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Lina Bagdžiūnaitė-Litvinaitienė and Andrius Litvinaitis

Abstract

The article describes the impact of fluctuations in climatic factors on hydrological processes. The analysis of climate and hydrology covers two periods, the first up to 1996 and the second from 1981 to 2012. Study object includes 22 river basins situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: 1000 km2, up to 10 000 km2 and bigger. The study involved Mann–Kendall, Spearman's and linear regression tests. Causal relationships, as criteria that may fundamentally change the runoff regime set up by climatic factors, were established by evaluating the size of the river basin and assessing the spread of sediments, lakes, swamps and forests in the river basin. The analysis of data from the last thirty years disclosed that, with reference to the previously obtained information, floods in lakes became substantially reduced. Nevertheless, within the winter period of recent years, temperatures prevented lakes from acting as water reservoirs. The paper examined and defined the impact of sediments on variations in the runoff regime. For the period of the last thirty years, cut-off dates, i.e. flood start, crest and end, have advanced.