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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Latest update: 16 Oct 2021
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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.