Abstract

Most streamflow regimes in the high arctic have been distinguished as nival or proglacial according to the presence or absence of glaciers. A comparison of streamflow in glacierized and non-glacierized basins in a high arctic environment shows that runoff is sustained by various sources of water, including spring snowmelt, the melting of semi-permanent snow banks, glaciers, and rainfall. If spring melt dominates, a simple arctic nival regime results and if this is followed by summer glacier melt, a proglacial regime occurs. In some non-glacierized basins, however, if snowmelt is delayed until mid-summer or if semi-permanent snowbanks are abundant, a proglacial type of runoff pattern may be produced. The overall result is that various combinations of several sources of water will generate a suite of regimes that range from the simple nival to the typical proglacial pattern of flow.

You do not currently have access to this article.