Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 4615–4627, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-4615-2017
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 4615–4627, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-4615-2017

Research article 13 Sep 2017

Research article | 13 Sep 2017

Aggregation effects on tritium-based mean transit times and young water fractions in spatially heterogeneous catchments and groundwater systems

Michael K. Stewart et al.

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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Peer-review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (further review by Editor and Referees) (08 Feb 2017) by Markus Hrachowitz
AR by Michael Stewart on behalf of the Authors (13 Apr 2017)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (13 Apr 2017) by Markus Hrachowitz
RR by Anonymous Referee #4 (11 May 2017)
RR by Anonymous Referee #3 (25 May 2017)
RR by Anonymous Referee #5 (31 May 2017)
ED: Publish subject to revisions (further review by Editor and Referees) (06 Jun 2017) by Markus Hrachowitz
AR by Michael Stewart on behalf of the Authors (04 Aug 2017)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (15 Aug 2017) by Markus Hrachowitz
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Short summary
This paper presents for the first time the effects of aggregation errors on mean transit times and young fractions estimated using tritium concentrations. Such errors, due to heterogeneity in catchments, had previously been demonstrated for seasonal tracer cycles by Kirchner (2016a). We found that mean transit times derived from tritium are just as susceptible to aggregation bias as those from seasonal tracer cycles. Young fractions were found to be almost immune to aggregation bias.