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Using geochemistry to understand water sources and transit times in headwater streams of a temperate rainforest

Title data

Cartwright, Ian ; Atkinson, Alexander P. ; Gilfedder, Ben ; Hofmann, Harald ; Cendón, Dioni I. ; Morgenstern, Uwe:
Using geochemistry to understand water sources and transit times in headwater streams of a temperate rainforest.
In: Applied Geochemistry. Vol. 99 (2018) . - pp. 1-12.
ISSN 0883-2927
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2018.10.018

Abstract in another language

Understanding the sources and transit times of water that generates streamflow in headwater streams is important for understanding catchment functioning. This study determines the water sources and transit times in first-order streams from a temperate rainforest in the Otway Ranges, southeast Australia. Comparison of the major ion geochemistry of soil water, water flowing through soil pipes (macropores), and groundwater from the riparian zone adjacent to the stream suggests that water from soil pipes is the major contributor to streamflow. The tritium (3H) activities of the stream water are between 1.80 and 2.06 TU, the water from the soil pipes has 3H activities between 1.80 and 2.25 TU, the riparian zone groundwater has 3H activities of 1.35–2.39 TU, and one sample of soil water has a 3H activity of 2.22 TU. These 3H activities are significantly lower than those of local modern rainfall (2.6–3.0 TU), and mean transit times calculated using a range of lumped parameter models are between 3 and 57 years. These estimates are consistent with the major ion and stable isotope data, which imply that mean transit times were sufficiently long to allow weathering of minerals and/or organic matter and evapotranspiration to occur. The long mean transit times imply that water flows in this upper catchment are buffered against year-on-year variations in rainfall, but may change due to longer-term variations in rainfall or landuse.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER148600
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology > Chair Hydrology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 13:00
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2019 13:00
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48156