Use of a Reaction Path Model to Identify Hydrologic Structure in an Alpine Catchment, Colorado, USA
AuthorDriscoll, Jessica M.
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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.
AbstractInverse geochemical modelling has been used frequently in groundwater systems between wells along a known flowpath and between precipitation and stream waters in catchments. This research expands the use of inverse geochemical modelling through a reaction path model (RPM) between waters in an alpine catchment to determine the geochemical connections and disconnections within the catchment. The data for this study are from the Green Lake 4 catchment in the Colorado Front Range during the 1996 snowmelt season, which has been divided into discrete time intervals based on snowmelt hydrology. Unique combinations of geochemical connections occur during these time intervals, and they show a dynamic hydrologic system. RPM results show notable disconnections; soil water is not geochemically connected to any other end member. These changes reflect changes in weathering reactions in the catchment that are dependent on the duration and timing of snowmelt. Previously end-member mixture analysis (EMMA) models have been used to discern the water sources in catchments. The combination of RPM and EMMA approaches offers the opportunity to connect the source of water to the internal hydrologic structure of the catchment, to better understand how catchments might respond to changes in climate or atmospheric deposition.