Articles | Volume 22, issue 1
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 635–653, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-635-2018
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 635–653, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-635-2018

Research article 25 Jan 2018

Research article | 25 Jan 2018

Mean transit times in headwater catchments: insights from the Otway Ranges, Australia

William Howcroft et al.

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Cited articles

Allison, G. B., Cook, P. G., Barnett, S. R., Walker, G. R., Jolly, I. D., and Hughes, M. W.: Land clearance and river salinisation in the western Murray Basin, Australia, J. Hydrol., 119, 1–20, https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(90)90030-2, 1990.
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Atkinson, A. P., Cartwright, I., Gilfedder, B. S., Cendón, D. I., Unland, N. P., and Hofmann, H.: Using 14C and 3H to understand groundwater flow and recharge in an aquifer window, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4951–4964, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-18-4951-2014, 2014.
Bazemore, D. E., Eshleman, K. N., and Hollenbeck, K. J.: The role of soil water in storm flow generation in a forested headwater catchment: Synthesis of natural tracer and hydrometric evidence, J. Hydrol., 162, 47–75, https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(94)90004-3, 1994.
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Short summary
Documenting mean transit times is critical for understanding and managing catchments. Mean transit times in six headwater catchments of the Otway Ranges, Australia, determined using tritium, range from 7 to 230 years. Tritium activities correlate well with streamflow but are difficult to predict from catchment attributes or major ion geochemistry. The long mean transit times suggest that the catchments are buffered from short-term rainfall variations.