A tale of two isotopes: Differences in hydrograph separation for a runoff event when using δD versus δ18O

Steve W. Lyon, Sharon L.E. Desilets, Peter A. Troch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is often assumed that stable water isotopes (δD and δ 18O) provide redundant information for a given sample of water. In this note we illustrate that the choice of isotope used may influence the resultant hydrograph separation. This is especially true in light of the spatial and temporal variability in the isotopic composition of rainfall water at the catchment scale. We present several possible hydrograph separations based on both δD and δ 18O observed in rainfall for a single runoff event occurring in the southwest USA. This study demonstrates the potential of using both stable water isotopes by showing that δD and δ 18O may provide unique information for catchment hydrologists. We also report on the utility of new technology capable of simultaneous measurements of both δD and δ18O using off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy (OA-ICOS) methods. This may be of interest to catchment hydrologists seeking to incorporate this type of equipment into their laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2095-2101
Number of pages7
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume23
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

Keywords

  • Hydrograph separation
  • Off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy
  • Stable water isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A tale of two isotopes: Differences in hydrograph separation for a runoff event when using δD versus δ<sup>18</sup>O'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this