Dr. Genevieve Ali: Is isotope hydrology... (25-11-2016)


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Dr. Genevieve Ali (U. Manitoba)

Is isotope hydrology useful in landscapes where water does not always flow downhill? Insights from the Canadian Prairies

Vendredi 25 novembre 2016 à 15h30 / Friday, November 30, 2016, 3:30 pm

Redpath Museum Auditorium, Université McGill

Résumé / Abstract :

Stable isotopes, especially d18O and d2H, have a long tradition of being used in catchments around the world to infer water partitioning, stream water sources, and water age. When dealing with near-level (also known as "topographically-challenged") landscapes, however, isotope hydrologists need to account for natural and human landscape features that might impact isotopic exchanges and hence result in apparently different water storage and release dynamics. In the Canadian Prairies, in particular, the relative importance of such natural (e.g., topography, land cover, bedrock geology) and human (e.g., roads, drains and diversions, retention ponds) landscape features on hydrological dynamics has been difficult to assess using traditional hydrometric data alone. This talk will therefore discuss, through a set of examples, the usefulness of isotope-based approaches in heavily anthropized landscapes for inferring dominant hydrological processes related to surface/subsurface flow partitioning, mean water residence times and plant water uptake.