Suspended sediment yield and climate change in Kamchatka, Far East of Russia
Key factors of sediment yield formation and variability in the Kamchatsky Krai are relief characteristics and climate (especially precipitation). The last research in climate change in Kamchatka demonstrates climate warming – mean annual air temperature has increased on 1.5 ∘C during the period from 1951 to 2009 in average (the maximum increase was revealed in the west of Kamchatka and in the Kamchatka River valley, the minimum one – in the extreme south and north). Decrease of annual precipitation was observed at the same period. In addition frequency and intensity of precipitation is growing. Thereby described climate changes in Kamchatka influence on sediment yield characteristics directly (influence of precipitation on surface washout formation) and indirectly (through water runoff and hydrological regime of rivers changes). Analysis of spatio-temporal variability in suspended sediment yield demonstrated decrease since late 1970–early 1980 in the most part of rivers in the Kamchatsky Krai. Revealed fluctuations demonstrate very good coincidence with precipitation amount variability. Decrease of precipitation leads to corresponding diminution of rainfall erosive factor in the territory which is the key factor of suspended sediment yield formation and variability in rivers in the Kamchatsky Krai. The value of reduction varies from 1 % to 45 % and involves decrease of erosion rates in the territory. Thereby climate change influences on suspended sediment yield in multiple-valued way. Income of friable volcanic deposits on the catchment surface is the key factor of suspended sediment yield formation and variability in some river basins under the impact of volcanic eruptions, and in combination with raising precipitation it can lead to catastrophic increase of sediment yield.