Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM
GROUNDWATER SYSTEMS IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS: A CLIMATE CHANGE PERSPECTIVE
Mountain watersheds are unique high-relief environments that exhibit geological, landscape, climate, and other characteristics that are distinctive from other types of watersheds/basins. As such, they give rise to complex groundwater systems that circulate water both within the subsurface and via connections with surface water at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Mountain block groundwater flow is recognized as an important source of water for valley-bottom ecosystems and human population as well as for sustaining mountain streams through contributions to baseflow. Within the valley bottom, groundwater resources may become increasingly stressed by changes in upland processes due to climate change as well as by increased demand due to population growth and agricultural development. Thus, water management in regional mountain systems, particularly in light of future projected climate change, requires an understanding of the hydrogeological processes in mountain regions, including the complex linkages between surface and subsurface hydrology. This talk provides an overview of hydrogeological processes in mountain regions as a basis for understanding and predicting how climate change may influence water cycles and budgets. Examples from a series of British Columbia climate change impacts case studies are presented.