Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Hydrological Connectivity in a Permafrost Tundra Landscape near Vorkuta, North-European Arctic Russia

Version 1 : Received: 19 June 2021 / Approved: 21 June 2021 / Online: 21 June 2021 (11:15:37 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Tananaev, N.; Isaev, V.; Sergeev, D.; Kotov, P.; Komarov, O. Hydrological Connectivity in a Permafrost Tundra Landscape near Vorkuta, North-European Arctic Russia. Hydrology 2021, 8, 106. Tananaev, N.; Isaev, V.; Sergeev, D.; Kotov, P.; Komarov, O. Hydrological Connectivity in a Permafrost Tundra Landscape near Vorkuta, North-European Arctic Russia. Hydrology 2021, 8, 106.

Journal reference: Hydrology 2021, 8, 106
DOI: 10.3390/hydrology8030106

Abstract

Hydrochemical and geophysical data collected during a hydrological survey in September 2017, reveal patterns of small-scale hydrological connectivity in a small water track catchment, north-European Arctic. Elevated tundra patches underlain by sands were disconnected from the stream and stored precipitation water from previous months. At the catchment surface and in the water track thalweg, some circular hollows, from 0.2 to 0.4 m in diameter, acted as evaporative basins with low d-excess values, from 2 to 4‰. Other hollows were connected to shallow subsurface runoff, yielding d-excess values between 12 and 14‰. ‘Connected’ hollows yielded a 50% higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content, 17.5±5.3 mg/L, than the ‘disconnected hollows, 11.8±1.7 mg/L. Permafrost distribution across the landscape is continuous, but highly variable. Open taliks exist under fens and small hummocky depressions, as revealed by electric resistivity tomography surveys. Isotopic evidence supports upward subpermafrost groundwater migration through open taliks under water tracks and fens/bogs/depressions, and its supply to streams via shallow sub-surface compartment. Temporal variability of isotopic composition and DOC in water track and a major river system, the Vorkuta R., evidence the widespread occurrence of the described processes in the large river basin. Water tracks effectively drain the tundra terrain and maintain xeric veg-etation over the elevated inter-track tundra patches.

Subject Areas

permafrost hydrology; Russian Arctic; water tracks; hydrological connectivity; stable water isotopes; dissolved organic carbon; electrical resistivity tomography; taliks

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