Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 1097–1111 | Cite as

Water chemistry and hydrometeorology in a glacierized catchment in the Polar Urals, Russia

  • Łukasz StachnikEmail author
  • Piotr Wałach
  • Łukasz Uzarowicz
  • Jacob C. Yde
  • Zornitza Tosheva
  • Dominika Wrońska-Wałach


This study aims to determine the relationships between local meteorological conditions, proglacial river discharge and biogeochemical processes operating in a periglacial basin located in the Polar Ural mountain range, Russia. Fieldwork was conducted in the catchment of Obruchev Glacier (13 km2) during the summer peak flow period in 2008. River discharge was dominated by snowmelt and changed from 3300 l s−1 to less than 1000 l s−1. The mean daily air temperatures of stations situated in the mountain tundra and near Obruchev Glacier from July 11th to August 1st 2008 were 14.4°C and 10.3°C, respectively. The glacial river had low total dissolved solids varying from 4.5 to 9 mg l−1 and coefficients of correlation between Na+ and Cl, K+ and Cl-, as well as NH4 + and Cl were 0.94, 0.90 and 0.84, respectively. Rainfall events affected the snowmelt initiation and provided an essential part of the discharge during the intense snowmelt period, which occurred from July 11th to July 18th 2008. Data showed that Na+ and K+ in the surface water derived from snowmelt rather than chemical weathering of silicates. Also, it was obtained that NO3 derived from the melting snowpack, whereas ammonification occurring under the snowpacks was the primary source for NH4 +.


Polar Urals River discharge Nitrate Chemical weathering Periglacial basin Glacier 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Łukasz Stachnik
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Piotr Wałach
    • 3
  • Łukasz Uzarowicz
    • 4
  • Jacob C. Yde
    • 2
  • Zornitza Tosheva
    • 5
  • Dominika Wrońska-Wałach
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geography and Spatial ManagementJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Science and TechnologySogn og Fjordane University CollegeSogndalNorway
  3. 3.Institute of Meteorology and Water ManagementNational Research InstituteKrakówPoland
  4. 4.Faculty of Agriculture and BiologyWarsaw University of Life Sciences — SGGWWarszawaPoland
  5. 5.University of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg

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