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Title: Integrating high-frequency DOC data, isotopes and modelling to assess flow paths, connectivity and water ages
Author: Tunaley, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 8060
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics occurring in headwater catchments enhances our ability to effectively manage the natural and unnatural inputs from the landscape to the stream. DOC is particularly important in northern peat dominated catchments, where concentrations in rivers have been increasing over recent decades. Due to the significant downstream impacts this increase has on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems and the quality of drinking water, it is vital to understand the tight coupling between the landscape and the stream. This study set out to explore the use of integrating high-frequency DOC data, stable isotopes and modelling as a novel way to increase our understanding of the hydrological and biogeochemical processes that control spatial and temporal DOC dynamics. By deploying in-situ FDOM sensors, across nested catchments, we captured 15 minute DOC dynamics. This yielded insights into seasonal, event and diel temporal variability, along with spatial variability. Results showed the utility of linking these DOC dynamics with stable isotopes and water ages, extracted from a tracer-aided runoff model. This allowed the main runoff generating processes, that transport the DOC from the sources to the stream, to be assessed, and showed the effects of hydrologic connectivity and antecedent conditions on DOC delivery. Incorporating modelling allowed the non-stationary hydrological processes influencing runoff generation, which cannot be easily measured by field techniques, to be evaluated. Overall, the findings of this thesis underline the utility of integrating highfrequency DOC data, stable isotopes and modelling to extract a highly informative dataset that helps produce a more complete symphony of the highly variable dynamics occurring in upland catchments. Such knowledge is crucial in order to effectively evaluate the influence of climate change on the water resources that both nature and humans so heavily depend on.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Aberdeen
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Water ; Hydrologic models ; Isotopes