Changing extreme streamflow patterns in boreal forest watersheds of Alaska

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM AKDT
Katrina E. Bennett, Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Interior discontinuous permafrost zone of the boreal subarctic represents one of the largest ecosystems on earth and is vastly understudied with respect to changing hydrologic extreme events. The first part of this presentation will focus on recent research results for snowmelt and glacially dominated Interior Alaska river basins for the past 50/60 years (1954/64-2013). 


The second part of this presentation will present projections of future extreme streamflow changes in a snowmelt dominated basin of the Tanana River, a sub-watershed to the Yukon River system, using six global climate models, two emission scenarios, two hydrologic models and two different time periods. Projections for temperature, precipitation and streamflow will be discussed, with a focus on changing peak flows events, and return intervals.



Time series of ClimDEX extremes compared to mean values.

 Average (solid lines) minimum temperature, maximum temperature, and total precipitation compared to extreme values (dashed lines) for annual average (1970-2100) in the Chena River Basin. The ensemble of all GCMs is used. The Fairbanks Airport GHCN climate station data are overlaid on the extreme indices (red lines). TXx, TNn, and Rx5 ClimDEX indices are used as illustrations of extremes; see Table 6.4 for description of indices.


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