The impact of climate change upon the hydrological regimes of streams has become an issue of major concern that requires adapted tools to detect and follow the scale of possible changes. In this study, we use a geochemical approach that exclusively relies on measurements of chemical concentrations in order to investigate the effect of climate change on the hydrological regime of the River Arve, a Franco-Swiss river running from the Alps to the River Rhone. Our method relies on the use of a dimensionless parameter, the ratio of uranium and barium concentrations in river waters. This marker has the advantage of not needing the measurement of river discharges. Its application to 25 years of data collected in River Arve by Canton Geneva, Switzerland, allows to conclude that the glacio-nival signature is appearing earlier in the year and lasts for longer periods.


  • This manuscript expands on the prior research conducted and published by Filella, M., Pomian-Srzednicki, I. & Nirel, P. M. (2014) in Water Research.

  • After initially researching geochemical tracers allowing to determine water geological print, we examined the use of a geochemical approach to establish the impact of climate change on the freshwater hydrological regime.

  • Given the alarming increase of concern with the increase of temperature on water supplies, we believe that the findings presented in our paper will appeal to your readers.

  • Our approach relies on a long-term survey and can valorise databanks.

  • Climate change

  • Hydrology

  • River

  • Geochemistry

  • Geochemical indicators

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