Energy Balance and Hydrological Processes in an Arctic Watershed

  • L. D. Hinzman
  • D. L. Kane
  • C. S. Benson
  • K. R. Everett
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 120)


Major efforts in recent years to understand global energy and water balances have focused attention on thermal and hydrological processes in high latitudes (Kane et al. 1992). One of our objectives in the R4D program (Chap. 1, this Vol.) was to develop a quantitative understanding of hydrological processes in the Imnavait Creek watershed and the energy flows that drive them. In this chapter we present monitoring data on energy balance, evapotranspiration, precipitation, snow distribution, snowmelt, runoff, and snow damming of runoff during the spring melt. We use these data first to develop budgets and elucidate seasonal and annual patterns; subsequently, we present physical process models that further quantify the dynamics and interactions between thermal and hydrological regimes and provide additional insight with regard to water and energy budgets in tundra ecosystems.


Active Layer Convective Heat Transfer Hydrological Process Surface Energy Balance Spring Snowmelt 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barry RG (1981) Tundra climates. In: Bliss LC, Heal OW, Moore JJ (eds) Tundra ecosystems: a comparative analysis. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, pp 241–256Google Scholar
  2. Bengtsson L (1976) Snowmelt estimated from energy budget studies. Nordic Hydrol 7: 3–18Google Scholar
  3. Bengtsson L (1982) The importance of refreezing on the diurnal snowmelt cycle with application to a northern Swedish catchment. Nordic Hydrol 13: 1–12Google Scholar
  4. Benson, CS (1982) Reassessment of winter precipitation on Alaska’s arctic slope and measurements on the flux of wind-blown snow. Research Report UAG R-288. Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. 26 pGoogle Scholar
  5. Bergström S (1976) Development and application of a conceptual runoff model for Scandinavian catchments. Swed Meteorol Hydrol Inst, Norrköping, Sweden, Rep RHO7Google Scholar
  6. Bergström S (1986) Recent developments in snowmelt-runoff simulation. In: Kane D (ed) Proc Symp: Cold regions hydrology. Am Water Resources Assoc, Fairbanks, Alaska, pp 461–468Google Scholar
  7. Braun LN (1985) Simulation of snowmelt-runoff in lowland and lower alpine regions of Switzer- land. Züricher Geogr Schr 21, Geogr Inst, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  8. Dingman SL, Barry RG, Weller G, Benson C, LeDrew EF, Goodwin CW (1980) Climate, snowcover, microclimate and hydrology. In: Brown J, Miller PC, Tieszen LL, Bunnell FL (eds) An arctic ecosystem. The Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska. Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, StroudsburgGoogle Scholar
  9. Goering DJ, Zarling JP (1985) Geotechnical thermal analysis with a microcomputer. Civil Engineering in the Arctic Offshore. Am Soc Civil Engineers, New York, pp 604–616Google Scholar
  10. Hastings SJ, Luchessa SA, Oechel WC, Tenhunen JD (1989) Standing biomass and production in water drainages of the foothills of the Philip Smith Mountains, Alaska. Hol Ecol 12: 304–311Google Scholar
  11. Hinzman LD, Kane DL (1991) Snow hydrology of a headwater arctic basin 2. Conceptual analysis and computer modeling. Water Resour Res 27: 1111–1121Google Scholar
  12. Hinzman LD, Kane DL (1992) Potential response of an arctic watershed during a period of global warming. J Geophys Res–Atmospheres 97: 2811–2820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hinzman LD, Kane DL, Gieck RE (1991a) Regional snow ablation in the Alaskan Arctic. In: Prowse T, Ommanney C (eds) Northern hydrology: selected perspectives. NHRI Symp 6, Natl Hydrol Res Inst, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, pp 121–140Google Scholar
  14. Hinzman LD, Kane DL, Gieck RE, Everett KR (1991b) Hydrologic and thermal properties of the active layer in the Alaskan Arctic. Cold Reg Sci Technol 19: 95–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hinzman LD, Kane DL, Everett KR (1993) Hillslope hydrology in an arctic setting. Proc Perma-frost 6th Conf. Beijing, China, South China Univ Technol Press, pp 267–271Google Scholar
  16. Kane DL, Hinzman LD (1988) Permafrost hydrology of a small arctic watershed. In: Senneset K (ed) Proc 5th Int Conf Permafrost, Tapir, Trondheim, Norway, pp 590–595Google Scholar
  17. Kane DL, Hinzman LD, Benson CS, Everett KR (1989) Hydrology of Imnavait Creek, an arctic watershed. Holarct Ecol 12: 262–269Google Scholar
  18. Kane DL. Gieck RE, Hinzman LD (1990) Evapotranspiration from a small Alaskan arctic watershed. Nordic Hydrology 21: 253–272Google Scholar
  19. Kane DL, Hinzman LD, Benson CS, Liston GE (199la) Snow hydrology of a headwater arcticGoogle Scholar
  20. basin. 1. Physical measurements and process studies. Water Resour Res 27: 1099–1109Google Scholar
  21. Kane DL, Hinzman LD, Zarling JP (199 lb) Thermal response of the active layer in a permafrost environment to climatic warming. Cold Reg Sci Technol 19: 111–122Google Scholar
  22. Kane DL, Hinzman LD, Woo M, Everett KR (1992) Arctic hydrology and climate change. In: Chapin FS III, Jefferies RL, Reynolds JF, Shaver GR, Svoboda J (eds) Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate. Academic Press, New York, pp 35–57Google Scholar
  23. Labelle JC, Wise JL, Voelker RP, Schulze RH, Wohl GM (1983) Alaska marine ice atlas. Arctic Environ Inf Data Center, Univ Alaska, AnchorageGoogle Scholar
  24. Liston GE (1986) Seasonal snowcover of the foothills region of Alaska’s arctic slope: a survey of properties and processes. MS Thesis, Univ Alaska, FairbanksGoogle Scholar
  25. Mageau DW, Rooney JW (1984) Thermal erosion of cut slopes in ice-rich soil. State of Alaska, Dept Trans Public Facilities, Rep FHWA-AK-RD-85–02Google Scholar
  26. Male DH, Granger RJ (1981) Snow surface energy exchange. Water Resour Res 17: 609–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ohmura A (1981) Climate and energy balance on arctic tundra, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, spring and summer 1969, 1970 and 1972. Geogr Ins, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Heft 3Google Scholar
  28. Ohmura A (1982) Evaporation from the surface of the arctic tundra on Axel Heiberg Island. Water Resour Res 18: 291–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. O’Neill K (1983) Fixed mesh finite element solution for cartesian two dimensional phase change. J Energy Resour Technol 105: 436–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Osterkamp TE, Gosink JP, Kawasaki K (1987) Measurements of permafrost temperatures to evaluate the consequences of recent climate warming. State of Alaska, Dept Trans Public Facilities, Rep AK-RD-88–05Google Scholar
  31. Parker GA (1929) The evolution of placer mining methods in Alaska. BS Thesis, Alaska Agric College, FairbanksGoogle Scholar
  32. Price AG, Dunne T (1976) Energy balance computations of snowmelt in a subarctic area. Water Resour Res 12: 686–694CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Priestley CHB, Taylor RI (1972) On the assessment of surface heat flux and evaporation using large-scale parameters. Monthly Weather Rev 100: 81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rieger S, Schoephorster DB, Furbush CE (1979) Exploratory soil survey of Alaska. USDA Soil Consery Serv, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  35. Sand K (1990) Modeling snowmelt runoff processes in temperate and arctic environments. PhD Thesis, Norwegian Inst Technol, Univ TrondheimGoogle Scholar
  36. Szeicz G, Endrdi G, Tajchman S (1969) Aerodynamic and surface factors in evaporation. Water Resour Res 5: 380–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tabler RD (1975) Estimating the transport and evaporation of blowing snow. In: Snow Management on the Great Plains Symposium. Univ Nebraska Agric Exp Station, Lincoln, Nebraska Great Plains Agric Council Publ 73, pp 85–104Google Scholar
  38. Weller G, Holmgren B (1974) The microclimates of the arctic tundra. J Appl Meteorol 13: 854–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Woo MK (1986) Permafrost hydrology in North America. Atmos-Ocean 24: 201–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zarling JP, Braley WA, Pelz C (1989) The modified Berggren method: a review. Proc 5th Int Conf Cold Regions Engineering, Am Soc Civil Engineers, New York, pp 263–273Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. D. Hinzman
  • D. L. Kane
  • C. S. Benson
  • K. R. Everett

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations