A methodology for investigation of the seasonal evolution in proglacial hydrograph form

David M. Hannah*, Angela M. Gurnell, Glenn R. McGregor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This paper advances an objective method of diurnal hydrograph classification as an aid to exploring changes in the hydrological functioning of glacierized catchments over the ablation season. The temporal sequencing of different hydrograph classes allows identification of seasonal evolution in hydrograph form and also assists delimitation of hydrologically-meaningful time periods of similar diurnal discharge response. The effectiveness of this approach is illustrated by applying it to two contrasting summer discharge records for a small cirque basin. By comparing the results with patterns of surface energy receipt and glacier ablation, the seasonally transient relative influences of: (i) surface meltwater production and (ii) meltwater routing and storage conditions within the intervening glacier drainage system in determining runoff are elucidated. The method successfully characterizes distinct seasonal-scale changes in the diurnal outflow hydrograph during the ablation-dominated 1995 melt season but is also able to reveal underlying trends and short-term fluctuations in the precipitation-dominated, poorly ablation-regulated 1996 melt season. The limitations and benefits of this hydrograph classification technique are evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2603-2621
Number of pages19
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number16 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1999


  • French pyrenees
  • Hydro-climatological time series
  • Hydrograph classification
  • Meltwater runoff
  • Snow and glacier hydrology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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