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A comparison of catchment travel times and storage deduced from deuterium and tritium tracers using StorAge Selection functions

Rodriguez, Nicolas Björn 1; Pfister, Laurent; Zehe, Erwin 1; Klaus, Julian
1 Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Catchment travel time distributions (TTDs) are an efficient concept for summarizing the time-varying 3D transport of water and solutes towards an outlet in a single function of a water age and for estimating catchment storage by leveraging information contained in tracer data (e.g., deuterium $^{2}$H and tritium $^{3}$H). It is argued that the preferential use of the stable isotopes of O and H as tracers, compared to tritium, has truncated our vision of streamflow TTDs, meaning that the long tails of the distribution associated with old water tend to be neglected. However, the reasons for the truncation of the TTD tails are still obscured by methodological and data limitations. In this study, we went beyond these limitations and evaluated the differences between streamflow TTDs calculated using only deuterium ($^{2}$H) or only tritium ($^{3}$H). We also compared mobile catchment storage (derived from the TTDs) associated with each tracer. For this, we additionally constrained a model that successfully simulated high-frequency stream deuterium measurements with 24 stream tritium measurements over the same period (2015–2017). We used data from the forested headwater Weierbach catchment (42 ha) in Luxembourg. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000134582
Veröffentlicht am 30.06.2021
DOI: 10.5194/hess-25-401-2021
Zitationen: 21
Zitationen: 30
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1607-7938
KITopen-ID: 1000134582
Erschienen in Hydrology and earth system sciences
Verlag Copernicus Publications
Band 25
Heft 1
Seiten 401–428
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 27.01.2021
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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