Articles | Volume 26, issue 21
Research article
08 Nov 2022
Research article |  | 08 Nov 2022

Assessing runoff sensitivity of North American Prairie Pothole Region basins to wetland drainage using a basin classification-based virtual modelling approach

Christopher Spence, Zhihua He, Kevin R. Shook, John W. Pomeroy, Colin J. Whitfield, and Jared D. Wolfe

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Modelling the regional sensitivity of snowmelt, soil moisture, and streamflow generation to climate over the Canadian Prairies using a basin classification approach
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Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 27, 3525–3546,,, 2023
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Estimating response times, flow velocities and roughness coefficients of Canadian Prairie basins
Kevin Robert Shook, Paul H. Whitfield, Christopher Spence, and John Willard Pomeroy
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,,, 2023
Revised manuscript under review for HESS
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Cited articles

AAFC: Detailed Soil Surveys, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Government of Canada [data set], (last access: 5 July 2022), 2015. 
AAFC: Annual Crop Inventory, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Government of Canada [data set], (last access: 5 July 2022), 2016. 
Acreman, M. and Holden, J.: How wetlands effect floods, Wetlands, 33, 773–786, 2013. 
Ali, G. and English, C.: Phytoplankton blooms in Lake Winnipeg linked to selective water-gatekeeper connectivity, Sci. Rep.-UK, 9, 8395,, 2019. 
Ali, G., Haque, A., Basu, N. B., Badiou, P., and Wilson, H.: Groundwater-driven wetland-stream connectivity in the Prairie Pothole Region: Inferences based on electrical conductivity data, Wetlands, 37, 773–785, 2017. 
Short summary
We learnt how streamflow from small creeks could be altered by wetland removal in the Canadian Prairies, where this practice is pervasive. Every creek basin in the region was placed into one of seven groups. We selected one of these groups and used its traits to simulate streamflow. The model worked well enough so that we could trust the results even if we removed the wetlands. Wetland removal did not change low flow amounts very much, but it doubled high flow and tripled average flow.