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Differentiating between climate effects and forest growth dynamics effects on decreasing groundwater recharge in a lowland region in Northeast Germany

  • Declining groundwater levels in some forested regions in Northeast Germany indicate a reduction in groundwater recharge. Various interlinked aspects, such as changes in climate conditions and changes in forest structure, have been considered as the main factors affecting the regional level of groundwater recharge. For this study, the water balance model WaSiM-ETH was used to calculate groundwater recharge in a 104 km(2) area between 1958 and 2007. Climate impact analysis was driven by observed data from neighbouring meteorological stations. Changes in forest stands were reconstructed from the current status and literature studies. The model-based analysis showed that the average groundwater recharge under forest areas decreased from 1958 to 2007, with a trend of 2.3 mm/yr(2). The most important effect was changing climatic boundary conditions, which made up 53% of the decrease. Declining precipitation is identified as the main factor. Changes in tree age distribution caused 18% of the decrease, and the change of ground vegetationDeclining groundwater levels in some forested regions in Northeast Germany indicate a reduction in groundwater recharge. Various interlinked aspects, such as changes in climate conditions and changes in forest structure, have been considered as the main factors affecting the regional level of groundwater recharge. For this study, the water balance model WaSiM-ETH was used to calculate groundwater recharge in a 104 km(2) area between 1958 and 2007. Climate impact analysis was driven by observed data from neighbouring meteorological stations. Changes in forest stands were reconstructed from the current status and literature studies. The model-based analysis showed that the average groundwater recharge under forest areas decreased from 1958 to 2007, with a trend of 2.3 mm/yr(2). The most important effect was changing climatic boundary conditions, which made up 53% of the decrease. Declining precipitation is identified as the main factor. Changes in tree age distribution caused 18% of the decrease, and the change of ground vegetation under pines (Pinus sylvestris) accounts for 29%. In respect of the complexity and the interconnectivity of the processes of groundwater recharge, the necessity of using process-oriented distributed models such as WaSiM-ETH is discussed. We conclude that changes in forest stands affecting groundwater recharge could play a significant role in the water balance, especially in regions with a priori low total runoff, this has up to now often remained unquantified.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Marco Natkhin, Jörg Steidl, Ottfried Dietrich, Ralf Dannowski, Gunnar LischeidORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.05.005
ISSN:0022-1694 (print)
ISSN:1879-2707 (online)
Parent Title (English):Journal of hydrology
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Ground vegetation; Pine; Tree age distribution; WaSiM-ETH
Volume:448
Issue:2
Pagenumber:10
First Page:245
Last Page:254
Funder:German Ministry of Education and Research within the NEWAL-NET Project [0330562A]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert