A century of variations in extreme flow across Finnish rivers
Gohari, Alireza; Shahrood, Abolfazl Jalali; Ghadimi, Sahand; Alborz, Mohammadreza; Patro, Epari Ritesh; Klöve, Björn; Torabi Haghighi, Ali (2022-12-05)
Alireza Gohari et al 2022 Environ. Res. Lett. 17 124027, http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aca554
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River flow in cold climates is known to be one of the hydrological systems most affected by climate change, playing a central role in the sustainability of downstream socio-ecological systems. Numerous studies on the temporal and spatial variations of streamflow characteristics have been done, and a comprehensive study on the variation of hydrologic extremes is becoming increasingly important. This study evaluated the long-running changes in the magnitude, time, and inter-annual variability of hydrologic extremes, including high and low flow in 16 major Finnish rivers. We applied four new hydrologic extreme indices for summer–winter low flow ratio, spring-absolute high flow ratio, time-to-peak index, and increasing rate index during the snowmelt period to analyze the spatiotemporal variations of extreme streamflow from 1911 to 2020. The most detected trends in flow regimes have started in the last six decades and become more severe from 1991 to 2020, which is likely to be dominated by anthropogenic global warming. The results also indicated that alteration of low pulses in most rivers was associated with an increase (decrease) in winter (summer) flows, suggesting the annual minimum flow in summer frequently contradicts natural hydrologic regimes in Arctic rivers. Southern Finland has experienced higher variations in extreme hydrology over the last century. A new low flow regime was detected for southern rivers, characterized by frequent annual minimum flow in summer instead of winter. Moreover, the annual maximum flow before/after spring dictated a new high-flow regime characterized by frequent double peak flows in this region.
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