Topographic, pedologic and climatic interactions influencing streamflow generation at multiple catchment scales

Genevieve Ali, Doerthe Tetzlaff, Christopher Soulsby, Jeffery McDonnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dominant flow pathways (DFPs) in mesoscale watersheds are poorly characterized and understood. Here, we make use of a conservative tracer (Gran alkalinity) and detailed information about climatic conditions and physical properties to examine how temporally and spatially variable factors interact to determine DFPs in 12 catchments draining areas from 3.4 to 1829.5¿km² (Cairngorms, Scotland). After end-member mixing was applied to discriminate between near surface and deep groundwater flow pathways, variation partitioning, canonical redundancy analyses and regression models were used to resolve: (i) What is the temporal variability of DFPs in each catchment?; (ii) How do DFPs change across spatial scales and what factors control the differences in hydrological responses?; and (iii) Can a conceptual model be developed to explain the spatiotemporal variability of DFPs as a function of climatic, topographic and soil characteristics? Overall, catchment characteristics were only useful to explain the temporal variability of DFPs but not their spatial variation across scale. The temporal variability of DFPs was influenced most by prevailing hydroclimatic conditions and secondarily soil drainability. The predictability of active DFPs was better in catchments with soils supporting fast runoff generation on the basis of factors such as the cumulative precipitation from the seven previous days, mean daily air temperature and the fractional area covered by Rankers. The best regression model R2 was 0.54, thus suggesting that the catchments’ internal complexity was not fully captured by the factors included in the analysis. Nevertheless, this study highlights the utility of combining tracer studies with digital landscape analysis and multivariate statistical techniques to gain insights into the temporal (climatic) and spatial (topographic and pedologic) controls on DFPs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3858-3874
Number of pages17
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume26
Issue number25
Early online date7 Feb 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2012

Fingerprint

streamflow
catchment
Rankers
tracer
hydrological response
soil
alkalinity
groundwater flow
spatial variation
partitioning
air temperature
physical property
watershed
runoff

Keywords

  • end-member mixing
  • dominant flow pathways (DFPs)
  • Gran alkalinity
  • variation partitioning
  • canonical redundancy analysis
  • multiple linear regression

Cite this

Topographic, pedologic and climatic interactions influencing streamflow generation at multiple catchment scales. / Ali, Genevieve; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Soulsby, Christopher; McDonnell, Jeffery.

In: Hydrological Processes, Vol. 26, No. 25, 15.12.2012, p. 3858-3874.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7731994439354130ad54ed7f1ebc80d9,
title = "Topographic, pedologic and climatic interactions influencing streamflow generation at multiple catchment scales",
abstract = "Dominant flow pathways (DFPs) in mesoscale watersheds are poorly characterized and understood. Here, we make use of a conservative tracer (Gran alkalinity) and detailed information about climatic conditions and physical properties to examine how temporally and spatially variable factors interact to determine DFPs in 12 catchments draining areas from 3.4 to 1829.5¿km² (Cairngorms, Scotland). After end-member mixing was applied to discriminate between near surface and deep groundwater flow pathways, variation partitioning, canonical redundancy analyses and regression models were used to resolve: (i) What is the temporal variability of DFPs in each catchment?; (ii) How do DFPs change across spatial scales and what factors control the differences in hydrological responses?; and (iii) Can a conceptual model be developed to explain the spatiotemporal variability of DFPs as a function of climatic, topographic and soil characteristics? Overall, catchment characteristics were only useful to explain the temporal variability of DFPs but not their spatial variation across scale. The temporal variability of DFPs was influenced most by prevailing hydroclimatic conditions and secondarily soil drainability. The predictability of active DFPs was better in catchments with soils supporting fast runoff generation on the basis of factors such as the cumulative precipitation from the seven previous days, mean daily air temperature and the fractional area covered by Rankers. The best regression model R2 was 0.54, thus suggesting that the catchments’ internal complexity was not fully captured by the factors included in the analysis. Nevertheless, this study highlights the utility of combining tracer studies with digital landscape analysis and multivariate statistical techniques to gain insights into the temporal (climatic) and spatial (topographic and pedologic) controls on DFPs. Copyright {\circledC} 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.",
keywords = "end-member mixing, dominant flow pathways (DFPs), Gran alkalinity, variation partitioning, canonical redundancy analysis, multiple linear regression",
author = "Genevieve Ali and Doerthe Tetzlaff and Christopher Soulsby and Jeffery McDonnell",
note = "ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Field work in association with this paper was undertaken as part of Grant F/00152/U awarded by the Leverhulme Trust and thanks to additional financial support provided by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. We acknowledge the help of Derek Fraser from the Scottish Environment Agency (SEPA) with regards to providing the precipitation and discharge data. We also thank Mark Speed and Markus Hrachowitz for sample collection in the field and Audrey Innes from the University of Aberdeen for her weekly assistance analysing Gran alkalinity.",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1002/hyp.8416",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "3858--3874",
journal = "Hydrological Processes",
issn = "0885-6087",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "25",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Topographic, pedologic and climatic interactions influencing streamflow generation at multiple catchment scales

AU - Ali, Genevieve

AU - Tetzlaff, Doerthe

AU - Soulsby, Christopher

AU - McDonnell, Jeffery

N1 - ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Field work in association with this paper was undertaken as part of Grant F/00152/U awarded by the Leverhulme Trust and thanks to additional financial support provided by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. We acknowledge the help of Derek Fraser from the Scottish Environment Agency (SEPA) with regards to providing the precipitation and discharge data. We also thank Mark Speed and Markus Hrachowitz for sample collection in the field and Audrey Innes from the University of Aberdeen for her weekly assistance analysing Gran alkalinity.

PY - 2012/12/15

Y1 - 2012/12/15

N2 - Dominant flow pathways (DFPs) in mesoscale watersheds are poorly characterized and understood. Here, we make use of a conservative tracer (Gran alkalinity) and detailed information about climatic conditions and physical properties to examine how temporally and spatially variable factors interact to determine DFPs in 12 catchments draining areas from 3.4 to 1829.5¿km² (Cairngorms, Scotland). After end-member mixing was applied to discriminate between near surface and deep groundwater flow pathways, variation partitioning, canonical redundancy analyses and regression models were used to resolve: (i) What is the temporal variability of DFPs in each catchment?; (ii) How do DFPs change across spatial scales and what factors control the differences in hydrological responses?; and (iii) Can a conceptual model be developed to explain the spatiotemporal variability of DFPs as a function of climatic, topographic and soil characteristics? Overall, catchment characteristics were only useful to explain the temporal variability of DFPs but not their spatial variation across scale. The temporal variability of DFPs was influenced most by prevailing hydroclimatic conditions and secondarily soil drainability. The predictability of active DFPs was better in catchments with soils supporting fast runoff generation on the basis of factors such as the cumulative precipitation from the seven previous days, mean daily air temperature and the fractional area covered by Rankers. The best regression model R2 was 0.54, thus suggesting that the catchments’ internal complexity was not fully captured by the factors included in the analysis. Nevertheless, this study highlights the utility of combining tracer studies with digital landscape analysis and multivariate statistical techniques to gain insights into the temporal (climatic) and spatial (topographic and pedologic) controls on DFPs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

AB - Dominant flow pathways (DFPs) in mesoscale watersheds are poorly characterized and understood. Here, we make use of a conservative tracer (Gran alkalinity) and detailed information about climatic conditions and physical properties to examine how temporally and spatially variable factors interact to determine DFPs in 12 catchments draining areas from 3.4 to 1829.5¿km² (Cairngorms, Scotland). After end-member mixing was applied to discriminate between near surface and deep groundwater flow pathways, variation partitioning, canonical redundancy analyses and regression models were used to resolve: (i) What is the temporal variability of DFPs in each catchment?; (ii) How do DFPs change across spatial scales and what factors control the differences in hydrological responses?; and (iii) Can a conceptual model be developed to explain the spatiotemporal variability of DFPs as a function of climatic, topographic and soil characteristics? Overall, catchment characteristics were only useful to explain the temporal variability of DFPs but not their spatial variation across scale. The temporal variability of DFPs was influenced most by prevailing hydroclimatic conditions and secondarily soil drainability. The predictability of active DFPs was better in catchments with soils supporting fast runoff generation on the basis of factors such as the cumulative precipitation from the seven previous days, mean daily air temperature and the fractional area covered by Rankers. The best regression model R2 was 0.54, thus suggesting that the catchments’ internal complexity was not fully captured by the factors included in the analysis. Nevertheless, this study highlights the utility of combining tracer studies with digital landscape analysis and multivariate statistical techniques to gain insights into the temporal (climatic) and spatial (topographic and pedologic) controls on DFPs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KW - end-member mixing

KW - dominant flow pathways (DFPs)

KW - Gran alkalinity

KW - variation partitioning

KW - canonical redundancy analysis

KW - multiple linear regression

U2 - 10.1002/hyp.8416

DO - 10.1002/hyp.8416

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 3858

EP - 3874

JO - Hydrological Processes

JF - Hydrological Processes

SN - 0885-6087

IS - 25

ER -