Articles | Volume 24, issue 7
Research article
10 Jul 2020
Research article |  | 10 Jul 2020

Importance of snowmelt contribution to seasonal runoff and summer low flows in Czechia

Michal Jenicek and Ondrej Ledvinka

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Cited articles

Barnett, T. P., Adam, J. C., and Lettenmaier, D. P.: Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions, Nature, 438, 303–309,, 2005. 
Barnhart, T. B., Molotch, N. P., Livneh, B., Harpold, A. A., Knowles, J. F., and Schneider, D.: Snowmelt rate dictates streamflow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 8006–8016,, 2016. 
Bavay, M., Grünewald, T., and Lehning, M.: Response of snow cover and runoff to climate change in high Alpine catchments of Eastern Switzerland, Adv. Water Resour., 55, 4–16,, 2013. 
Beaulieu, M., Schreier, H., and Jost, G.: A shifting hydrological regime: a field investigation of snowmelt runoff processes and their connection to summer base flow, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Hydrol. Process., 26, 2672–2682,, 2012. 
Beniston, M.: Is snow in the Alps receding or disappearing?, Wiley Interdisciplin. Rev. Clim. Change, 3, 349–358,, 2012. 
Short summary
Changes in snow affect the runoff seasonality, including summer low flows. Here we analyse this effect in 59 mountain catchments in Czechia. We show that snow is more effective in generating runoff compared to rain. Snow-poor years generated lower groundwater recharge than snow-rich years, which resulted in higher deficit volumes in summer. The lower recharge and runoff in the case of a snowfall-to-rain transition due to air temperature increase might be critical for water supply in the future.