Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme. This withdrawal might have been the result of a merge with another session.
HS2.1.8 | Hydrology, chemistry, and ecology of mountain freshwaters in permafrost environments
Hydrology, chemistry, and ecology of mountain freshwaters in permafrost environments
Convener: Nicola ColomboECSECS | Co-conveners: Thomas Wagner, Cassandra KoenigECSECS, Masaki Hayashi, Monica Tolotti
Due to a warming climate, mountain glaciers around the world are rapidly receding, shifting the predominant dynamics of the mountain cryosphere from glacial to periglacial. Permafrost is a central element of periglacial environments and, although it is warming and degrading on a global scale, there is an increasing proportion of permafrost subsurface ice compared to glacier surface ice, due to their different response times to atmospheric changes. However, relatively little is known about the hydrological, chemical and ecological conditions of mountain freshwaters influenced by permafrost, since glacier related systems have so far been the focus of scientific research.

Altered thermal conditions of the subsurface may affect water pathways, resulting in modified hydrological regimes associated with changes to recharge, storage and release processes, which are all related to melting ground‐ice. Permafrost degradation and the resultant changes in rock glaciers - and other mountain landforms - may partially offset water shortages (caused by the loss of glacial meltwater) by increasing the underground water storage capacity of mountain terrains due to the increase in the unfrozen sediment thickness. Observed changes associated with permafrost degradation include an increase in dissolved solutes (including nutrients, ions and heavy metals) in mountain waters, with potential effects on aquatic ecology. Yet, ice‐rich landforms such as rock glaciers are emerging as potential climate refugia because the slow loss of their subsurface ice enables the persistence of cold habitats and related biodiversity.

In this session, we encourage presentations about hydrology, chemistry, and ecology of mountain freshwaters in permafrost environments. Contributions addressing the following topics are welcome:
- Impact of permafrost degradation and ice loss on subsurface flow paths and runoff dynamics
- Influence of rock glaciers and other ice-rich mountain landforms on the hydrology and hydrochemistry of surface waters
- Role of permafrost degradation and related ice melt as a source of water
- Weathering processes and solute release in changing permafrost environments
- Hydrological and hydrochemical modelling of transitional glacial-periglacial catchments under ongoing climate change
- Biodiversity and adaptations of ecological communities dwelling permafrost-influenced surface waters