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Title: Modelling dominant runoff processes using tracers and landscape organisation in larger catchments
Author: Capell, René
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 9899
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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This work has contributed to the understanding of dominant runoff generation at the large catchment scale and to the understanding of the relationships between landscape properties and hydrological behaviour. The developed models were used to estimate the climate change impact on the hydrology in the study catchment. A multivariate geochemical tracer survey was carried out in North Esk catchment in north east Scotland. A generic typology was developed using multivariate statistical methods to characterise the hydrochemical tracer response. Upland headwater runoff was dominant downstream in winter and provided significant flows during base flow periods in summer. These insights were complemented by a conjunctive analysis of long-term river flow data and a one year stable isotope survey. Integrative metrics of transit times, hydrometric responses, and catchment characteristics were explored for relationships at the large catchment scale. The evaluation that the associated soils and bedrocks, themselves controlling the flow path distribution, have a strong influence on the integrated hydrological catchment response. The empirically-based understanding of dominant runoff generation processes in the North Esk uplands and lowlands were used in a stepwise rainfall-runoff model development. Tracers were directly incorporated to reduce structural and parameter uncertainty. The integration of tracers helped reduce parameter uncertainty. These tracer-aided models increased confidence for using them to explore the effects of environmental change. Climate change impacts in the catchment where explored by forcing the models with projected climate change forcing from the UK Climate Projections 2009. The results revealed landscape-specific changes in the hydrological response with increased summer drought risk in the lowlands and diminishing snow influence and increased winter floods in the uplands. The spatial integration mediated the extremes observed in the subcatchments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Climate change