Tracing groundwater recharge in a glaciated catchment (Finse, Norway)
Mountainous regions are experiencing an amplified anthropogenic global warming. Thus, climate change is severely altering the mountainous water cycle by affecting historical patterns of snow and ice accumulation and melt.
These widespread changes affect physical, biological and human systems in the mountains and surrounding lowlands, with impacts evident even in the ocean. Changes in snowpack and glaciers are strongly coupled with the entire hydrologic cycle. It is expected that these cryospheric changes severely impact the amount and seasonality of groundwater recharge and stream runoff in cold-region environments. However, relatively little is known about the linkage between cryospheric changes and groundwater recharge.
A combination of environmental tracers such as stable water isotopes and major ions are ideal tools to assess groundwater recharge. This thesis will help to establish a time series of groundwater tracer data in Finse, Norway.
The student will help to sample for a combination of environmental tracers from a deep groundwater well installed at the Finse Alpine Research Center. Sampling takes place approximately 2-3 times a month for the duration of the thesis. The established time series can then be used to explore the dynamics of groundwater recharge and link these dynamics to patterns in snow and glacier melt.
The student will acquire expertise in high-latitude hydrological systems and obtain skill sets including field methods (e.g., planning and conducting fieldwork, sampling of environmental tracers), (statistical) analysis and interpretation of tracer data and potentially numerical modelling (depending on the student's interests).
This thesis will be part of ongoing work in Finse, e.g., research conducted within the LATICE (Land-ATmosphere Interactions in Cold Environments) project.