Water chemistry and hydrometeorology in a glacierized catchment in the Polar Urals, Russia
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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 +.
KeywordsPolar Urals River discharge Nitrate Chemical weathering Periglacial basin Glacier
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