Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Leszek Sobkowiak
Department of Hydrology and Water Management, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-712 Poznań, Poland
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, IHE Delft & Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
CSIRO Land and Water, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Climate Change and Human Impact on Freshwater Water Resources: Rivers and Lakes

Abstract submission deadline
30 July 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
30 September 2024
Viewed by
4398

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The different patterns of phenomena observed in rivers (water stages, discharges, water temperature and chemistry, ice phenomena, etc.) in an average annual cycle, determined by climate and catchment properties, are relatively stable. Under the influence of changing climatic conditions and increasing human impact, a flow regime might destabilize and turn to another with sometimes quite different seasonal patterns, thus disturbing the established hydroecological conditions and availability of water resources. Depending on the sensitivity of a particular river regime model, its changes are temporarily and spatially diversified. In order to identify a change in any pattern (regardless of the reason), it is first necessary to adequately describe its initial state and the state after the transformation. There are diverse pattern-recognition methods, and both supervised and nonsupervised approaches can be applied to describe the flow regime patterns.

The hydrological regime of lakes can be analyzed in terms of their thermal conditions, formation of ice, and water levels. The quantitative, physical, and biological transformation of lake ecosystems may result from both natural (changes in precipitation, evaporation etc.) and human-induced (water intakes and discharges, hydraulic structures) processes. The regime of lakes in many regions of the world has been destabilized by intensive land use and regulation of water relations. Fluctuations in water levels, and thus changes in the lake area and the amount of stored water in the lake, are crucial in many physical–chemical (mixing, dissolution of substances, water transparency, etc.), biological (extent of ecotone zones, extent of photic zone, etc.) or economic (possibility of water withdrawals for industrial, domestic, agricultural purposes, etc.) processes.

The main aim of this Topic is to share the results of research on the impact of climate change and human activity on the characteristics of the flow regime of rivers in different regions of the world, mainly in terms of the transformation of the flow regime characteristics, their stability and predictability, and quantitative and qualitative assessments of water resources. Papers focusing on methods of detection changes and classifying the river regimes are particularly invited.

At the same time, this Topic addresses the impact of climate change and human activity on the lake regime characteristics in various regions of the world, mainly in terms of long-term changes in the amount of water resources, seasonal changes in water levels, and thermal and ice conditions.

Prof. Dr. Leszek Sobkowiak
Prof. Dr. Arthur Mynett
Dr. David Post
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • flow regime
  • flow seasonality
  • thermal conditions
  • water chemistry
  • ice phenomena
  • climate change
  • human activity
  • methods of detection changes and classifying river regimes
  • regime of lake water levels
  • thermal conditions
  • thermal stratification
  • ice phenomena
  • lake ecosystems
  • changes in lake water resources
  • changes in lake area

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Hydrology
hydrology
3.2 4.1 2014 17.8 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Remote Sensing
remotesensing
5.0 7.9 2009 23 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Water
water
3.4 5.5 2009 16.5 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Climate
climate
3.7 5.2 2013 19.7 Days CHF 1800 Submit

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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24 pages, 5186 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change and Water Extraction on Thermal Stratification and Water Quality of a Subtropical Lake Using the GLM-AED Model
Water 2024, 16(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010151 - 30 Dec 2023
Viewed by 807
Abstract
This study combined a catchment model and one-dimensional lake model (GLM-AED) to simulate the response of hydrodynamics and water quality of subtropical Advancetown Lake (South-East Queensland, Australia) to future changing climates from 2040 to 2069 and 2070 to 2099 under Representative Concentration Pathway [...] Read more.
This study combined a catchment model and one-dimensional lake model (GLM-AED) to simulate the response of hydrodynamics and water quality of subtropical Advancetown Lake (South-East Queensland, Australia) to future changing climates from 2040 to 2069 and 2070 to 2099 under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 and increased water demand from a 50% increase in population over current levels. The simulation adequately reproduced water temperature (RMSE of 0.6 °C), dissolved oxygen (DO) (RMSE of 2 mg/L), and other water quality variables, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll a (Chl-a). Warming temperatures dominated the change in thermal structure and hydrodynamic status of the lake under future climate change conditions. Projected changes in precipitation and hydrological response from the upstream catchment might, however, partly offset the warming temperatures under future climate change. Increased water withdrawal due to population growth, which involved water extraction from the epilimnion, showed antagonistic effects on water stability compared to those from climate change. Under a high emission scenario of RCP8.5 during the 2080s, there is an increased likelihood of winter turnover failure in Advancetown Lake. Nutrient concentrations were simulated to decrease from reduced catchment loads under future climate change conditions. However, Chl-a concentrations were simulated to increase, especially during the period after winter turnover, under these future conditions. The depth of the hypoxia front during stratification is expected to decrease and move towards the water surface, attributable to the warming water temperatures and prolonged thermal stratification, which might affect biogeochemical processes and exchange fluxes between the hypolimnion and bottom sediments. These potential changes may present challenges for water resource management under future conditions of climate change and population growth. Full article
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12 pages, 2923 KiB  
Article
Human Activities Increased Microplastics Contamination in the Himalaya Mountains
Hydrology 2024, 11(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology11010004 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1625
Abstract
Microplastic pollution is an emerging environmental concern, and has been found in remote regions, including the high Himalaya mountains. However, the abundance and sources of microplastics in the region are not well documented. This research investigated the abundance, types, and potential sources of [...] Read more.
Microplastic pollution is an emerging environmental concern, and has been found in remote regions, including the high Himalaya mountains. However, the abundance and sources of microplastics in the region are not well documented. This research investigated the abundance, types, and potential sources of microplastics in the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP), a rural and sparsely populated region of Nepal on the southern side of the Himalaya mountains. Water samples were collected from streams and tributaries in SNP in May of 2022. The average microplastic concentration among all samples was 2.0 ± 1.7 pieces/L, similar to that of water samples collected in other high mountain areas and is in the lower range of that found in water samples across the globe. Microplastic abundance is higher in water samples collected near settlements than in streams far from human settlements, indicating the impact of human activities. The presence of microplastics in all samples, including headwaters immediately beneath glaciers, illustrates the widespread distribution of microplastics and suggests the potential for airborne sources. While the concentration of microplastics does not change dramatically from upstream tributaries to downstream rivers, the total load of microplastics increases due to higher discharge downstream. This research demonstrates the anthropogenic and air-borne influences on microplastics contamination on the southern side of the Himalayan range and contributes to filling the data gaps towards a better understanding of the global fate and transport of microplastics. Full article
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17 pages, 8038 KiB  
Article
Macroinvertebrate Spatial Diversity Patterns of Shore Habitats in Italian High-Altitude Natural and Permanent Lakes and Ponds
Water 2023, 15(21), 3814; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15213814 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1548
Abstract
A comparative analysis of environmental conditions between Alpine and Apennine lakes/ponds which represent different faces of European mountain regions was conducted. The data set was created on the basis of previous works carried out by national and international institutions including biological, physical–chemical, geographic, [...] Read more.
A comparative analysis of environmental conditions between Alpine and Apennine lakes/ponds which represent different faces of European mountain regions was conducted. The data set was created on the basis of previous works carried out by national and international institutions including biological, physical–chemical, geographic, and precipitation data from 27 lakes/ponds placed at altitudes ranging from 2334 ± 294 m a.s.l. (in the Alps) and 1541 ± 154 m a.s.l. (in the Apennines), with mean maximum depths of about 5.5 ± 4.6 m. A specific focus was dedicated to chironomids as outstanding sentinels for local and global changes in habitat conditions. Species richness and Taxonomic Distinctness Indices were applied to lakes/ponds macroinvertebrates to highlight differences in the biodiversity of the two areas. Subsequently, associations between descriptors of the mountain region climate, lithology, water chemistry, lake morphology, geography, macroinvertebrate assemblage richness, and distinctness were examined through Principal Component Analysis, Analysis of Variance, and Non-metric Multi-dimensional Scaling. Results showed strong positive correlations between mean annual precipitation and temperature with lake macroinvertebrate biodiversity as a whole and with chironomid in particular. Thus, these shore habitats face a threat under climate change conditions (impacting thermal and precipitation regimes). These results are also central in showing that even small ecosystems are important sources of biodiversity for the lower altitudes, stressing the urgency of including them within targeted monitoring and action plans to preserve their peculiar habitat, flora, and fauna. Full article
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