Sediment discharge variability in Arctic rivers: implications for a warmer future

James P. M. Syvitski
2002 Polar Research  
A new model for predicting the sediment ß ux in ungauged river basins is applied to 46 Arctic to sub-Arctic rivers. The model predicts the preanthropogenic ß ux of sediment to within a factor of 2, across four orders of magnitude in basin area and run-off. The model explains for the Þ rst time why Arctic rivers carry so little sediment when compared at the global scale. Sensitive to drainage basin temperature, the model is used to examine the impact of a climate warming scenario on the loads of
more » ... high latitude rivers. As the Arctic warms, rivers will carry increased sediment loads, similar to more temperate rivers. For every 2 °C warming, the model predicts a 22 % increase in the ß ux of sediment carried by rivers. For every 20 % increase in water discharge there will be a 10 % increase in sediment load. The model also aids the interpretation of palaeoclimate records obtained from Arctic continental margins.
doi:10.3402/polar.v21i2.6494 fatcat:jyl2jrxyj5benlguvxcwq543mq