Runoff processes, streamwater residence times and controlling landscape characteristics in a mesoscale catchment: an initial assessment.

Christopher Soulsby, Doerthe Tetzlaff, P. Rodgers, S. Dunn, S. Waldron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

180 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tracer studies, using Gran alkalinity and 6180, in nested sub-basins of the 230 km(2) Feshie catchment in the Cairngorm mountains, Scotland, were used to characterise hydrology in terms of groundwater contributions to annual runoff and mean residence times. Relationships between these fundamental hydrological descriptors and catchment characteristics were explored with the use of a GIS. Catchment soil distribution-mapped by the UK's Hydrology Of Soil Type (HOST) digital data base-exerted the strongest influence on flow path partitioning and mean residence times. Smallest groundwater contributions (similar to 30-40%) and shortest residence times (similar to 2-5 months) were observed in catchments dominated by peat and/or shallow alpine soils and bedrock. Longer residence times (similar to 12-15 months) and greater groundwater contributions (similar to 45-55%) were observed in catchments dominated by more freely draining podzolic, sub-alpine and alluvial soils. These different subcatchment responses were integrated to give intermediate residence times (similar to 6 months) at the catchment outfall. The influence of catchment topography and scale appeared to be largely mediated by their influence on soil cover and distribution. The study illustrates the potential utility of integrating digital landscape analysis with tracer studies to understand the hydrological functioning of mesoscale catchments. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-221
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume325
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

Keywords

  • flow paths
  • groundwater
  • mean residence times
  • soil hydrology
  • landscape organisation
  • HOST
  • SUB-ARCTIC CATCHMENT
  • DIFFERENT SPATIAL SCALES
  • TRACER-BASED ASSESSMENT
  • ALLT-A-MHARCAIDH
  • HYDROGRAPH SEPARATIONS
  • CAIRNGORM MOUNTAINS
  • FLOW PATHS
  • HYDROLOGICAL PATHWAYS
  • CONTAMINANT TRANSPORT
  • SCOTTISH CATCHMENT

Cite this