Eran Hood, Ph.D. is Professor of Environmental Science

Recent Submissions

  • Glacier runoff influences biogeochemistry and resource availabilityin coastal temperate rainforest streams: Implications for juvenile salmon growth

    Fellman, Jason B.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Johnson, Connor; Dunkle, Matthew R.; Hood, Eran (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2022-10-01)
    Meltwater contributions to watersheds are shrinking as glaciers disappear, altering theflow, temperature, andbiogeochemistry of freshwaters. A potential consequence of this landscape change is that streamflow patternswithin glacierized watersheds will become more homogenous, potentially altering the capacity of watersheds tosupport Pacific salmon. To assess heterogeneity in stream habitat quality for juvenile salmon in a watershed inthe Alaska Coast Mountains, we collected organic matter and invertebrate drift and measured streamwater phys-ical and biogeochemical properties over the main runoff season in two adjacent tributaries, one fed mainly byrain and the other partially by glacier ice/snowmelt. We then used bioenergetic modeling to evaluate how tem-poral patterns in water temperature and invertebrate drift in each tributary influence juvenile salmon growthpotential. Across the study period, average invertebrate drift concentrations were similar in non-glacierizedMontana (0.33 mg m 3) and glacier-influenced McGinnis Creeks (0.38 mg m 3). However, seasonal patterns ofinvertebrate drift were temporally asynchronous between the two streams. Invertebrate drift and modeledfishgrowth were generally higher in McGinnis Creek in the spring and Montana Creek in the Summer. For juvenilesalmon, tracking these resource asynchronies by moving between tributaries resulted in 20% greater growththan could be obtained within either stream alone. These results suggest that hydrologic heterogeneity withinwatersheds may enhance the diversity of foraging and growth opportunities for mobile aquatic organisms,which may be essential for supporting productive and resilient natural salmon runs.
  • Watershed Classification Predicts Streamflow Regime and Organic Carbon Dynamics in the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest

    Giesbrecht, Ian; Tank, Suzanne; Frazer, Gordon W.; Hood, Eran; Gonzalez Arriola, Santiago G.; Butman, David E.; D'amore, David V.; Hutchinson, David; Bidlack, Allison Lynn; Lertzman, Ken P. (American Geophysical Union, 2022-01-28)
    Watershed classification has long been a key tool in the hydrological sciences, but few studies have been extended to biogeochemistry. We developed a combined hydro-biogeochemical classification for watersheds draining to the coastal margin of the Northeast Pacific coastal temperate rainforest (1,443,062 km2), including 2,695 small coastal rivers (SCR) and 10 large continental watersheds. We used cluster analysis to group SCR watersheds into 12 types, based on watershed properties. The most important variables for distinguishing SCR watershed types were evapotranspiration, slope, snowfall, and total precipitation. We used both streamflow and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) measurements from rivers (n = 104 and 90 watersheds respectively) to validate the classification. Watershed types corresponded with broad differences in streamflow regime, mean annual runoff, DOC seasonality, and mean DOC concentration. These links between watershed type and river conditions enabled the first region-wide empirical characterization of river hydrobiogeochemistry at the land-sea margin, spanning extensive ungauged and unsampled areas. We found very high annual runoff (mean > 3,000 mm, n = 10) in three watershed types totaling 59,024 km2 and ranging from heavily glacierized mountain watersheds with high flow in summer to a rain-fed mountain watershed type with high flow in fall-winter. DOC hotspots (mean > 4 mg L−1, n = 14) were found in three other watershed types (48,557 km2) with perhumid rainforest climates and less-mountainous topography. We described four patterns of DOC seasonality linked to watershed hydrology, with fall-flushing being widespread. Hydro-biogeochemical watershed classification may be useful for other complex regions with sparse observation networks.
  • Long-period variability in ice-dammed glacier outburst floods due to evolving catchment geometry

    Jenson, Amy; Amundson, Jason M.; Kingslake, Jonathan; Hood, Eran (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2022-01-25)
    We combine a glacier outburst flood model with a glacier flow model to investigate decadal to centennial variations in outburst floods originating from ice-dammed marginal basins. Marginal basins can form due to the retreat and detachment of tributary glaciers, a process that often results in remnant ice being left behind. The remnant ice, which can act like an ice shelf or break apart into a pack of icebergs, limits a basin’s water storage capacity but also exerts pressure on the underlying water and promotes drainage. We find that during glacier retreat there is a strong, nearly linear relationship between flood water volume and peak discharge for individual basins, despite large changes in glacier and remnant ice volumes that are expected to impact flood hydrographs. Consequently, peak discharge increases over time as long as there is remnant ice remaining in a basin, and peak discharge begins to decrease once a basin becomes ice-free. Thus, similar size outburst floods can occur at very different stages of glacier retreat. We also find that the temporal variability in outburst flood magnitude depends on how the floods initiate. Basins that connect to the subglacial hydrological system only after reaching flotation depth yield greater long-term variability in outburst floods than basins that are continuously connected to the subglacial hydrological system (and therefore release floods that initiate before reaching flotation depth). Our results highlight the importance of improving our understanding of both changes in basin geometry and outburst flood initiation mechanisms in order to better assess outburst flood hazards and their impacts on landscape and ecosystem evolution.
  • Glacier retreat creating new Pacific salmon habitat in western North America

    Pitman, Kara J.; Moore, Jonathan W.; Huss, Matthias; Sloat, Matthew R.; Whited, Diane C.; Beechie, Tim J.; Brenner, Rich; Hood, Eran; Milner, Alexander M.; Pess, George R.; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-12-07)
    Glacier retreat poses risks and benefits for species of cultural and economic importance. One example is Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), supporting subsistence harvests, and commercial and recreational fisheries worth billions of dollars annually. Although decreases in summer streamflow and warming freshwater is reducing salmon habitat quality in parts of their range, glacier retreat is creating new streams and lakes that salmon can colonize. However, potential gains in future salmon habitat associated with glacier loss have yet to be quantified across the range of Pacific salmon. Here we project future gains in Pacific salmon freshwater habitat by linking a model of glacier mass change for 315 glaciers, forced by five different Global Climate Models, with a simple model of salmon stream habitat potential throughout the Pacific Mountain ranges of western North America. We project that by the year 2100 glacier retreat will create 6,146 (±1,619) km of new streams accessible for colonization by Pacific salmon, of which 1,930 (±569) km have the potential to be used for spawning and juvenile rearing, representing 0 to 27% gains within the 18 sub-regions we studied. These findings can inform proactive management and conservation of Pacific salmon in this era of rapid climate change.
  • Assessing the Role of Photochemistry in Driving the Composition of Dissolved Organic Matter in Glacier Runoff

    Holt, Amy D.; Kellerman, Anne M.; Li, Wenbo; Stubbins, Aron; Wagner, Sasha; McKenna, Amy; Fellman, Jason B.; Hood, Eran; Spencer, Robert G. M. (American Geophysical Union, 2021-11-04)
    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in glacier runoff is aliphatic-rich, yet studies have proposed that DOM originates mainly from allochthonous, aromatic, and often aged material. Allochthonous organic matter (OM) is exposed to ultraviolet radiation both in atmospheric transport and post-deposition on the glacier surface. Thus, we evaluate photochemistry as a mechanism to account for the compositional disconnect between allochthonous OM sources and glacier runoff DOM composition. Six endmember OM sources (including soils and diesel particulate matter) were leached and photo-irradiated for 28 days in a solar simulator, until >90% of initial chromophoric DOM was removed. Ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry was used to compare the molecular composition of endmember leachates pre- and post-irradiation to DOM in supraglacial and bulk runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet and Juneau Icefield (Alaska), respectively. Photoirradiation drove molecular level convergence between the initially aromatic-rich leachates and aromatic-poor glacial samples, selectively removing aromatic compounds (−80 ± 19% relative abundance) and producing aliphatics (+75 ± 35% relative abundance). Molecular level glacier runoff DOM composition was statistically indistinguishable to post-irradiation leachates. Bray-Curtis analysis showed substantial similarity in the molecular formulae present between glacier samples and post-irradiation leachates. Post-irradiation leachates contained 84 ± 7.4% of the molecular formulae, including 72 ± 17% of the aliphatic formulae, detected in glacier samples. Our findings suggest that photodegradation, either in transit to or on glacier surfaces, could provide a mechanistic pathway to account for the disconnect between proposed aromatic, aged sources of OM and the aliphatic-rich fingerprint of glacial DOM.
  • A Changing Hydrological Regime: Trends in Magnitude and Timing of Glacier Ice Melt and Glacier Runoff in a High Latitude Coastal Watershed

    Young, Joanna C.; Pettit, Erin; Arendt, Anthony; Hood, Eran; Liston, Glen E.; Beamer, Jordan (American Geophysical Union, 2021-05-20)
    With a unique biogeophysical signature relative to other freshwater sources, meltwater from glaciers plays a crucial role in the hydrological and ecological regime of high latitude coastal areas. Today, as glaciers worldwide exhibit persistent negative mass balance, glacier runoff is changing in both magnitude and timing, with potential downstream impacts on infrastructure, ecosystems, and ecosystem resources. However, runoff trends may be difficult to detect in coastal systems with large precipitation variability. Here, we use the coupled energy balance and water routing model SnowModel-HydroFlow to examine changes in timing and magnitude of runoff from the western Juneau Icefield in Southeast Alaska between 1980 and 2016. We find that under sustained glacier mass loss (−0.57 ± 0.12 m w. e. a−1), several hydrological variables related to runoff show increasing trends. This includes annual and spring glacier ice melt volumes (+10% and +16% decade−1) which, because of higher proportions of precipitation, translate to smaller increases in glacier runoff (+3% and +7% decade−1) and total watershed runoff (+1.4% and +3% decade−1). These results suggest that the western Juneau Icefield watersheds are still in an increasing glacier runoff period prior to reaching “peak water.” In terms of timing, we find that maximum glacier ice melt is occurring earlier (2.5 days decade−1), indicating a change in the source and quality of freshwater being delivered downstream in the early summer. Our findings highlight that even in maritime climates with large precipitation variability, high latitude coastal watersheds are experiencing hydrological regime change driven by ongoing glacier mass loss.
  • Climate-Mediated Changes to Linked Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems across the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Margin

    Bidlack, Allison Lynn; Bisbing, Sarah; Buma, Brian; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Fellman, Jason B.; Floyd, William C.; Giesbrecht, Ian; Lally, Amritpal; Lertzman, Ken P.; Perakis, Steven S.; et al. (Oxford University Press on behalf of American Institute of Biological Sciences., 2021-02-10)
    Coastal margins are important areas of materials flux that link terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Consequently, climate-mediated changes to coastal terrestrial ecosystems and hydrologic regimes have high potential to influence nearshore ocean chemistry and food web dynamics. Research from tightly coupled, high-flux coastal ecosystems can advance understanding of terrestrial–marine links and climate sensitivities more generally. In the present article, we use the northeast Pacific coastal temperate rainforest as a model system to evaluate such links. We focus on key above- and belowground production and hydrological transport processes that control the land-to-ocean flow of materials and their influence on nearshore marine ecosystems. We evaluate how these connections may be altered by global climate change and we identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the source, transport, and fate of terrestrial materials along this coastal margin. Finally, we propose five priority research themes in this region that are relevant for understanding coastal ecosystem links more broadly.