Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, Volume 36

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Elsevier BV
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Tracers reveal limited influence of plantation forests on surface runoff in a UK natural flood management catchment
Leo Peskett | Kate Heal | Alan MacDonald | Andrew Black | Jeffrey J. McDonnell

• Natural tracers reveal runoff sources in UK natural flood management catchment. • Water already stored in the catchments dominated runoff in high flow events. • Plantation forest cover reduced the fraction of rapid rainfall runoff. • Soils and geology dominated forest cover as control on rapid rainfall runoff fraction. • Differences in sources were greater between events than between catchments. United Kingdom (UK). Natural flood management (NFM) schemes are increasingly prominent in the UK. Studies of NFM have not yet used natural tracers at catchment scale to investigate how interventions influence partitioning during storms between surface rainfall runoff and water already stored in catchments. Here we investigate how catchment properties, particularly plantation forestry, influence surface storm rainfall runoff. We used hydrograph separation based on hydrogen and oxygen isotopes ( 2 H, 18 O) and acid neutralising capacity from high flow events to compare three headwater catchments (2.4-3.1 km 2 ) with differences in plantation forest cover ( Picea sitchensis: 94%, 41%, 1%) within a major UK NFM pilot, typical of the UK uplands. Plantation forest cover reduced the total storm rainfall runoff fraction during all events (by up to 11%) when comparing two paired catchments with similar soils, geology and topography but ∼50% difference in forest cover. However, comparison with the third catchment, with negligible forest cover but different characteristics, suggests that soils and geology were dominant controls on storm rainfall runoff fraction. Furthermore, differences between events were greater than differences between catchments. These findings suggest that while plantation forest cover may influence storm rainfall runoff fractions, it is not a dominant control in temperate upland UK catchments, especially for larger events. Soils and geology may exert greater influence, with implications for planning NFM.

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Interdecadal variability of streamflow in the Hudson Bay Lowlands watersheds driven by atmospheric circulation
Olivier Champagne | M. Altaf Arain | Shusen Wang | Martin Leduc | H A J Russell

• Streamflow was satisfactorily simulated by MESH model in Hudson Bay lowlands. • Higher precipitation and streamflow observed in the western watersheds in 1995–2008. • The wet period in 1995–2008 was due to a shift in regional atmospheric circulation. • PDO and EP-NP also influenced this wet period. • Dryer period but sustained streamflow in 2009–2019 due to permafrost thaw. Hudson Bay Lowlands watersheds, Ontario, Canada. The rivers in the Hudson Bay Lowlands are a major source of freshwater entering the Arctic Ocean and they also cause major floods. In recent decades, this region has been affected by major changes in hydroclimatic processes attributed to climate change and natural climate variability. In this study, we used ERA5 reanalysis data, hydrometric observations, and the hydrological model MESH, to investigate the impact of atmospheric circulation on the inter-decadal variability of streamflow between 1979 and 2018 in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. The natural climate variability was assessed using a weather regimes approach based on the discretization of daily geopotential height anomalies (Z500) from ERA5 reanalysis, as well as large scale oceanic and atmospheric variability modes. The results showed an anomalous convergence of atmospheric moisture flux between 1995–2008 that enhanced precipitation and increased streamflow in the western part of the region. This moisture convergence was likely driven by the combination of (i) low pressure anomalies in the East Coast of North America and (ii) low pressure anomalies in western regions of Canada, associated with the cold phase of the pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). Since 2009, streamflow remains high, likely due to more groundwater discharge associated with the degradation of permafrost.