Articles | Volume 24, issue 3
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1101-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1101-2020
Technical note
 | 
06 Mar 2020
Technical note |  | 06 Mar 2020

Technical note: An improved discharge sensitivity metric for young water fractions

Francesc Gallart, Jana von Freyberg, María Valiente, James W. Kirchner, Pilar Llorens, and Jérôme Latron

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Cited articles

DeWalle, D. R., Edwards, P. J., Swistock, B. R., Aravena, R., and Drimmie, R. J.: Seasonal isotope hydrology of three Appalachian forest catchments, Hydrol. Process., 11, 1895–1906, https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1085(199712)11:15%3C1895::AID-HYP538%3E3.0.CO;2-%23, 1997. 
Gallart, F., Roig-Planasdemunt, M., Stewart, M. K., Llorens, P., Morgenstern, U., Stichler, W., Pfister, L., and Latron, J.: A GLUE-based uncertainty assessment framework for tritium-inferred transit time estimations under baseflow conditions, Hydrol. Process., 30, 4741–4760, https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.10991, 2016. 
Gallart, F., Valiente, M., Llorens, P., Cayuela, C., Sprenger, M., and Latron, J.: Investigating young water fractions in different hydrological compartments of a small Mediterranean mountain catchment: Sampling frequency and precipitation forcing matter, Hydrol. Process., in review, https://doi.org/10.22541/au.157979613.39458719, 2020. 
Kirchner, J. W.: Aggregation in environmental systems – Part 1: Seasonal tracer cycles quantify young water fractions, but not mean transit times, in spatially heterogeneous catchments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 279–297, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-279-2016, 2016a. 
Kirchner, J. W.: Aggregation in environmental systems – Part 2: Catchment mean transit times and young water fractions under hydrologic nonstationarity, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 299–328, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-299-2016, 2016b. 
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Short summary
How catchments store and release rain or melting water is still not well known. Now, it is broadly accepted that most of the water in streams is older than several months, and a relevant part may be many years old. But the age of water depends on the stream regime, being usually younger during high flows. This paper tries to provide tools for better analysing how the age of waters varies with flow in a catchment and for comparing the behaviour of catchments diverging in climate, size and regime.