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Research Article

Hydrological modeling of freshwater discharge into Hudson Bay using HYPE

Authors:

Tricia A. Stadnyk ,

Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB; Environmental Science and Engineering Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, CA
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Matthew K. MacDonald,

Ontario Power Generation, Toronto, ON, CA
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Andrew Tefs,

Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, CA
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Stephen J. Déry,

Environmental Science and Engineering Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC, CA
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Kristina Koenig,

Manitoba Hydro, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA
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David Gustafsson,

Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, SE
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Kristina Isberg,

Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, KE
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Berit Arheimer

Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, SE
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Abstract

This study details the enhancement and calibration of the Arctic implementation of the HYdrological Predictions for the Environment (HYPE) hydrological model established for the BaySys group of projects to produce freshwater discharge scenarios for the Hudson Bay Drainage Basin (HBDB). The challenge in producing estimates of freshwater discharge for the HBDB is that it spans over a third of Canada’s continental landmass and is 40% ungauged. Scenarios for BaySys require the separation between human and climate interactions, specifically the separation of regulated river discharge from a natural, climate-driven response. We present three key improvements to the modelling system required to support the identification of natural from anthropogenic impacts: representation of prairie disconnected landscapes (i.e., non-contributing areas), a method to generalize lake storage-discharge parameters across large regions, and frozen soil modifications. Additionally, a unique approach to account for irregular hydrometric gauge density across the basins during model calibration is presented that avoids overfitting parameters to the densely gauged southern regions. We summarize our methodologies used to facilitate improved separation of human and climate driven impacts to streamflow within the basin and outline the baseline discharge simulations used for the BaySys group of projects. Challenges remain for modeling the most northern reaches of the basin, and in the lake-dominated watersheds. The techniques presented in this work, particularly the lake and flow signature clusters, may be applied to other high latitude, ungauged Arctic basins. Discharge simulations are subsequently used as input data for oceanographic, biogeochemical, and ecosystem studies across the HBDB.

Knowledge Domain: Ecology
How to Cite: Stadnyk, T.A., MacDonald, M.K., Tefs, A., Déry, S.J., Koenig, K., Gustafsson, D., Isberg, K. and Arheimer, B., 2020. Hydrological modeling of freshwater discharge into Hudson Bay using HYPE. Elem Sci Anth, 8(1), p.43. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.439
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 Published on 19 Aug 2020

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