Articles | Volume 25, issue 9
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 4887–4915, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-25-4887-2021
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 4887–4915, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-25-4887-2021

Research article 07 Sep 2021

Research article | 07 Sep 2021

Reduction of vegetation-accessible water storage capacity after deforestation affects catchment travel time distributions and increases young water fractions in a headwater catchment

Markus Hrachowitz et al.

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Short summary
Deforestation affects how catchments store and release water. Here we found that deforestation in the study catchment led to a 20 % increase in mean runoff, while reducing the vegetation-accessible water storage from about 258 to 101 mm. As a consequence, fractions of young water in the stream increased by up to 25 % during wet periods. This implies that water and solutes are more rapidly routed to the stream, which can, after contamination, lead to increased contaminant peak concentrations.