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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Cited articles

Ala-aho, P., Tetzlaff, D., McNamara, J. P., Laudon, H., and Soulsby, C.: Using isotopes to constrain water flux and age estimates in snow-influenced catchments using the STARR (Spatially distributed Tracer-Aided RainfallRunoff) model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5089–5110, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5089-2017, 2017. 
Angermann, L., Jackisch, C., Allroggen, N., Sprenger, M., Zehe, E., Tronicke, J., Weiler, M., and Blume, T.: Form and function in hillslope hydrology: characterization of subsurface flow based on response observations, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3727–3748, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-3727-2017, 2017. 
Arrouays, D., Lagacherie, P., and Hartemink, A. E.: Digital soil mapping across the globe, Geoderma Regional, 9, 1–4, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geodrs.2017.03.002, 2017. 
Arsenault, R., Poissant, D., and Brissette, F.: Parameter dimensionality reduction of a conceptual model for streamflow prediction in Canadian, snowmelt dominated ungauged basins, Adv. Water Resour., 85, 27–44, 2015. 
Benettin, P., Van Der Velde, Y., Van Der Zee, S. E., Rinaldo, A., and Botter, G.: Chloride circulation in a lowland catchment and the formulation of transport by travel time distributions, Water Resour. Res., 49, 4619–4632, 2013. 
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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.