Monday, 10 January 2005: 2:00 PM
Characteristics, trends, and atmospheric drivers of Canadian river discharge to high-latitude oceans
More than three quarters of the Canadian land surface drains to high latitude oceans. These rivers transport up to 1300 cubic kilometers of freshwater to the Arctic Ocean, the Labrador Sea, and the Bering Strait. This study will examine Canadian river discharge to high-latitude oceans based on observed streamflow records archived in the Hydrometric Database (HYDAT) for the period 1970 to 2003. Daily discharge data will be analysed to obtain the mean characteristics of all the major river basins, including the Mackenzie River Basin, the Hudson, James, and Ungava Bays Basin, and the Churchill River Basin (Labrador). Trends in the annual amount and in the timing of the peak discharge will be assessed using the non-parametric Mann-Kendall test. Variability in the streamflow rates will be compared to indicators of the atmospheric state such as the Arctic Oscillation index and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation index to detect possible links between atmospheric and land surface processes. The presentation will end with a discussion of the potential effects of climate change on Canadian river discharge to high latitude oceans.