Hydrology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, the authors show that water flowing through thawed soils below the tundra surface (supra-permafrost groundwater) can be a major source of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to Arctic coastal waters during the summer. This DOM contains leachates from old soil carbon stocks, including potential contributions from thawing permafrost.

    • Craig T. Connolly
    • , M. Bayani Cardenas
    •  & James W. McClelland
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Economic estimates of flood damages rely on depth–damage functions that are inadequately verified. Here, the authors assessed flood vulnerability in the US and found that current depth–damage functions consist of disparate relationships that match poorly with observations which better follow a bimodal beta distribution.

    • Oliver E. J. Wing
    • , Nicholas Pinter
    •  & Carolyn Kousky
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors here combine a range of geophysical data, numerical modelling and borehole data to present a high resolution map of an offshore freshened groundwater system in the Canterbury Bight, New Zealand. The study shows the extensions of the offshore freshened groundwater system to be controlled by high permeability shelf sediments, buried paleochannels and onshore rivers.

    • Aaron Micallef
    • , Mark Person
    •  & Ashwani Kumar Tiwari
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors compared the performance of a range of rural water supply types during drought in Ethiopia. They show that prioritising access to groundwater via multiple improved water sources and technologies, such as hand-pumped and motorised boreholes, supported by monitoring and proactive operation and maintenance increases rural water supply resilience.

    • D. J. MacAllister
    • , A. M. MacDonald
    •  & R. Calow
  • Article
    | Open Access

    New hydrological simulations show for the first time how sensitive groundwater and surface water connections are to systematic warming across the continental United States. The authors here show a clear reduction in subsurface water storage under a warming climate and intensified aridification of north America.

    • Laura E. Condon
    • , Adam L. Atchley
    •  & Reed M. Maxwell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The effect of soil structure is not included in most Earth System Models. The authors here introduce and evaluate the consequences at local and global scale of modifying hydraulic properties of soils in response to biological activity—a process significantly changing soil structure.

    • Simone Fatichi
    • , Dani Or
    •  & Roni Avissar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How the effects of irrigation on the climate conditions compare to other anthropogenic forcings is not well known. Observational and model evidence show that expanding irrigation has dampened historical anthropogenic warming during hot days, an effect that is particularly strong over South Asia.

    • Wim Thiery
    • , Auke J. Visser
    •  & Sonia I. Seneviratne
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, a new analytical technique is employed to measure Kr and Xe isotopes in groundwater at high precision. These measurements indicate that gravitational signals of past water-table depth are preserved in ancient groundwater, representing a novel proxy for past terrestrial hydroclimate.

    • Alan M. Seltzer
    • , Jessica Ng
    •  & Jeffrey P. Severinghaus
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The variations in overbank flow from rivers onto floodplains from regional to continental scales are understudied. Here, the authors investigate this variation as a function of hydroclimatic parameters and channel size in the conterminous U.S. and find that the timing of floodplain inundation is largely controlled by regional factors, while the frequency, duration and magnitude of these inundations vary consistently with channel size.

    • Durelle T. Scott
    • , Jesus D. Gomez-Velez
    •  & Judson W. Harvey
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of solar and wind energy (SWE) in management of water-food-energy (WFE) nexus is largely neglected. Here the authors developed a trade-off frontier framework to quantify the water sustainability value of SWE and applied it in California, where they found that SWE penetration creates beneficial feedback for the WFE nexus by enhancing drought resilience and benefits groundwater sustainability over long run.

    • Xiaogang He
    • , Kairui Feng
    •  & Justin Sheffield
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There still lacks a forecast system that inform end-users regarding the drought impacts, which will be however important for drought management. Here the authors assess the feasibility of forecasting drought impacts using machine-learning and confirm that models, which were built with sufficient amount of reported drought impacts in a certain sector, are able to forecast drought impacts a few months ahead.

    • Samuel J. Sutanto
    • , Melati van der Weert
    •  & Henny A. J. Van Lanen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Flash droughts are widely discussed in the scientific community since the rapid onset of the 2012 drought in the USA. Here, the authors model the temporal frequency of potential flash drought events and the exposure risk over China for the next 80 years.

    • Xing Yuan
    • , Linying Wang
    •  & Miao Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Remote sensing observations of mountain snow depth are still lacking for the Northern Hemisphere mountains. Here authors use Sentinel-1 satellite radar measurements to assess the snow depth in mountainous areas at 1 km² resolution and show that the Sentinel-1 retrievals capture the spatial variability between and within mountain ranges, as well as their inter-annual differences.

    • Hans Lievens
    • , Matthias Demuzere
    •  & Gabrielle J. M. De Lannoy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    “Reconstruction of precipitation variability from oxygen isotopes in the Mesoamerican and Caribbean region is made difficult by the occurrence of tropical cyclones. Here, the isotopic evolution of a tropical cyclone is studied in detail which helps disentangle the key processes governing rainfall isotope variability in the region.”

    • Ricardo Sánchez-Murillo
    • , Ana M. Durán-Quesada
    •  & Kim M. Cobb
  • Article
    | Open Access

    δ18O of speleothems are a widely used paleoclimate proxy. Here, the authors conduct a global analysis of cave drip water δ18O compositions and find that drip waters from warmer climates have a seasonal bias toward precipitation δ18O of recharge periods, unlike in cooler climates where drip waters match well with recharge-weighted δ18O.

    • Andy Baker
    • , Andreas Hartmann
    •  & Martin Werner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Subglacial lakes can influence basal hydrology and ice flow in Antarctica, but are poorly constrained in Greenland. Here the authors provide the first ice sheet-wide inventory of subglacial lakes beneath GrIS, including 54 uncharted lakes.

    • J. S. Bowling
    • , S. J. Livingstone
    •  & W. Chu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The spread of flood-induced failures in critical infrastructure systems is understudied. Here the authors apply the CaMa-Flood global river flood simulation model to estimate the flood-induced failures and their spread in China and the US and find that the number of flood-induced total failures is in-between that of random and localized damage given the same intensity.

    • Weiping Wang
    • , Saini Yang
    •  & Jianxi Gao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The freshwater surface layer from the south China seas weakens the Indonesian throughflow during boreal winter, but the impact of the monsoon water cycle of the maritime continent on this freshwater plug is unknown. Here the authors use satellite observations to show a direct link between the regional water cycle in the maritime continent and the freshwater plug.

    • Tong Lee
    • , Séverine Fournier
    •  & Janet Sprintall
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The impacts of forest fire activity in the western US on snow melt are poorly quantified. Here the authors use satellite and field-based observations to document a four-fold increase in the solar forcing on snow in western burned forests from 1999 to 2018.

    • Kelly E. Gleason
    • , Joseph R. McConnell
    •  & Wendy M. Calvin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is a growing consensus that groundwater inflow supplies most of the C load to streams, but the sources and timescales generating this flux are still unknown. Here, the authors demonstrate that soil respiration, derived from current forest carbon fixation, fuels stream CO2 emissions.

    • A. Campeau
    • , K. Bishop
    •  & M. B. Wallin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For the first time, climate change experiments with a convection-permitting model have been carried out over an Africa-wide domain. These show more severe future changes in both wet and dry extremes over Africa compared to a traditional coarser resolution climate model.

    • Elizabeth J. Kendon
    • , Rachel A. Stratton
    •  & Catherine A. Senior
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Water isotope modelling is an important tool in climate reconstructions, but there remain gaps in our understanding of the effects upon oxygen and hydrogen isotope fractionation, and thus the source of the deposited signal. Here, the authors present a dataset assembled over two years that shows deuterium excess is controlled by humidity and sea surface temperature, and oxygen and hydrogen isotopes as well as deuterium excess are controlled by sublimation of snow in sea-ice regions.

    • Jean-Louis Bonne
    • , Melanie Behrens
    •  & Martin Werner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Luigi J. Renzullo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Matthew D. Wallenstein
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Jung-Hyun Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Shenglian Guo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Amit Kumar Bansal
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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 Access

    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 Access

    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
    •  & Xingnian Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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 Access

    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
    •  & Frédéric Perrier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Stefan Krause
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Durelle Scott
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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 Access

    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
    •  & Sebastiaan N. Jonkman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & E. R. Cook
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Steven G. McNulty
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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
    •  & Noah P. Molotch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    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