Grigorev V.Yu., Kharlamov M.A., Semenova N.K., Sazonov A.A., Chalov S.R. Impact of precipitation and evaporation change on flood runoff over Lake Baikal catchment // Environmental Earth Sciences. 2023. Vol. 82. Iss.: 1, Article number: 16
This paper addresses the nexus of climate change and variability, soil moisture and surface runoff over the Lake Baikal catchment. Water level and distribution of dissolved and suspended matter over Lake Baikal are strongly affected by river inflow during rain-driven floods. In this study, we evaluate river flow changes at 44 streamflow gauges as well as related precipitation, evaporation, potential evaporation and soil moisture obtained from the ERA5-Land dataset. Based on Sen’s slope trend estimator, Mann–Kendall non-parametric test, and using dominance analysis, we estimated the influence of meteorological parameters on river flow during 1979–2019. We found a significant correlation between the precipitation elasticity of river flow and catchment characteristics. Half of the gauges in the eastern part of the Selenga River basin showed a significant decreasing trend of average and maximum river flow (up to −2.9%/year). No changes in the central volume date of flood flow have been found. The reduction in rainfall amount explains more than 60% of runoff decrease. A decrease in evaporation is observed in areas where precipitation decrease is higher than 0.8%/year. Catchments, where the precipitation trends are not as substantial, are associated with increasing evaporation as a result of the increasing potential evaporation. Negative precipitation trends are accompanied by negative trends of soil moisture. Finally, the study reveals the sensitivity of catchments with steep slopes located in humid areas to precipitation change.