Articles | Volume 23, issue 11
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-4825-2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-4825-2019
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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Cited articles

Ågren, A., Lidberg, W., and Ring, E.: Mapping Temporal Dynamics in a Forest Stream Network – Implications for Riparian Forest Management, Forests, 6, 2982, https://doi.org/10.3390/f6092982, 2015. 
Assendelft, R. S. and van Meerveld, H. J.: Studibach stream networks, Data set, Zenodo, https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3543674, 2019. 
Baker, M. E., Weller, D. E., and Jordan, T. E.: Effects of stream map resolution on measures of riparian buffer distribution and nutrient retention potential, Landscape Ecol., 22, 973–992, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-007-9080-z, 2007. 
Benettin, P., Bailey, S. W., Campbell, J. L., Green, M. B., Rinaldo, A., Likens, G. E., McGuire, K. J., and Botter, G.: Linking water age and solute dynamics in streamflow at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH, USA, Water Resour. Res., 51, 9256–9272, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015wr017552, 2015a. 
Benettin, P., Kirchner, J. W., Rinaldo, A., and Botter, G.: Modeling chloride transport using travel time distributions at Plynlimon, Wales, Water Resour. Res., 51, 3259–3276, https://doi.org/10.1002/2014wr016600, 2015b. 
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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.