Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology

1st Edition

Editors: C. Kendall J.J. McDonnell
Paperback ISBN: 9780444501554
eBook ISBN: 9780080929156
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 11th January 1999
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This book represents a new "earth systems" approach to catchments that encompasses the physical and biogeochemical interactions that control the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the system. The text provides a comprehensive treatment of the fundamentals of catchment hydrology, principles of isotope geochemistry, and the isotope variability in the hydrologic cycle -- but the main focus of the book is on case studies in isotope hydrology and isotope geochemistry that explore the applications of isotope techniques for investigating modern environmental problems.

Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology is the first synthesis of physical hydrology and isotope geochemistry with catchment focus, and is a valuable reference for professionals and students alike in the fields of hydrology, hydrochemistry, and environmental science. This important interdisciplinary text provides extensive guidelines for the application of isotope techniques for all investigatores facing the challenge of protecting precious water, soil, and ecological resources from the ever-increasing problems associated with population growth and environmental change, including those from urban development and agricultural land uses.

Table of Contents

PART I. BASIC PRINCIPLES. Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Small Catchment Hydrology ( J.M. Buttle). Introduction to Small Catchments. The Catchment Water Balance. General components of the water balance. Precipitation, interception, net precipitation, Snowmelt. Infiltration and soil water storage. Evaporation and evapotranspiration. Storage in lakes, wetlands and stream channels. Runoff outputs via streamflow. Mechanisms of stormflow generation. Groundwater flow. Questions of Spatial and Temporal Scale in Catchment Hydrology. Use of Isotopes in Catchment Research. Evaporation, evapotranspiration, interception. Pore-water mixing (the mobile-immobile water issue). Soil and groundwater recharge rates. Soil water, groundwater and surface water residence times. Storm runoff components. Water sources versus water flowpaths. Sources of solutes. New Research Directions. Summary. Chapter 2: Fundamentals of Isotope Geochemistry (C. Kendall and E.A. Caldwell). Introduction. Fundamentals of Isotope Geochemistry. Definitions. Terminology. Standards. Stable Isotope Fractionation. Properties of isotopic molecules. Fractionation accompanying chemical reactions and phase changes. The Rayleigh equations. Isotopic fractionation in open and closed systems. Biological fractionations. Sample Collection, Analysis, and Quality Assurance. Sampling guidelines. Analytical methods and instrumentation. Quality assurance of contract laboratories. Applications of Isotope Tracers in Catchment Hydrology. Water isotope hydrology. Solute isotope biogeochemistry. Mixing. Isotopically labeled materials. Stable isotopes in geochemical modeling. Use of a multi-isotope approach for the determination of flowpaths. Summary. PART II. PROCESSES AFFECTING ISOTOPIC COMPOSITIONS. Chapter 3: Isotopic Variations in Precipitation (N.L. Ingraham). Introduction. Global hydrologic cycle. Natural Fractionation of Isotopes in Precipitation. Co-variance of hydrogen and


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Elsevier Science
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About the Editor

C. Kendall

Carol Kendall is a research hydrologist in the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 1990, she has been chief of the "Isotope Tracers of Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Processes" project in Menlo Park, California. The purpose of this research project is to develop new methods, concepts, and applications of environmental isotopes to solve problems of national importance. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Geology from the University of California (Riverside), and her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Maryland. Her main background is in isotope hydrology and aqueous geochemistry. Kendall is coordinator and main instructor of the 5-day Isotope Hydrology training course taught almost yearly for the USGS, and frequently teaches other short-courses. The main focus of isotopic heterogeneity in shallow systems on determining recharge mechanisms, tracing sources and reactions of nitrate in surface waters and groundwaters using oxygen and nitrogen isotopes, and applying a multi-isotope (O,H,C,N,S,Sr) approach to studying watershed hydrology and biochemistry. She has recently become fascinated with "isotope biomonitoring" --the idea of using isotopes of organisms as integrators of environmental conditions at the landscape-scale, including providing information about sources of nutrients in human-impacted environments.

Affiliations and Expertise

U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA

J.J. McDonnell

Jeffrey J. McDonnell is Professor of Hydrology at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, M.Sc. from Trent University, and Ph.D. from the University of Canterbury. His background is in physical hydrology and geomorphology. His particular interests relate to the age, origin and pathway of subsurface stormflow and runoff processes in catchments. While working as an Assistant Professor at Utah State University, McDonnell began a working relationship with Kendall that continued for several years -- one that exploits their very different backgrounds and perspectives on catchment hydrology. McDonnell has been a Research Fellow at NASA, the Japanese Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and Landcare New Zealand. He has received the Gordon Warwick Award from the British Geomorphological Research Group, the Horton Research Grant from the American Geophysical Union, Warren Nystrom Award from the Association of American Geographers, and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship from Canada. Prof. McDonnell was and Associate Editor for Water Resources Research (1996-1998) and is now an Associate Editor for Journal of Hydrology and Editorial Board member of the journals Hydrological Processes and Progress in Environmental Science. He has published about 50 papers of catchment hydrology.

Affiliations and Expertise

SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, USA


@from:G.M. Hornberger @qu:...will surely become required reading in graduate courses around the world. @source:EOS Transactions @from:A. Zuber @qu:...The book is an excellent presentation of the problems encountered in catchment studies, available and potential tracer methods and descriptions of case studies. The book can also be recommended as updated handbook on the basic principles of the isotope geochemistry and tracer methods applicable to catchments... the book is highly recommended... @source:Hydrological Sciences Journal, Vol.44, No.6 @from:M.R. van der Valk @qu:...Translated from Dutch: The design of the book is very well thought-out. The graphic styling is clear, sharp, and well organized. ...Those interested in isotopenhydrologie should not hesitate and immediately obtain a copy. As Sampurno Bruijnzeel would say: "Excellent!". @source:Stromingen 5, No. 4 @from:M.R. Rosen @qu:...The paperback book is presented exceptionally well and the figures and layout are of the highest quality. ...The fundamental detail and explanations of isotope tracer techniques as well as the plentiful real world examples from all parts of the globe and every conceivable environment make this book an excellent reference and a must for hydrologists, students and even isotope hydrology specialists. I heartily recommend this book to those interested in the use of isotope tracers in New Zealand and anywhere else in the world. @source:Journal of Hydrology (New Zealand) @from:P.M. Rowinski, J.J. Napiorkowski @qu:...This extensive volume is an important contribution that will stimulate interest in the examination of hydrologic processes in small catchments. is easy to read, considering how much ground is covered, and as such can be very helpful for a variety of readers starting from graduate students and ending at