Graal
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Graal

The project GRAAL (Groundwater – Rivers – Active-layer relationship in the Austre Lovénbreen catchment – Spistbergen) aims to study the impacts of groundwater and permafrost (active layer) upon the hydrology and geochemistry of rivers at the outlet of a small glaciated catchment, ideal for hydrology, close to Ny Alesund (Austre Lovén glacier catchment, 10.5 km2). The long-term monitoring of flow discharge (started in 2008) is helpful to discuss the impact of climate change on the fluxes of water toward the fjord. Using a network of piezometers set up the the proglacial area, the direction of groundwater/river exchanges and the groundwater dynamics of the supra-permafrost water-table are studied. The geochemical characteristics of the interstitial water of the active layer (2 to 2.5 m deep) and that of warming-up permafrost significantly impacts the geochemistry of rivers, especially concerning fluxes of carbon and sulfates.