Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
Observational evidence of an intensifying hydrological cycle in northern Canada
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 13, July 2009
How to Cite
2009), Observational evidence of an intensifying hydrological cycle in northern Canada, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L13402, doi:10.1029/2009GL038852., , , and (
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Received: 23 APR 2009
- northern Canada;
- hydrological amplification
 Trends and variability in the 1964–2007 annual streamflow for 45 rivers spanning 5.2 × 106 km2 of northern Canada are investigated. Discharge averages 1153 km3 yr−1 with a standard deviation of 71.4 km3 yr−1 and coefficient of variation (CVQ) of 6.2% over the 44-year period. A trend analysis reveals a recent (1989–2007) 15.5% increase in the annual flows owing to much-above average values recorded over the past decade. Trends in CVQ computed from 11-year moving windows of annual streamflows exhibit spatially coherent signals with increasing variability across most of northern Canada, excluding some rivers with outlets to the Labrador Sea and eastern James Bay. For the period of interest, 46% and 30% of the available gauged area and river discharge, respectively, experienced detectable increases in variability. This provides observational evidence of an intensifying hydrological cycle in northern Canada, consistent with other regions of the pan-Arctic domain.