markart, G.; Bieber, G.; Roemer, A.; Jochum, B.; Klebinder, K.; Kohl, B.; Mayerhofer, F.; Pausch, H.; Pfeiler, S.; Pirkl, H.; Sotier, B.; Strasser, M.; Suntinger, K.

    2012-04-01

    Near surface interflow and deep seated interflow can make significant contributions to catchment runoff, especially during continuous rainfall events. However, the knowledge about dominant runoff processes, runoff contributing areas and bandwidths of shallow interflow velocities in alpine catchments during continuous rainfall events is still very fragmented. Therefore the following comprehensive approach has been employed in high-altitude sub-catchments of the Wattental in the heart of Tyrol (Austria), to improve the knowledge of catchment properties: • Rain simulation experiments (heavy rain and continuous rain) have been conducted on slopes representative for wider parts of the catchment (geological substratum, land cover, land use,…). Water infiltration and runoff behavior were documented by TDR soil moisture measurements and data collection of several geoelectrical profiles. • Additional geoelectric-profiles have been performed to characterise the geological/hydro-geological situation in the sub-catchment. • Different types of salt tracers (e.g. NaCl, LiCl) were inserted (punctual insertion or over trenches or by irrigation of 50 m2 large plots) and accompanied by measurements of resistivity changes in the underground by geoelectrics, as well as data collection of electric conductivity in the receiving water courses. These data derived at the plot and the hillslope scale were transferred to the catchment scale with the following data: • Aerogeophysical investigations (characterization of substratum characteristics by use of electromagnetic, radiometrics and determination of soil surface water content with an L-band antenna. • Results of simultaneous measurements (data on water temperature, conductivity and freight from watercourses of different orders). • Further work comprised the development of surface runoff coefficient maps and roughness maps by use of a code of practice developed at the BFW. This comprehensive data-set allows the development

  8. 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.

  9. On the Importance of High-Resolution Time Series of Optical Imagery for Quantifying the Effects of Snow Cover Duration on Alpine Plant Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Dedieu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigated snow cover dynamics using time series of moderate (MODIS to high (SPOT-4/5, Landsat-8 spatial resolution satellite imagery in a 3700 km2 region of the southwestern French Alps. Our study was carried out in the context of the SPOT (Take 5 Experiment initiated by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES, with the aim of exploring the utility of high spatial and temporal resolution multispectral satellite imagery for snow cover mapping and applications in alpine ecology. Our three objectives were: (i to validate remote sensing observations of first snow free day derived from the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI relative to ground-based measurements; (ii to generate regional-scale maps of first snow free day and peak standing biomass derived from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; and (iii to examine the usefulness of these maps for habitat mapping of herbaceous vegetation communities above the tree line. Imagery showed strong agreement with ground-based measurements of snow melt-out date, although R2 was higher for SPOT and Landsat time series (0.92 than for MODIS (0.79. Uncertainty surrounding estimates of first snow free day was lower in the case of MODIS, however (±3 days as compared to ±9 days for SPOT and Landsat, emphasizing the importance of high temporal as well as high spatial resolution for capturing local differences in snow cover duration. The main floristic differences between plant communities were clearly visible in a two-dimensional habitat template defined by the first snow free day and NDVI at peak standing biomass, and these differences were accentuated when axes were derived from high spatial resolution imagery. Our work demonstrates the enhanced potential of high spatial and temporal resolution multispectral imagery for quantifying snow cover duration and plant phenology in temperate mountain regions, and opens new avenues to examine to what extent plant community diversity and

  10. 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

    2014-10-01

    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 are 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 (CLACE 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. It was found that the updraft velocity, defining the cooling rate of an air parcel, is the parameter with the largest 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.

  11. Changes in the Alpine environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Schoeneich

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available L’évolution de l’environnement alpin au XXIe siècle sera conditionnée par le changement climatique. Celui-ci pourrait conduire à des climats inconnus à ce jour dans les Alpes, avec comme conséquence une crise environnementale majeure et durable. Face à ces défis, les financements de recherche restent insuffisants pour la recherche appliquée aux milieux de montagne. Les financements nationaux privilégient souvent la recherche polaire au détriment des hautes altitudes, alors que les financements de type Interreg prennent insuffisamment en compte les besoins de recherche fondamentale, préalable nécessaire à l’élaboration de scénarios. Une évolution se dessine depuis deux ou trois ans vers des projets en réseau à l’échelle alpine. Le présent article fait le point sur les principaux enjeux qui attendent la recherche environnementale alpine et sur la capacité des programmes de recherche à répondre aux besoins. La première partie sur les changements climatiques est fondée sur les rapports récents : rapport de synthèse IPCC 2007 (IPCC 2007, rapport IPCC sur l’Europe (Alcamo et al. 2007, rapport de synthèse du programme ClimChAlp (Prudent-Richard et al., 2008. On y trouvera des bibliographies complètes et circonstanciées. La deuxième partie se base sur une analyse des appels d’offres récents ou en cours, et des projets soumis et financés.The way the Alpine environment will evolve in the 21st century depends upon climate change. This could lead to climates never before seen in the Alps, resulting in a major and lasting environmental crisis. In the face of these challenges, funding is still insufficient for specialised research on mountain environments. State funding often prioritises polar research at the expense of high altitude areas, whereas funding schemes from bodies such as Interreg do not sufficiently address the need for fundamental research, which is nevertheless a necessary first step prior to

  12. The influence of critical zone processes on the Mg isotope budget in a tropical, highly weathered andesitic catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapela Lara, María; Buss, Heather L.; Pogge von Strandmann, Philip A. E.; Schuessler, Jan A.; Moore, Oliver W.

    2017-04-01

    In order to assess the effects of critical zone processes on Mg concentrations and isotopic signatures of tropical streams, we studied a well constrained, highly weathered andesitic volcaniclastic catchment in the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory, Puerto Rico. Our results indicate that dissolved Mg concentrations and isotope ratios in the regolith pore water are mainly controlled by rain input, with weathering inputs being more important at sites with thinner regolith (2.7-0.9 m deep) and at depth (>8 m) on a thick ridgetop regolith (∼10 m). In addition to mixing of precipitation and weathering-sourced Mg, an isotopic fractionation process is taking place between dissolved Mg and the regolith, likely during dissolution or recrystallisation of Fe(III)-(hydro)oxides under alternating redox conditions. Bulk regolith is isotopically heavier than both the bedrock and the exchangeable fraction (δ26Mgregolith-bedrock = +0.03 to +0.47‰), consistent with the preferential incorporation of heavy 26Mg into secondary minerals with some exchange of sorbed Mg with isotopically lighter pore water. Magnesium concentrations in the stream show a typical dilution behaviour during a storm event, but the [Mg] - δ26Mg pattern cannot be explained by mixing of rain and pore water; the data are best explained by a steady-state fractionation model with α = 1.00115. During baseflow the stream has δ26Mg = +0.01‰, higher than any of the water samples or the bedrock. In-situ analysis of the Mg isotopic composition of bedrock minerals points at the dissolution of Mg-rich chlorite (δ26Mg = +0.19‰) as the most likely source of this isotopically heavy Mg, with mass balance calculations indicating chlorite dissolution is also the main source of Mg to the stream. Overall, our study highlights the importance of atmospheric input of nutrients to the vegetation in tropical areas covered by thick, highly leached regolith, whereas the Mg flux and Mg isotopic signature of watershed exports

  13. Usefulness of four hydrological models in simulating high-resolution discharge dynamics of a catchment adjacent to a road

    OpenAIRE

    Z. Kalantari; Jansson, P.-E.; Stolte, J.; Folkeson, L.; French, H. K.; M. Sassner

    2012-01-01

    Four hydrological models (LISEM, MIKE SHE, CoupModel and HBV) were compared with respect to their capability to predict peak flow in a small catchment upstream of a road in SE Norway on an hourly basis. All four models were calibrated using hourly observed streamflow. Simulated and observed discharge generated during three types of hydrological situations characteristic of winter/spring conditions causing overland flow were considered: snowmelt, partially frozen soil and hea...

  14. Usefulness of four hydrological models in simulating high-resolution discharge dynamics of a catchment adjacent to a road

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalantari, Z.; Jansson, P.-E.; Stolte, J.; Folkeson, L.; French, H. K.; Sassner, M.

    2012-04-01

    Four hydrological models (LISEM, MIKE SHE, CoupModel and HBV) were compared with respect to their capability to predict peak flow in a small catchment upstream of a road in SE Norway on an hourly basis. All four models were calibrated using hourly observed streamflow. Simulated and observed discharge generated during three types of hydrological situations characteristic of winter/spring conditions causing overland flow were considered: snowmelt, partially frozen soil and heavy rain events. Using parameter sets optimised for winter/spring conditions, flows simulated by HBV coupled with CoupModel were comparable to measured discharge from the catchment in corresponding periods. However, this combination was best when all the parameters were calibrated in HBV. For ungauged basins with no real-time monitoring of discharge and when the spatial distribution is important, MIKE SHE may be more suitable than the other models, but the lack of detailed input data and the uncertainty in physical parameters should be considered. LISEM is potentially capable of calculating runoff from small catchments during winter/spring but requires better description of snowmelt, infiltration into frozen layers and tile drainage. From a practical road maintenance perspective, the usefulness and accuracy of a model depends on its ability to represent site-specific processes, data availability and calibration requirements.

  15. Usefulness of four hydrological models in simulating high-resolution discharge dynamics of a catchment adjacent to a road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Kalantari

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Four hydrological models (LISEM, MIKE SHE, CoupModel and HBV were compared with respect to their capability to predict peak flow in a small catchment upstream of a road in SE Norway on an hourly basis. All four models were calibrated using hourly observed streamflow. Simulated and observed discharge generated during three types of hydrological situations characteristic of winter/spring conditions causing overland flow were considered: snowmelt, partially frozen soil and heavy rain events. Using parameter sets optimised for winter/spring conditions, flows simulated by HBV coupled with CoupModel were comparable to measured discharge from the catchment in corresponding periods. However, this combination was best when all the parameters were calibrated in HBV. For ungauged basins with no real-time monitoring of discharge and when the spatial distribution is important, MIKE SHE may be more suitable than the other models, but the lack of detailed input data and the uncertainty in physical parameters should be considered. LISEM is potentially capable of calculating runoff from small catchments during winter/spring but requires better description of snowmelt, infiltration into frozen layers and tile drainage. From a practical road maintenance perspective, the usefulness and accuracy of a model depends on its ability to represent site-specific processes, data availability and calibration requirements.

  16. Using high-frequency sensors to identify hydroclimatological controls on storm-event variability in catchment nutrient fluxes and source zone activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaen, Phillip; Khamis, Kieran; Lloyd, Charlotte; Krause, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    At the river catchment scale, storm events can drive highly variable behaviour in nutrient and water fluxes, yet short-term dynamics are frequently missed by low resolution sampling regimes. In addition, nutrient source contributions can vary significantly within and between storm events. Our inability to identify and characterise time dynamic source zone contributions severely hampers the adequate design of land use management practices in order to control nutrient exports from agricultural landscapes. Here, we utilise an 8-month high-frequency (hourly) time series of streamflow, nitrate concentration (NO3) and fluorescent dissolved organic matter concentration (FDOM) derived from optical in-situ sensors located in a headwater agricultural catchment. We characterised variability in flow and nutrient dynamics across 29 storm events. Storm events represented 31% of the time series and contributed disproportionately to nutrient loads (43% of NO3 and 36% of CDOM) relative to their duration. Principal components analysis of potential hydroclimatological controls on nutrient fluxes demonstrated that a small number of components, representing >90% of variance in the dataset, were highly significant model predictors of inter-event variability in catchment nutrient export. Hysteresis analysis of nutrient concentration-discharge relationships suggested spatially discrete source zones existed for NO3 and FDOM, and that activation of these zones varied on an event-specific basis. Our results highlight the benefits of high-frequency in-situ monitoring for characterising complex short-term nutrient dynamics and unravelling connections between hydroclimatological variability and river nutrient export and source zone activation under extreme flow conditions. These new process-based insights are fundamental to underpinning the development of targeted management measures to reduce nutrient loading of surface waters.

  17. Erosion by an Alpine glacier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Frédéric; Beyssac, Olivier; Brughelli, Mattia; Lane, Stuart N; Leprince, Sébastien; Adatte, Thierry; Lin, Jiao Y Y; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; Cox, Simon C

    2015-10-09

    Assessing the impact of glaciation on Earth's surface requires understanding glacial erosion processes. Developing erosion theories is challenging because of the complex nature of the erosion processes and the difficulty of examining the ice/bedrock interface of contemporary glaciers. We demonstrate that the glacial erosion rate is proportional to the ice-sliding velocity squared, by quantifying spatial variations in ice-sliding velocity and the erosion rate of a fast-flowing Alpine glacier. The nonlinear behavior implies a high erosion sensitivity to small variations in topographic slope and precipitation. A nonlinear rate law suggests that abrasion may dominate over other erosion processes in fast-flowing glaciers. It may also explain the wide range of observed glacial erosion rates and, in part, the impact of glaciation on mountainous landscapes during the past few million years. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. What can we learn from sediment connectivitiy indicies regarding natural hazard processes in torrent catchments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmutz, Daria; Zimmermann, Markus; Keiler, Margreth

    2017-04-01

    Sediment connectivity is defined as the degree of coupling between sediment sources and sinks in a system and describes the effectiveness of the transfer of sediment from hillslopes into channels and within channels (Bracken et al. 2015). Borselli et al. (2008) developed a connectivity index (IC) based on digital terrain models (DTMs). Cavalli et al. (2013) adapted this index for mountainous catchments. These measures of connectivity provide overall information about connectivity pattern in the catchment, thus the understanding of sediment connectivity can help to improve the hazard analysis in these areas. Considering the location of settlements in the alpine regions, high sediment transfer can pose a threat to villages located nearby torrents or at the debris cones. However, there is still a lack of studies on the linkage between IC and hazardous events with high sediment yield in alpine catchments. In this study, the expressiveness and applicability of IC is tested in relation with hazardous events in several catchments of the Bernese and Pennine Alps (Switzerland). The IC is modelled based on DTMs (resolution 2 m or if available 0.5 m) indicating the surface from the time before and after a documented hazardous event and analysed with respect to changes in connectivity caused by the event. The spatial pattern of connectivity is compared with the observed sediment dynamic during the event using event documentations. In order to validate the IC, a semi-quantitative field connectivity index (FIC) is developed addressing characteristics of the channel, banks and slopes and applied in a selection of the case studies. First analysis shows that the IC is highly sensitive to the resolution and quality of the DTM. Connectivity calculated by the IC is highest along the channel. The general pattern of connectivity is comparable applying the IC for the DTM before and after the event. Range of the connectivity values gained from IC modelling is highly specific for each

  19. 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.

  20. Distribution of Prokaryotic Abundance and Microbial Nutrient Cycling Across a High-Alpine Altitudinal Gradient in the Austrian Central Alps is Affected by Vegetation, Temperature, and Soil Nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Lamprecht, Andrea; Pauli, Harald; Illmer, Paul

    2016-10-01

    Studies of the altitudinal distributions of soil microorganisms are rare or have led to contradictory results. Therefore, we studied archaeal and bacterial abundance and microbial-mediated activities across an altitudinal gradient (2700 to 3500 m) on the southwestern slope of Mt. Schrankogel (Central Alps, Austria). Sampling sites distributed over the alpine (2700 to 2900 m), the alpine-nival (3000 to 3100 m), and the nival altitudinal belts (3200 to 3500 m), which are populated by characteristic plant assemblages. Bacterial and archaeal abundances were measured via quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Moreover, microbial biomass C, microbial activity (dehydrogenase), and enzymes involved in carbon (CM-cellulase), nitrogen (protease), phosphorus (alkaline phosphatase), and sulfur (arylsulfatase) cycling were determined. Abundances, microbial biomass C, and activities almost linearly decreased along the gradient. Archaeal abundance experienced a sharper decrease, thus pointing to pronounced sensitivity toward environmental harshness. Additionally, abundance and activities were significantly higher in soils of the alpine belt compared with those of the nival belt, whereas the alpine-nival ecotone represented a transitional area with intermediate values, thus highlighting the importance of vegetation. Archaeal abundance along the gradient was significantly related to soil temperature only, whereas bacterial abundance was significantly related to temperature and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations explained most of the variance in enzyme activities involved in the cycling of C, N, P, and S. Increasing temperature could therefore increase the abundances and activities of microorganisms either directly or indirectly via expansion of alpine vegetation to higher altitudes and increased plant cover.

  1. 1997–2007 CO trend at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch: a comparison between NDIR surface in situ and FTIR remote sensing observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Dils

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Within the atmospheric research community, there is a strong interest in integrated datasets, combining data from several instrumentations. This integration is complicated by the different characteristics of the datasets, inherent to the measurement techniques. Here we have compared two carbon monoxide time series (1997 till 2007 acquired at the high-Alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m above sea level, with two well-established measurement techniques, namely in situ surface concentration measurements using Non-Dispersive Infrared Absorption technology (NDIR, and ground-based remote sensing measurements using solar absorption Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry (FTIR. The profile information available in the FTIR signal allowed us to extract an independent layer with a top height of 7.18 km above sea level, appropriate for comparison with our in situ measurements. We show that, even if both techniques are able to measure free troposphere CO concentrations, the datasets exhibit marked differences in their overall trends (−3.21 ± 0.03 ppb year−1 for NDIR vs. −0.8 ± 0.4 ppb year−1 for FTIR. Removing measurements that are polluted by uprising boundary layer air has a strong impact on the NDIR trend (now −2.62 ± 0.03 ppb year−1, but its difference with FTIR remains significant. Using the LAGRANTO trajectory model, we show that both measurement techniques are influenced by different source regions and therefore are likely subject to exhibit significant differences in their overall trend behaviour. However the observation that the NDIR-FTIR trend difference is as significant before as after 2001 is at odds with available emission databases which claim a significant Asian CO increase after 2001 only.

  2. 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.

  3. Contribution of rainfall, snow and ice melt to the hydrological regime of the Arve upper catchment and to severe flood events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecourt, Grégoire; Revuelto, Jesús; Morin, Samuel; Zin, Isabella; Lafaysse, Matthieu; Condom, Thomas; Six, Delphine; Vionnet, Vincent; Charrois, Luc; Dumont, Marie; Gottardi, Frédéric; Laarman, Olivier; Coulaud, Catherine; Esteves, Michel; Lebel, Thierry; Vincent, Christian

    2016-04-01

    In Alpine catchments, the hydrological response to meteorological events is highly influenced by the precipitation phase (liquid or solid) and by snow and ice melt. It is thus necessary to simulate accurately the snowpack evolution and its spatial distribution to perform relevant hydrological simulations. This work is focused on the upper Arve Valley (Western Alps). This 205 km2 catchment has large glaciated areas (roughly 32% of the study area) and covers a large range of elevations (1000-4500 m a.s.l.). Snow presence is significant year-round. The area is also characterized by steep terrain and strong vegetation heterogeneity. Modelling hydrological processes in such a complex catchment is therefore challenging. The detailed ISBA land surface model (including the Crocus snowpack scheme) has been applied to the study area using a topography based discretization (classifying terrain by aspect, elevation, slope and presence of glacier). The meteorological forcing used to run the simulations is the reanalysis issued from the SAFRAN model which assimilates meteorological observations from the Meteo-France networks. Conceptual reservoirs with calibrated values of emptying parameters are used to represent the underground water storage. This approach has been tested to simulate the discharge on the Arve catchment and three sub-catchments over 1990-2015. The simulations were evaluated with respect to observed water discharges for several headwaters with varying glaciated areas. They allow to quantify the relative contribution of rainfall, snow and ice melt to the hydrological regime of the basin. Additionally, we present a detailed analysis of several particular flood events. For these events, the ability of the model to correctly represent the catchment behaviour is investigated, looking particularly to the relevance of the simulated snowpack. Particularly, its spatial distribution is evaluated using MODIS snow cover maps, punctual snowpack observations and summer

  4. Water origin and flow pathways investigated by tracers in a small Dolomitic catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penna, Daniele; Zuecco, Giulia; Cavalli, Marco; Trevisani, Sebastiano; Crema, Stefano; Pianezzola, Luisa; Dalla Fontana, Giancarlo; Marchi, Lorenzo; Borga, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Understanding runoff generation and water origin in mountain headwater catchments is often hampered by the superimposition of topographic, geomorphologic and hydrogeologic factors. Particularly, the complexity of catchments in Dolomitic regions is enhanced by karst processes that create preferential flow paths and make even more challenging to follow the water from its sources to the outlet. Environmental tracers, such as stable isotopes of water (18O and 2H) and electrical conductivity (EC), can help to unravel such a complexity. In this work, isotopic and EC measurements were used to i) identify the main end-members that contribute to streamflow, ii) quantify the role of snowmelt in spring water and surface runoff, and iii) assess the hydrological connection between runoff from springs and ephemeral water courses in rocky channels in the upper part, and surface and subsurface runoff in the lower part of a small Dolomitic catchment. The experimental activities were carried out in the 1.9 km2 Vauz Creek catchment, Dolomites, Central-Eastern Italian Alps. The elevation range is 1835-3152 m a.s.l.. Dolomite rocks prevail in the upper part of the catchment (above 2200 m a.s.l.), which is mostly non-vegetated. The lower sector, where mudstone, sandstone and marls outcrop, is covered by Alpine grassland and sparse trees. We took water samples for isotopic analyses roughly monthly from 2010 to 2014 in the lower part and from June to October 2011-2013 in the upper part of the catchment. We sampled precipitation (by rainfall collectors), snow (by snow corers), snowmelt (by snow lysimeters or by dripping snow patches), soil water (by suction cups) and, manually, stream water, spring water and groundwater in piezometric wells at different locations. Isotopic analyses were conducted by laser spectroscopy. EC was measured in the field with a portable meter. Results show a high variability in the tracer signature among the different sampled waters, reflecting the complex

  5. Spatial distribution of stable water isotopes in alpine snow cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Dietermann

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to analyse and predict the mean stable water isotopic composition of the snow cover at specific geographic locations and altitudes. In addition, the dependence of the isotopic composition of the entire snow cover on altitude was analysed. Snow in four Swiss catchments was sampled at the end of the accumulation period in April 2010 and a second time during snowmelt in May 2010 and analysed for stable isotope composition of 2H and 18O. The sampling was conducted at both south-facing and north-facing slopes at elevation differences of 100 m, for a total altitude difference of approximately 1000 m. The observed variability of isotopic composition of the snow cover was analysed with stepwise multiple linear regression models. The analysis indicated that there is only a limited altitude effect on the isotopic composition when considering all samples. This is due to the high variability of the isotopic composition of the precipitation during the winter months and, in particular in the case of south-facing slopes, an enrichment of heavy isotopes due to intermittent melting processes. This enrichment effect could clearly be observed in the samples which were taken later in the year. A small altitudinal gradient of the isotopic composition could only be observed at some north-facing slopes. However, the dependence of snow depth and the day of the year were significant predictor variables in all models. This study indicates the necessity to further study the variability of water isotopes in the snow cover to increase prediction for isotopic composition of snowmelt and hence increase model performance of residence time models for alpine areas in order to better understand the accumulation processes and the sources of water in the snow cover of high mountains.

  6. Sensitivity analysis and implications for surface processes from a hydrological modelling approach in the Gunt catchment, high Pamir Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, E.; Knoche, M.; Gloaguen, R.; Andermann, C.; Krause, P.

    2015-07-01

    A clear understanding of the hydrology is required to capture surface processes and potential inherent hazards in orogens. 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 Pamir Mountains' hydrologic regime, we developed a remote-sensing-based approach. At the boundary between two distinct climatic zones dominated by the Westerlies and Indian summer monsoon, the Pamir Mountains are 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 of these 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 data set. All products show substantial differences both in intensity and seasonal distribution with in situ data. Despite low resolutions, the data sets are able to sustain high model efficiencies (NSE ≥ 0.85). In contrast to neighbouring regions in the Himalayas or the Hindu Kush, discharge is dominantly the product of snow and glacier melt, and thus temperature is the essential controlling factor. Eighty percent 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 for

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

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    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 co...

  8. Speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants

    OpenAIRE

    Gustafsson, A Lovisa S

    2013-01-01

    The main objectives of this thesis are to study patterns and processes of plant speciation in arctic and alpine diploid plants. Cryptic species are here referred to as morphologically similar individuals belonging to the same taxonomic species but that are unable to produce fertile offspring (i.e. 'sibling' species). The arctic flora is considered as one of the most species-poor floras of the world, and the latitudinal gradient with decreasing diversity from low to high latitudes is likely...

  9. 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.

  10. A New Time Measurement Method Using a High-End Global Navigation Satellite System to Analyze Alpine Skiing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supej, Matej; Holmberg, Hans-Christer

    2011-01-01

    Accurate time measurement is essential to temporal analysis in sport. This study aimed to (a) develop a new method for time computation from surveyed trajectories using a high-end global navigation satellite system (GNSS), (b) validate its precision by comparing GNSS with photocells, and (c) examine whether gate-to-gate times can provide more…

  11. Glacier retreat and projected river regime changes in the hydrologically highly-coupled Virkisjökull catchment, Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flett, Verity; Kirkbride, Martin; Black, Andrew; Everest, Jez; MacDonald, Alan

    2016-04-01

    Virkisjökull, an outlet glacier of the Oræfajökull icecap in SE Iceland, currently has 60% glacier cover, though this is reducing due to glacier retreat. Intensive monitoring over the last 4 years includes measurement of measuring ice ablation, proglacial discharge, dye-tracing of flow pathways, and deployment of three automatic weather stations at altitudes up to 880 m. These data calibrate a distributed hydrological model (WaSIM) to project potential river regime during stages of glacier retreat. Results show: (1) glacier hypsometry sensitises the catchment to a disproportionately rapid increase in runoff as the snowline rises onto a gentle ice cap resulting in in a potential annual increase in river discharge of up to 37% (2) a dominantly channelized glacial drainage system in all seasons with a rapid runoff response to melt: englacial flow of 0.58 m s-1 is comparable to the proglacial river velocity; and (3) longer-term, reduced glacier cover and snow storage will lead to a discharge regime dominated by short-term precipitation events in all seasons, and a reduced influence of the seasonal meltwater discharge peak. The study demonstrates the importance of glacier hypsometry above the present ELA as an influence on catchment hydrological response to potential climate warming.

  12. Dust inputs and bacteria influence dissolved organic matter in clear alpine lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mladenov, N; Sommaruga, R; Morales-Baquero, R; Laurion, I; Camarero, L; Diéguez, M C; Camacho, A; Delgado, A; Torres, O; Chen, Z; Felip, M; Reche, I

    2011-01-01

    Remote lakes are usually unaffected by direct human influence, yet they receive inputs of atmospheric pollutants, dust, and other aerosols, both inorganic and organic. In remote, alpine lakes, these atmospheric inputs may influence the pool of dissolved organic matter, a critical constituent for the biogeochemical functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Here, to assess this influence, we evaluate factors related to aerosol deposition, climate, catchment properties, and microbial constituents in a global dataset of 86 alpine and polar lakes. We show significant latitudinal trends in dissolved organic matter quantity and quality, and uncover new evidence that this geographic pattern is influenced by dust deposition, flux of incident ultraviolet radiation, and bacterial processing. Our results suggest that changes in land use and climate that result in increasing dust flux, ultraviolet radiation, and air temperature may act to shift the optical quality of dissolved organic matter in clear, alpine lakes.

  13. Historic records of organic aerosols from a high Alpine glacier: implications of biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions, and dust transport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Müller-Tautges

    2015-05-01

    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 major 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. Measurements were conducted using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC coupled to electrospray ionization high resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS. For the first time, long-term records of the carboxylic acids and dicarbonyls as well as their source apportionment are reported for Western Europe. 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, C7 and C8 dicarboxylic 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 C6, C10, and C12 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.

  14. Consequences of Alpine Vegetation Change for Water Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceperley, Natalie; Michelon, Anthony; Beria, Harsh; Larsen, Josh; Schaefli, Bettina

    2017-04-01

    In alpine areas, tree lines have been observed to shift and are expected to shift further due to climate warming. Thus, the area occupied by vegetation is expanding and potentially modifying the influence of evapotranspiration (ET) within alpine water balances. Secondly, the absolute rates of evapotranspiration are expected to increase in alpine areas due to the warmer climate, specifically feedbacks between warming air, changes in vapour pressure deficit and moisture transport processes. In addition, feedbacks also exist between the change in area of forest cover and change in rate of ET, which include processes related to the change in roughness and change in albedo. Such changes will affect the entire water balance including run-off and groundwater recharge. Predicting feedbacks between changes in vegetation and climate is challenging due to the complexity of the hydro-ecological processes. In this presentation, we will review the state of current knowledge regarding these interrelated phenomena in the context of the water budget and discuss how we will answer open questions in our study catchment in the Swiss Alps (Vallon de Nant, Vaud).

  15. Using multi-objective optimisation to integrate alpine regions in groundwater flow models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Rojanschi

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Within the research project GLOWA Danube, a groundwater flow model was developed for the Upper Danube basin. This paper reports on a preliminary study to include the alpine part of the catchment in the model. A conceptual model structure was implemented and tested using multi-objective optimisation analysis. The performance of the model and the identifiability of the parameters were studied. A possible over-parameterisation of the model was also tested using principal component analysis.

  16. Bacterial dynamics in spring water of alpine karst aquifers indicates the presence of stable autochthonous microbial endokarst communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnleitner, Andreas H; Wilhartitz, Ines; Ryzinska, Gabriela; Kirschner, Alexander K T; Stadler, Hermann; Burtscher, Martina M; Hornek, Romana; Szewzyk, Ulrich; Herndl, Gerhard; Mach, Robert L

    2005-08-01

    Spring water of two alpine karst aquifers differing in hydrogeology but of nearby catchments were investigated for their bacterial population dynamics. Dolomite karst aquifer spring 1 (DKAS 1) represents a dolomitic-limestone karst aquifer spring showing high average water residence time and relative constant flow. Limestone karst aquifer spring 2 (LKAS 2) constitutes a typical limestone karst aquifer spring with a dynamic hydrological regime and discharge. Dolomite karst aquifer spring 1 yielded constantly lower cell counts and biomasses (median of 15 x 10(6) cells l(-1) and 0.22 microg C l(-1)) as the LKAS 2 (median of 63 x 10(6) cells l(-1) and 1.1 microg C l(-1)) and distribution of morphotypes and mean cell volumes was also different between the considered systems, indicating the influence of hydrogeology on microbial spring water quality. Molecular bacterial V3 16S-rDNA profiles revealed remarkable constancy within each spring water throughout the investigation period. Time course analysis of a flood event in LKAS 2 further supported the trend of the temporal constancy of the microbial community. Except for one case, retrieval of partial and full length 16S rDNA gene sequences from the relative constant DKAS 1 revealed similarities to presently known sequences between 80% to 96%, supporting the discreteness of the microbial populations. The gathered results provide first evidence for the presence of autochthonous microbial endokarst communities (AMEC). Recovery of AMEC may be considered of relevance for the understanding of alpine karst aquifer biogeochemistry and ecology, which is of interest as many alpine and mountainous karst springs are important water resources throughout the world.

  17. Quantifying UV exposure, vitamin D status and their relationship in a group of high school students in an alpine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gröbner, Matthias; Gröbner, Julian; Hülsen, Gregor

    2015-02-01

    The relationship between personal UV exposure and vitamin D status was studied among 7 high school students from Davos, Switzerland from March to August 2013. The personal UV exposure was monitored using electronic dosimeters, while blood samples were taken at monthly intervals to determine the serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3). During school days students were exposed to 1.7% of the ambient UV irradiance, while 85% of the cumulative UV dose was obtained on weekends and holidays. Insufficient vitamin D levels in March (9 ng ml(-1) 25(OH)D3) rose to 25(OH)D3 concentrations of over 40 ng ml(-1), meeting sufficient levels in August. The increase in vitamin D levels among 5 high school students correlated well (r = 0.89) with their measured personal UV exposure, yielding a mean increase in serum 25(OH)D3 concentration of 0.38 ± 0.22 ng ml(-1) per 100 J m(-2) of vitamin D-weighted UV exposure, a value consistent with other studies. During certain periods of the study, increases in vitamin D status and UV doses differed from the average of the whole study, implying that other factors must influence vitamin D metabolism.

  18. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2016-08-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  19. 'Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  20. `Hearing' alpine plants growing after snowmelt: ultrasonic snow sensors provide long-term series of alpine plant phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitasse, Yann; Rebetez, Martine; Filippa, Gianluca; Cremonese, Edoardo; Klein, Geoffrey; Rixen, Christian

    2017-02-01

    In alpine environments, the growing season is severely constrained by low temperature and snow. Here, we aim at determining the climatic factors that best explain the interannual variation in spring growth onset of alpine plants, and at examining whether photoperiod might limit their phenological response during exceptionally warm springs and early snowmelts. We analysed 17 years of data (1998-2014) from 35 automatic weather stations located in subalpine and alpine zones ranging from 1560 to 2450 m asl in the Swiss Alps. These stations are equipped with ultrasonic sensors for snow depth measurements that are also able to detect plant growth in spring and summer, giving a unique opportunity to analyse snow and climate effects on alpine plant phenology. Our analysis showed high phenological variation among years, with one exceptionally early and late spring, namely 2011 and 2013. Overall, the timing of snowmelt and the beginning of plant growth were tightly linked irrespective of the elevation of the station. Snowmelt date was the best predictor of plant growth onset with air temperature after snowmelt modulating the plants' development rate. This multiple series of alpine plant phenology suggests that currently alpine plants are directly tracking climate change with no major photoperiod limitation.

  1. Ancient versus modern mineral dust transported to high-altitude alpine glaciers evidences saharan sources and atmospheric circulation changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Thevenon

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mineral dust aerosols collected during the years 2008/09 at the high-altitude research station Jungfraujoch (46°33' N, 7°59' E; 3580 m a.s.l. were compared to windblown mineral dust deposited at the Colle Gnifetti glacier (45°55' N, 7°52' E, 4455 m a.s.l. over the last millennium. Insoluble dust has been characterized in terms of mineralogy, Sr and Nd isotopic ratios, and trace element composition. Results demonstrate that the Saharan origin of the airborne dust did not change significantly throughout the past. Backward trajectories analysis of modern analogs furthermore confirms that major dust sources are situated in the north-central to north-western part of the Saharan desert. By contrast, less radiogenic Sr isotopic compositions are associated with lower abundances of crustal elements during low rates of dust deposition, suggesting intercontinental transport of background dust rather than activation of a secondary source. Saharan dust mobilization and meridional advection of air masses were relatively reduced during the second part of the Little Ice Age (ca. 1690–1870, except within the greatest Saharan dust event deposited around 1780–1790. Higher dust deposition with larger mean grain size and Saharan fingerprint began ca. 20 years after the industrial revolution of 1850, suggesting that increased mineral dust transport over the Alps during the last century was primarily due to drier winters in North Africa and stronger spring/summer North Atlantic southwesterlies, rather than to direct anthropogenic sources. Meanwhile, increasing carbonaceous particle emissions from fossil fuels combustion combined to higher lead enrichment factor during the last century, point to concomitant anthropogenic sources of particulate pollutants reaching high-altitude European glaciers.

  2. Radar facies and architecture of alluvial fans and related sediments in high-energy alpine environments, British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekes, Csaba

    2000-08-01

    It is widely recognized that the dominant depositional processes on alluvial fans include rock falls, rock slides, rock avalanches, debris flows, sheetfloods and incised-channel floods. A fundamental question addressed in this thesis is: Can ground penetrating radar (GPR) differentiate between the sediments associated with these processes? Do these individual deposits have characteristic radar reflection signatures? The dissertation is divided into two parts. In part one, a calibration exercise conducted in southern British Columbia, it was demonstrated that GPR was able to obtain good penetration and resolution in rock fall, rock slide, fluvial and alluvial fan sediments, and that a characteristic radar reflection pattern (or radar facies) can be assigned to these deposits. Bedrock reflection pattern is characterised by a discontinuous radar signal and by stacked diffractions. The radar facies for rock slide and rock avalanche sediments, where boulders constitute the predominant clast size, is characterized by discontinuous, high amplitude, macro-scale, hyperbolic reflections that are different from diffractions generated by bedrock. Alluvial fans dominated by debris flow processes produce a chaotic and discontinuous radar pattern; diffractions in these patterns are attributed to boulders. Alluvial fans dominated by sheetflood processes are likely to produce surface-parallel, gently dipping, more or less continuous radar patterns. Large-scale meandering-river radar-patterns are characterized by high amplitude, continuous, dipping clinoforms. Braided-river radar facies, based on data collected on the Kicking Horse braidplain, are characterized by predominantly horizontally continuous reflections with few identifiable features. Based solely on GPR data, it was possible to distinguish between sediments of meandering and braided rivers. Analysis of over 95 km GPR data suggests that alluvial fan radar-reflection patterns are distinctly different from those observed in

  3. Age and growth of the sand lizards (Lacerta agilis from a high Alpine population of north-western Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio M. Guarino

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available We studied growth and longevity of Lacerta agilis from a sample (34 adults and 2 small-sized juveniles of a population living at high altitude in north-western Italy using skeletochronological method. Snout vent length (SVL mean of males did not significantly differ from that of females although the latter were in average bigger (SVL ± SD, males: 69.3 ± 7.1 mm, n = 11; females: 73.9 ± 9.7 mm, n = 22; Mann-Whitney U-test, U = 1.76, P = 0.077. Age ranged from 2 to 4 years (mean age ± SD = 2.3 ± 0.2 in males and from 2 to 3 years in females (mean age ± SD = 2.59 ± 0.5 years. Age mean did not significantly differ between the sexes (Mann-Whitney U-test, U = 1.35, P = 0.174. The two juveniles were 30 and 32 mm in SVL and both were 1-2 months old. In both sexes, a significant positive correlation between SVL and age was recorded although weakly significant for males (Spearman’s correlation coefficient, males: rs = 0.70, P = 0.05; females: rs = 0.75, P < 0.001. Von Bertalanffy growth curves well fitted to the relationships between age and SVL and showed a different profile between males (asymptotics size, SVLmax = 81.9 mm; growth coefficient, k = 0.63 and females (SVLmax = 100 mm; k = 0.40. Results indicate that individuals of L. agilis studied by us are short-living when compared with other populations of the same species.

  4. Analysis of the Course and Frequency of High Water Stages in Selected Catchments of the Upper Vistula Basin in the South of Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej Walega

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an analysis of the course and frequency of high water stages in selected catchments of the upper Vistula basin in the south of Poland. The following rivers were investigated: the Dunajec–Nowy Targ-Kowaniec cross-section, the Rudawa–Balice cross-section, the Kamienica–Nowy Sącz cross-section, the Wisłok–Tryńcza cross-section and the San–Przemyśl cross-section. Daily flows from the years 1983–2014 were used to determine maximum annual flows and maximum flows per summer and winter half-year. Selected floods were analyzed with reference to the following metrics: POTX (mean size of the flow determined based on high water stages exceeding the assumed threshold value, POT3F (number of high water stages exceeding the threshold value for each hydrological year, WPOT3F (number of high water stages exceeding the threshold value for the winter half-year and, LOPT3F (number of high water stages exceeding the threshold value for the summer half-year. The determined metrics were analyzed for trend (Mann-Kendall test, homogeneity (Kruskal-Wallis test, and heteroscedasticity (Levene test. Additionally, periodograms were used to determine periodicity of time series for maximum annual flows. The resulting computations indicated upward trends in the analyzed flood metrics but they were not significant in any case. Therefore, in the years 1983–2014 no factors were observed that would significantly affect the size and frequency of high water runoff from the investigated catchments.

  5. Linking two thousand years of European historical records with environmental change recorded in a high Alpine ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohleber, Pascal; Spaulding, Nicole; Mayewski, Paul; Kurbatov, Andrei; Hoffmann, Helene; Erhardt, Tobias; Fischer, Hubertus; More, Alexander; Loveluck, Christopher; Luongo, Matthew; Kabala, Jakub; McCormick, Michael

    2016-04-01

    resolution and allows detection of annual layers even in highly compressed old sections of CG ice cores: A breakthrough not only for extending the ice core dating over the last two millennia but also for bridging the gap in time scales to historical records. Here we present first results from our ongoing efforts in bringing together ice core time series with historical evidence, focusing on the time period from 1 to 1400 C.E. Based on a thorough consideration of the glaciological constraints at CG we explore various ice core proxy signals for their significance to correlate with events recorded in human writing, such as dust storms, volcanic events, climate-induced crop failures and starvation as well as metal production levels. Distinct dust layers are frequently found in CG ice cores, representative for meteorological conditions that transported sand from the Sahara to Europe. At the same time, Saharan dust events were also frequently recorded by ancient and medieval observers as "blood rain". Ultimately we work towards using past extreme climate events from medieval Europe recorded as written evidence to constrain the ice core age scale and, vice versa, to investigate the response of human societies to environmental change recorded in the CG glacier archive.

  6. An approach to predict water quality in data-sparse catchments using hydrological catchment similarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohle, Ina; Glendell, Miriam; Stutter, Marc I.; Helliwell, Rachel C.

    2017-04-01

    An understanding of catchment response to climate and land use change at a regional scale is necessary for the assessment of mitigation and adaptation options addressing diffuse nutrient pollution. It is well documented that the physicochemical properties of a river ecosystem respond to change in a non-linear fashion. This is particularly important when threshold water concentrations, relevant to national and EU legislation, are exceeded. Large scale (regional) model assessments required for regulatory purposes must represent the key processes and mechanisms that are more readily understood in catchments with water quantity and water quality data monitored at high spatial and temporal resolution. While daily discharge data are available for most catchments in Scotland, nitrate and phosphorus are mostly available on a monthly basis only, as typified by regulatory monitoring. However, high resolution (hourly to daily) water quantity and water quality data exist for a limited number of research catchments. To successfully implement adaptation measures across Scotland, an upscaling from data-rich to data-sparse catchments is required. In addition, the widespread availability of spatial datasets affecting hydrological and biogeochemical responses (e.g. soils, topography/geomorphology, land use, vegetation etc.) provide an opportunity to transfer predictions between data-rich and data-sparse areas by linking processes and responses to catchment attributes. Here, we develop a framework of catchment typologies as a prerequisite for transferring information from data-rich to data-sparse catchments by focusing on how hydrological catchment similarity can be used as an indicator of grouped behaviours in water quality response. As indicators of hydrological catchment similarity we use flow indices derived from observed discharge data across Scotland as well as hydrological model parameters. For the latter, we calibrated the lumped rainfall-runoff model TUWModel using multiple

  7. Alpine radar conversion for LAWR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savina, M.; Burlando, P.

    2012-04-01

    The Local Area Weather Radar (LAWR) is a ship-born weather radar system operating in X-band developed by the DHI Group to detect precipitation in urban areas. To date more than thirty units are installed in different settings around the world. A LAWR was also deployed in the Alps, at 3883 m a.s.l. on the Kl. Matterhorn (Valais, Switzerland). This was the highest LAWR of the world and it led to the development of an Alpine LAWR system that, besides featuring important technological improvements needed to withstand the severe Alpine conditions, required the development of a new Alpine Radar COnversion Model (ARCOM), which is the main focus of this contribution. The LAWR system is equipped with the original FURUNO fan-beam slotted antenna and the original logarithmic receiver, which limits the radar observations to the video signal (L) withour providing the reflectivity (Z). The beam is 0.95 deg wide and 20 deg high. It can detect precipitation to a max range of 60 km. In order to account for the limited availability of raw signal and information and the specific mountain set-up, the conversion model had to be developed differently from the state-of-the-art radar conversion technique used for this class of radars. In particular, the ARCOM is based on a model used to simulate a spatial dependent factor, hereafter called ACF, which is in turn function of parameters that take in account climatological conditions, also used in other conversion methods, but additionally accounting for local radar beam features and for orographic forcings such as the effective sampling power (sP), which is modelled by means of antenna pattern, geometric ground clutter and their interaction. The result is a conversion factor formulated to account for a range correction that is based on the increase of the sampling volume, partial beam blocking and local climatological conditions. The importance of the latter in this study is double with respect to the standard conversion technique for this

  8. Importance of seasonal snowpack for summer low flows in humid catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenicek, Michal; Seibert, Jan; Zappa, Massimiliano; Staudinger, Maria; Jonas, Tobias

    2016-04-01

    The expected increase of air temperature will increase the ratio of liquid to solid precipitation during the cold season and, thus decrease the amount of snow storage, especially in mid-elevation mountain ranges across Europe. The decrease of snow will affect soil and groundwater storages during spring and might cause low streamflow values in the subsequent warm season. To evaluate these potential climate change impacts, we investigated the effects of inter-annual variations in snow accumulation on summer low flow. We worked towards 1) quantifying how long snowmelt affects runoff after melt-out and 2) estimating the sensitivity of catchments with different elevation ranges to changes in snowpack. To find suitable predictors of summer low flow we used long time series from 14 alpine and pre-alpine catchments in Switzerland and computed different variables quantifying winter and spring snow conditions. In general, the results indicated that maximum winter snow water equivalent (SWE) influenced summer low flow, but could expectedly only partly explain the observed inter-annual variations. On average, every decrease of maximum SWE by 10% caused a decrease of minimum discharge in July by 6% to 9% in catchments higher than 2000 m a.s.l. This effect is reduced in middle and lower elevation catchments (a decrease of minimum discharge by 2-5% per 10% decrease of maximum SWE). For higher and middle elevation catchments and years with below-average SWE maximum, the minimum discharge in July decreased to 70-90% of its normal level. Additionally, a reduction in SWE resulted in earlier low flow occurrence. One other important factor was the precipitation between maximum SWE and summer low flow. When only dry preceding conditions in this period were considered, the importance of maximum SWE as a predictor of low flows increased. We assessed the sensitivity of individual catchments to the change of maximum SWE using the non-parametric Theil-Sen approach as well as an elasticity

  9. Reconstructing winter snowpack accumulation from energy balance simulations in alpine glacierised basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemenzi, I.; Carenzo, M.; Morin, S.; Pellicciotti, F.

    2010-12-01

    Snow water equivalent has been reconstructed using a combination of melt modeling and snow cover images that provide the exact date of snow disappearance for large North-american basins including high elevation headwater catchments, but never for small mountainous basins in the Alps. This approach is based on the fact that integration of modeled snowmelt over the time required to melt all of the snow in a given area effectively reconstructs initial Snow Water Equivalent (SWE). It requires an accurate model of snow ablation and precise information on the disappearance of the snow. In this paper, we attempt to use this method for reconstructing the winter accumulation in Alpine glacierised catchments. Late winter accumulation represents the initial conditions for simulations of summer ablation and has been shown to be a major source of error in distributed simulation of glacier ablation and models of glacier runoff. In this work, we first test the applicability of a surface, two-layer energy balance model and an enhanced temperature index model against accurate snowmelt simulations obtained with the multi-layer detailed snow model CROCUS, in order to assess the model complexity required to achieve accurate estimates of melt rates for winter conditions. While energy balance modeling is well established for computation of summer ablation processes, melt models often neglect or crudely simplify processes that are important typical during winter and spring conditions such as refreezing into the snowpack, densification of snow and other subsurface processes. We quantify their relative importance and evaluate the accuracy of the two simpler models at the point scale. In a second step, we use the melt simulations to reconstruct the winter snowpack water equivalent both at the point and at the distributed scale, using measurements of snow depth at Ultrasonic Depth Gauges and photos from an automatic camera, respectively, to determine the exact date of snow disappearance. The

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...... simple method using only the Euclidean distance from the examined stop and the paper describes the differences in detail-level of the results. Furthermore, the paper describes how the Service Area method can be used to examine increments in the catchment areas by adding extra entrances to stations...... or by making changes in the street network around the station. The paper also discusses the degree of realism in the used GIS networks and how it can affect the size of the catchment areas. It is concluded that the Service Area method improves the detail-level and accuracy in catchment area analyses...

  13. 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

  14. Analysis of MODIS snow cover time series over the alpine regions as input for hydrological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notarnicola, Claudia; Rastner, Philipp; Irsara, Luca; Moelg, Nico; Bertoldi, Giacomo; Dalla Chiesa, Stefano; Endrizzi, Stefano; Zebisch, Marc

    2010-05-01

    Snow extent and relative physical properties are key parameters in hydrology, weather forecast and hazard warning as well as in climatological models. Satellite sensors offer a unique advantage in monitoring snow cover due to their temporal and spatial synoptic view. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) from NASA is especially useful for this purpose due to its high frequency. However, in order to evaluate the role of snow on the water cycle of a catchment such as runoff generation due to snowmelt, remote sensing data need to be assimilated in hydrological models. This study presents a comparison on a multi-temporal basis between snow cover data derived from (1) MODIS images, (2) LANDSAT images, and (3) predictions by the hydrological model GEOtop [1,3]. The test area is located in the catchment of the Matscher Valley (South Tyrol, Northern Italy). The snow cover maps derived from MODIS-images are obtained using a newly developed algorithm taking into account the specific requirements of mountain regions with a focus on the Alps [2]. This algorithm requires the standard MODIS-products MOD09 and MOD02 as input data and generates snow cover maps at a spatial resolution of 250 m. The final output is a combination of MODIS AQUA and MODIS TERRA snow cover maps, thus reducing the presence of cloudy pixels and no-data-values due to topography. By using these maps, daily time series starting from the winter season (November - May) 2002 till 2008/2009 have been created. Along with snow maps from MODIS images, also some snow cover maps derived from LANDSAT images have been used. Due to their high resolution (manto nevoso in aree alpine con dati MODIS multi-temporali e modelli idrologici, 13th ASITA National Conference, 1-4.12.2009, Bari, Italy. [3] Zanotti F., Endrizzi S., Bertoldi G. and Rigon R. 2004. The GEOtop snow module. Hydrological Processes, 18: 3667-3679. DOI:10.1002/hyp.5794.

  15. Design of alpine skis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordt, Alison Audrey

    Models were developed to calculate the mechanical properties and the turning characteristics of alpine skis. The skis considered are constructed of layers of materials which may include wood, foam, metal, plastics, and fiber reinforced composites. The ski may be manufactured with or without camber and sidecut. The first model, and the corresponding SKI-MECH computer code, yields the mass, the bending and torsional stiffness distributions along the length, the flex, the twist, the natural frequencies, and the pressure distribution along the base of the ski. The second model, and the corresponding SKI-TURN code, simulates the motion of a skier of given height, weight, and skill level going down a smooth slope while executing a constant radius turn. The computer code provides the time it requires the skier to complete the turn. Both the SKI-MECH and SKI-TURN codes were verified by comparing the outputs of these codes to laboratory data and to data generated by skiers executing turns on a hill. The results of the model and the data are in good agreement lending confidence to the models and the computer codes. Numerical results are also presented which illustrate the usefulness of the computer codes for assessing the performance of skis and shed light on the role sidecut plays in affecting an efficient turn.

  16. 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

  17. Responses of alpine biodiversity to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Liu; Jian Zhang; Wanqin Yang

    2009-01-01

    The alpine belt is the temperature-driven treeless region between the timberline and the snowline. Alpine belts are ideal sites for monitoring climate change because species in mountain habitats are especially sensitive to climate change. Global warming is shifting the distribution of alpine biodiversity and is leading to glacial retreat, implying that alterations in alpine biodiversity are indicators of climate change. Therefore, more attention has been given to changes in species compositio...

  18. Holocene Paleoenvironmental reconstruction from laminated sediments of the high-alpine lake Anterne (Lake Anterne, 2063 m asl, NW French Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giguet-Covex, C.; Arnaud, F.; Enters, D.; Poulenard, J.; Disnar, J.-R.; David, F.; Delhon, C.; Delannoy, J.-J.

    2009-04-01

    Lake Anterne detrital sediments are an archive of changes in the intensity of erosion processes at high altitude in the Alps. The formation of laminations is here mainly controlled by precipitations in summer/fall which trigger underflow deposits and by clay settling during the fall water overturn and/or under the ice cover in winter. Intercalated between laminated sediments are flood deposits reflecting extreme summer thunderstorms. High altitude sites are very sensitive to climate variations, but they are also affected by anthropogenic impacts such as grazing and associated deforestation. Fluctuations in detrital input at Lake Anterne were reconstructed from sedimentological and geochemical (mineral and organic) proxies over the last 10,500 years. They were compared with pollen studies from peat bogs close to the lake in order to differentiate climatic and anthropogenic forcing. From 9000-9500 cal BP to 7500 cal BP, the catchment is marked by the progressive settlement of woody vegetation (in particular Pinus cembra). Between 7500 and 6300 cal BP, the total organic carbon (TOC) reaches the highest values and the manganese quantity is almost zero suggesting a period of anoxia in the hypolimnion in response to the supply of terrestrial organic matter in the lake. Decreasing median grain size might reflect the stabilisation of soils through a dense vegetation cover. Then, the TOC decreases until 4800 cal BP. The strong decrease between 5000 and 4800 cal BP is accompanied by a shift in the silica signal towards an enriched Si pole. This is interpreted as an increase of the detrital supplies probably in relation with a change in vegetation cover. Since 4300 cal. BP, higher flood deposits frequency suggests a persistent destabilisation of surrounding soils in response to colder climatic conditions or intensified human impact. At the same time, pollen percentages of Pinus cembra significantly decrease indicating a drop in the timberline altitude and the settlement of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Riffler

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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

  20. Spatially distributed rockfall activity inferred from talus deposits and corresponding rockwall areas in the Gradenbach catchment (Schober Mountains, Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götz, Joachim; Buckel, Johannes; Heckmann, Tobias

    2013-04-01

    The analysis of alpine sediment cascades requires the identification, differentiation and quantification of sediment sources, storages, and transport processes. This study deals with the origin of alpine sediment transfer and relates primary talus deposits to corresponding rockwall source areas within the Gradenbach catchment (Schober Mountains, Austrian Alps). Sediment storage landforms are based on a detailed geomorphological map of the catchment which was generated to analyse the sediment transfer system. Mapping was mainly performed in the field and supplemented by post-mapping analysis using LIDAR data and digital orthophotos. A fundamental part of the mapping procedure was to capture additional landform-based information with respect to morphometry, activity and connectivity. The applied procedure provides a detailed inventory of sediment storage landforms including additional information on surface characteristics, dominant and secondary erosion and deposition processes, process activity and sediment storage coupling. We develop the working hypothesis that the present-day surface area ratio between rockfall talus (area as a proxy for volume, backed by geophysical analysis of selected talus cones) and corresponding rockwall source area is a measure of rockfall activity since deglaciation; large talus cones derived from small rockwall catchments indicate high activity, while low activity can be inferred where rockfall from large rock faces has created only small deposits. The surface area ratio of talus and corresponding rockwalls is analysed using a landform-based and a process-based approach. For the landform-based approach, we designed a GIS procedure which derives the (hydrological) catchment area of the contact lines of talus and rockwall landforms in the geomorphological map. The process-based approach simulates rockfall trajectories from steep (>45°) portions of a DEM generated by a random-walk rockfall model. By back-tracing those trajectories that

  1. The role of melting alpine glaciers in mercury export and transport: An intensive sampling campaign in the Qugaqie Basin, inland Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xuejun; Wang, Kang; Kang, Shichang; Guo, Junming; Zhang, Guoshuai; Huang, Jie; Cong, Zhiyuan; Sun, Shiwei; Zhang, Qianggong

    2017-01-01

    Glaciers, particularly alpine glaciers, have been receding globally at an accelerated rate in recent decades. The glacial melt-induced release of pollutants (e.g., mercury) and its potential impact on the atmosphere and glacier-fed ecosystems has drawn increasing concerns. During 15th-20th August, 2011, an intensive sampling campaign was conducted in Qugaqie Basin (QB), a typical high mountain glacierized catchment in the inland Tibetan Plateau, to investigate the export and transport of mercury from glacier to runoff. The total mercury (THg) level in Zhadang (ZD) glacier ranged from Mercury concentration in Qugaqie River (QR) was characterized by a clear diurnal variation which is linked to glacier melt. The estimated annual Hg exports by ZD glacier, the upper river basin and the entire QB were 8.76, 7.3 and 157.85 g, respectively, with respective yields of 4.61, 0.99 and 2.74 μg m(-2) yr(-1). Unique landforms and significant gradients from the glacier terminus to QB estuary might promote weathering and erosion, thereby controlling the transport of total suspended particulates (TSP) and PHg. In comparison with other glacier-fed rivers, QB has a small Hg export yet remarkably high Hg yield, underlining the significant impact of melting alpine glaciers on regional Hg biogeochemical cycles. Such impacts are expected to be enhanced in high altitude regions under the changing climate.

  2. Importance of maximum snow accumulation for summer low flows in humid catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenicek, M.; Seibert, J.; Zappa, M.; Staudinger, M.; Jonas, T.

    2015-07-01

    The expected increase of air temperature will increase the ratio of liquid to solid precipitation during winter and, thus decrease the amount of snow, especially in mid-elevation mountain ranges across Europe. The decrease of snow will affect groundwater recharge during spring and might cause low streamflow values in the subsequent summer period. To evaluate these potential climate change impacts, we investigated the effects of inter-annual variations in snow accumulation on summer low flow and addressed the following research questions: (1) how important is snow for summer low flows and how long is the "memory effect" in catchments with different elevations? (2) How sensitive are summer low flows to any change of winter snowpack? To find suitable predictors of summer low flow we used long time series from 14 alpine and pre-alpine catchments in Switzerland and computed different variables quantifying winter and spring snow conditions. We assessed the sensitivity of individual catchments to the change of maximum snow water equivalent (SWEmax) using the non-parametric Theil-Sen approach as well as an elasticity index. In general, the results indicated that maximum winter snow accumulation influenced summer low flow, but could only partly explain the observed inter-annual variations. One other important factor was the precipitation between maximum snow accumulation and summer low flow. When only the years with below average precipitation amounts during this period were considered, the importance of snow accumulation as a predictor of low flows increased. The slope of the regression between SWEmax and summer low flow and the elasticity index both increased with increasing mean catchment elevation. This indicated a higher sensitivity of summer low flow to snow accumulation in alpine catchments compared to lower elevation catchments.

  3. Impacts of permafrost changes on alpine ecosystem in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG; Genxu; LI; Yuanshou

    2006-01-01

    serious degradation. Furthermore, from the angles of grassland coverage and biological production the variation characteristics of high-cold ecosystems in different representative regions and different geomorphologic units under different climatic conditions were quantitatively assessed. In the future, adopting effective measures to protect permafrost is of vital importance to maintaining the stability of permafrost engineering and alpine cold ecosystems in the plateau.

  4. High resolution analysis of fossil pigments, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur in the sediment of eight European Alpine lakes: the MOLAR project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo MARCHETTO

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available A palaeoenvironmental reconstruction for the past 2-3 centuries of eight remote sites from northern to southern Europe was based on a number of palaeolimnological proxies, especially fossil pigments. Most of the lakes studied are located above the timberline and a great effort centred on the creation and analysis of a data-sets of sedimentary records. A chronology for the last century was based on radiometric techniques (210Pb, 241Am 137Cs. The accumulation rate of recent sediment was found to vary from 0.041 cm y-1 (Lake Saanajärvi, Finland to 0.14 cm y-1 (Jezero v Ledvici, Slovenia. During the time-span represented by the cores were the major changes in organic carbon and nitrogen in Nižné Terianske Pleso (Slovakia, Redó (Spain and Gossenköllesee (Austria. Constant increase of these nutrients from AD 1900 onwards was shown in lakes Saanajärvi, Nižné Terianske Pleso and Hagelseewli (Switzerland. No common trends in sulphur concentrations was evident. There is evidence of an atmospheric input of sulphur in Hagelseewli. This lake shows the highest concentrations, 10 fold higher at surface than the other lakes (ca 6% d.m.. A decrease of S during very recent times is clearly shown by the cores from Redò and Hagelseewli: this might be related to the reduction in the atmospheric loading (the matching of the atmospheric and sedimentary sulphur trends favours this hypothesis. Concentrations of total pigments and HPLC single carotenoids and chlorophylls showed marked fluctuations throughout the cores of all lakes. High pre-AD 1800 pigment concentrations were detected in Nižné Terianske Pleso, Redó, Hagelseewli and Gossenköllesee. During the last ca 50 years an increase in productivity inferred from fossil pigments is shown by Øvre Neådalsvatn (Norway, Nižné Terianske Pleso, Saanajärvi and Jezero v Ledvici. Except Gossenköllesee (Kamenik et al. 2000, this issue. Significant catchment disturbances are absent in these remote environments

  5. In Lieu of the Paired-Catchment Approach - Hydrologic Model Change Detection at the Catchment Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zegre, N. P.

    2009-05-01

    was possible to attribute increased streamflow to forest management with greater certainty. Shown is the importance and necessity of coupling hydrologic modeling studies with reference catchments in order to evaluate model performance and reduce false detections from statistical models. The proposed method appears to be a useful alternative to change detection using highly variable daily streamflow.

  6. Spatial patterns of rockfall in recently deglaciated high-alpine rock faces: Analysing rockfall release zones and volumes based on a multiannual LiDAR time series, Kitzsteinhorn, Austria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmeyer, Ingo; Keuschnig, Markus; Delleske, Robert; Wichmann, Volker; Hoffmann, Thomas; Schrott, Lothar

    2015-04-01

    Rock instabilities in high-alpine areas represent a considerable risk factor for man and infrastructure. In the Alps numerous, mainly visual, observations suggest an increasing occurrence of rockfall events potentially associated to climate warming. However, unbiased high-precision information on the location of rockfall release zones and the size of event volumes is scarce. Thus, frequency/magnitude patterns of high-alpine rockfall often remain elusive. The presented study addresses the need for systematically acquired, objective field data by presenting an extensive, multiannual LiDAR time series from a high-alpine (peri)glacial environment. The study area is located in the summit region of the Kitzsteinhorn (3.203 m), Hohe Tauern Range, Austria. The beginning of the terrestrial laserscanning (TLS) monitoring campaign dates back to July 2011. Since then six rock faces have been scanned repeatedly at an interval of 1-2 months during the snow-free summer season (June to October). The investigated rock faces predominantly consist of calcareous mica-schist and differ in terms of height, slope, aspect, and discontinuity orientation. The rock faces are partially underlain by permafrost, their combined surface area is approx. 1.3 km². They are located directly adjacent to the Schmiedingerkees cirque glacier, which has retreated and thinned significantly in recent decades (downwasting rate ~1.5 m/a). TLS data acquisition was performed using a Riegl LMS-Z620i. During data acquisition no permanently fixed installations and no artificial reflective markers were used. This is in line with the requirement to develop a quick, flexible methodology that can be applied not only at the Kitzsteinhorn, but also in other, similar environments. For data post-processing a new analysis procedure has been developed which allows (i) point cloud alignment by surface geometry matching, (ii) objective, automated discrimination between measurement errors und real surface changes, and (iii

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. High spatial variability of nitrate in the hard rock aquifer of an irrigated catchment: Implications for water resource assessment and vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buvaneshwari, Sriramulu; Riotte, Jean; Ruiz, Laurent; Sekhar, Muddu; Mohan Kumar, Mandalagiri S.; Sharma, Amit Kumar; Duprey, Jean Louis; Audry, Stephane; Praveen, Yerabham; Hemanth, Moger; Durand, Patrick; Braun, Jean Jacques

    2016-04-01

    Irrigated agriculture has large impacts on groundwater resources, both in terms of quantity and quality. Among agricultural-borne non-point source pollutants, nitrogen has been the focus of many studies due to its ubiquitous impact on ecosystems. Mapping the spatial heterogeneity of groundwater quality is not only essential for estimating the level of groundwater contamination but also to assess the impacts of different types of agricultural systems. However, low density of long term monitoring wells limits adequate description of highly heterogeneous aquifers. This issue has been addressed either by developing geo-statistical methods or by neglecting groundwater lateral transport. In peninsular India the development of minor irrigation led to high density of borewells which constitute an ideal situation for studying the heterogeneity of groundwater quality. The annual groundwater abstraction reaches 400km3, which leads to depletion of the resource and degradation of water quality. Nitrate (NO3) contamination in groundwater has been rising for the last decades due to overuse of fertilizers combined with the intensive borewell irrigation. In the Berambadi catchment (84 km2, Southern India), which is part of ORE BVET/ Kabini CZO, we studied the relative influences of land use, agricultural practices and soil/aquifer properties on NO3 concentration in groundwater based on the monitoring of >200 borewells (monthly water table level and seasonal chemistry). Nitrate concentration in Berambadi span over two orders of magnitude with hotspots up to 400ppm. Three contrasted situations were identified according to groundwater level and gradient: i) Hot spots of NO3 were associated to deep groundwater levels (30 to 60 m) and low groundwater gradient, suggesting that in the absence of lateral flow and with small groundwater reserve, local agricultural practices severely affected groundwater quality due to recycling through pumping and return flow; ii) On the contrary, when

  10. Alpine Skiing in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Gimenez, Antonio; Fernandez-Rio, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Many students settle indoors in the winter. However, this does not mean that winter should be a period of time with no physical activity. Several snow activities could be practiced during those months, such as ice-skating, ice-hockey, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, or snowboarding. In order to counteract the tendency for…

  11. Controls on Soil Respiration in a High Elevation Alpine System and the Implications For Soil Carbon Storage in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schliemann, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    The alpine ecosystem is a dynamic network of heterogeneous soil and vegetation patches. Microsite characteristics are controlled by site geomorphology, underlying bedrock, and landscape position. These microsite characteristics create a complex mosaic of soil moisture and temperature regimes across the landscape. To investigate the relative influences of soil moisture and soil temperature on soil respiration in these varied microsites, 12 study sites were established in June of 2015 in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Sites were distributed across 3 plots with distinct vegetation and soil regimes: 1) Conifer forest at the upper limit of the tree line 2) Tundra characterized by shallow soil and minimal vegetation consisting of herbs and lichen 3) Tundra characterized by organic-rich, deep soil and abundant vegetation consisting of grasses and sedges. Soil respiration, soil temperature, and soil moisture were measured weekly throughout the snow-free period of 2015. Soil moisture was negatively correlated with soil respiration and soil temperature was positively correlated with soil respiration across the study sites (p <0.001). Soil respiration rates were significantly different from one another in all plots and were highest in the forest plot (maximum 9.6 μmol/ m2/sec) and much lower in the two tundra plots (< 4.5 μmol/ m2/sec) (p < 0.001). These data suggest that as the alpine climate warms, an increase in soil temperature and a longer snow-free period may result in an overall increase in the rate of soil respiration, which could alter the soil carbon pool. In addition, as temperatures rise, the tree line may migrate to a higher elevation. The results of this study suggest that with such a movement, the soil respiration rate will also increase. However the net change in soil organic matter in the newly established forest would not only depend on the soil respiration rate, but on the overall capacity of the new forest soil to retain carbon, especially

  12. A high-resolution 14C chronology from the Cormor alluvial megafan (Tagliamento glacier, NE Italy) for the reconstruction of Alpine glacier activity during 50-20 ka BP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hippe, Kristina; Fontana, Alessandro; Hajdas, Irka; Ivy-Ochs, Susan

    2016-04-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the Cormor alluvial megafan was delivering large amounts of glacial sediment from the Alpine Tagliamento glacier onto the southern Alpine foreland basin. Rate and character of sedimentation were primarily controlled by the glacier activity and, thus, by variations in climate. To gain a better understanding of the late-Pleistocene sedimentary processes in the Alpine foreland alluvial megafans and their response to climate changes, we have performed high-resolution radiocarbon dating of a drilling core (PNC1, 65 m deep) located in the distal sector of the Cormor alluvial megafan, near the Marano Lagoon [1]. The stratigraphic sequence of the core is characterized by an alternation of silt and clay deposits with the intercalation of several peaty and humic horizons. These organic layers (5-40 cm thick) correspond to phases of locally inactive fluvioglacial sedimentation, allowing plant remains to be accumulated at the surface. A series of about 55 peat samples between 33 to 4 m of depth with sample distances of few cm-dm were dated with radiocarbon. Half of these samples were separated into various fractions in order to check for systematic age differences with regard to the size and/or type of the organic particles. Additionally, the influence of sample pre-treatment was evaluated by using the ABA treatment as well as two different ABOX treatment protocols for each sample fraction. While no systematic age differences with size and/or type of the organic particles was observed, some samples indicate a shift towards younger ages after ABOX treatment. Moreover, deposits containing old carbon (too old ages) were observed suggesting that a careful approach and high-resolution sampling is an imperative in obtaining accurate chronologies. Radiocarbon ages obtained for the PNC1 record range from ~50-20 cal ka BP and provide a detailed chronology of the pre-LGM and LGM fluvioglacial sequence. Due to the immediate connection of the Cormor

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godt, Jonathan W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

    2007-02-01

    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 (material along their paths.

  14. On the biogeochemical response of a glacierized High Arctic watershed to climate change: Revealing patterns, processes and heterogeneity among micro-catchments

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Our novel study examines landscape biogeochemical evolution following deglaciation and permafrost change in Svalbard by looking at the productivity of various micro-catchments existing within one watershed. It also sheds light on how moraine, talus and soil environments contribute to solute export from the entire watershed into the downstream marine ecosystem.\\ud \\ud We find that solute dynamics in different micro-catchments are sensitive to abiotic factors such as runoff volume, water temper...

  15. Exceptional hydrological phenomena in the Gemenea catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florentina LIVARCIUC

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Flash floods, accompanied by high waters and regular floods, represent the most dangerous natural hazards in the Gemenea catchment, inducing other risks such as geomorphologic, environmental, social and economical risks. Flash floods occurred during the 1969 to 2014 monitoring interval are characterized by extremely high discharge values, of 68.9 m3/s in 2006 and 95.3 m3/s in 2008 and a magnitude 2.5 times higher than the average discharge recorded until that timeframe. With an area of 77.7 km2, the Gemenea catchment falls into the category of small catchments, where the peak discharge during exceptional hydrological phenomena is caused by torrential rainfall. Flash floods of particularly high intensities caused serious damages through: total destruction or damage of the torrent correction works, clogging of culverts on catchment forest roads, failure of river banks and deterioration of the bridges that affected roads and homes in Gemenea, Slătioara and Stulpicani villages. These floods have also caused damage to the forest/agriculture fund through deep and lateral erosion, failure of river banks and landslides. Within this study we aim to emphasize the magnitude, frequency, duration and area of manifestation of such phenomena in the Gemenea catchment. Furthermore, we aim to advance our knowledge of the genesis and specific mechanisms of flash flood occurrence for reducing their negative impacts on the local environment and communities

  16. 3D cartography of the Alpine Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouillamoz, N.; Sue, C.; Champagnac, J. D.; Calcagno, P.

    2012-04-01

    We present a 3D cartography of the alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, built using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimentional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  17. Seasonal variation of allochthonous and autochthonous energy inputs in an alpine stream

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Fenoglio

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the enormous importance of alpine streams, information about many aspects of their ecology is still insufficient. Alpine lotic systems differ in many environmental characteristics from those lower down, for example because above tree line streams drain catchments where terrestrial vegetation is scarce and allochthonous organic input is expected to be small. The main objectives of this study were to examine seasonal variation of autochthonous and allochthonous energetic inputs and their relationship with macroinvertebrate communities in the Po river, an alpine non-glacial stream (NW Italy. For one year, samplings were monthly performed in a homogeneous 100 m stream reach for discharge, autochthonous energy input (benthic chlorophyll a, allochthonous energy input (coarse particulate organic matter, abundance and structure of benthic macroinvertebrate community. Chlorophyll a concentrations were in the range of what reported for other alpine streams, but presented a time-lag with respect to what has been reported for glacial-fed mountain rivers. CPOM amounts were lower than those in lowland, forested streams of the same area but exhibited an intriguing, different seasonal variability, probably reported for the first time, with a maximum in spring and a minimum in winter. We collected 29,950 macroinvertebrates belonging to 13 families and 10 orders. Benthic communities were essentially dominated by Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Diptera. Scrapers was the most important FFG, but also Shredders were well represented. Relationships between chlorophyll a concentrations, CPOM availability and macroinvertebrate community characteristics were analysed and discussed considering the existence of different top-down or bottom-up regulation mechanisms. This study confirms that benthic algae constitute an essential resource for macroinvertebrates in alpine streams above the tree line but also underlines the importance of terrestrial organic input, a

  18. Determination of The Water Catchment Area in Semarang City Using a Combination of Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) Classification, InSAR and Geographic Information System (GIS) Methods Based On a High-Resolution SPOT 6 Image and Radar Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasetyo, Yudo; Ardi Gunawan, Setyo; Maksum, Zia Ul

    2016-11-01

    Semarang is the biggest city in central Java-Indonesia which has a rapid and massive infrastructure development nowadays. In order to control water resources and flood, the local goverment has been built east and west flood canal in Kaligarang and West Semarang River. One of main problem in Semarang city is the lack of fresh water in dry season because ground water is not rechargeable well. Rechargeable groundwater ability depends on underground water recharge rate and catchment area condition. The objective of the study is to determine condition and classification of water catchment area in Semarang city. The catchment area conditions will be determine by five parameters as follows soil type, land use, slope, ground water potential and rainfall intensity. In this study, we use three methods approach to solve the problem which is segmentation classification to acquire land use classification from high resolution imagery using nearest neighborhood algorithm, Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to derive DTM from SAR Imagery and multi criteria weighting and spatial analysis using GIS method. There are three types optical image (ALOS PRISM, SPOT-6 and ALOS PALSAR) to calculate water catchment area condition in Semarang city. For final result, this research will divide the water catchment into six criteria as follows good, naturally normal, early critical, a little bit critical, critical and very critical condition. The result shows that water catchment area condition is in an early critical condition around 2607,523 Ha (33,17 %), naturally normal condition around 1507,674 Ha (19,18 %), a little bit critical condition around 1452,931 Ha (18,48 %), good with 1157,04 Ha (14,72 %), critical with 1058,639 Ha (13,47 %) and very critical with 75,0387 Ha (0,95 %). The distribution of water catchment area conditions in West and East Flood Canal have an irreguler pattern. In northern area of watershed consists of begin to critical, naturally normal and good condition

  19. A thermomechanical model of exhumation of high pressure (HP) and ultra-high pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks in Alpine-type collision belts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burov, E.; Jolivet, L.; Le Pourhiet, L.; Poliakov, A.

    2001-12-01

    Using a fully coupled numerical thermomechanical model handling strain localization, surface processes and ultra-high viscosity contrasts (11 orders of magnitude) we test a number of possible mechanisms of High Pressure (HP)-Low Temperature (LT)/High Temperature (HT) exhumation in continental collision zones. The model considers two end-member cases, low or high buoyancy of the downgoing crust. The first model case predicts three levels of exhumation in the same collisional context: the "classical" corner flow LP-LT (Low Pressure-Low Temperature) exhumation in the accretionary prism; deeper (70 km) HP-HT exhumation for the thickened subducting crustal-sedimentary wedge, and ultra HP-HT exhumation from the "lower" crustal chamber, forming at the depth of 100-120 km and separated from the upper one by a narrow crustal channel. The width of this channel can oscillate in the process of shortening, thus controlling the quantity of the crustal material exchanged between the crustal wedge and the lower crustal chamber. Although both zones of crustal accumulation and the narrow channel between them resemble a vortex-shaped nozzle, this "nozzle" appears to be too soft to produce any significant overpressures. From the upper crustal wedge, the material is exhumed following the ascending shear flow created by the overriding plate assisted by positive buoyancy of the heated crustal material. From the lower crustal chamber, the material is transported upward to the upper crustal wedge by a flow induced by the asthenospheric traction and a small-scale convective instability forming in the lower crustal chamber due to its heating by the overriding asthenosphere. In the second modelled case of high buoyancy, the latter mechanisms become dominant resulting in hyper fast exhumation of the crust to the surface, accelerated or slowed subduction in case of full or partial crustal decoupling, respectively, and upper plate extension.

  20. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  1. Snow modelling in a glacierized catchment using scale-dependent calibration data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Michael; Comiti, Francesco; Penna, Daniele; Notarnicola, Claudia; Bertoldi, Giacomo

    2013-04-01

    Physically-based hydrological models that integrate a large amount of parameters often face the problem of equifinality. Thus, the application of such models to Alpine catchments with high spatial heterogeneity and complex hydrological behaviour is challenging. In this context, the distributed hydrological model GEOtop was employed to simulate snow dynamics in the period 2010 - 2012 at different spatial scales within the Saldur basin (Eastern Italian Alps). In this catchment, hydrometric, isotopic and sediment transport data at different spatial scales are available to validate the model and to assess the physical consistency of the model output. This work aims to: (i) assess the model validation at the plot scale in order to improve performances at the catchment scale; (ii) verify the usefulness of using multiple types of observations (snow, satellites, tracers, discharge) in order to assess the physical consistency and reduce the equifinality of the model output. At the plot scale, the model was calibrated by a manual sensitivity analysis on predicted snow heights, water equivalent and duration compared with the corresponding snow depth data of two meteorological stations (at 1930 m and 3035 m a.s.l.) in the study area. Selected snow parameters controlling snow reflectivity and snow aging were calibrated. In addition to traditional snow depth data, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) sensor data were used to derive snow duration of other four meteorological stations In order to account for the spatial distribution of snow cover, best parameter settings of the plot scale models were transferred to catchment scale models. These models were assigned for two nested catchments, named LSG (19 km²) and USG (11 km²), which provided snow height and SWE in the catchment. At this scale, the model calibration was based on two types of remotely sensed snow maps: monthly Landsat images (30 m of resolution) and daily MODIS images (250 m of resolution). To support the

  2. Influence of climate change on the water resources in an alpine region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Toffol, S; Engelhard, C; Rauch, W

    2008-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the global warming will impact on water resources. This study investigates the possible influence of climate change on the water resources in an alpine region. A description of the actual situation with emphasis on the water resources from the one side and on the water consuming factors, here called stressors, is given. The probable effects of climate change in the region and their influence on its water resources are then described. The main outcome is that in the analysed region the climate change will rather have positive influence on the water balance by inducing higher precipitations during the rivers' natural low flow period (winter). This outcome contradicts many common predictions, however, this due to the specifics induced by the alpine nature of the catchment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlain, Dan E; 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.

  4. Modeling of debris flow depositional patterns according to the catchments and sediment source areas characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiranti, Davide; Deangeli, Chiara

    2015-03-01

    A method to predict the most probable flow rheology in Alpine debris flows is presented. The methods classifies outcropping rock masses in catchments on the basis of the type of resulting unconsolidated deposits. The grain size distribution of the debris material and the depositional style of past debris flow events are related to the dominant flow processes: viscoplastic and frictional/collisional. Three catchments in the upper Susa Valley (Western Alps), characterized by different lithologies, were selected for numerical analysis carried out with a Cellular Automata code with viscoplastic and frictional/collisional rheologies. The obtained numerical results are in good agreement with in site evidences in terms of depositional patterns, confirming the possibility of choosing the rheology of the debris flow based on the source material within the catchment.

  5. Contrasting climate change impact on river flows from high altitude catchments in the Himalayan and Andes Mountains

    OpenAIRE

    Ragettli, Silvan; Immerzeel, Walter; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Mountain ranges are world’s natural water towers and provide water resources for millions of people. Yet, their hydrological balance and possible future changes in river flow remain poorly understood because of high meteorological variability, physical inaccessibility and the complex interplay between climate, cryosphere and hydrological processes. Here we use a state-of-the art glacio-hydrological model informed by data from high altitude observations and CMIP5 climate change scenarios to qu...

  6. Spatial and temporal variability of snow depth and SWE in a small mountain catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Grünewald

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatio-temporal variability of the mountain snow cover determines the avalanche danger, snow water storage, permafrost distribution and the local distribution of fauna and flora. Using a new type of terrestrial laser scanner (TLS, which is particularly suited for measurements of snow covered surfaces, snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE and melt rates have been monitored in a high alpine catchment during an ablation period. This allowed for the first time to get a high resolution (2.5 m cell size picture of spatial variability and its temporal development. A very high variability in which maximum snow depths between 0–9 m at the end of the accumulation season was found. This variability decreased during the ablation phase, although the dominant snow deposition features remained intact. The spatial patterns of calculated SWE were found to be similar to snow depth. Average daily melt rate was between 15 mm/d at the beginning of the ablation period and 30 mm/d at the end. The spatial variation of melt rates increased during the ablation rate and could not be explained in a simple manner by geographical or meteorological parameters, which suggests significant lateral energy fluxes contributing to observed melt. It could be qualitatively shown that the effect of the lateral energy transport must increase as the fraction of snow free surfaces increases during the ablation period.

  7. Contrasting climate change impact on river flows from high-altitude catchments in the Himalayan and Andes Mountains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ragettli, Silvan; Immerzeel, Walter W.; Pellicciotti, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Mountain ranges are the world's natural water towers and provide water resources for millions of people. However, their hydrological balance and possible future changes in river flow remain poorly understood because of high meteorological variability, physical inaccessibility, and the complex interp

  8. Geomorphometric mapping of spatio-temporal changes in Plio-Quaternary uplift in the NW European Alpine foreland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demoulin, Alain; Bourdon, Hadrien

    2016-04-01

    A way to explore the causes of Plio-Quaternary uplift in NW Europe consists in identifying the distribution of uplifted areas and evaluating relative uplift ages. Here we use the composite metric R of fluvial landscapes, which involves three different hypsometric integrals (catchment, drainage network, and trunk stream), in order to get time information (Demoulin, 2011). Main controls on R are catchment size A and uplift age. To isolate the latter information, we use the derived SR index, which is the slope of the linear fit between R and ln(A). We calculate R for more than 7000 basins larger than 15 km2 and determine SR values for 60-km-wide regions in five N- to NW-trending zones of alternating Paleozoic massifs (Massif central-Brittany; Rhenish shield; Bohemian massif) and Meso-Cenozoic basins (Paris basin; Franconian basin) covering the whole NW European platform in front of the alpine arc. The resulting 350- to 750-km-long SR profiles seem to provide the most meaningful time information, better than that obtained with noisier higher-resolution SR maps. Preliminary results of the study especially evidence a systematic increase in SR from south to north across the Paris basin and Rhenish shield zones that suggests northward propagation of an uplift wave that started from ~200 km north of the alpine collision front in Pliocene times and travelled across this part of the European platform. The Bohemian Massif and the Massif central-Brittany zone show more complex SR patterns that might be linked to interferences between the uplift wave and more local phenomena (related, e.g., to WNW-oriented compression in front of the Carpathian arc). Surprisingly, the Franconian basin displays fairly uniform low to moderate SR values suggesting that no tectonic perturbation occurred there since at least the late Early Pleistocene. In conclusion, this new geomorphometric approach of uplift chronology provides a wealth of data, whose careful analysis will help get fresh insight

  9. Quantifying potential water savings from clearing invasive alien Eucalyptus camaldulensis using in situ and high resolution remote sensing data in the Berg River Catchment, Western Cape, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dzikiti, Sebinasi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available , to provide an indication of the impacts of clearing on streamflow under Mediterranean climatic conditions. The study was conducted at two adjacent sites in the Berg River catchment, Western Cape Province in South Africa. One site was densely invaded by E...

  10. 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.

  11. 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 (flow process. Based on field observations and examination of soils mapping of the northern part of the study area, we identified a relation between the degree of soil development and the process type that generated debris flows. In general, areas with greater soil development were less likely to generate 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

  12. A Treatment Train Approach To Catchment Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Nick; Quinn, Paul; Org, EdenDTC

    2017-04-01

    The treatment train approach has been attempted in a 1.6km2 catchment in the River Eden as part of the UK Demonstration Test Catchment Project. The catchment is one of three detailed study catchments of 10km2 that are investigating diffuse pollution losses from an intense grassland farming system. The catchment is very susceptible to saturation and high losses of fine sediment and phosphorus in storm events. The poster will show how a sequence of mitigation features that target nutrient sources and flow pathways can reduce nutrient losses. 5 features have been installed from farmyard runoff control, along polluting tracks and sediment traps in the farm ditch network. Together the features can slow, store and trap sediment and pollutants. The potential to have further impacts on flood generation and drought mitigation are also being studied. Although the features are currently small in size the ability to directly reduce pollution can be demonstrated. Hence, the potential to scale up these features to a broader catchment scale can be explored and the likely costs and benefits can be simulated. This work builds upon similar work addressing flood control features, sediment trapping on farms and methods for the direct mitigation of fast polluting pathways often referred to as Nature Based Solutions. The designs and construction of the completed features will be shown in the poster. Early results show that the combined effect of the 5 features can significantly impact on sediment and pollution during storm events. The specific yield of the impact was 42 kg of suspended sediment/ha 0.06 kg P/ha of P trapped and 0.16 kg of N/ha. This mitigation impact is derived from an area of only 0.02% of the catchment. The potential to increase the mitigated area is thus large. Payment schemes for farmers could encourage the take up the of these methods and future maintenance regimes for managing the features would also have to be created. However, the potential to mitigate fast

  13. 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...... between the Circular Buffer approach and the Service Area approach are illustrated and a comparison between the sizes of the catchment areas is made. The strength of the Service Area approach and the impact on the catchment area when adding additional time resistance to crossing of stairways...... is illustrated by a case example. Furthermore, a case example illustrates how the additional time resistance in stairways affects the catchment area of an underground station compared to a ground-level station. It is also illustrated how catchment area analyses can serve in the planning of stops on a new line...

  14. 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

  15. Factors controlling sediment and phosphorus export from two Belgian agricultural catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steegen, A; Govers, G; Takken, I; Nachtergaele, J; Poesen, J; Merckx, R

    2001-01-01

    Sediment and total phosphorus (TP) export vary through space and time. This study was conducted to determine the factors controlling sediment and TP export in two agricultural catchments situated in the Belgian Loess Belt. At the outlet of these catchments runoff discharge was continuously measured and suspended sediment samples were taken during rainfall events. Within the catchments vegetation type and cover, soil surface parameters, erosion features, sediment pathways, and rainfall characteristics were monitored. Total P content and sediment characteristics such as clay, organic carbon, and suspended sediment concentration were correlated. Total sediment and TP export differ significantly between the monitored catchments. Much of the difference is due to the occurrence of an extreme event in one catchment and the morphology and spatial organization of land use in the catchments. In one catchment, the direct connection between erosive areas and the catchment outlet by means of a road system contributed to a high sediment delivery ratio (SDR) at the outlet. In the other catchment, the presence of a wide valley in the center of the catchment caused sediment deposition. Vegetation also had an effect on sediment production and deposition. Thus, many factors control sediment and TP export from small agricultural catchments; some of these factors are related to the physical catchment characteristics such as morphology and landscape structure and are (semi)permanent, while others, such as vegetation cover and land use, are time dependent.

  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. Climate change and alpine stream biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    In alpine regions worldwide, climate change is dramatically altering ecosystems and affecting biodiversity in many ways. For streams, receding alpine glaciers and snowfields, paired with altered precipitation regimes, are driving shifts in hydrology, species distributions, basal resources......, and threatening the very existence of some habitats and biota. Alpine streams harbour substantial species and genetic diversity due to significant habitat insularity and environmental heterogeneity. Climate change is expected to affect alpine stream biodiversity across many levels of biological resolution from...... 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. Development of catchment research, with particular attention to Plynlimon and its forerunner, the East African catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. 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

  20. Mapping snow depth in open alpine terrain from stereo satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marti, R.; Gascoin, S.; Berthier, E.; de Pinel, M.; Houet, T.; Laffly, D.

    2016-07-01

    To date, there is no definitive approach to map snow depth in mountainous areas from spaceborne sensors. Here, we examine the potential of very-high-resolution (VHR) optical stereo satellites to this purpose. Two triplets of 0.70 m resolution images were acquired by the Pléiades satellite over an open alpine catchment (14.5 km2) under snow-free and snow-covered conditions. The open-source software Ame's Stereo Pipeline (ASP) was used to match the stereo pairs without ground control points to generate raw photogrammetric clouds and to convert them into high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) at 1, 2, and 4 m resolutions. The DEM differences (dDEMs) were computed after 3-D coregistration, including a correction of a -0.48 m vertical bias. The bias-corrected dDEM maps were compared to 451 snow-probe measurements. The results show a decimetric accuracy and precision in the Pléiades-derived snow depths. The median of the residuals is -0.16 m, with a standard deviation (SD) of 0.58 m at a pixel size of 2 m. We compared the 2 m Pléiades dDEM to a 2 m dDEM that was based on a winged unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) photogrammetric survey that was performed on the same winter date over a portion of the catchment (3.1 km2). The UAV-derived snow depth map exhibits the same patterns as the Pléiades-derived snow map, with a median of -0.11 m and a SD of 0.62 m when compared to the snow-probe measurements. The Pléiades images benefit from a very broad radiometric range (12 bits), allowing a high correlation success rate over the snow-covered areas. This study demonstrates the value of VHR stereo satellite imagery to map snow depth in remote mountainous areas even when no field data are available.

  1. 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......, and did not change. Alpine ski training improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity in healthy, elderly individuals....

  2. Hydrological Catchment Similarity Assessment in Geum River Catchments, Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Ara; Park, Kisoon; Lee, Hyosang

    2013-04-01

    Similarity measure of catchments is essential for regionalization studies, which provide in depth analysis in hydrological response and flood estimations at ungauged catchments. However, this similarity measure is often biased to the selected catchments and is notclearly explained in hydrological sense. This study applied a type of hydrological similarity distance measure-Flood Estimation Handbook to 25 Geum river catchments, Korea. Three Catchment Characteristics, Area (A)-Annual precipitation (SAAR)-SCS Curve Number (CN), are used in Euclidian distance measures. Furthermore, six index of Flow Duration Curve (ILow:Q275/Q185, IDrought:Q355/Q185, IFlood:Qmax/Q185, IAbundant:Q95/Q185, IFloodDuration:Q10/Q355 and IRiverRegime:Qmax/Qmin) are applied to clustering analysis of SPSS. The catchments' grouping of hydrological similarity measures suggests three groups: H1 (Cheongseong, Gidae, Bukil, Oksan, Seockhwa, Habgang and Sangyeogyo), H2 (Cheongju, Guryong, Ugon, Boksu, Useong and Seokdong) and H3 (Muju, Yangganggyo and YongdamDam). The four catchments (Cheoncheon, Donghyang, DaecheongDam and Indong) are not grouped in this study. The clustering analysis of FDC provides four Groups; CFDC1 (Muju, YongdamDam, Yangganggyo, DaecheongDam, Cheongseong, Gidae, Seokhwa, Bukil, Habgang, Cheongju, Oksan, Yuseong and Guryong), CFDC2 (Cheoncheon, Donghyang, Boksu, Indong, Nonsan, Seokdong, Ugon, Simcheon, Useong and Sangyeogyo), CFDC3 (Songcheon) and CFDC4 (Tanbu). The six catchments (out of seven) of H1 are grouped in CFDC1, while Sangyeogyo is grouped in CFDC2. The four catchments (out of six) of H2 are also grouped in CFDC2, while Cheongju and Guryong are grouped in CFDC1. The catchments of H3 are categorized in CFDC1. The authors examine the results (H1, H2 and H3) of similarity measure based on catchment physical descriptors with results (CFDC1 and CFDC2) of clustering based on catchment hydrological response. The results of hydrological similarity measures are supported by

  3. Long-term forest paired catchment studies: What do they tell us that landscape-level monitoring does not?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dan Neary

    2016-01-01

    Forested catchments throughout the world are known for producing high quality water for human use. In the 20th Century, experimental forest catchment studies played a key role in studying the processes contributing to high water quality. The hydrologic processes investigated on these paired catchments have provided the science base for examining water quality...

  4. Catchment scale afforestation for mitigating flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Bathurst, James; Birkinshaw, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    After the 2013-14 floods in the UK there were calls to 'forest the uplands' as a solution to reducing flood risk across the nation. At present, 1 in 6 homes in Britain are at risk of flooding and current EU legislation demands a sustainable, 'nature-based solution'. However, the role of forests as a natural flood management technique remains highly controversial, due to a distinct lack of robust evidence into its effectiveness in reducing flood risk during extreme events. SHETRAN, physically-based spatially-distributed hydrological models of the Irthing catchment and Wark forest sub-catchments (northern England) have been developed in order to test the hypothesis of the effect trees have on flood magnitude. The advanced physically-based models have been designed to model scale-related responses from 1, through 10, to 100km2, a first study of the extent to which afforestation and woody debris runoff attenuation features (RAFs) may help to mitigate floods at the full catchment scale (100-1000 km2) and on a national basis. Furthermore, there is a need to analyse the extent to which land management practices, and the installation of nature-based RAFs, such as woody debris dams, in headwater catchments can attenuate flood-wave movement, and potentially reduce downstream flood risk. The impacts of riparian planting and the benefits of adding large woody debris of several designs and on differing sizes of channels has also been simulated using advanced hydrodynamic (HiPIMS) and hydrological modelling (SHETRAN). With the aim of determining the effect forestry may have on flood frequency, 1000 years of generated rainfall data representative of current conditions has been used to determine the difference between current land-cover, different distributions of forest cover and the defining scenarios - complete forest removal and complete afforestation of the catchment. The simulations show the percentage of forestry required to have a significant impact on mitigating

  5. A snow and ice melt seasonal prediction modelling system for Alpine reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Förster, Kristian; Oesterle, Felix; Hanzer, Florian; Schöber, Johannes; Huttenlau, Matthias; Strasser, Ulrich

    2016-10-01

    The timing and the volume of snow and ice melt in Alpine catchments are crucial for management operations of reservoirs and hydropower generation. Moreover, a sustainable reservoir operation through reservoir storage and flow control as part of flood risk management is important for downstream communities. Forecast systems typically provide predictions for a few days in advance. Reservoir operators would benefit if lead times could be extended in order to optimise the reservoir management. Current seasonal prediction products such as the NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) enable seasonal forecasts up to nine months in advance, with of course decreasing accuracy as lead-time increases. We present a coupled seasonal prediction modelling system that runs at monthly time steps for a small catchment in the Austrian Alps (Gepatschalm). Meteorological forecasts are obtained from the CFSv2 model. Subsequently, these data are downscaled to the Alpine Water balance And Runoff Estimation model AWARE running at monthly time step. Initial conditions are obtained using the physically based, hydro-climatological snow model AMUNDSEN that predicts hourly fields of snow water equivalent and snowmelt at a regular grid with 50 m spacing. Reservoir inflow is calculated taking into account various runs of the CFSv2 model. These simulations are compared with observed inflow volumes for the melting and accumulation period 2015.

  6. Wet meadow ecosystems contribute the majority of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Williams, Mark W.

    2016-04-01

    We measured soil respiration across a soil moisture gradient ranging from dry to wet snow-scoured alpine tundra soils throughout three winters and two summers. In the absence of snow accumulation, soil moisture variability was principally determined by the combination of mesotopographical hydrological focusing and shallow subsurface permeability, which resulted in a patchwork of comingled ecosystem types along a single alpine ridge. To constrain the subsequent carbon cycling variability, we compared three measures of effective diffusivity and three methods to calculate gradient method soil respiration from four typical vegetation communities. Overwinter soil respiration was primarily restricted to wet meadow locations, and a conservative estimate of the rate of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured wet meadow tundra was 69-90% of the maximum carbon dioxide (CO2) respired by seasonally snow-covered soils within this same catchment. This was attributed to higher overwinter soil temperatures at wet meadow locations relative to fellfield, dry meadow, and moist meadow communities, which supported liquid water and heterotrophic respiration throughout the winter. These results were corroborated by eddy covariance-based measurements that demonstrated an average of 272 g C m-2 overwinter carbon loss during the study period. As a result, we updated a conceptual model of soil respiration versus snow cover to express the potential for soil respiration variability from snow-scoured alpine tundra.

  7. Characterizing Runoff and Water Yield from Headwater Catchments in the Southern Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safeeq, M.; Hunsaker, C. T.

    2015-12-01

    In a mediterranean climate where much of the annual precipitation falls during winter, the snow-capped Sierra Nevada serves as the primary source of dry season runoff that supports agriculture, industries, urban, and other ecosystems. Increased warming has led to significant reductions in mountain snowpack accumulation and earlier snowmelt throughout the western United States where most of the snow accumulates at temperatures near the freezing point. As a result, declines in dry season runoff magnitude, earlier runoff timing, and altered flood risk have been reported across the region. An important question in this context is, how to best manage forested catchments for water and other ecosystem services? We depict the differences in hydrologic response of ten catchments in the Kings River Experimental Watersheds (KREW) research project using continuous precipitation, snow, and runoff data during 2004-2014. The size of these catchments ranges from 50 to 475 ha, and they span a 600-m elevation range in the rain snow transitional zone. In terms of soil, Shaver and Gerle-Cagwin dominate the lower elevation Providence catchments, and Cagwin soils dominate the higher elevation Bull catchments. The majority of these catchments have southwest aspect, moderate average slope (i.e. annual runoff ranges between 281 to 408 mm in Providence and 436 to 656 mm in Bull catchments despite no significant difference in precipitation among KREW's four meteorological stations. However, high elevation Bull catchments receive significantly more precipitation as snow than the low elevation Providence catchments. The average runoff ratio ranges from 18% to as high as 43% among different catchments, indicating that the catchment evapotranspiration exceeds the catchment runoff. Inter-catchment variability in runoff, runoff ratio, characteristics of runoff ratio-precipitation relationship (i.e. slope and intercept), and precipitation elasticity of runoff can be primarily explained by

  8. Hydroclimatic change disparity of Peruvian Pacific drainage catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Pedro; Bourrel, Luc; Labat, David; Frappart, Frédéric; Ruelland, Denis; Lavado, Waldo; Dewitte, Boris; Felipe, Oscar

    2017-09-01

    Peruvian Pacific drainage catchments only benefit from 2% of the total national available freshwater while they concentrate almost 50% of the population of the country. This situation is likely to lead a severe water scarcity and also constitutes an obstacle to economic development. Catchment runoff fluctuations in response to climate variability and/or human activities can be reflected in extreme events, representing a serious concern (like floods, erosion, droughts) in the study area. To document this crucial issue for Peru, we present here an insightful analysis of the water quantity resource variability of this region, exploring the links between this variability and climate and/or anthropogenic pressure. We first present a detailed analysis of the hydroclimatologic variability at annual timescale and at basin scale over the 1970-2008 period. In addition to corroborating the influence of extreme El Niño events over precipitation and runoff in northern catchments, a mean warming of 0.2 °C per decade over all catchments was found. Also, higher values of temperature and potential and actual evapotranspiration were found over northern latitudes. We chose to apply the Budyko-Zhang framework that characterizes the water cycle as a function of climate only, allowing the identification of catchments with significant climatic and anthropogenic influence on water balance. The Budyko-Zhang methodology revealed that 11 out of 26 initial catchments are characterized by low water balance disparity related to minor climatic and anthropogenic influence. These 11 catchments were suitable for identifying catchments with contrasting change in their hydroclimatic behavior using the Budyko trajectories. Our analysis further reveals that six hydrological catchment responses can be characterized by high sensitivity to climate variability and land use changes.

  9. Extreme inflow events and synoptic forcing in Sydney catchments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pepler, Acacia S; Rakich, Clinton S, E-mail: a.pepler@bom.gov.a [NSW Climate Services Section, Bureau of Meteorology PO Box 413, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300 (Australia)

    2010-08-15

    The Sydney catchment region encompasses over 16,000km{sup 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.

  10. Synchoronous inter-hemispheric alpine glacier advances during the Late Glacial?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakke, Jostein; Paasche, Øyvind

    2016-04-01

    The termination of the last glaciation in both hemispheres was a period of rapid climate swings superimposed on the overall warming trend, resulting from large-scale reorganizations of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns in both hemispheres. Environmental changes during the deglaciation have been inferred from proxy records, as well as by model simulations. Several oscillations took place both in northern and southern hemispheres caused by melt water releases such as during the Younger Dryas in north and the Antarctic Cold Reversal in south. However, a consensus on the hemispheric linkages through ocean and atmosphere are yet to be reached. Here we present a new multi-proxy reconstruction from a sub-annually resolved lake sediment record from Lake Lusvatnet in Arctic Norway compared with a new reconstruction from the same time interval at South Georgia, Southern Ocean, suggesting inter-hemispheric climate linkages during the Bølling/Allerød time period. Our reconstruction of the alpine glacier in the lake Lusvatnet catchment show a synchronous glacier advance with the Birch-hill moraine complex in the Southern Alps, New Zealand during the Intra Allerød Cooling period. We propose these inter hemispheric climate swings to be forced by the northward migration of the southern Subtropical Front during the Antarctic Cold Reversal. Such a northward migration of the Subtropical Front is shown in model simulation and in palaeorecords to reduce the Agulhas leakage impacting the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. We simply ask if this can be the carrier of rapid climate swings from one hemisphere to another? Our high-resolution reconstructions provide the basis for an enhanced understanding of the tiny balance between migration of the Subtropical Front in the Southern Ocean and the teleconnection to northern hemisphere.

  11. Climate-based analysis of spatial and temporal distribution of fine sediment sources in an Alpine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Anna; Molnar, Peter; Stutenbecker, Laura; Schlunegger, Fritz; Bakker, Maarten; Lane, Stuart N.

    2016-04-01

    Four main sediment sources can be identified in an Alpine environment: glacier erosion, hillslope erosion, channel erosion and mass wasting events (e.g. rockfalls and landslides). The spatial distibution of fine sediment sources varies throughout the hydrological year according to climatic conditions. While during spring, temperature-driven snow melting largely contributes to discharge and transport capacity of the catchment, autumn intense rainfalls can trigger debris flow events and landslides with a large pulse of sediment mobilized and released to the channel network. At the end of the summer, when the catchment is snow free up to high elevations, glacier melting discloses a large amount of fine sediments to be mobilized. In this work, precipitation and temperature are considered as control factors for activating different sediment sources and different sediment transport processes. The aim of this work is to analyse and understand basin-scale sediment dynamics of the Upper Rhône basin, a 5200 km2 cathcment located in the south-western part of Switzerland. The correlation between fine sediment loads and climatic variables is used to infer information on the spatial and temporal variability of active sediment sources. Turbidity data measured continuously at the outlet of the Upper Rhône River are considered as a proxy for suspended sediment concentration. Gridded climatic datasets are used to compute total daily precipitation and mean daily air temperature over the entire basin and over different tributary catchments. The relation between fine sediment loads and climatic conditions is analysed by estimating the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient between turbidity, precipitation and temperature time series, assuming different time lags. The indirect effects of temperature are better evaluated by analysing the temporal evolution of snow covered areas simulated by a simple temperature index model. The correlation of fine sediment loads is much greater with

  12. Changes in alpine plant growth under future climate conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Rammig

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Alpine shrub- and grasslands are shaped by extreme climatic conditions such as a long-lasting snow cover and a short vegetation period. Such ecosystems are expected to be highly sensitive to global environmental change. Prolonged growing seasons and shifts in temperature and precipitation are likely to affect plant phenology and growth. In a unique experiment, climatology and plant growth was monitored for almost a decade at 17 snow meteorological stations in different alpine regions along the Swiss Alps. Regression analyses revealed highly significant correlations between mean air temperature in May/June and snow melt out, onset of plant growth, and plant height. These correlations were used to project plant growth phenology for future climate conditions based on the gridded output of a set of regional climate models runs. Melt out and onset of growth were projected to occur on average 17 days earlier by the end of the century than in the control period from 1971–2000 under the future climate conditions of the low resolution climate model ensemble. Plant height and biomass production were expected to increase by 77% and 45%, respectively. The earlier melt out and onset of growth will probably cause a considerable shift towards higher growing plants and thus increased biomass. Our results represent the first quantitative and spatially explicit estimates of climate change impacts on future growing season length and the respective productivity of alpine plant communities in the Swiss Alps.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Contrasting mass-wasting activity in two debris flow-dominated catchments of the Venosta Valley/Vinschgau (Italy): 1945-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzarini, Simone; Brardinoni, Francesco; Draganits, Erich; Cavalli, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Debris flows are the most common mass movements within alpine mountainous catchments and main responsible process for sediment delivery from headwaters to streams. Often the delivered unsorted material accumulates as debris-flow lobes on the large debris-flow fans occurring at the outlet of secondary valleys or where the slope becomes less steep. These mass-wasting events are remarkable hazardous process concerning infrastructure and people, especially if villages are located on such fans. Therefore monitoring and analysis of the debris-flow activity is essential in order to mitigate the risk. This study presents the results of a multi-temporal analysis of the debris flow activity and the evolution of the colluvial sediment sources over the last 70 years. Two high-altitude watersheds, close to each other in the Venosta valley (Eastern Italian Alps), were geomorphologically characterized and the transport regimes were identified. The larger basin is Cengles Creek (10.7 km2) and the smaller watershed is Plaies Creek (3.6 km2). The analysis has been carried out using historical aerial photos and digital analogues as well as through geomorphological, sedimentological and hydrological fieldwork. Our results consist of the identification of different geomorphological features and debris-flow activity patterns within the two basins. The Cengles basin is characterized by a diffuse layer of permafrost, a hanging valley floor where alluvial processes predominate and considerable vegetation. Within this catchment the debris-flow activity has been quite stable over the last seven decades, with peak activities related to exceptional events, for example in 1999. On the other hand, the Plaies watershed possesses diffuse steep slopes, virtually no vegetation and a large glacier at its headwaters; also there the mass-wasting activity shows a stable trend with an only exceptional peak, linked to the occurrence of a large event in August 2012. The processes in the catchment area

  16. An Explicit Representation of High Resolution River Networks using a Catchment-based Land Surface Model with the NHDPlus dataset for California Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Z.; Kim, H.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2011-12-01

    The main motivation of this study is to characterize how accurately we can estimate river discharge, river depth and inundation extent using an explicit representation of the river network with a catchment-based hydrological and routing modeling system (CHARMS) framework. Here we present a macroscale implementation of CHARMS over California. There are two main components in CHARMS: a land surface model based on National Center Atmospheric Research Community Land Model (CLM) 4.0, which is modified for implementation on a catchment template; and a river routing model that considers the water transport of each river reach. The river network is upscaled from the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus) to the Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) river basins. Both long-term monthly and daily streamflow simulation are generated and show reasonable results compared with gage observations. With river cross-section profile information derived from empirical relationships between channel dimensions and drainage area, river depth and floodplain extent associated with each river reach are also explicitly represented. Results have implications for assimilation of surface water altimetry and for implementation of the approach at the continental scale.

  17. From valley to marginal glaciation in alpine-type relief: Lateglacial glacier advances in the Pięć Stawów Polskich/Roztoka Valley, High Tatra Mountains, Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasadni, Jerzy; Kłapyta, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    The Pięć Stawów Polskich-Roztoka Valley in the High Tatras (Western Carpathians) features typical alpine-type relief with a deeply incised glacial trough and large, compound trough head cirque. The prominent hypsographic maximum in the valley (1680-2000 m) along with a broad cirque bottom had provided a vast space for recording glacial and periglacial landforms, specifically the most recent Lateglacial advances. The valley has been intensively studied before in the context of glacial chronology. In this paper, we re-establish the post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) glacial chronology of the valley via detailed geomorphologic mapping, equilibrium line altitude (ELA) reconstruction, and Schmidt hammer (SH) dating, along with a critical review of previously published cosmogenic exposure age data (36Cl) and lacustrine sediment chronology. Our results indicate that the first four of the five distinguished Lateglacial stages (Roztoka I-III, Pusta I) occurred before the Bølling/Allerød (B/A) interstadial; thus, virtually the entire valley became deglaciated in course of the Oldest Dryas cold phase. A distinct reorganization of deglacial patterns from valley-type to marginal-type occurred before B/A warming when the ELA increased above the valley hypsographic maximum concentrated at the cirque bottom elevation. It shows that noticeable deglaciation step can be caused due to topographic reason with a minimal climate forcing. This points also to an important role of glaciated valley hypsography in regulating the distribution of moraines which is rarely taken into account in paleoglaciological reconstructions. We infer that glaciers vanished in the Tatra Mountains during the B/A interstadial. Later, a renewed advance during the Younger Dryas (Pusta II) formed a nearly continuous, festoon shaped pattern of moraines and rock glaciers in close distance to cirque backwalls. Furthermore, we discus some paleoenvironmental significance of the geomorphological record in the valley

  18. 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.

  19. Ungulate herbivory on alpine willow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigenfuss, L.C.; Schoenecker, K.A.; Amburg, L.K.V.

    2011-01-01

    In many areas of the Rocky Mountains, elk (Cervus elaphus) migrate from low-elevation mountain valleys during spring to high-elevation subalpine and alpine areas for the summer. Research has focused on the impacts of elk herbivory on winter-range plant communities, particularly on woody species such as willow and aspen; however, little information is available on the effects of elk herbivory on alpine willows. In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south central Colorado, select alpine areas appear to receive high levels of summer elk herbivory, while other areas are nearly unbrowsed. In 2005 and 2008, we measured willow height, cover, and utilization on sites that appeared to be used heavily by elk, as well as on sites that appeared to be used lightly, to determine differences between these communities over time. We found less willow cover and shorter willows at sites that received higher levels of browsing compared to those that had lower levels of browsing. Human recreational use was greater at lightly browsed sites than at highly browsed sites. From 2005 to 2008, willow utilization declined, and willow cover and height increased at sites with heavy browsing, likely owing to ownership change of adjacent valley land which led to (1) removal of grazing competition from, cattle at valley locations and (2) increased human use in alpine areas, which displaced elk. We discuss the implications of increased human use and climate change on elk use of these alpine habitats. ?? 2011.

  20. 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

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

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    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

  2. 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 sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good. PMID:23971024

  3. Mineral magnetism and other characteristics of sediments from a sub-alpine lake (3080 m a.s.l.) in central east China and their implications on environmental changes for the last 5770 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongya; Song, Yaqiong; Cheng, Ying; Luo, Yao; Zhang, Cai'na; Gao, Yishen; Qiu, An'an; Deng, Lei; Liu, Hongyan

    2016-10-01

    A sediment sequence (SQC07) was recovered from Sanqing Chi, a small sub-alpine lake (3080 m a.s.l.) on Taibai (3767 m a.s.l.), the highest mountain in east mainland China (east of 105°). The Mountain is also the highest part and central massif of the Qinling Mountain Range functioning as the boundary between the warm temperate climate zone to the north and sub-tropical climate zone to the south in east China. Soils and debris were also sampled from the catchment of Sanqing Chi. SQC07 was AMS 14C dated. Mineral magnetism was measured for the sediment sequence and catchment samples. Particle-size, TOC and TN analysis were undertaken on SQC07, while pollen analysis was made for the sediment sequence and surface-soil samples. With the mineral magnetism of the catchment materials, the magnetic and other characteristics of SQC07 indicate the environmental changes occurring on the high altitudes of Taibai Mountain during the past 5770 years. Environments were still moderately warm and wet over 5770-5100 cal. yr BP around this sub-alpine lake. Then cold and dry conditions persisted in the period of 5100-4000 cal. yr BP. Local environments began to ameliorate from 4000 cal. yr BP onwards and were thus generally warm and wet over 4000-1200 cal. yr BP. The warmth and wetness culminated in 1200-800 cal. yr BP. During the period of 800-400 cal. yr BP, cold and arid conditions again predominated. Environments have subsequently become warm and humid since ∼400 cal. yr BP. The overall trend of the changes is coincident with what have been identified at several other sites in east mainland China and Taiwan. Presumably, the deterioration over 5100-4000 cal. yr BP marks the termination of the Holocene optimum, corresponds to or encompasses Holocene event 3, while the deterioration occurring in 800-400 cal. yr BP may correspond to LIA cooling. However, they appear to have commenced earlier than the aforementioned sites at relatively low altitudes in east mainland China or even

  4. Relationships of Periglacial Processes to Habitat Quality and Thermal Environment of Pikas (Lagomorpha, Ochotona) in Alpine and High-Latitude Environments (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, C. I.; Smith, A. T.; Hik, D. S.

    2009-12-01

    Patterned-ground and related periglacial features such as rock-glaciers and fractured-rock talus are emblematic of cold and dry arctic environments. The freeze-thaw processes that cause these features were first systematically investigated in the pioneering work of Linc Washburn. Unusual internal and autonomous micro-climatic and hydrologic processes of these features, however, are only beginning to be understood. Such features occur also in temperate latitude mountains, often in surprising abundance in regions such as the Great Basin (NV, USA) and San Juan Mtns (CO, USA), where they occur as active as well as relict (neoglacial or Pleistocene) features. Rock-dwelling species of pikas (Ochotona) in temperate North American and Asian mountains and in North American high-latitudes have long been known for their preference for talus habitats. We are investigating geomorphic, climatic, and hydrologic attributes of these periglacial features for their role in habitat quality and thermal environment of pikas. PRISM-modeled and observed climatic conditions from a range of talus types for Ochotona princeps in California and the western Great Basin (USA) indicate that, 1) thermal conditions of intra-talus-matrix in summer are significantly colder than talus-surface temperatures and colder than adjacent slopes and forefield wetlands where pika forage; 2) near-talus-surface locations (where haypiles are situated) are warmer in winter than intra-talus-matrix temperatures; 3) high-quality wetland vegetation in talus forefields is promoted by year-round persistence of outlet springs, seeps, and streams characteristic of active taluses. The importance of snowpack to winter thermal conditions is highlighted from these observations, suggesting a greater sensitivity of habitat in dry temperate regions such as eastern California and Nevada USA to warming winter minimum temperatures than in regions or elevations where snowpacks are more persistent. In regions where warming air

  5. Large-scale European source and flow patterns retrieved from back-trajectory interpretations of CO2 at the high alpine research station Jungfraujoch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Brunner

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The University of Bern monitors carbon dioxide (CO2 and oxygen (O2 at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch since the year 2000 by means of flasks sampling and since 2005 using a continuous in situ measurement system. This study investigates the transport of CO2 and O2 towards Jungfraujoch using backward trajectories to classify the air masses with respect to their CO2 and O2 signatures. By investigating trajectories associated with distinct CO2 concentrations it is possible to decipher different source and sink areas over Europe. The highest CO2 concentrations, for example, were observed in winter during pollution episodes when air was transported from Northeastern Europe towards the Alps, or during south Foehn events with rapid uplift of polluted air from Northern Italy, as demonstrated in two case studies. To study the importance of air-sea exchange for variations in O2 concentrations at Jungfraujoch the correlation between CO2 and APO (Atmospheric Potential Oxygen deviations from a seasonally varying background was analyzed. Anomalously high APO concentrations were clearly associated with air masses originating from the Atlantic Ocean, whereas low APO concentrations were found in air masses advected either from the east from the Eurasian continent in summer, or from the Eastern Mediterranean in winter. Those air masses with low APO in summer were also strongly depleted in CO2 suggesting a combination of CO2 uptake by vegetation and O2 uptake by dry summer soils. Other clusters of points in the APO–CO2 scatter plot investigated with respect to air mass origin included CO2 and APO background values and points with regular APO but anomalous CO2 concentrations. Background values were associated with free tropospheric air masses with little contact with the boundary layer during the last few days, while high or low CO2 concentrations reflect the various levels of influence of anthropogenic emissions and the biosphere. The pronounced

  6. A nonlinear model coupling rockfall and rainfall intensity based ewline on a four year measurement in a high Alpine rock wall (Reintal, German Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Krautblatter

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available A total of more than 140 000 kg of small-magnitude rockfall deposits was measured in eight rockfall collectors of altogether 940 m2 in size between 1999–2003 below a 400–600 m high rock face in the Reintal, German Alps. Measurements were conducted with a temporal resolution up to single days to attribute rockfall intensity to observed triggering events. Precipitation was assessed by a rain gauge and high-resolution precipitation radar. Intense rainstorms triggered previously unreported rockfall intensities of up to 300 000 g/(m2h that we term "secondary rockfall event." In comparison to dry periods without frost (10−2g/(m2h, rockfall deposition increased by 2–218 times during wet freeze-thaw cycles and by 56-thousand to 40-million times during secondary rockfall events. We obtained three nonlinear logistic growth models that relate rockfall intensity [g/(m2h] to rainfall intensity [mm/h]. The models account for different rock wall intermediate storage volumes, triggering thresholds and storage depletion. They apply to all rockfall collector positions with correlations from R2=0.89 to 0.99. Thus, the timing of more than 90% of the encountered rockfall is explained by the triggering factor rainfall intensity. A combination of rockfall response models with radar-supported storm cell forecast could be used to anticipate hazardous rockfall events, and help to reduce the exposure of individuals and mobile structures (e.g. cable cars to the hazard. According to meteorological recordings, the frequency of these intense rockfall events is likely to increase in response to global warming.

  7. Late Cretaceous structural control and Alpine overprint of the high-sulfidation Cu-Au epithermal Chelopech deposit, Srednogorie belt, Bulgaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambefort, Isabelle; Moritz, Robert

    2006-06-01

    The Chelopech epithermal high-sulfidation deposit is located in the Panagyurishte ore district in Bulgaria, which is defined by a NNW alignment of Upper Cretaceous porphyry-Cu and Cu-Au epithermal deposits, and forms part of the Eastern European Banat-Srednogorie belt. Detailed structural mapping and drillcore descriptions have been used to define the structural evolution of the Chelopech deposit from the Late Cretaceous to the present. The Chelopech deposit is characterized by three fault populations including ˜N55, ˜N110, and ˜N155-trending faults, which are also recognized in the entire Panagyurishte district. Mapping and 3-D modeling show that hydrothermal alteration and orebody geometry at Chelopech are controlled by the ˜N55-trending and ˜N110-trending faults. Moreover, the ˜N155-trending faults are parallel to the regional ore deposit alignment of the Panagyurishte ore district. It is concluded that the three fault populations are early features and Late Cretaceous in age, and that they were active during high-sulfidation ore formation at Chelopech. However, the relative fault chronology cannot be deduced anymore due to Late Cretaceous and Tertiary tectonic overprint. Structurally controlled ore formation was followed by Senonian sandstone, limestone, and flysch deposition. The entire Late Cretaceous magmatic and sedimentary rock succession underwent folding, which produced WNW-oriented folds throughout the Panagyurishte district. A subsequent tectonic stage resulted in overthrusting of older rock units along ˜NE-trending reverse faults on the Upper Cretaceous magmatic and sedimentary host rocks of the high-sulfidation epithermal deposit at Chelopech. The three fault populations contemporaneous with ore formation, i.e., the ˜N55-, ˜N110- and ˜N155-trending faults, were reactivated as thrusts or reverse faults, dextral strike-slip faults, and transfer faults, respectively, during this event. Previous studies indicate that the present-day setting is

  8. Simulated heat waves affected alpine grassland only in combination with drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boeck, Hans J.; Bassin, Seraina; Verlinden, Maya; Zeiter, Michaela; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2016-04-01

    The Alpine region is warming fast, leading to an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Currently, it is unclear whether alpine ecosystems are sensitive or resistant to such extremes. In an experiment carried out in the Swiss Alps, we subjected Swiss alpine grassland communities to heat waves with varying intensity (5-10 °C warming) by transplanting monoliths to four different elevations (2440-660 m a.s.l.) for 17 days. Half of the monoliths were regularly irrigated while the other half were deprived of irrigation to additionally induce a drought at each site. We found that heat waves had no significant short-term impacts on fluorescence (Fv/Fm, a stress indicator), senescence and aboveground productivity if irrigation was provided. However, when heat waves coincided with drought, plants showed clear signs of stress, resulting in vegetation browning and reduced phytomass production. This likely resulted from direct drought effects, but also, as measurements of stomatal conductance and canopy temperatures suggest, from increased high-temperature stress as water scarcity decreased heat mitigation through transpiration. The immediate responses to heat waves (with or without droughts) recorded in these alpine grasslands were similar to those observed in the more extensively studied grasslands from temperate climates. Climate extreme impacts may differ in the longer run, however, because the short growing season in alpine environments likely constrains recovery.

  9. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Brulfert

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys, to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the Chamonix and Maurienne valleys, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening. Modelling is one of the aspects of POVA and should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter. Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System, developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain. This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing. This paper focuses on modelling Chamonix valley using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry which makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the Chamonix valley (slope and valley winds and to process chemistry at fine scale. The summer 2003 intensive campaign was used to validate the model and to study chemistry. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  10. Modelling photochemistry in alpine valleys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Brulfert

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic is a serious problem in the Chamonix Valley, France: traffic, noise and above all air pollution worry the inhabitants. The big fire in the Mont-Blanc tunnel made it possible, in the framework of the POVA project (POllution in Alpine Valleys, to undertake measurement campaigns with and without heavy-vehicle traffic through the valley, towards Italy (before and after the tunnel re-opening. Modelling in POVA should make it possible to explain the processes leading to episodes of atmospheric pollution, both in summer and in winter.

    Atmospheric prediction model ARPS 4.5.2 (Advanced Regional Prediction System, developed at the CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms of the University of Oklahoma, enables to resolve the dynamics above a complex terrain.

    This model is coupled to the TAPOM 1.5.2 atmospheric chemistry (Transport and Air POllution Model code developed at the Air and Soil Pollution Laboratory of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

    The numerical codes MM5 and CHIMERE are used to compute large scale boundary forcing.

    Using 300-m grid cells to calculate the dynamics and the reactive chemistry makes possible to accurately represent the dynamics in the valley (slope and valley winds and to process chemistry at fine scale.

    Validation of campaign days allows to study chemistry indicators in the valley. NOy according to O3 reduction demonstrates a VOC controlled regime, different from the NOx controlled regime expected and observed in the nearby city of Grenoble.

  11. Sediment connectivity in the high-alpine valley of Val Müschauns, Swiss National Park - linking geomorphic field mapping with geomorphometric modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenzehl, Karoline; Hoffmann, Thomas; Dikau, Richard

    2014-09-01

    The efficiency of sediment routing through mountain sediment cascades is controlled by the connectivity of hillslopes to the main river system. A lack of connectivity may cause long-term sediment storage and exclude large fractions of a basin from the sediment routing for several thousand years. Here, we studied sediment dynamics in a small, formerly glaciated valley in the Swiss Alps. To characterise the sediment connectivity to the stream, we calculated a morphometric index using a GIS algorithm. The modelling results were tested against a field based geomorphic mapping of sediment storages, which were evaluated with respect to their state of (de)coupling. In accordance to the field diagnostics, the modelling results indicate very well that the present-day sediment flux is conditioned by the glacial valley morphometry inherited through Pleistocene glaciation. Especially in the upper hanging valleys, the connectivity index is reduced noticeably due to the glacial cirque morphology. Based on the field mapping, 30% of the hillslope sediment cascades are interrupted and 20% of the storage boundaries are currently affected by a lack of material transfer. As a consequence, ~ 29% of the basin surface is currently disconnected from the main river. Nevertheless, the GIS algorithm overestimates the connectivity within the basin, because it fails to calculate decoupling between neighbouring pixels in digital terrain models (DTMs). Around 35% of the basin surface, which has been mapped in the field as being decoupled, is related to relative high connectivity. Our study highlights the potential of morphometric GIS modelling for studying sediment connectivity, but additionally emphasises the indispensability of geomorphic field mapping for a holistic understanding of mountain cascading systems.

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

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    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

  13. Erosion under climate and human pressures: An alpine lake sediment perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaud, Fabien; Poulenard, Jérôme; Giguet-Covex, Charline; Wilhelm, Bruno; Révillon, Sidonie; Jenny, Jean-Philippe; Revel, Marie; Enters, Dirk; Bajard, Manon; Fouinat, Laurent; Doyen, Elise; Simonneau, Anaëlle; Pignol, Cécile; Chapron, Emmanuel; Vannière, Boris; Sabatier, Pierre

    2016-11-01

    We review the scientific efforts over the last decades to reconstruct erosion from continuous alpine lake sediment records. We focused both on methodological issues, showing the growing importance of non-destructive high resolution approaches (XRF core-scanner) as well as progresses in the understanding of processes leading to the creation of an "erosion signal" in lakes. We distinguish "continuous records" from "event-records". Both provide complementary information but need to be studied with different approaches. Continuous regionally-relevant records proved to be particularly pertinent to document regional erosion patterns throughout the Holocene, in particular applying the source to sink approach. Event-based approaches demonstrated and took advantage of the strong non-linearity of sediment transport in high altitude catchment areas. This led to flood frequency and intensity reconstructions, highlighting the influence of climate change upon flood dynamics in the mountain. The combination of different record types, both in terms of location (high vs. low elevation), sedimentology (high vs. low terrigenous contribution) and significance (local vs. regional) is one of the main outputs of this paper. It allows the establishment of comprehensive histories of NW French Alps erosion, but also and consequently, soil dynamics and hydrological patterns throughout the Holocene. We also discuss the influence of glacier dynamics, one of the major agents of erosion in the Alps. A major feature is the growing human influence upon erosion at a local scale since at least the middle of the Bronze Age (3500 cal. BP). However and according to the regional record from Lake Bourget, only few periods of rising erosion at local scales generated a regional record that can be discriminated from wetter climatic periods. Among them, the period between 200 BCE and 400 AD appeared to be marked by a generalised rise in human-triggered erosion at local scales in the northern French Alps

  14. Guiding soil conservation strategy in headwater mediterranean catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Slimane, Abir; Raclot, Damien; Evrard, Olivier; Sanaa, Mustapha; Lefèvre, Irène; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Reservoir siltation due to water erosion is an important environmental issue in Mediterranean countries where storage of clear surface water is crucial for their economic and agricultural development. In order to reduce water erosion, this study aimed to design a methodology for guiding the implementation of efficient conservation strategies by identifying the dominant sediment sources in Mediterranean context. To this end, a fingerprinting method was combined with long-term field monitoring of catchment sediment yield in five headwater catchments (0.1-10 km2) equipped with a small reservoir between 1990 and 1995. The five catchments were chosen to cover the large diversity of environmental conditions found along the Tunisian Ridge and in the Cape Bon region. The fingerprinting techniques based on measurements of cesium-137 and Total Organic Carbon within the catchments and in reservoir sediment deposits successfully identified the contribution of rill/interrill and gully/channel erosion to sediment yield at the outlet of five small headwater catchments during the last 15-20 years. Results showed the very large variability of erosion processes among the selected catchments, with rill/interrill erosion contributions to sediment accumulated in outlet reservoirs ranging from 20 to 80%. Overall, rill/interrill erosion was the dominant process controlling reservoir siltation in three catchments whereas gully/channel erosion dominated in the other two catchments. This demonstrates that the dominant erosion process in the Mediterranean regions highly depends on the local environmental context. The lowest rill/interrill erosion contribution (2.2 Mg ha-1 yr-1) in the five catchments remained significantly higher than the tolerable soil loss indicating the severe levels reached by soil erosion along the Tunisian Ridge and in the Cape Bon region. This study also showed that although the implementation of improved topsoil management measures greatly reduced rill

  15. An integrated geographic information system approach for modeling the suitability of conifer habitat in an alpine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Stephen J.

    1998-01-01

    Alpine periglacial environments within the forest-alpine tundra ecotone (FATE) may be among the first to reflect changes in habitat characteristics as a consequence of climatic change. Previous FATE studies used Integrated Geographic Information System (IGIS) techniques to collect and model biophysical data but lacked the necessary detail to model the micro-scale patterns and compositions of habitat within alpine periglacial environments. This paper describes several promising data collection, integration, and cartographic modeling techniques used in an IGIS approach to model alpine periglacial environments in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, USA. High-resolution (I X I m) multi-spectral remote sensing data and differentially corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS) data were integrated with other biophysical data using a raster-based IGIS approach. Biophysical factors, hypothesized to influence the pattern and composition of the FATE and the alpine tundra ecosystem, were derived from the high-resolution remote sensing data, in-situ GPS data, high-resolution models of digital elevation, and other thematic data using image processing techniques and cartographic modeling. Suitability models of conifer habitat were created using indices generated from the IGIS database. This IGIS approach identified suitable conifer habitat within the FATE and permitted the modeling of micro-scale periglacial features and alpine tundra communities that are absent from traditional approaches of landscape-scale (30 X 30 m) modeling.

  16. 祁连山高山灌丛生物量及其分配特征%Alpine shrubs biomass and its distribution characteristics in Qilian Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金铭; 李毅; 王顺利; 张学龙; 雷蕾

    2012-01-01

    Qilian Mountains is the main reflection of the productivity of the ecosystem, the main measure of the structure and function of the community. And because the biomass of the shrubs is impacted by the elevation gradient and environmental factors, including the limitation of the field investigation in the high altitude, the response process made by shrub biomass to the elevation gradient is not clear. So, this study took the alpine shrubs at the elevation of 3 300 - 3 700 m in the Pailugou Catchment of the Qilian Mountains as the research object, the plot, subplot harvesting method and mining trenches method were used to observe the total biomass and organic biomass of the shrubs with various elevation gradients and also to analyze the relationship between the distribution characteristics of the shrubs biomass and environmental factors. The aim of this paper is to provide important theoretical basis and data for the protection of ecological environment of watershed and the response of alpine shrub to global climate change. Taking the alpine shrubs above timberline of Picea crassifolia in the Qilian Mountains as a test object, the traditional harvesting method and mining trenches method were used to observe the alpine shrubs organic biomass. The dry weight data and distribution characteristics of the leaf biomass, shoot biomass, fibrous root biomass, rootlet biomass, and thick root biomass were analyzed. The results show that the total biomass of alpine shrubs in the Qilian Mountains is 12 869. 39 ±3 306. 16 kg/hm2( Mean ± Sd,n = 10) , for the distribution of the organic biomass, the stem takes the biggest part which accounts for 32. 21 % , the ratio of leaf biomass, fibrous root biomass, rootlet biomass, thick root biomass are 15. 70% 、14. 06%、11.13% and 26. 90% separately. In the different altitudes the ratio of the organic biomass is with significant difference, the average value of aboveground biomass is 6 097. 17kg/hm2, and underground biomass is 6 772. 22 kg/hm2

  17. Snow multivariable data assimilation for hydrological predictions in Alpine sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazzi, Gaia; Thirel, Guillaume; Campo, Lorenzo; Gabellani, Simone; Stevenin, Hervè

    2017-04-01

    Snowpack dynamics (snow accumulation and ablation) strongly impacts on hydrological processes in Alpine areas. During the winter season the presence of snow cover (snow accumulation) reduces the drainage in the basin with a resulting lower watershed time of concentration in case of possible rainfall events. Moreover, the release of the significant water volume stored in winter (snowmelt) considerably contributes to the total discharge during the melting period. Therefore when modeling hydrological processes in snow-dominated catchments the quality of predictions deeply depends on how the model succeeds in catching snowpack dynamics. The integration of a hydrological model with a snow module allows improving predictions of river discharges. Besides the well-known modeling limitations (uncertainty in parameterizations; possible errors affecting both meteorological forcing data and initial conditions; approximations in boundary conditions), there are physical factors that make an exhaustive reconstruction of snow dynamics complicated: snow intermittence in space and time, stratification and slow phenomena like metamorphism processes, uncertainty in snowfall evaluation, wind transportation, etc. Data Assimilation (DA) techniques provide an objective methodology to combine several independent snow-related data sources (model simulations, ground-based measurements and remote sensed observations) in order to obtain the most likely estimate of snowpack state. This study presents SMASH (Snow Multidata Assimilation System for Hydrology), a multi-layer snow dynamic model strengthened by a multivariable DA framework for hydrological purposes. The model is physically based on mass and energy balances and can be used to reproduce the main physical processes occurring within the snowpack: accumulation, density dynamics, melting, sublimation, radiative balance, heat and mass exchanges. The model is driven by observed forcing meteorological data (air temperature, wind velocity

  18. Alpine glacial topography and the rate of rock column uplift

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Vivi Kathrine; Egholm, D.L.; Nielsen, S.B.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigates the influence of alpine glacial erosion on the morphology and relief distribution of mountain regions associated with varying rock column uplift rates. We take a global approach and analyse the surface area distribution of all mountain regions affected by glacial....... On the basis of this decay, the analysed mountain regions fall within three distinct groupsprimarily reflecting variations in average values of rock columnuplift rates.Mountain ranges affected by rapid rock column uplift display high above-snowline relief and large decay lengths, whereas inactive orogens have...

  19. Hydrological forecasting in catchments with glaciers

    OpenAIRE

    Nahat, Angèle

    2015-01-01

    The runoff forecast is crucial in Norway because the country bases most of its electricity from hydropower. The hydrological model has thus been improved for years in order to foresee the runoff in the best possible way. In Norway, there are many catchments with extensive water storage: glaciers. Those catchments represent a significant part of the catchments where hydropower is produced. Therefore knowing the right amount of outflow from a catchment with glaciers is essential but more challe...

  20. 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

  1. Hydrological drought severity explained by climate and catchment characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Loon, A. F.; Laaha, G.

    2015-07-01

    Impacts of a drought are generally dependent on the severity of the hydrological drought event, which can be expressed by streamflow drought duration or deficit volume. For prediction and the selection of drought sensitive regions, it is crucial to know how streamflow drought severity relates to climate and catchment characteristics. In this study we investigated controls on drought severity based on a comprehensive Austrian dataset consisting of 44 catchments with long time series of hydrometeorological data (on average around 50 year) and information on a large number of physiographic catchment characteristics. Drought analysis was performed with the variable threshold level method and various statistical tools were applied, i.e. bivariate correlation analysis, heatmaps, linear models based on multiple regression, varying slope models, and automatic stepwise regression. Results indicate that streamflow drought duration is primarily controlled by storage, quantified by the Base Flow Index or by a combination of catchment characteristics related to catchment storage and release, e.g. geology and land use. Additionally, the duration of dry spells in precipitation is important for streamflow drought duration. Hydrological drought deficit, however, is governed by average catchment wetness (represented by mean annual precipitation) and elevation (reflecting seasonal storage in the snow pack and glaciers). Our conclusion is that both drought duration and deficit are governed by a combination of climate and catchment control, but not in a similar way. Besides meteorological forcing, storage is important; storage in soils, aquifers, lakes, etc. influences drought duration and seasonal storage in snow and glaciers influences drought deficit. Consequently, the spatial variation of hydrological drought severity is highly dependent on terrestrial hydrological processes.

  2. Hydrological response of a High-Arctic catchment to changing climate over the past 35 years: a case study of Bayelva watershed, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aga Nowak

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Our study considers climate change and its influence upon the hydrology and water balance of the glacierized Bayelva watershed in Svalbard. We find that changes are most noticeable within the last 10 years, when winters have become warmer and wetter. The change is most significant during the shoulder months, especially September, when the transition from summer ablation to winter accumulation is taking place. Winter rainfalls, when extreme, produce ground icings and runoff outside the summer period. Dependent upon summer air temperatures, these icings may either melt and produce additional runoff or persist until the following hydrological year. These processes have a direct influence upon the water budget. They represent sources of error for water-balance calculations that either ignore winter runoff events and/or assume water storage is negligible. We show that even when the watershed is underlain by permafrost and accommodates cold-based glaciers, storage can no longer be ignored. Furthermore, we find that the use of a precipitation gradient correction of 19% per 100 m, a gauge catch correction and glacier mass-balance data (for snow accumulation and icemelt runoff should be used for accurate water-balance calculations. We also find that despite sustained glacier retreat, annual runoff volume showed no trend during 1989–2010. Discharge is more variable and longer during the last decade due to the winter rainfalls. Finally, flow recession analyses reveal increasingly efficient evacuation of meltwater from the catchment and the increasing occurrence of a delayed flowpath through the glaciers’ forefield.

  3. Contrasting effects of winter and summer climate on alpine timberline evolution in monsoon-dominated East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Ying; Liu, Hongyan; Wang, Hongya; Piao, Shilong; Yin, Yi; Ciais, Philippe; Wu, Xiuchen; Luo, Yao; Zhang, Caina; Song, Yaqiong; Gao, Yishen; Qiu, Anan

    2017-08-01

    Alpine timberline is particularly sensitive to global climate change, with the danger of losing essential ecosystem services in high elevational regions. Its evolution is generally linked to annual average thermal regimes, and is regarded as an indicator of climate warming. However, the effect of uneven seasonal climate change stressed by the Hijioka et al. (2014) on alpine timberline dynamics in terms of both position migration and species composition remains unclear. Here, we documented approximately 6000 years of postglacial alpine timberline evolution on Mt. Tabai in the monsoon-dominated East Asian subtropical-temperate transition. We analyzed three high-resolution lacustrine sediment sequences located below, within, and above the current alpine timberline, an ecotone between the forest line and treeline, respectively. The timberline position appears to have varied coincidently with the temperature effect of cold East Asian Winter Monsoon (EAWM), implying that enhanced EAWM shortened the duration of the growing season and reduced forest survival at the alpine timberline. Unlike position migration, however, timberline species composition depends on summer precipitation. We found that drought-tolerant herb and shrub species were much more sensitive to variations in the water-bearing East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) than mesophytic trees at the alpine timberline. Our results suggest that prediction of future timberline dynamics should consider uneven seasonal climate changes.

  4. The application of refraction seismics in alpine permafrost studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draebing, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost studies in alpine environments focus on landslides from permafrost-affected rockwalls, landslide deposits or periglacial sediment dynamics. Mechanical properties of soils or rocks are influenced by permafrost and changed strength properties affect these periglacial processes. To assess the effects of permafrost thaw and degradation, monitoring techniques for permafrost distribution and active-layer thaw are required. Seismic wave velocities are sensitive to freezing and, therefore, refraction seismics presents a valuable tool to investigate permafrost in alpine environments. In this study, (1) laboratory and field applications of refraction seismics in alpine environments are reviewed and (2) data are used to quantify effects of rock properties (e.g. lithology, porosity, anisotropy, saturation) on p-wave velocities. In the next step, (3) influence of environmental factors are evaluated and conclusions drawn on permafrost differentiation within alpine periglacial landforms. This study shows that p-wave velocity increase is susceptible to porosity which is pronounced in high-porosity rocks. In low-porosity rocks, p-wave velocity increase is controlled by anisotropy decrease due to ice pressure (Draebing and Krautblatter, 2012) which enables active-layer and permafrost differentiation at rockwall scale (Krautblatter and Draebing, 2014; Draebing et al., 2016). However, discontinuity distribution can result in high anisotropy effects on seismic velocities which can impede permafrost differentiation (Phillips et al., 2016). Due to production or deposition history, porosity can show large spatial differences in deposited landforms. Landforms with large boulders such as rock glaciers and moraines show highest p-wave velocity differences between active-layer and permafrost which facilitates differentiation (Draebing, 2016). Saturation with water is essential for the successful application of refraction seismics for permafrost detection and can be controlled at

  5. 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

  6. Climate change and Saharan dust drive recent cladoceran and primary production changes in remote alpine lakes of Sierra Nevada, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Laura; Rühland, Kathleen M; Jeziorski, Adam; Smol, John P; Pérez-Martínez, Carmen

    2017-08-22

    Recent anthropogenic climate change and the exponential increase over the past few decades of Saharan dust deposition, containing ecologically important inputs of phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca), are potentially affecting remote aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we examine changes in cladoceran assemblage composition and chlorophyll-a concentrations over the past ~150 years from high-resolution, well-dated sediment cores retrieved from six remote high mountain lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Southern Spain, a region affected by Saharan dust deposition. In each lake, marked shifts in cladoceran assemblages and chlorophyll-a concentrations in recent decades indicate a regional-scale response to climate and Saharan dust deposition. Chlorophyll-a concentrations have increased since the 1970s, consistent with a response to rising air temperatures and the intensification of atmospheric deposition of Saharan P. Similar shifts in cladoceran taxa across lakes began over a century ago, but have intensified over the past ~50 years, concurrent with trends in regional air temperature, precipitation, and increased Saharan dust deposition. An abrupt increase in the relative abundance of the benthic cladoceran Alona quadrangularis at the expense of Chydorus sphaericus, and a significant increase in Daphnia pulex gr. was a common trend in these softwater lakes. Differences in the magnitude and timing of these changes are likely due to catchment and lake-specific differences. In contrast with other alpine lakes that are often affected by acid deposition, atmospheric Ca deposition appears to be a significant explanatory factor, amongst others, for the changes in the lake biota of Sierra Nevada that has not been previously considered. The effects observed in Sierra Nevada are likely occurring in other Mediterranean lake districts, especially in soft water, oligotrophic lakes. The predicted increases in global temperature and Saharan dust deposition in the future will further

  7. Is catchment productivity a useful predictor of taxa richness in lake plankton communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soininen, Janne; Luoto, Miska

    2012-03-01

    The influence of catchment variables on lake organisms is understudied. The terrestrial zone in the vicinity of lakes is, however, probably highly important for biota due to the effects on water chemistry and to various processes operating across ecosystem boundaries. We examined the relative importance of lake and catchment variables, as well as large-scale geographical factors, on the taxa richness of phyto- and zooplankton in 100 small lakes in Finland. In variation partitioning, the variability of phytoplankton richness was most strongly related to the effects of lake variables, the joint effects of lake and catchment variables, and the joint effects of all three groups of variables. Zooplankton richness, in turn, was most strongly related to the effects of lake and catchment variables and the joint effect of lake and catchment variables. The exact results of the variation partitioning depended on the catchment sizes considered in the regression models. Among lake variables, planktonic richness was strongly related to variables indicating productivity. Among catchment variables, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), indicating catchment productivity, showed a relatively strong association with planktonic richness. These results provide evidence that catchment variables such as the NDVI may be efficient predictors of planktonic richness in small lakes. It is possible that individual lakes embedded in a highly productive landscape have higher taxa richness than solitary, potentially productive lakes because of the high influx of dispersing propagules from the regional pool. We also suggest that catchment variables may respond to environmental changes at different scales than the lake variables, and explicit consideration of catchment productivity would therefore be useful when planning research and monitoring programs for freshwater organisms.

  8. Quantifying soil and critical zone variability in a forested catchment through digital soil mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantifying catchment scale soil property variation yields insights into critical zone evolution and function. The objective of this study was to quantify and predict the spatial distribution of soil properties within a high elevation forested catchment in southern AZ, USA using a combined set of di...

  9. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    1969-01-01

    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

  10. Monitoring Alpine Transportation Infrastructures Using Space Techniues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strozzi, Tazio; Caduff, Rafael; Wegmuller, Urs; Brandstaetter, Michael; Kuhtreiber, Norbert

    2013-12-01

    Integration of satellite SAR interferometry, terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS is considered for the monitoring of ground motion along Alpine transportation infrastructures. We present results related to large-scale surveys in Switzerland along the Gotthard railway with satellite SAR interferometry and to a local monitoring of an active rockfall above the Pyhrn motorway in Austria using terrestrial radar interferometry and GPS.

  11. The Alpine loop of the tethys zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bemmelen, R.W. van

    1969-01-01

    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

  12. Island biogeography of tropical alpine floras

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sklenář, P.; Hedberg, I.; Cleef, A.

    2013-01-01

    Aim We analysed the effects of alpine area, geographical distance between mountains and isolation due to topography on mountain plant species richness, regional species turnover and patterns of species distribution. Location Equatorial mountains of East Africa, South America and New Guinea. Methods

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. Seijmonsbergen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 potentially endangered by landslides, and especially debris flows. The area is located on the tectonic contacts of four different nappe slices. The bedrock consists of anhydrite and gypsum, dolomite, shale, marl, and limestone. The spatial distribution and occurrence of debris flows and slides is evaluated through a combination of geomorphological expert knowledge, and detailed visualization in a geographical information system. In a geo-database a symbol-based 1:3000 scale geomorphological map has been digitized and rectified into polygons. The polygons include information on the main geomorphological environment, the Quaternary material distribution and of geomorphological processes, which are stored in attribute tables. The spatial distribution of these attributes is then combined with geophysical information and displacement rates interpolated from benchmark measurements. On one of the landslides two geo-electrical profiles show that the distance to a potential failure plane varies between 10-20 m and that the topography of the failure plane is influenced by subterranean gypsum karst features. The displacement measurements show that this landslide actively disintegrates into minor slides and is not, therefore, a risk to the village of Malbun. The hazard zonation indicates that debris flows can pose a risk if no countermeasures are taken. Gypsum karst may locally accelerate the landslide activity. In contrast, the impact of debris flows is diminished because collapse dolines may act as sediment traps for the debris flow materials. This research illustrates how geomorphological expert knowledge can be integrated in a GIS for the evaluation of natural hazards on a detailed scale.

  14. 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 potentiall

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Timing of early Quaternary gravel accumulation in the Swiss Alpine Foreland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anne, Claude; Naki, Akçar; Susan, Ivy-Ochs; Fritz, Schlunegger; Peter, Kubik W.; Andreas, Dehnert; Joachim, Kuhlemann; Meinert, Rahn; Christian, Schlüchter

    2017-01-01

    Deckenschotter ('Cover Gravels') are proximal glaciofluvial gravels located in the northern Alpine Foreland mainly beyond the extent of the Last Glacial Maximum. They cover Tertiary Molasse or Mesozoic bedrock with an erosional unconformity. In Switzerland, Deckenschotter are referred to as Höhere (Higher) and Tiefere (Lower) Deckenschotter based on their topographical positions with a significant phase of incision that separates these two units. For this study, we performed sedimentological analyses to identify the provenance, transport mechanisms and depositional environment of these gravels. In addition, we established the chronology of the Höhere Deckenschotter gravels at Stadlerberg using cosmogenic 10Be depth-profile dating technique. The inherited 10Be concentration then allowed estimation of a catchment-wide palaeo-denudation rate. The results from clast fabric investigations indicate that braided rivers within a glaciofluvial environment transported these sediments to the study site mainly as bedload. In addition, the petrographic composition of the deposits shows that a large portion of the gravels was derived through erosional recycling of Miocene Molasse conglomerates. Some material was additionally sourced in the northern Central Alps. We then conclude that gravel accumulation in the Swiss Alpine Foreland was completed at 1.9 ± 0.2 Ma. This age, however, represents a minimum age and the oldest 10Be depth-profile age ever obtained for a geological unit. Furthermore, a palaeo-denudation rate of c. 0.3-0.4 mm/a was estimated for the catchment of Stadlerberg gravels. Finally, elevation differences between the bedrock underlying the Höhere Deckenschotter and the modern base level imply a long-term regional incision rate of c. 0.12 mm/a.

  19. Protection of large alpine infrastructures against natural hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robl, Jörg; Scheikl, Manfred; Hergarten, Stefan

    2013-04-01

    Large infrastructures in alpine domains are threatened by a variety of natural hazards like debris flows, rock falls and snow avalanches. Especially linear infrastructure including roads, railway lines, pipe lines and power lines passes through the entire mountain range and the impact of natural hazards can be expected along a distance over hundreds of kilometers. New infrastructure projects like storage power plants or ski resorts including access roads are often located in remote alpine domains without any historical record of hazardous events. Mitigation strategies against natural hazards require a detailed analysis on the exposure of the infrastructure to natural hazards. Following conventional concepts extensive mapping and documentation of surface processes over hundreds to several thousand km² of steep alpine domain is essential but can be hardly performed. We present a case study from the Austrian Alps to demonstrate the ability of a multi-level concept to describe the impact of natural hazards on infrastructure by an iterative process. This includes new state of the art numerical models, modern field work and GIS-analysis with an increasing level of refinement at each stage. A set of new numerical models for rock falls, debris flows and snow avalanches was designed to operate with information from field in different qualities and spatial resolutions. Our analysis starts with simple and fast cellular automata for rockfalls and debrisflows to show the exposure of the infrastructure to natural hazards in huge domains and detects "high risk areas" that are investigated in more detail in field in the next refinement level. Finally, sophisticated 2D- depth averaged fluid dynamic models for all kinds of rapid mass movements are applied to support the development of protection structures.

  20. 3D cartographic modeling of the Alpine arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouillamoz, Naomi; Sue, Christian; Champagnac, Jean-Daniel; Calcagno, Philippe

    2012-12-01

    We built a 3D cartography of the Alpine arc, a highly non-cylindrical mountain belt, using the 3D GeoModeller of the BRGM (French geological survey). The model allows to handle the large-scale 3D structure of seventeen major crustal units of the belt (from the lower crust to the sedimentary cover nappes), and two main discontinuities (the Insubric Line and the Crustal Penninic Front). It provides a unique document to better understand their structural relationships and to produce new sections. The study area comprises the western Alpine arc, from the Jura to the Northwest, up to the Bergell granite intrusion and the Lepontine Dome to the East, and is limited to the South by the Ligurian basin. The model is limited vertically 10 km above sea level at the top, and the moho interface at the bottom. We discarded the structural relationships between the Alps sensus stricto and the surrounding geodynamic systems such as the Rhine graben or the connection with the Apennines. The 3D-model is based on the global integration of various data such as the DEM of the Alps, the moho isobaths, the simplified geological and tectonic maps of the belt, the crustal cross-sections ECORS-CROP and NFP-20, and complementary cross-sections specifically built to precise local complexities. The database has first been integrated in a GIS-project to prepare their implementation in the GeoModeller, by homogenizing the different spatial referencing systems. The global model is finally interpolated from all these data, using the potential field method. The final document is a new tri-dimensional cartography that would be used as input for further alpine studies.

  1. Catchment systems science and management: from evidence to resilient landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Paul

    2014-05-01

    highly unlikely owing to a growing world population and future climates may be driven by more intense rainfall. Together these will increase runoff rates further, generating more erosion, water pollution and floods. A reduction in recharge to the deeper soil and aquifers also increases the chance of droughts as the natural groundwater reservoirs are not replenished. Hence the urgent need to put back the infiltration and buffering capacity for whole catchments. A strategic plan for where, what and how we grow crops and rear animals within catchments is the first step. Example case studies will be presented that provide evidence that intense farming activities can be offset by the creation of soft engineered wetlands, runoff attenuation ponds, buffer strips and high infiltration zones. A fresh look at how our catchments work and an assessment of what is a healthy food and water dynamic for that system is reviewed. Through gathering local evidence of problems and solutions we can demonstrate how healthy catchments should function for the long term.

  2. Assessment of sediment sources throughout the proglacial area of a small Arctic catchment based on high-resolution digital elevation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kociuba, Waldemar

    2017-06-01

    The article presents calculations of quantitative modifications of the morphology of selected subsystems of a glacial valley through: (i) identification of the spatial distribution of important sources of sediment, (ii) assessment of the spatiotemporal variety of sediment volume and landform morphology, and (iii) assessment of the role of particular subsystems in sediment distribution. The study involved a comparison of the results of field measurements from 2010 to 2013 performed in the Scott Glacier catchment (10.1 km2) in NW Wedel Jarlsberg Land (Spitsbergen). The assessment of the landform surface changes was performed by means of a precise Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) survey. The applied field and post-processing techniques for oblique laser scanning permitted the acquisition of digital elevation data at a resolution 0.01 m and density > 500 pt m- 2. This allowed the development of a detailed terrain model, and balancing spatial quantitative changes in six research test areas (10,000 m2) located within two subsystems of the catchment in a cascade arrangement. In the alluvial valley-floor subsystem, the survey covered: 1) the glacier terminus, 2) the intramarginal outwash plain, 3) the extramarginal braid-plain and 4) the alluvial fan, and in the slope subsystem: 5) the erosional-depositional slope in the gorge through terminal moraines, and 6) the solifluction slope. Three zones differing in terms of the spatiotemporal dynamics of geomorphic processes were distinguished within the two analysed valley subsystems. In the valley floor subsystem, these are: (i) the zone of basic supply (distribution throughout the melting season) and (ii) the redeposition zone (distribution particularly during floods), and in the slope subsystem: (iii) zone of periodical supply (distributed mainly in periods of increased precipitation and rapid increases in temperature in summer and during snow avalanches in winter). The glacier and the landforms of the channel and valley

  3. 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

  4. Extreme Rainfall Impacts in Fractured Permeable Catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ireson, A. M.; Butler, A. P.

    2009-12-01

    Serious groundwater flooding events have occurred on Chalk catchments in both the UK and north west Europe in the last decade, causing substantial amounts of disruption and economic damage. These fractured, permeable catchments are characterized by low surface runoff, high baseflow indices and strongly attenuated streamflow hydrographs. They have a general resilience to drought and pluvial/fluvial flooding. The small pore size of the Chalk matrix (~ 1 µm) exerts a high suction, such that dynamic storage is primarily due to the fractures, and amounts to ~ 1% of the total volume. As a result, under sustained rainfall the water table can rise up to exceptional levels leading to surface water emergence from springs and valleys. Floodwater may slowly drain with the topography, or, in localized depressions, it may simply pond until the groundwater levels decline. In winter 2000/1, a sequence of individually unexceptional rainfall events over several months led to large scale flooding in the Pang catchment, Berkshire, UK. By contrast, an extreme rainfall event on 20th July 2007 in the same catchment caused a very rapid response at the water table, but due to the antecedent conditions did not lead to flooding. The objective of this study is to quantify how the water table in a fractured permeable catchment responds to different types of rainfall, and the implications of this for groundwater flooding. We make use of measurements from the Pang catchment, including: rainfall (tipping bucket gauges); actual evaporation (eddy flux correlation); soil water content (profile probes and neutron probes); near surface matric potential (tensiometers and equitensiometers); deep (>10m) matric potential (deep jacking tensiometers); and water table elevation (piezometers). Conventional treatment of recharge in Chalk aquifers considers a fixed bypass component of rainfall, normally 15%, to account for the role of the fractures. However, interpretation of the field data suggest three modes

  5. 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

  6. Stakeholder discourse and water management in a catchment in northern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. S. Lupo Stanghellini

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The Water Framework Directive (WFD; directive 2000/60/EC was created to ensure the sustainable use of water resources in the European Union. A central guideline included throughout the directive is a call for the participation of stakeholders in the management of these resources. Involving stakeholders is an important step to ensure that catchment management plans take into consideration local experience in the development of these plans and the impact of the plans on local interests. This paper describes and analyses the results of a series of workshops to facilitate implementation of the WFD at a catchment level based on the stakeholder participation model, CATCH.

    To test the usefulness of the stakeholder participation model CATCH for water management in a catchment area, a sub-catchment in an alpine valley in the north-east of Italy, the Alta Valsugana in the Province of Trento, was chosen as the setting for a series of workshops. In this valley water is fundamental for activities associated with agriculture, domestic use, energy production, sports and recreation. In the recent past the valley has had serious problems related to water quality and quantity. Implementation of water management plans under the WFD may lead to conflicts within the catchment between different stakeholder interest groups. Including stakeholders in the development of management plans not only follows the guidelines of the WFD but also could result in a more locally adapted and acceptable plan for the catchment.

    A new stakeholder analysis methodology was developed and implemented in order to identify the relevant stakeholders of the area and then two sets of workshops involving the key stakeholders identified were conducted in Spring 2006. The CATCH meetings were a new experience for the participants, who had to deal with both the principles of the WFD in general and the participation requirement in particular. During the meetings, the CATCH model

  7. First record of a self-sustaining population of Alpine charr Salvelinus umbla (Linnaeus, 1758 (Actinopterygii, Salmonidae in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aparicio, Enric

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This work reports for the first time in Spain the presence of the non-native salmonid Alpine charr, usually included into Salvelinus alpinus, but recently revised to Salvelinus umbla. The species was found in a high mountain lake in the Pyrenees belonging to the Garonne catchment (Lake Obago, Val d’Aran, province of Lleida. This is probably not a recent introduction since the presence of one species of Salvelinus in some lakes of the Val d’Aran has been known among anglers for a long time, but the species identification was lacking. The distribution of S. umbla in the Val d’Aran appear to be restricted to a very few lakes and it has not spread downstream.En este trabajo se cita por primera vez en España la presencia del salvelino alpino, generalmente incluido en Salvelinus alpinus, pero recientemente revisado como Salvelinus umbla. La especie fue encontrada en un lago de alta montaña de los Pirineos perteneciente a la cuenca del Garona (Estany Obago, Val d’Aran, Lleida. Probablemente no se trata de una introducción reciente ya que la presencia de una especie de Salvelinus en algunos lagos del Valle de Arán ya era conocida entre los pescadores durante mucho tiempo, pero la identificación de la especie no se había realizado. La distribución de S. umbla en el Valle de Arán parece estar restringida a unos pocos lagos y no se ha extendido a los tramos de río aguas abajo.

  8. 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...... to a more simple method using only the Euclidean distance from the examined stop and the paper describes the differences in detail-level of the results. Furthermore, the paper describes how the Network Analyst method can be use to examine improvements in the catchment areas by adding extra entrances...... to stations or by making changes in the street network around the station. It is concluded that the Network Analyst method improves the detail-level and accuracy in catchment area analyses. It is these improvements which makes it possible to examine changes in station entrances and/or street network....

  9. Patterns and Pathways of Evolving Catchment Response in NE Italy on a Millennium Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Beek, L. P. H. Rens; Feiken, H. Rik

    2015-04-01

    The meso-scale landscape dynamics model, CALEROS, has been developed to simulate the interactions between climate, soil production and erosion, vegetation and land use on geomorphological to human time scales. Starting from an initial landscape consisting of a DTM, soil distribution and underlying lithology, the landscape is free to develop in response to the imposed climate variability and seismicity. In addition to changes in soil distribution and bedrock lowering, this includes the establishment of vegetation as conditioned by a selection of plant functional types and, optionally, population and land use dynamics as conditioned by land use scenarios specifying technological and dietary constraints for different periods. As such CALEROS is well-suited to investigate the relative impacts of climate, land cover and human activities on the hydrological catchment response and the associated sediment fluxes due to soil erosion and mass movements. Here we use CALEROS to investigate the redistribution of water and sediment across a medium-sized catchment in NE Italy. Starting from the same initial conditions, the catchment is subjected respectively to conditions corresponding to the present-day sub-alpine and montane climates of NE Italy, with and without the introduction of agriculture around 5000 BC. For these two catchments, we establish patterns of co-evolution in soil properties and vegetation under pristine and anthropogenically impacted conditions on a millennium-scale. Using summary statistics to describe the emergent properties, we then delineate areas of uniform morphology and describe the various pathways of development. This information allows us to identify elements of consistent hydrological response and the associated transfer of material across different scales. It also provides essential information on feedbacks and the resulting convergence or divergence in landscape development under the impact of climatic events or human intervention. Although the

  10. Subglacial bedrock topography of an active mountain glacier in a high Alpine setting - insights from high resolution 3D cosmic-muon radiography of the Eiger glacier (Bern, Central Alps, Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mair, David; Lechmann, Alessandro; Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Schlunegger, Fritz; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Scampoli, Paola; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo; Ereditato, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Bedrock topography and therefore the spatial-altitudinal distribution of ice thickness constrain the ice flow as well as the erosional mechanisms of glaciers. Although the processes by which glaciers have shaped modern and past landscapes have been well investigated, little information is still available about the shape of the bedrock beneath active glaciers in steep Alpine cirques. Here, we we apply the cosmic-muon radiography technology, which uses nuclear emulsion detectors for imaging the bedrock surface. This method should provide information on the bedrock topography beneath a glacier and related ice thicknesses and subglacial meltwater pathways. We apply this technology to the cirque of the Eiger glacier, situated on the western flank of Eiger mountain, Central Swiss Alps. The Eiger glacier originates on the western flank of the Eiger at 3700 m a.s.l., from where it stretches along 2.6 km to the current elevation at 2300 m a.s.l.. The glacier consists of a concave cirque bordered by >40° steep flanks, thereby utilizing weaknesses within the fabric of the bedrock such as folds, joints and foliations. The middle reach hosts a bedrock ridge where glacier diffluence occurs. The lower reaches of the glacier are characterized by several transverse crevasses, while the terminal lobe hosts multiple longitudinal crevasses. A basal till and lateral margins border the ice flow along the lowermost reach. While subglacial erosion in the cirque has probably been accomplished by plucking and abrasion where the glacier might be cold-based, sub glacial melt water might have contributed to bedrock sculpting farther downslope where the ice flow is constrained by bedrock. Overdeepening of some tens of meters is expected in the upper reach of the glacier, which is quite common in cirques (Cook & Swift, 2012). Contrariwise, we expect several tens of meters-deep bedrock excavations (characterized by concave curvatures of bedrock surface) at the site of ice diffluence. The next

  11. Identifying fine sediment sources to alleviate flood risk caused by fine sediments through catchment connectivity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twohig, Sarah; Pattison, Ian; Sander, Graham

    2017-04-01

    Fine sediment poses a significant threat to UK river systems in terms of vegetation, aquatic habitats and morphology. Deposition of fine sediment onto the river bed reduces channel capacity resulting in decreased volume to contain high flow events. Once the in channel problem has been identified managers are under pressure to sustainably mitigate flood risk. With climate change and land use adaptations increasing future pressures on river catchments it is important to consider the connectivity of fine sediment throughout the river catchment and its influence on channel capacity, particularly in systems experiencing long term aggradation. Fine sediment erosion is a continuing concern in the River Eye, Leicestershire. The predominately rural catchment has a history of flooding within the town of Melton Mowbray. Fine sediment from agricultural fields has been identified as a major contributor of sediment delivery into the channel. Current mitigation measures are not sustainable or successful in preventing the continuum of sediment throughout the catchment. Identifying the potential sources and connections of fine sediment would provide insight into targeted catchment management. 'Sensitive Catchment Integrated Modelling Analysis Platforms' (SCIMAP) is a tool often used by UK catchment managers to identify potential sources and routes of sediment within a catchment. SCIMAP is a risk based model that combines hydrological (rainfall) and geomorphic controls (slope, land cover) to identify the risk of fine sediment being transported from source into the channel. A desktop version of SCIMAP was run for the River Eye at a catchment scale using 5m terrain, rainfall and land cover data. A series of SCIMAP model runs were conducted changing individual parameters to determine the sensitivity of the model. Climate Change prediction data for the catchment was used to identify potential areas of future connectivity and erosion risk for catchment managers. The results have been

  12. Response of sulphur dynamics in European catchments to decreasing sulphate deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Prechtel

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Following the decline in sulphur deposition in Europe, sulphate dynamics of catchments and the reversibility of anthropogenic acidification of soils and freshwaters became of major interest. Long-term trends in sulphate concentrations and fluxes in precipitation/throughfall and freshwaters of 20 European catchments were analysed to evaluate catchment response to decreasing sulphate deposition. Sulphate deposition in the catchments studied declined by 38-82% during the last decade. Sulphate concentrations in all freshwaters decreased significantly, but acidification reversal was clearly delayed in the German streams. In Scandinavian streams and Czech/Slovakian lakes sulphate concentrations responded quickly to decreased input. Sulphate fluxes in run-off showed no clear trend in Germany and Italy but decreased in Scandinavia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The decrease, however, was less than the decline in input fluxes. While long-term sulphate output fluxes from catchments were generally correlated to input fluxes, most catchments started a net release of sulphate during the early 1990s. Release of stored sulphate leads to a delay of acidification reversal and can be caused by four major processes. Desorption and excess mineralisation were regarded as the most important for the catchments investigated, while oxidation and weathering were of lesser importance for the long-term release of sulphate. Input from weathering has to be considered for the Italian catchments. Sulphate fluxes in German catchments, with deeply weathered soils and high soil storage capacity, responded more slowly to decreased deposition than catchments in Scandinavia and the Czech Republic/Slovakia, which have thin soils and relatively small sulphate storage. For predictions of acidification reversal, soil characteristics, sulphur pools and their dynamics have to be evaluated in future research. Keywords: acidification reversal, sulphur, sulphate release, Europe

  13. Assessing Land Suitability for Rainwater Harvesting Using Geospatial Techniques: A Case Study of Njoro Catchment, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. W. Maina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Water demand increases as population increases leading to overexploitation of water resource. Consequently, there is need for improved water resources management complemented with rain water harvesting within the catchments. This study sought to assess land suitability for surface runoff harvesting using geospatial techniques. Land use/land cover maps of the area were derived from Landsat image. Land use and soils data were used in generating curve number map of the catchment. Lineaments greatly affect the storage depending on whether runoff is for surface storage or ground water recharge purposes. As a result, ArcGIS was used in delineating the lineaments from Digital Elevation Model (DEM of the catchment. Further, using weighted overlay the catchment was grouped into categories of restricted, not suitable, moderately suitable, suitable, or highly suitable. The study found that forest, agriculture, and built-up areas occupied about 39.42%, 36.32%, and 1.35% of catchment area, respectively. A large part of catchment was found to have curve number range of 82–89. About 50% of the catchment was found to fall within suitable and highly suitable categories. This implied that a great potential exists for rain water harvesting within the catchment.

  14. 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.

  15. Describing Ecosystem Complexity through Integrated Catchment Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shope, C. L.; Tenhunen, J. D.; Peiffer, S.

    2011-12-01

    Land use and climate change have been implicated in reduced ecosystem services (ie: high quality water yield, biodiversity, and agricultural yield. The prediction of ecosystem services expected under future land use decisions and changing climate conditions has become increasingly important. Complex policy and management decisions require the integration of physical, economic, and social data over several scales to assess effects on water resources and ecology. Field-based meteorology, hydrology, soil physics, plant production, solute and sediment transport, economic, and social behavior data were measured in a South Korean catchment. A variety of models are being used to simulate plot and field scale experiments within the catchment. Results from each of the local-scale models provide identification of sensitive, local-scale parameters which are then used as inputs into a large-scale watershed model. We used the spatially distributed SWAT model to synthesize the experimental field data throughout the catchment. The approach of our study was that the range in local-scale model parameter results can be used to define the sensitivity and uncertainty in the large-scale watershed model. Further, this example shows how research can be structured for scientific results describing complex ecosystems and landscapes where cross-disciplinary linkages benefit the end result. The field-based and modeling framework described is being used to develop scenarios to examine spatial and temporal changes in land use practices and climatic effects on water quantity, water quality, and sediment transport. Development of accurate modeling scenarios requires understanding the social relationship between individual and policy driven land management practices and the value of sustainable resources to all shareholders.

  16. 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....... The quality of a centre reflects governance, training, resources and pre-hospital triage, rather than catchment population and STEMI incidence, as long as a minimum volume is guaranteed. Resources can be utilised better by merging neighbouring centres, without negative effects on quality of care....

  17. Controls of catchments` sub-storage contributions to dynamic water quality patterns in the stream network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuetz, Tobias; Maike Hegenauer, Anja

    2016-04-01

    all sub-catchments and at the catchment outlet. We compare the temporal variability of sub-catchment ion-loads and local instream water composition and determine the sub-catchment contributions to total catchment export. GIS information on the stream network, pedology, geology, topography and land use was the used to infer the properties of the sub-catchments with high, low or variably dominating contributions to stream network water composition and total catchment export. Regarding the effect of sub-catchments on diffuse pollution (nitrate emissions) we found that land use was more important than sub-catchment size. For more groundwater dominated sub-catchments the impact on water quality decreased with increasing discharge, while for sub-catchments fed by near surface storages positive relations between ion loads and discharge were identified. These results show that interpretations of water quality observed at the catchment outlet should be made with regard to the characteristics of dominating catchment sub-storages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gücker, Björn; Silva, Ricky C S; Graeber, Daniel; Monteiro, José A F; Boëchat, Iola G

    2016-04-15

    Many tropical biomes are threatened by rapid land-use change, but its catchment-wide biogeochemical effects are poorly understood. The few previous studies on DOM in tropical catchments suggest that deforestation and subsequent land use increase stream water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, but consistent effects on DOM elemental stoichiometry have not yet been reported. Here, we studied stream water DOC concentrations, catchment DOC exports, and DOM elemental stoichiometry in 20 tropical catchments at the Cerrado-Atlantic rainforest transition, dominated by natural vegetation, 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 values in these variables throughout the year. Our results suggest that urbanization and pastoral land use exerted the strongest impacts on DOM biogeochemistry in the investigated tropical catchments and should thus be important targets for management and mitigation efforts.

  19. Direct versus indirect climate controls on Holocene diatom assemblages in a sub-tropical deep, alpine lake (Lugu Hu, Yunnan, SW China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Yang, Xiangdong; Anderson, Nicholas John; Dong, Xuhui

    2016-07-01

    The reconstruction of Holocene environmental changes in lakes on the plateau region of southwest China provides an understanding of how these ecosystems may respond to climate change. Fossil diatom assemblages were investigated from an 11,000-year lake sediment core from a deep, alpine lake (Lugu Hu) in southwest China, an area strongly influenced by the southwest (or the Indian) summer monsoon. Changes in diatom assemblage composition, notably the abundance of the two dominant planktonic species, Cyclotella rhomboideo-elliptica and Cyclostephanos dubius, reflect the effects of climate variability on nutrient dynamics, mediated via thermal stratification (internal nutrient cycling) and catchment-vegetation processes. Statistical analyses of the climate-diatom interactions highlight the strong effect of changing orbitally-induced solar radiation during the Holocene, presumably via its effect on the lake's thermal budget. In a partial redundancy analysis, climate (solar insolation) and proxies reflecting catchment process (pollen percentages, C/N ratio) were the most important drivers of diatom ecological change, showing the strong effects of climate-catchment-vegetation interactions on lake functioning. This diatom record reflects long-term ontogeny of the lake-catchment ecosystem and suggests that climatic changes (both temperature and precipitation) impact lake ecology indirectly through shifts in thermal stratification and catchment nutrient exports.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:24586947

  2. Neighbourhood catchments: a new approach for achieving ownership and change in catchment and stream management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, C; Rohde, K; Millar, G; Dougall, C; Stevens, S; Ritchie, R; Lewis, S

    2002-01-01

    The Neighbourhood Catchment approach integrates land and stream management practices at a property and through to a local catchment scale, links production and environmental goals, and is a building block to achieve ownership and change at a sub-catchment scale and larger. Research conducted in two 'focus' Neighbourhood Catchments has shown that land management practices that retain >30% soil cover reduce sediment movement to streams. The Neighbourhood Catchment approach engages both early and cautious adopters, and enables continuous improvement of resource management to take place, and be recorded at an individual property and local catchment scale.

  3. Long-term EC measurements over a pre-alpine lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, Katharina; Hammerle, Albin; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2016-04-01

    Recent research indicates that inland waters are significant contributors to the global carbon cycle. However, up to now long-term measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes above freshwater ecosystems are sparse and the knowledge on the magnitude of the fluxes and the involved processes needs to be improved. Most of the research has focused on tropical and boreal regions. Furthermore, many findings were based on short-term measurements or relied on non-continuous floating chamber measurements. This study is part of a cooperation project with the overarching aim to study possible effects of past, present and future hydrological extremes on carbon fluxes at catchment scale. The first step is to establish the complete carbon balance of a lake and therefore also to measure CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and the surface of a temperate lake for the first time continuously all year round. The eddy covariance method is a technique widely used for long-term, continuous measurements of energy and trace gas exchange between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we employ this method for year-round monitoring of CO2-, sensible and latent heat fluxes above Lake Lunz, a small pre-alpine lake in lower Austria. In addition, the water temperature profile was measured with high temporal resolution in order to capture the heat storage change of the lake during the ice free period. This together with measurements of the net radiation allows us to also evaluate the energy balance closure. The measurements started in December 2014 and here we present flux data as well as data on the energy balance closure of the first year. A preliminary analysis of the data indicated that the lake acts as a net source of CO2 with stronger emissions during night. The monthly mean amplitudes of the sensible (H) and latent (LE) heat flux were highest during the summer month (July, August), with a clear peak of H in the early morning hours. The water temperature profile

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Guillaume Nord; Brice Boudevillain; Alexis Berne; Flora Branger; Isabelle Braud; Guillaume Dramais; Simon Gérard; Jérôme Le Coz; Cédric Legoût; Gilles Molinié; Joel Van Baelen; Jean-Pierre Vandervaere; Julien Andrieu; Coralie Aubert; Martin Calianno; Guy Delrieu; Jacopo Grazioli; Sahar Hachani; Ivan Horner; Jessica Huza; Raphaël Le Boursicaud; Timothy H Raupach; Adriaan J Teuling; Magdalena Uber; Béatrice Vincendon; Annette Wijbrans

    2017-01-01

    ... 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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....... Methods We measured streamwater nutrient concentrations and exports in 20 south-eastern Brazilian catchments with different land uses (natural Cerrado/semi-deciduous forest, pasture, intensive agriculture and urban areas) and conducted a meta-analysis on nutrient exports from Neotropical catchments, both...... natural and human-impacted. Results Organic forms dominated dissolved nutrient exports in central/south-east Brazil in both natural and human-dominated catchments. Our meta-analysis suggests that there is wide geographic variability in the natural dominance of organic versus inorganic nutrient exports...

  7. 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...

  8. Field-based study of connectivity in an agricultural catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lexartza-Artza, I.; Wainwright, J.

    2009-12-01

    Field-based studies of hydrological connectivity can provide context-specific knowledge tha