Climate Change Impacts on Groundwater Recharge in Cold and Humid Climates: Controlling Processes and Thresholds

Dubois, Emmanuel; Larocque, Marie; Gagné, Sylvain et Braun, Marco (2022). « Climate Change Impacts on Groundwater Recharge in Cold and Humid Climates: Controlling Processes and Thresholds ». Climate, 10(1), p. 6.

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Long-term changes in precipitation and temperature indirectly impact aquifers through groundwater recharge (GWR). Although estimates of future GWR are needed for water resource management, they are uncertain in cold and humid climates due to the wide range in possible future climatic conditions. This work aims to (1) simulate the impacts of climate change on regional GWR for a cold and humid climate and (2) identify precipitation and temperature changes leading to significant long-term changes in GWR. Spatially distributed GWR is simulated in a case study for the southern Province of Quebec (Canada, 36,000 km2) using a water budget model. Climate scenarios from global climate models indicate warming temperatures and wetter conditions (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5; 1951–2100). The results show that annual precipitation increases of >+150 mm/yr or winter precipitation increases of >+25 mm will lead to significantly higher GWR. GWR is expected to decrease if the precipitation changes are lower than these thresholds. Significant GWR changes are produced only when the temperature change exceeds +2 °C. Temperature changes of >+4.5 °C limit the GWR increase to +30 mm/yr. This work provides useful insights into the regional assessment of future GWR in cold and humid climates, thus helping in planning decisions as climate change unfolds. The results are expected to be comparable to those in other regions with similar climates in post-glacial geological environments and future climate change conditions.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Informations complémentaires: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Mots-clés ou Sujets: Groundwater recharge, climate change, thresholds, seasonality, spatiotemporal variations, regional-scale, long-term, HydroBudget model cold and humid climates; Quebec (Canada)
Unité d'appartenance: Centres institutionnels > Centre de recherche en géochimie et géodynamique (GEOTOP)
Centres institutionnels > Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en limnologie et en environnement aquatique (GRIL)
Faculté des sciences > Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère
Déposé par: Marie Larocque
Date de dépôt: 14 janv. 2022 11:00
Dernière modification: 14 janv. 2022 11:00
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