Articles | Volume 23, issue 1
Research article
 | Highlight paper
18 Jan 2019
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 18 Jan 2019

Quantifying new water fractions and transit time distributions using ensemble hydrograph separation: theory and benchmark tests

James W. Kirchner


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Latest update: 13 Jul 2024

The requested paper has a corresponding corrigendum published. Please read the corrigendum first before downloading the article.

Short summary
How long does it take for raindrops to become streamflow? Here I propose a new approach to this old problem. I show how we can use time series of isotope data to measure the average fraction of same-day rainfall appearing in streamflow, even if this fraction varies greatly from rainstorm to rainstorm. I show that we can quantify how this fraction changes from small rainstorms to big ones, and from high flows to low flows, and how it changes with the lag time between rainfall and streamflow.