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Specific discharge variability in a boreal landscape
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2012 (English)In: Water resources research, ISSN 0043-1397, E-ISSN 1944-7973, Vol. 48, W08506- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Specific discharge variations within a mesoscale catchment were studied on the basis of three synoptic sampling campaigns. These were conducted during stable flow conditions within the Krycklan catchment study area in northern Sweden. During each campaign, about 80 individual locations were measured for discharge draining from catchment areas ranging between 0.12 and 67 km(2). These discharge samplings allowed for the comparison between years within a given season (September 2005 versus September 2008) and between seasons within a given year (May 2008 versus September 2008) of specific discharge across this boreal landscape. There was considerable variability in specific discharge across this landscape. The ratio of the interquartile range (IQR) defined as the difference between the 75th and 25th percentiles of the specific discharges to the median of the specific discharges ranged from 37% to 43%. Factor analysis was used to explore potential relations between landscape characteristics and the specific discharge observed for 55 of the individual locations that were measured in all three synoptic sampling campaigns. Percentage wet area (i.e., wetlands, mires, and lakes) and elevation were found to be directly related to the specific discharge during the drier September 2008 sampling while potential annual evaporation was found to be inversely related. There was less of a relationship determined during the wetter post spring flood May 2008 sampling and the late summer rewetted September 2005 sampling. These results indicate the ability of forests to "dry out" parts of the catchment over the summer months while wetlands "keep wet" other parts. To demonstrate the biogeochemical implications of such spatiotemporal variations in specific discharge, we estimate dissolved organic carbon (DOC) exports with available data for the May 2008 and September 2008 samplings using both the spatially variable observed specific discharges and the spatially constant catchment average values. The average absolute difference in DOC export for the various subcatchments between using a variable and using a constant specific discharge was 28% for the May 2008 sampling and 20% for the September 2008 sampling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 48, W08506- p.
Keyword [en]
Krycklan catchment study, boreal forest, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export, hydrology, specific discharge, wetlands
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181120DOI: 10.1029/2011WR011073ISI: 000307461400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181120DiVA: diva2:555311
Available from: 2012-09-19 Created: 2012-09-17 Last updated: 2013-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Grabs, ThomasBishop, KevinSeibert, Jan
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