Modeling low-flow bedrock springs providing ecological habitats with climate change scenarios

Levison, J.; Larocque, M. et Ouellet, M.A. (2014). « Modeling low-flow bedrock springs providing ecological habitats with climate change scenarios ». Journal of Hydrology, 515, pp. 16-28.

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Groundwater discharge areas, including low-flow bedrock aquifer springs, are ecologically important and can be impacted by climate change. The development of and results from a groundwater modeling study simulating fractured bedrock spring flow are presented. This was conducted to produce hydrological data for an ecohydrological study of an endangered species, Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus), in southern Quebec, Canada. The groundwater modeling approach in terms of scale and complexity was strongly driven by the need to produce hydrological data for the related ecohydrological modeling. Flows at four springs at different elevations were simulated for recent past conditions (2006–2010) and for reference (1971–2000) and future (2041–2070) periods using precipitation and temperature data from ten climate scenarios. Statistical analyses of spring flow parameters including activity periods and duration of flow were conducted. Flow rates for the four simulated springs, located at different elevations, are predicted to increase between 2% and 46% and will be active (flowing) 1–2% longer in the future. A significant change (predominantly an increase) looking at the seasonality of the number of active days occurs in the winter (2–4.9%) and spring seasons (−0.6–6.5%). Greatest flow rates were produced from springs at elevations where sub-horizontal fractures intersect the ground surface. These results suggest an intensification of the spring activity at the study site in context of climate change by 2050, which provides a positive habitat outlook for the endangered salamanders residing in the springs for the future.

Type: Article de revue scientifique
Informations complémentaires: © <2014>. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Mots-clés ou Sujets: Springs, Bedrock aquifer, Salamanders, Climate change, Discrete fracture network modeling, HydroGeoSphere
Unité d'appartenance: Faculté des sciences > Département des sciences de la Terre et de l'atmosphère
Déposé par: Marie Larocque
Date de dépôt: 21 mars 2016 14:23
Dernière modification: 01 sept. 2016 04:10
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