Simulations of historical and future trends in snowfall and groundwater recharge for basins draining to Long Island Sound

Earth Interactions
By: , and 



A regional watershed model was developed for watersheds contributing to Long Island Sound, including the Connecticut River basin. The study region covers approximately 40 900 km2, extending from a moderate coastal climate zone in the south to a mountainous northern New England climate zone dominated by snowmelt in the north. The input data indicate that precipitation and temperature have been increasing for the last 46 years (1961– 2006) across the region. Minimum temperature has increased more than maximum temperature over the same period (1961–2006). The model simulation indicates that there was an upward trend in groundwater recharge across most of the modeled region. However, trends in increasing precipitation and groundwater recharge are not significant at the 0.05 level if the drought of 1961–67 is removed from the time series. The trend in simulated snowfall is not significant across much of the region, although there is a significant downward trend in southeast Connecticut and in central Massachusetts. To simulate future trends, two input datasets, one assuming high carbon emissions and one assuming low carbon emissions, were developed from GCM forecasts. Under both of the carbon emission scenarios, simulations indicate that historical trends will continue, with increases in groundwater recharge over much of the region and substantial snowfall decreases across Massachusetts, Connecticut, southern Vermont, and southern New Hampshire. The increases in groundwater recharge and decreases in snowfall are most pronounced for the high emission scenario.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Simulations of historical and future trends in snowfall and groundwater recharge for basins draining to Long Island Sound
Series title Earth Interactions
DOI 10.1175/2011EI374.1
Volume 15
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 35 p.
First page 1
Last page 35
Country United States
State Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Other Geospatial Connecticut River watershed, Housatonic River watershed, Thames River watershed
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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