Assessment of contemporary Arctic river runoff based on observational discharge records

Academic Article


  • We describe the contemporary hydrography of the pan‐Arctic land area draining into the Arctic Ocean, northern Bering Sea, and Hudson Bay on the basis of observational records of river discharge and computed runoff. The Regional Arctic Hydrographic Network data set, R‐ArcticNET, is presented, which is based on 3754 recording stations drawn from Russian, Canadian, European, and U.S. archives. R‐ArcticNET represents the single largest data compendium of observed discharge in the Arctic. Approximately 73% of the nonglaciated area of the pan‐Arctic is monitored by at least one river discharge gage giving a mean gage density of 168 gages per 106 km2. Average annual runoff is 212 mm yr−1 with approximately 60% of the river discharge occurring from April to July. Gridded runoff surfaces are generated for the gaged portion of the pan‐Arctic region to investigate global change signals. Siberia and Alaska showed increases in winter runoff during the 1980s relative to the 1960s and 1970s during annual and seasonal periods. These changes are consistent with observations of change in the climatology of the region. Western Canada experienced decreased spring and summer runoff.
  • Authors

  • Shiklomanov, Alexander
  • Lammers, RB
  • Shiklomanov, AI
  • Vorosmarty, CJ
  • Fekete, BM
  • Peterson, BJ
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • February 27, 2001
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 3321
  • End Page

  • 3334
  • Volume

  • 106
  • Issue

  • D4