Détection de l’impact immédiat d’un incendie de forêt sur l’écoulement dans un bassin montagneux pergélisolé peu jaugé

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • O. Semenova - , Scientific and Industrial Research Association Gidrotehproekt Ltd, Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NIERSC), St. Petersburg State University, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Author)
  • L. Lebedeva - , Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NIERSC) (Author)
  • N. Volkova - , Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Author)
  • I. Korenev - , Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Author)
  • M. Forkel - , Junior Professorship in Environmental Remote Sensing, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (Author)
  • J. Eberle - , Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Author)
  • M. Urban - , Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Author)


The impact of fire on daily discharges from two mountainous basins located in the permafrost region of Eastern Siberia, the Vitimkan (969 km2) and Vitim (18 200 km2) rivers, affected by fire over 78% and 49% of their areas, respectively, in 2003, was investigated. The results of hydrological and meteorological data analysis suggest that the Vitimkan River basin had a rapid and profound hydrological response to wildfire in 2003 expressed through a 41% (133 mm) increase of summer flow. Conversely, the larger Vitim River basin showed no significant changes in discharge after the fire. The parameters of the process-based hydrological model Hydrograph were estimated for pre-fire conditions. The results of runoff simulations conducted for the continuous pre-fire periods of 1966–2002 and 1970–2002 for the Vitimkan and Vitim river basins, respectively, on a daily time step, showed satisfactory agreement with the observed flow series of both basins. Significant underestimation of precipitation and its poor representativeness for mountainous watersheds was revealed as the main cause of observed and simulated flow discrepancies, especially for high flood events. The set of dynamic parameters was developed based on data analysis and post-fire landscape changes as derived from a literature review. The model was applied to investigate the processes in the soil column and their effect on runoff formation during the post-fire period. The new set of model parameters implied the intensification of soil thaw, reduction of infiltration rate and evapotranspiration, and increase of upper subsurface flow fraction in summer flood events following the fire. According to modelling results, the post-fire thaw depth exceeded the pre-fire thaw depth by 0.4–0.7 m. Total evapotranspiration reduced by 40% in summer months, while surface flow increased almost 2.5 times during maximum flood events.

Translated title of the contribution
Detecting immediate wildfire impact on runoff in a poorly-gauged mountainous permafrost basin


Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)1225-1241
Number of pages17
JournalHydrological sciences journal
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • dynamic modelling, hydrograph model, hydrological response, non-stationarity, permafrost, wildfire