29 Apr 2024
 | 29 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Exploring the interplay of new and young water fractions with hillslope topography in a subtropical headwater catchment

Tsung-Ren Peng and Jun-Yi Lee

Abstract. Our study explores the intricate relationships between new water (Fnew), young water (Fyw), and topographic influences within small catchments, utilizing the Height Above the Nearest Drainage (HAND) as a key metric. Analysis revealed that seepage water consistently contains higher fractions of young water than stream water, despite similar contributions of new water from precipitation, highlighting differential hydrological responses. The relationship between Fnew and Fyw exhibited varying slopes for seepage and stream water, suggesting distinct hydrological sources and behaviors, with seepage water reflecting a “flashy” system and stream water indicating a “damped” system. A nonlinear dynamic was observed between HAND and transit time measures, with a notable threshold at approximately 10 m of HAND, beyond which the contribution of young and new water to streamflow declines, indicating a shift in hydrological pathways. This threshold behavior emphasizes the complex influence of topography on water movement and age within catchments. This research bridges gaps in our understanding of catchment hydrology, offering insights into the spatial and temporal dynamics of water movement and the pivotal role of landscape features in shaping hydrological responses.

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Tsung-Ren Peng and Jun-Yi Lee

Status: open (until 24 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2024-84', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 May 2024 reply
Tsung-Ren Peng and Jun-Yi Lee
Tsung-Ren Peng and Jun-Yi Lee


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Short summary
Our study examines how new and young water relate to land shape in small catchments using the Height Above Nearest Drainage (HAND) metric. We discovered seepage water has more young water than river water, indicating a "flashy" response to rain, unlike the "damped" river water. We also found a shift in water movement at about 10 m above drainage, highlighting topography's complex impact on water dynamics. This research clarifies the influence of land shape on water movement in catchments.