Changing cold climate river environments by Eliisa Lotsari - Palmén Colloquium

Friday 27th OCTOBER

Changing cold climate river environments

Despite the polar region is warming faster than any other region on Earth, a thorough understanding of the impacts on northern seasonally ice-covered rivers is presently lacking. The changes in the capacity of river channels (e.g. floods) are dependent on the amount of sediment transported. Even though a significant percentage of the sediments in rivers originate from bank erosion, it is still unknown, especially in Northern rivers how and when exactly river bank erosion and sediment transport takes place. Therefore, new methodological approaches of measuring and modelling are needed to understand river processes (incl. ice, flow, sediment transport and their interactions), also in ice-covered conditions. Two research themes and related projects are presented: 1) The impacts of defrosting sedimentary systems on northern rivers, and on their seasonal river ice and hydro-morphodynamics; 2) Development of technical solutions for observing river and watershed scale processes. The aim is to produce understanding of long-term river dynamics by integrating unique field data, novel chilled flume experiments, remote sensing and new numerical model approaches. Preliminary results and methodological development are presented, and future research needs expressed.

Presenter: Eliisa Lotsari, Academy Research Fellow, Water engineering, Aalto University

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