Water source dynamics in a glacierized alpine river basin (Taillon-Gabietous, French Pyrenees)

Lee E. Brown, David M. Hannah, Alexander M. Milner, Christopher Soulsby, Andrew J. Hodson, Mark J. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Currently, there is minimal information relating to temporal variability of water source contributions in alpine glacierized basins or the influence of glacier meltwater in a basin-wide context. This study adopts an end-member mixing approach to understand basin-scale water source dynamics in a French Pyrenean, alpine glacierized river system (Taillon-Gabietous). Major ion and Si data were collected for snow, groundwater tributaries, and four mainstream sites during the 2002/2003 melt seasons. Three conceptual water sources were identified: "quick flow'' ( dilute, rapidly routed meltwater), "distributed'' (SO42- enriched, slow routed subglacial waters), and "groundwater'' (Si-enriched groundwater). Water source contributions at nested spatial and temporal scales were determined using end-member mixing and uncertainty analysis. Changes in stream hydrochemistry indicated marked meltwater-groundwater mixing. Quick flow contributions typically decreased over the melt season; groundwater contributions were highest at the beginning of the melt seasons following recharge by snowmelt but also later in the 2002 melt season following prolonged precipitation. Overall, the results suggest an alternative alpine basin melt season hydrological progression compared with previous models (i.e., simple snowmelt to glacier melt to groundwater domination) and emphasize the need to understand water source dynamics to inform related water resource availability, water quality, and stream ecology studies within alpine basins.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberW08404
Number of pages12
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • flow paths
  • chemical denudation
  • cirque glacier
  • mixing models
  • catchment
  • hydrochemistry
  • Switzerland
  • stream
  • groundwater
  • system

Cite this

Water source dynamics in a glacierized alpine river basin (Taillon-Gabietous, French Pyrenees). / Brown, Lee E.; Hannah, David M.; Milner, Alexander M.; Soulsby, Christopher; Hodson, Andrew J.; Brewer, Mark J.

In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 42, W08404, 2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brown, Lee E. ; Hannah, David M. ; Milner, Alexander M. ; Soulsby, Christopher ; Hodson, Andrew J. ; Brewer, Mark J. / Water source dynamics in a glacierized alpine river basin (Taillon-Gabietous, French Pyrenees). In: Water Resources Research. 2006 ; Vol. 42.
@article{cd9892264e564827aa1409853f8889fc,
title = "Water source dynamics in a glacierized alpine river basin (Taillon-Gabietous, French Pyrenees)",
abstract = "Currently, there is minimal information relating to temporal variability of water source contributions in alpine glacierized basins or the influence of glacier meltwater in a basin-wide context. This study adopts an end-member mixing approach to understand basin-scale water source dynamics in a French Pyrenean, alpine glacierized river system (Taillon-Gabietous). Major ion and Si data were collected for snow, groundwater tributaries, and four mainstream sites during the 2002/2003 melt seasons. Three conceptual water sources were identified: {"}quick flow'' ( dilute, rapidly routed meltwater), {"}distributed'' (SO42- enriched, slow routed subglacial waters), and {"}groundwater'' (Si-enriched groundwater). Water source contributions at nested spatial and temporal scales were determined using end-member mixing and uncertainty analysis. Changes in stream hydrochemistry indicated marked meltwater-groundwater mixing. Quick flow contributions typically decreased over the melt season; groundwater contributions were highest at the beginning of the melt seasons following recharge by snowmelt but also later in the 2002 melt season following prolonged precipitation. Overall, the results suggest an alternative alpine basin melt season hydrological progression compared with previous models (i.e., simple snowmelt to glacier melt to groundwater domination) and emphasize the need to understand water source dynamics to inform related water resource availability, water quality, and stream ecology studies within alpine basins.",
keywords = "flow paths, chemical denudation, cirque glacier, mixing models, catchment, hydrochemistry, Switzerland, stream, groundwater, system",
author = "Brown, {Lee E.} and Hannah, {David M.} and Milner, {Alexander M.} and Christopher Soulsby and Hodson, {Andrew J.} and Brewer, {Mark J.}",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1029/2005WR004268",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
journal = "Water Resources Research",
issn = "0043-1397",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Water source dynamics in a glacierized alpine river basin (Taillon-Gabietous, French Pyrenees)

AU - Brown, Lee E.

AU - Hannah, David M.

AU - Milner, Alexander M.

AU - Soulsby, Christopher

AU - Hodson, Andrew J.

AU - Brewer, Mark J.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Currently, there is minimal information relating to temporal variability of water source contributions in alpine glacierized basins or the influence of glacier meltwater in a basin-wide context. This study adopts an end-member mixing approach to understand basin-scale water source dynamics in a French Pyrenean, alpine glacierized river system (Taillon-Gabietous). Major ion and Si data were collected for snow, groundwater tributaries, and four mainstream sites during the 2002/2003 melt seasons. Three conceptual water sources were identified: "quick flow'' ( dilute, rapidly routed meltwater), "distributed'' (SO42- enriched, slow routed subglacial waters), and "groundwater'' (Si-enriched groundwater). Water source contributions at nested spatial and temporal scales were determined using end-member mixing and uncertainty analysis. Changes in stream hydrochemistry indicated marked meltwater-groundwater mixing. Quick flow contributions typically decreased over the melt season; groundwater contributions were highest at the beginning of the melt seasons following recharge by snowmelt but also later in the 2002 melt season following prolonged precipitation. Overall, the results suggest an alternative alpine basin melt season hydrological progression compared with previous models (i.e., simple snowmelt to glacier melt to groundwater domination) and emphasize the need to understand water source dynamics to inform related water resource availability, water quality, and stream ecology studies within alpine basins.

AB - Currently, there is minimal information relating to temporal variability of water source contributions in alpine glacierized basins or the influence of glacier meltwater in a basin-wide context. This study adopts an end-member mixing approach to understand basin-scale water source dynamics in a French Pyrenean, alpine glacierized river system (Taillon-Gabietous). Major ion and Si data were collected for snow, groundwater tributaries, and four mainstream sites during the 2002/2003 melt seasons. Three conceptual water sources were identified: "quick flow'' ( dilute, rapidly routed meltwater), "distributed'' (SO42- enriched, slow routed subglacial waters), and "groundwater'' (Si-enriched groundwater). Water source contributions at nested spatial and temporal scales were determined using end-member mixing and uncertainty analysis. Changes in stream hydrochemistry indicated marked meltwater-groundwater mixing. Quick flow contributions typically decreased over the melt season; groundwater contributions were highest at the beginning of the melt seasons following recharge by snowmelt but also later in the 2002 melt season following prolonged precipitation. Overall, the results suggest an alternative alpine basin melt season hydrological progression compared with previous models (i.e., simple snowmelt to glacier melt to groundwater domination) and emphasize the need to understand water source dynamics to inform related water resource availability, water quality, and stream ecology studies within alpine basins.

KW - flow paths

KW - chemical denudation

KW - cirque glacier

KW - mixing models

KW - catchment

KW - hydrochemistry

KW - Switzerland

KW - stream

KW - groundwater

KW - system

U2 - 10.1029/2005WR004268

DO - 10.1029/2005WR004268

M3 - Article

VL - 42

JO - Water Resources Research

JF - Water Resources Research

SN - 0043-1397

M1 - W08404

ER -