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RECENT CHANGES OF ANNUAL FLOW DISTRIBUTION OF THE VOLGA BASIN RIVERS

https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2017-10-2-28-39

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Abstract

Modern features of the annual flow distribution of the Volga Basin were analyzed. Statistical analysis of the annual flow data for the spring, summer-autumn, and winter seasons were carried out to study the changes of the water regime of the Volga Basin Rivers in 1946–2010, 1946–1977, and 1978–2010 observation years. Using the data of 207 stations, new maps of seasonal flow were created and changes in the natural river flow regulation were shown. In recent decades, the water regime of the rivers in European Russia and their annual flow distribution has changed greatly. A statistically significant decrease in the river flow irregularity after 1946 has been revealed for the most of the Volga Basin Rivers. It resulted in the increase in the natural regulation index φ, change of the seasonal flow, primarily in low-water period, and especially in winter. The increase in the φ index during the last 30 years is approximately 30%, compared to the similar previous period. Such a change of the φ value took place due to the reduction of the spring flood flow and the increased significance of the groundwater flow. In the second half of the 1970s, the rivers of the Volga Basin were characterized as “snowfeeding”; at the end of the XXth century, they became the rivers with “mixed feeding” or even “mixed feeding with prevailing groundwater feeding” according to B.D. Zaikov’s river classification. This has resulted in the significant increase in the natural flow regulation comparable to the effect of seasonal storage reservoirs.

About the Authors

N. L. Frolova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Professor of Hydrology at Lomonosov Moscow State University. She received her Master’s Degree and Doctor of Science (2013) in Hydrology from Lomonosov Moscow State University. She teaches hydrology undergraduate and graduate level courses (“Hydrology”, “Hydrology of Rivers”, “Hydrological Forecasts”) at the Universities in Russia and Kazakhstan. The focus of her research work is on dangerous hydrological processes and water resources with particular attention to the impact of climate change.


S. A. Agafonova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Researcher  at the Department of Hydrology, Lomonosov Moscow State University. She received her PhD in Geography in 2009. Her research interests are in the area of climate change, hydrological hazards, and river ice. She is the author of more then 30 scientific publications.


M. B. Kireeva
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Received her PhD from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2013. Her research work deals with low flow, intra-annual redistribution of river runoff, and seasonal and occasional flood dynamics.


E. S. Povalishnikova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Senior Scientist at the Department of Hydrology, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University. She received her PhD in Geography from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1995. The focus of her research is on rivers, hydrological regime, water resources, water management, and remote sensing.


O. M. Pakhomova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Researcher at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, Department of Land Hydrology; she received her PhD in Hydrology, water resources, hydrochemistry in 2001. Her primary research interests are in geography, water resources, channel processes, and hydrology.


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For citation:


Frolova N.L., Agafonova S.A., Kireeva M.B., Povalishnikova E.S., Pakhomova O.M. RECENT CHANGES OF ANNUAL FLOW DISTRIBUTION OF THE VOLGA BASIN RIVERS. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2017;10(2):28-39. https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2017-10-2-28-39

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