EGU Leonardo Topical Conference Series on the hydrological cycle 2010, Luxembourg, November 10 – 12, 2010_2

Kolyma water-balance station: new “old” data analysis and modelling

Lebedeva L.S.*, Semenova O.M.**

1 St.Petersburg State University, Dept. of Geography and Geoecology, 
31/33 10-ya liniya V.O., 199178, St.Petersburg, Russia,
** State Hydrological Institute, St.Petersburg, Russia

Permafrost areas are the special subjects for research as they are distinguished to be the important part of atmosphere-land-ocean system interaction. Mainly they are still insufficiently explored territories in the hydrological sense. The datasets of long-term detailed process observations are rare and valuable. Surprisingly, till now there are the datasets which are still studied fragmentary. Mainly they are related to the territory of former Soviet Union, now Russia, which had a number of highly instrumented small watersheds (or nested set of those) intended for long-term collection of observations of runoff, variable states, water balance components, etc in different climate zones, so called water-balance stations.

One of them is the Kolyma water-balance station (KWBS) which is situated within the upstream of Kolyma River (the North-East of Russia, 61°54’N, 147°25’E) and is unique for mountainous regions of continuous permafrost. Since 1948, special observations of water balance components, state variables of frozen soil and snow, and other characteristics were carried out at this station. The elevation varies within 800–1700 m range. The average annual temperature is -13 C, precipitation is about 400 mm. The main types of landscapes depending on elevation are mountainous tundra and larch taiga. The data gathered at KWBS is available in paper published form for the period 1948 – 1990 years.

Some description of soils, vegetation, geological structure and other information is accompanying the observational data. Thus, the dataset can be used not only for the identification of the process but mainly for the investigation of the conditions (or, physical features of the landscape) determining them. In this way the data becomes the main base for the ‘legal’ physically-based calibration of model parameters which can be then systematized and transferred to other basins situated in similar conditions. The systematized parameters can be applied at larger spatial scale. 

The objective of the on-going research is to discover and analyze the available data, and use it for improvement of algorithms and assessment of hydrological model parameters. In this sense old data on soil temperature and moisture, evaporation, snow, active layer depth is becoming a new one requiring the integration of knowledge of other disciplines such as geocryology and hydrogeology.

The results of the Hydrograph model application on the KWBS data will be presented. They will include simulations of specific processes (thawing of active layer, snow formation and melting) on plot scale and runoff simulations for small-, middle- and large-scale watersheds in Kolyma River basin.

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