Articles | Volume 23, issue 11
Research article
27 Nov 2019
Research article |  | 27 Nov 2019

Expansion and contraction of the flowing stream network alter hillslope flowpath lengths and the shape of the travel time distribution

H. J. Ilja van Meerveld, James W. Kirchner, Marc J. P. Vis, Rick S. Assendelft, and Jan Seibert


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Short summary
Flowing stream networks extend and retract seasonally and in response to precipitation. This affects the distances and thus the time that it takes a water molecule to reach the flowing stream and the stream outlet. When the network is fully extended, the travel times are short, but when the network retracts, the travel times become longer and more uniform. These dynamics should be included when modeling solute or pollutant transport.