Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Water Resources Research
Areas of rapid, climate-driven, ground surface warming at high-latitudes experience profound environmental changes including permafrost degradation and increasing groundwater circulation. Water resources management in such areas increasingly needs to adapt to these changes.
Liu et al.  use three-dimensional numerical modeling to interpret hydrogeophysical field data illustrating the seasonal interaction between permafrost development and thaw, and groundwater flow in a typical Arctic river valley. They find that in the summer unfrozen zones in the river-bed act as conduits to lead groundwater to the surface contributing to river baseflow, while in the winter this groundwater becomes pressurized leading to cracks in the surface through which groundwater is expulsed.
The authors are able to successfully present cutting-edge science to reach new insights, combining computer modeling and field-data collection, while making their work strongly societally relevant.
Citation: Liu, W., Fortier, R., Molson, J., & Lemieux, J.-M. (2022). Three-dimensional numerical modeling of cryo-hydrogeological processes in a river-talik system in a continuous permafrost environment. Water Resources Research, 58, e2021WR031630. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021WR031630
—Victor Bense, Associate Editor, Water Resources Research