Friday, July 21, 2017

Mountain Glaciers Recharge Vital Aquifers

Mountain glaciers may play a more important role in drier areas than previously thought.

UAF researcher Anna Liljedahl puts up a wind shield around a rain gauge she installed on Jarvis Glacier. (Credit: UAF photo by Todd Paris) Click to Enlarge.
Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The study also suggests that the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers in recent decades may explain a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists -- why Arctic and sub-Arctic rivers have increased their water flow during the winter even without a correlative increase in rain or snowfall.

"I think that mountain glaciers in the Arctic and sub-Arctic have really been underappreciated as a source of water to the landscape," said Anna Liljedahl, the lead author and an associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Water and Environmental Research Center.

Read more at Mountain Glaciers Recharge Vital Aquifers

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