Geochemical and isotopic mixing models : two case studies in a snow-dominated and semi-arid environment
AuthorHuth, Anne M. Kramer.
Hydrometeorology -- California -- Mathematical models.
Hydrometeorology -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.
Snowmelt -- California.
Arid regions -- Arizona -- Climate.
Soil moisture -- California.
Soil moisture -- Arizona.
Runoff -- California.
Runoff -- Arizona.
Committee ChairBales, Roger C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe influence of climate and antecedent moisture conditions on hydrological and biogeochemical fluxes was studied and contrasted in three nested, high-elevation, snowmelt-dominated catchments in the Sierra Nevada, California and one basin-floor, semi-arid catchment in southeastern Arizona. Investigations were completed within a different two-year period at each site, with the second year being climatically different (typically drier) than the first. Spring snowmelt, widespread winter frontal precipitation, and episodic summer rains induce surface water flow in these catchments, though the timing and magnitude of nutrient redistribution among soil and stream compartments varies in each. Surface water flow from spring snowmelt in high-elevation catchments travels through the subsurface or across the surface as direct runoff A more typical process producing surface water flow in semi-arid catchments is flooding during episodic or widespread rainfall. Hydrograph separations at Emerald Lake, Topaz Lake and Marble Fork catchments in Sequoia National Park, California, revealed that the majority of snowmelt flowed through soil before entering the stream in both average and highsnow years. The Emerald Lake watershed had a higher fraction of old water in its outflow in the average accumulation year because of the previous year's high accumulation and longer melt season. A mixing model analysis performed of the upper San Pedro River, Arizona, for wet and dry years showed that summer flood hydrographs were composed mainly of precipitation and surface runoff in both years, though a higher soil-water input occurred in the wetter year and in early season floods in the dry year. Stream and soil water nitrate concentrations were higher during floods in the dry year. Early season floods in the dry year exhibited more variability in stream water nitrate and sulfate, whereas late season flood concentrations reflected a well-mixed system and therefore less variation of these species during flood hydrographs. These data showed that periods of below average precipitation preceding major runoff periods result both in less soil water and solute export during summer floods in basin-floor catchments and less direct snowmelt in high-elevation catchments. Hydrologic and solute export in each catchment, despite their differing geographical locations, responds in similar ways to climate variability.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramHydrology and Water Resources