Articles | Volume 20, issue 12
Research article
19 Dec 2016
Research article |  | 19 Dec 2016

The importance of snowmelt spatiotemporal variability for isotope-based hydrograph separation in a high-elevation catchment

Jan Schmieder, Florian Hanzer, Thomas Marke, Jakob Garvelmann, Michael Warscher, Harald Kunstmann, and Ulrich Strasser

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Cited articles

Ahluwalia, R. S., Rai, S. P., Jain, S. K., Kumar, B., and Dobhal, D. P.: Assessment of snowmelt runoff modelling and isotope analysis: a case study from the western Himalaya, India, Ann. Glaciol., 54, 299–304,, 2013.
APCC: Austrian Assessment Report (AAR14). Summary for Policymakers (SPM), Austrian Panel on Climate Change, Vienna, Austria, 2014.
Árnason, B., Buason, T., Martinec, J., and Theodorson, P.: Movement of water through snowpack traced by deuterium and tritium, in: The role of snow and ice in hydrology, Proc. Banff Symp., edited by: UNESCO-WMO-IAHS, IAHS Publ. No. 107, 1973.
Beaulieu, M., Schreier, H., and Jost, G.: A shifting hydrological regime: a field investigation of snowmelt runoff processes and their connection to summer base flow, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Hydrol. Process., 26, 2672–2682,, 2012.
Behrens, H., Moser, H., Oerter, H., Rauert, W., Stichler, W., and Ambach, W.: Models for the runoff from a glaciated catchment area using measurements of environmental isotope contents, Isotope Hydrology Vol. ll, W-05, Proceedings of a Symposium, Neuherberg, 19–23 June 1978, IAEA, Vienna, IAEA-SM-228/41, 2, 829–846, 1978.
Short summary
We present novel research on the spatiotemporal variability of snowmelt isotopic content in a high-elevation catchment with complex terrain to improve the isotope-based hydrograph separation method. A modelling approach was used to weight the plot-scale snowmelt isotopic content with melt rates for the north- and south-facing slope. The investigations showed that it is important to sample at least north- and south-facing slopes, because of distinct isotopic differences between both slopes.