Strategic research project of the University of Oulu
Focus institute: Kvantum
Hydrological conditions are expected to change rapidly in snow-influenced northern environments due to global warming. Snowmelt recharges groundwater storages, which provide a stable water source for both ecosystems and human needs. However, the hydrological flow paths from snowmelt to streamflow via groundwater storage are not well understood. Especially the spatial and temporal aspects of groundwater discharge into peatlands need further research because of sensitive ecosystems found at these interfaces. The projects combines the use of environmental traces and numerical modeling to understand how groundwater and surface water interact in northern ecosystems. Special focus is put in conceptualizing snowmelt processes with stable water isotopes, which will produce new information on the role of snow in the boreal hydrological regime. The work is done in collaboration with biogeochemical and biological research to significantly advance the holistic understanding of environmental change in the north.
Key words: hydrological modeling; groundwater – surface water interaction; peatland hydrology; cold climate hydrology; environmental tracers