A hydrochemical approach to quantify the role of return flow in a surface flow-dominated catchment

  • Stormflow generation in headwater catchments dominated by subsurface flow has been studied extensively, yet catchments dominated by surface flow have received less attention. We addressed this by testing whether stormflow chemistry is controlled by either (a) the event-water signature of overland flow, or (b) the pre-event water signature of return flow. We used a high-resolution hydrochemical data set of stormflow and end-members of multiple storms in an end-member mixing analysis to determine the number of end-members needed to explain stormflow, characterize and identify potential end-members, calculate their contributions to stormflow, and develop a conceptual model of stormflow. The arrangement and relative positioning of end-members in stormflow mixing space suggest that saturation excess overland flow (26-48%) and return flow from two different subsurface storage pools (17-53%) are both similarly important for stormflow. These results suggest that pipes and fractures are important flow paths to rapidly release stored water andStormflow generation in headwater catchments dominated by subsurface flow has been studied extensively, yet catchments dominated by surface flow have received less attention. We addressed this by testing whether stormflow chemistry is controlled by either (a) the event-water signature of overland flow, or (b) the pre-event water signature of return flow. We used a high-resolution hydrochemical data set of stormflow and end-members of multiple storms in an end-member mixing analysis to determine the number of end-members needed to explain stormflow, characterize and identify potential end-members, calculate their contributions to stormflow, and develop a conceptual model of stormflow. The arrangement and relative positioning of end-members in stormflow mixing space suggest that saturation excess overland flow (26-48%) and return flow from two different subsurface storage pools (17-53%) are both similarly important for stormflow. These results suggest that pipes and fractures are important flow paths to rapidly release stored water and highlight the value of within-event resolution hydrochemical data to assess the full range and dynamics of flow paths.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Frauke Katrin BartholdORCiDGND, Benjamin L. Turner, Helmut ElsenbeerORCiD, Alexander Zimmermann
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11083
ISSN:0885-6087
ISSN:1099-1085
Title of parent work (English):Hydrological processes
Publisher:Wiley
Place of publishing:Hoboken
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2016/11/18
Publication year:2017
Release date:2022/06/23
Tag:EMMA; hydrochemistry; overland flow; return flow; stormflow generation
Volume:31
Issue:5
Number of pages:16
First page:1018
Last Page:1033
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geowissenschaften
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer review:Referiert
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