Variation of the hydrological regime of Bele-Shira closed basin in Southern Siberia and its reflection in the radial growth of Larix sibirica

Abstract

This study analyses dynamics of the hydrological regime of Bele-Shira closed basin and evaluates the potential for using radial growth of Siberian larch (Larix sibirica) for its assessment. We investigated the relationships between different characteristics of the water level variation of Lake Shira, precipitation amount and long-term regional chronologies developed from 56 living trees and 32 dead trees on three sites across this basin. Graphical and correlation analysis indicate that the interannual change (June minus previous June) of the water level of Lake Shira is strongly positively related to the annual sum of precipitation from July to June and the radial growth of larch. It was shown that this hydrological characteristic integrates the current dynamics of the regional precipitation and moisture regime as a whole of the Bele-Shira closed basin on interannual and decadal scales. The water level of Lake Shira fluctuates on a multi-year timescale in synchrony with the cumulative sum of the tree-ring chronology and also has strong positive long-term trend, probably driven by the continual groundwater inflow from neighboring Lake Itkul. Delayed relationships of precipitation and radial growth with the Lake Shira level change are interpreted with reference to a water balance model of the closed basin. Results offer the possibility of reconstructing interannual and decadal variation of the hydrological regime during the last few centuries through regression models using tree-ring chronologies or the dynamics of climatic variables recovered from them.

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Republic of Khakassia according to the research Projects No. 14-44-04043 and No. 15-05-01666. We also thank anonymous reviewers and editor Wolfgang Cramer for their helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Elena A. Babushkina.

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Editor: Wolfgang Cramer.

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Babushkina, E.A., Belokopytova, L.V., Grachev, A.M. et al. Variation of the hydrological regime of Bele-Shira closed basin in Southern Siberia and its reflection in the radial growth of Larix sibirica . Reg Environ Change 17, 1725–1737 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1137-1

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Keywords

  • Dendrohydrology
  • Southern Siberia
  • Hydrological regime
  • Closed basin
  • Radial growth
  • L. sibirica