Hydrology

  • Article | | open

    The underlying mechanisms structuring dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition and reactivity in rivers remain poorly quantified. Here, the authors pair mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy to show that hydrology and river geomorphology both shape molecular patterns in DOM composition.

    • Laurel M. Lynch
    • , Nicholas A. Sutfin
    • , Timothy S. Fegel
    • , Claudia M. Boot
    • , Timothy P. Covino
    •  & Matthew D. Wallenstein
  • Article | | open

    Forecasting drought and its impact on agriculture and ecosystems is challenged by a lack of knowledge of vegetation access to deep moisture. Here the authors show that combining vegetation and water storage remote sensing can be used to infer this knowledge, allowing drought impact forecasts months in advance.

    • Siyuan Tian
    • , Albert I. J. M. Van Dijk
    • , Paul Tregoning
    •  & Luigi J. Renzullo
  • Article | | open

    Ocean warming contributes to the thinning of the Antarctic ice shelves, however, lack of observations has prevented a quantification of this contribution. Here the authors use geological records to show that 0.3–1.5 °C ocean warming has played a central role on regional ice shelf instability over the last 9000 years.

    • Johan Etourneau
    • , Giovanni Sgubin
    • , Xavier Crosta
    • , Didier Swingedouw
    • , Verónica Willmott
    • , Loïc Barbara
    • , Marie-Noëlle Houssais
    • , Stefan Schouten
    • , Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
    • , Hugues Goosse
    • , Carlota Escutia
    • , Julien Crespin
    • , Guillaume Massé
    •  & Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Article | | open

    Storm runoff extremes dominate flash flood formation and generation, posing a grand threat to ecosystems and communities across the world. Here the authors show that current projected response of these storm runoff extremes to climate and anthropogenic changes are underestimated.

    • Jiabo Yin
    • , Pierre Gentine
    • , Sha Zhou
    • , Sylvia C. Sullivan
    • , Ren Wang
    • , Yao Zhang
    •  & Shenglian Guo
  • Article | | open

    The atmospheric response to subseasonal variability of Tibetan Plateau snow cover has been largely ignored. Here the authors show that the fast subseasonal variability of Tibetan Plateau snow cover is closely related to the subsequent East Asian atmospheric circulation at medium-range time scales.

    • Wenkai Li
    • , Weidong Guo
    • , Bo Qiu
    • , Yongkang Xue
    • , Pang-Chi Hsu
    •  & Jiangfeng Wei
  • Article | | open

    The interaction between seasonally-induced non-tectonic and tectonic deformation along the Himalayan plate boundary is still debated. Here, the authors propose that seasonal hydrological loading can influence tectonic deformation along this plate boundary using continuous GPS measurements and satellite data.

    • Dibyashakti Panda
    • , Bhaskar Kundu
    • , Vineet K. Gahalaut
    • , Roland Bürgmann
    • , Birendra Jha
    • , Renuhaa Asaithambi
    • , Rajeev Kumar Yadav
    • , Naresh Krishna Vissa
    •  & Amit Kumar Bansal
  • Article | | open

    Reinjection of saltwater, co-produced with oil, has the potential to trigger damaging earthquakes. Here, using Oklahoma and Kansas as an example, the authors present a new physics-based methodology to forecast future probabilities of potentially damaging induced-earthquakes in space and time.

    • Cornelius Langenbruch
    • , Matthew Weingarten
    •  & Mark D. Zoback
  • Article | | open

    River networks worldwide follow the emblematic Hack’s Law, which expresses the length of a stream as a function of its watershed area. Here the authors show this law does not depend on lithology or rainfall, but on the shape of watersheds and confirms the self-similarity of river networks.

    • Timothée Sassolas-Serrayet
    • , Rodolphe Cattin
    •  & Matthieu Ferry
  • Article | | open

    River capture acts as one river steals the neighboring headwaters, which is a dramatic natural process for mountain landscapes evolution. Here the authors show a stream piracy reversed flow in a major river resulting in waterfall formation, bedrock gorge incision, and widespread topographic disequilibrium.

    • Niannian Fan
    • , Zhongxin Chu
    • , Luguang Jiang
    • , Marwan A. Hassan
    • , Michael P. Lamb
    •  & Xingnian Liu
  • Article | | open

    The partitioning of drought-induced water deficits into blue-water runoff and green-water evapotranspiration is critical, as the respective anomalies threaten different societal sectors. Here the authors show that drought reduces runoff much faster and stronger than it reduces evapotranspiration across European climates.

    • René Orth
    •  & Georgia Destouni
  • Article | | open

    The populous global land monsoon region has been suffering from extreme precipitation. Here, the authors show that limiting global warming to 1.5 °C instead of 2 °C could reduce areal and population exposures to baseline once-in-20-year rainfall extremes by 25% (18–41%) and 36% (22–46%), respectively.

    • Wenxia Zhang
    • , Tianjun Zhou
    • , Liwei Zou
    • , Lixia Zhang
    •  & Xiaolong Chen
  • Article | | open

    Earthquakes rarely affect hydrothermal systems in non-magmatic context. Here the authors report outbursts of CO2 and hydrothermal disturbances triggered by the 2015 Nepal earthquake, revealing high sensitivity of Himalayan hydrothermal systems to co-, post- and possibly pre- seismic deformation.

    • Frédéric Girault
    • , Lok Bijaya Adhikari
    • , Christian France-Lanord
    • , Pierre Agrinier
    • , Bharat P. Koirala
    • , Mukunda Bhattarai
    • , Sudhan S. Mahat
    • , Chiara Groppo
    • , Franco Rolfo
    • , Laurent Bollinger
    •  & Frédéric Perrier
  • Article | | open

    Rivers and streams are important sources of carbon dioxide and methane; however, the drivers of these streambed gas fluxes are poorly understood. Here, the authors show that temperature sensitivity of streambed greenhouse gas emissions varies with substrate, organic matter content and geological origin.

    • Sophie A. Comer-Warner
    • , Paul Romeijn
    • , Daren C. Gooddy
    • , Sami Ullah
    • , Nicholas Kettridge
    • , Benjamin Marchant
    • , David M. Hannah
    •  & Stefan Krause
  • Article | | open

    Lakes, reservoirs, and other ponded waters are common in large river basins yet their influence on nitrogen budgets is often indistinct. Here, the authors show how a ponded waters’ relative size, shape, and degree of connectivity to the river network control nitrogen removal.

    • Noah M. Schmadel
    • , Judson W. Harvey
    • , Richard B. Alexander
    • , Gregory E. Schwarz
    • , Richard B. Moore
    • , Ken Eng
    • , Jesus D. Gomez-Velez
    • , Elizabeth W. Boyer
    •  & Durelle Scott
  • Article | | open

    Groundwater resources are coming under increasing pressure leading to water quality loss. Here, the authors find that recent groundwater pumping has led to increasing arsenic concentrations in the San Joaquin Valley, California aquifers from arsenic residing in the pore water of clay strata released by overpumping.

    • Ryan Smith
    • , Rosemary Knight
    •  & Scott Fendorf
  • Article | | open

    Flooding may cause loss of life and economic damage, therefore temporal changes need assessment. Here, the authors show that since 1870 there has been an increase in area inundated by floods in Europe, but a reduction in fatalities and economic losses, although caution that smaller floods remain underreported.

    • Dominik Paprotny
    • , Antonia Sebastian
    • , Oswaldo Morales-Nápoles
    •  & Sebastiaan N. Jonkman
  • Article | | open

    In recent years, there has been an ongoing discussion about the hydroclimatic changes over Europe. Here, the authors show that since the beginning of the 20th century, hydroclimatic conditions have shifted to their millennial boundaries, remaining at these extreme levels for a period of unprecedented duration.

    • Y. Markonis
    • , M. Hanel
    • , P. Máca
    • , J. Kyselý
    •  & E. R. Cook
  • Article | | open

    Wildland fire seasons in the United States are getting longer, yet the impacts of fire on water availability at the regional scale are unclear. Here the authors show that fire increased annual river flow throughout the West, while prescribed burns in the subtropical Southeast had limited impact on river flow.

    • Dennis W. Hallema
    • , Ge Sun
    • , Peter V. Caldwell
    • , Steven P. Norman
    • , Erika C. Cohen
    • , Yongqiang Liu
    • , Kevin D. Bladon
    •  & Steven G. McNulty
  • Article | | open

    Land surface models often use a spatially uniform air temperature threshold when partitioning rain and snow. Here Jennings et al. show that the threshold varies significantly across the Northern Hemisphere and that threshold selection is a large source of uncertainty in snowfall simulations.

    • Keith S. Jennings
    • , Taylor S. Winchell
    • , Ben Livneh
    •  & Noah P. Molotch
  • Article | | open

    Climate change can drive local climates outside the range of their historical variability, straining the adaptive capacity of ecological communities. Here the authors show dependencies between climate variables can produce larger and earlier departures from natural variability than is detectable in individual variables.

    • Colin R. Mahony
    •  & Alex J. Cannon
  • Article | | open

    The morphology and abundance of streams control the rates of hydraulic and biogeochemical exchange between streams, groundwater and the atmosphere. Here, the authors show that stream hydromorphology is predictable within headwater catchments with implications for stream-atmosphere gas exchange estimates.

    • George H. Allen
    • , Tamlin M. Pavelsky
    • , Eric A. Barefoot
    • , Michael P. Lamb
    • , David Butman
    • , Arik Tashie
    •  & Colin J. Gleason
  • Article | | open

    The mechanisms responsible for stimulating biogeochemical activity in the hyporheic corridor (HC) are poorly understood. Here, the authors find that previously unrecognized thermodynamic mechanisms regulated by groundwater-river water mixing may strongly influence HC biogeochemical and microbial dynamics.

    • James C. Stegen
    • , Tim Johnson
    • , James K. Fredrickson
    • , Michael J. Wilkins
    • , Allan E. Konopka
    • , William C. Nelson
    • , Evan V. Arntzen
    • , William B. Chrisler
    • , Rosalie K. Chu
    • , Sarah J. Fansler
    • , Emily B. Graham
    • , David W. Kennedy
    • , Charles T. Resch
    • , Malak Tfaily
    •  & John Zachara
  • Article | | open

    Changes in climatology and perturbation will lead to different impacts on regional climate change, but their effect remains a subject of debate. Here the authors develop a new downscaling procedure that reveals the importance of both changes on the regional climate and examines their nonlinear effect.

    • Sachiho A. Adachi
    • , Seiya Nishizawa
    • , Ryuji Yoshida
    • , Tsuyoshi Yamaura
    • , Kazuto Ando
    • , Hisashi Yashiro
    • , Yoshiyuki Kajikawa
    •  & Hirofumi Tomita
  • Article | | open

    Human and environmental water needs can come into conflict in dam-regulated river systems. Here, Chen and Olden investigate the potential for the use of fish–flow modeling to make recommendations for the management of native and nonnative fish species whilst providing water for society.

    • William Chen
    •  & Julian D. Olden
  • Article | | open

    Current global-scale nitrogen (N) budgets quantifying anthropogenic impacts on the N cycle do not explicitly consider nitrate storage in the vadose zone. Here, using estimates of depth to groundwater and nitrate leaching between 1900–2000, the authors show that the vadose zone is an important store of nitrate.

    • M. J. Ascott
    • , D. C. Gooddy
    • , L. Wang
    • , M. E. Stuart
    • , M. A. Lewis
    • , R. S. Ward
    •  & A. M. Binley
  • Article | | open

    In the Gale Crater on Mars, organic matter has been detected, but in much lower concentrations than expected. Here, the authors conduct clay mineral synthesis experiments which suggest that clay minerals may rapidly form under oxidized conditions and thus explain the low organic concentrations in Gale Crater.

    • Seth R. Gainey
    • , Elisabeth M. Hausrath
    • , Christopher T. Adcock
    • , Oliver Tschauner
    • , Joel A. Hurowitz
    • , Bethany L. Ehlmann
    • , Yuming Xiao
    •  & Courtney L. Bartlett
  • Article | | open

    Downslope sediment transport on Mars is reported, but the transport capacity of unstable water under low pressures is not well understood. Here, the authors present a newly discovered, highly reactive transportation mechanism that is only possible under low pressure environments.

    • Jan Raack
    • , Susan J. Conway
    • , Clémence Herny
    • , Matthew R. Balme
    • , Sabrina Carpy
    •  & Manish R. Patel
  • Article | | open

    Cool roofs have been shown to mitigate heat in urban areas, but their impact on water conservation has not been examined. Here the authors conduct simulations with an urban canopy model to show that implementation of cool roofs in California can also reduce outdoor water consumption by up to 9%.

    • Pouya Vahmani
    •  & Andrew D. Jones
  • Article | | open

    The degree to which human societies have responded to past climatic changes remains unclear. Here, using a novel combination of approaches, the authors show how volcanically-induced suppression of Nile summer flooding led to societal unrest in Ptolemaic Egypt (305–30 BCE).

    • Joseph G. Manning
    • , Francis Ludlow
    • , Alexander R. Stine
    • , William R. Boos
    • , Michael Sigl
    •  & Jennifer R. Marlon
  • Article | | open

    Climate models repeatedly show a warm and dry bias over the central United States, but the origin of this bias remains unclear. Here the authors associate this bias to precipitation deficits in models and after applying a correction, projected precipitation in this region shows no significant changes.

    • Yanluan Lin
    • , Wenhao Dong
    • , Minghua Zhang
    • , Yuanyu Xie
    • , Wei Xue
    • , Jianbin Huang
    •  & Yong Luo
  • Article | | open

    Globally diarrheal disease through contaminated water sources is a major cause of child mortality. Here, the authors compile a database of 293,362 children in 35 countries and find that upstream tree cover is linked to a lower probability of diarrheal disease and that increasing tree cover may lower mortality.

    • Diego Herrera
    • , Alicia Ellis
    • , Brendan Fisher
    • , Christopher D. Golden
    • , Kiersten Johnson
    • , Mark Mulligan
    • , Alexander Pfaff
    • , Timothy Treuer
    •  & Taylor H. Ricketts
  • Article | | open

    Against the backdrop of a declining monsoon, the number of extreme rain events is on the rise over central India. Here the authors identify a threefold increase in widespread extreme rains over the region during 1950–2015, driven by an increasing variability of the low-level westerlies over the Arabian Sea.

    • M. K. Roxy
    • , Subimal Ghosh
    • , Amey Pathak
    • , R. Athulya
    • , Milind Mujumdar
    • , Raghu Murtugudde
    • , Pascal Terray
    •  & M. Rajeevan
  • Article | | open

    The evaporation of water represents an alternative source of renewable energy. Building on previous models of evaporation, Cavusoglu et al. show that the power available from this natural resource is comparable to wind and solar power, yet it does not suffer as much from varying weather conditions.

    • Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu
    • , Xi Chen
    • , Pierre Gentine
    •  & Ozgur Sahin
  • Article | | open

    Earth system model simulations of future climate in the Amazon show little agreement. Here, the authors show that biases in internally generated climate explain most of this uncertainty and that the balance between water-saturated and water-limited evapotranspiration controls the Amazon resilience to climate change.

    • Anders Ahlström
    • , Josep G. Canadell
    • , Guy Schurgers
    • , Minchao Wu
    • , Joseph A. Berry
    • , Kaiyu Guan
    •  & Robert B. Jackson
  • Article | | open

    The impact of climate change on phosphorus (P) loss from land to water is unclear. Here, the authors use P flux data, climate simulations and P transfer models to show that only large scale agricultural change will limit the effect of climate change on average winter P loads in three catchments across the UK.

    • M. C. Ockenden
    • , M. J. Hollaway
    • , K. J. Beven
    • , A. L. Collins
    • , R. Evans
    • , P. D. Falloon
    • , K. J. Forber
    • , K. M. Hiscock
    • , R. Kahana
    • , C. J. A. Macleod
    • , W. Tych
    • , M. L. Villamizar
    • , C. Wearing
    • , P. J. A. Withers
    • , J. G. Zhou
    • , P. A. Barker
    • , S. Burke
    • , J. E. Freer
    • , P. J. Johnes
    • , M. A. Snell
    • , B. W. J. Surridge
    •  & P. M. Haygarth
  • Article | | open

    The response of the coupled carbon and water cycles to anthropogenic climate change is unclear. Here, the authors show that terrestrial carbon uptake increased significantly from 1982 to 2011 and that this increase is largely driven by increased water-use efficiency, rather than an increase in water use.

    • Lei Cheng
    • , Lu Zhang
    • , Ying-Ping Wang
    • , Josep G. Canadell
    • , Francis H. S. Chiew
    • , Jason Beringer
    • , Longhui Li
    • , Diego G. Miralles
    • , Shilong Piao
    •  & Yongqiang Zhang
  • Article | | open

    Global warming and hydropower regulations are major threats to future fresh-water availability and biodiversity. Here, the authors show that their impact on flow regime over a large landmass result in similar changes, but hydropower is more critical locally and may have potential for climate adaptation in floodplains.

    • B. Arheimer
    • , C. Donnelly
    •  & G. Lindström
  • Article | | open

    Water scarcity threatens a growing number of global catchments. Here, the authors examine how human interventions (HI) affected water scarcity between 1971 and 2010 and find that HI caused increases in the average duration and occurrence of water scarcity for 32% and 34% of the global population, respectively.

    • T.I.E. Veldkamp
    • , Y. Wada
    • , J.C.J.H. Aerts
    • , P. Döll
    • , S. N. Gosling
    • , J. Liu
    • , Y. Masaki
    • , T. Oki
    • , S. Ostberg
    • , Y. Pokhrel
    • , Y. Satoh
    • , H. Kim
    •  & P. J. Ward
  • Article | | open

    Rivers provide a major pathway for ocean plastic waste, but effective mitigation is dependent on a quantification of active sources. Here, the authors present a global model of riverine plastic inputs, and estimate annual plastic waste of almost 2.5 million tonnes, with 86% sourced from Asia.

    • Laurent C. M. Lebreton
    • , Joost van der Zwet
    • , Jan-Willem Damsteeg
    • , Boyan Slat
    • , Anthony Andrady
    •  & Julia Reisser
  • Article | | open

    The sensitivity of global precipitation to warming is largely governed by changes in atmospheric longwave radiation, a function of cloud cover. Here the authors show that tightening of the tropical circulation with warming drives a decrease in high cloud cover, resulting in higher precipitation changes.

    • Hui Su
    • , Jonathan H. Jiang
    • , J. David Neelin
    • , T. Janice Shen
    • , Chengxing Zhai
    • , Qing Yue
    • , Zhien Wang
    • , Lei Huang
    • , Yong-Sang Choi
    • , Graeme L. Stephens
    •  & Yuk L. Yung
  • Article | | open

    El Niño events in the Central Pacific may be changing due to climate change, but long records to support this are lacking. Here, the authors present sea surface temperature reconstructions from tree cellulose for the last 800 years which suggest the variability of Central Pacific El Niño events has increased.

    • Yu Liu
    • , Kim M. Cobb
    • , Huiming Song
    • , Qiang Li
    • , Ching-Yao Li
    • , Takeshi Nakatsuka
    • , Zhisheng An
    • , Weijian Zhou
    • , Qiufang Cai
    • , Jinbao Li
    • , Steven W. Leavitt
    • , Changfeng Sun
    • , Ruochen Mei
    • , Chuan-Chou Shen
    • , Ming-Hsun Chan
    • , Junyan Sun
    • , Libin Yan
    • , Ying Lei
    • , Yongyong Ma
    • , Xuxiang Li
    • , Deliang Chen
    •  & Hans W. Linderholm
  • Article | | open

    Water is a fundamental resource, but its role in hominin evolution is not well explored. Here, the authors use a combination of groundwater, climate and agent-based models to show that groundwater availability may be critical to past patterns of taxonomic diversity in hominin development in East Africa.

    • M. O. Cuthbert
    • , T. Gleeson
    • , S. C. Reynolds
    • , M. R. Bennett
    • , A. C. Newton
    • , C. J. McCormack
    •  & G. M. Ashley
  • Article | | open

    Mountain snowpack in the western United States has declined over the past three decades. Fyfe et al. show that this trend cannot be explained by natural variability alone and show that under a business-as-usual scenario a further loss of up to 60% in mountain snowpack is projected in the coming three decades.

    • John C. Fyfe
    • , Chris Derksen
    • , Lawrence Mudryk
    • , Gregory M. Flato
    • , Benjamin D. Santer
    • , Neil C. Swart
    • , Noah P. Molotch
    • , Xuebin Zhang
    • , Hui Wan
    • , Vivek K. Arora
    • , John Scinocca
    •  & Yanjun Jiao
  • Article | | open

    El Niño and La Niña (ENSO) events influence global river flow and are often used as an early indicator of potential flooding. Here, the authors show that the probability of ENSO-driven flood hazard is more complex than is often perceived, and highlight the importance of considering hydrological response.

    • R. Emerton
    • , H. L. Cloke
    • , E. M. Stephens
    • , E. Zsoter
    • , S. J. Woolnough
    •  & F. Pappenberger
  • Article | | open

    Bioaerosols may be generated when bubbles break on the surface of water, but it is unclear if this mechanism works with soil-based microbes. Here, the authors show that soil bacteria may be transferred from the soil surface and dispersed by raindrops.

    • Young Soo Joung
    • , Zhifei Ge
    •  & Cullen R. Buie