Hydrological and hydrochemical observation status in the pan-Arctic drainage basin

  • Arvid Bring
  • Georgia Destouni


In order to identify and understand the ongoing changes in the Arctic hydrological cycle, and the impacts on the Arctic Ocean, timely and open access to water and water-chemistry data is essential. By synthesizing and analysing all openly accessible water-discharge and water-quality data, we present an updated, quantitative picture of the status of observational data on hydrological and hydrochemical fluxes from the pan-Arctic drainage basin (PADB) to the ocean. We identify and compare the characteristics of monitored and unmonitored areas, and the differences between them, across the continents in the PADB. Results indicate significant gaps in monitoring data for water chemistry, in particular for high-latitude near-coastal areas. The differences in characteristics between monitored and unmonitored areas may bias assessments of hydrological and hydrochemical fluxes to the Arctic Ocean. The reliable identification and understanding of important biogeochemical processes in the PADB require extended monitoring, particularly in high-latitude permafrost ground, and more ready access to harmonized and integrated hydrochemical data.


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How to Cite
Bring A., & Destouni G. (2009). Hydrological and hydrochemical observation status in the pan-Arctic drainage basin. Polar Research, 28(3), 327-338. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v28i3.6140
Research/review articles