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Journal Articles Earth-Science Reviews Year : 2011

Applications of stable water and carbon isotopes in watershed research: Weathering, carbon cycling, and water balances

Abstract

Research on rivers has traditionally involved concentration and flux measurements to better understand weathering, transport and cycling of materials from land to ocean. As a relatively new tool, stable isotope measurements complement this type of research by providing an extra label to characterize origin of the transported material, its transfer mechanisms, and natural versus anthropogenic influences. These new stable isotope techniques are scalable across a wide range of geographic and temporal scales. This review focuses on three aspects of hydrological and geochemical river research that are of prime importance to the policy issues of climate change and include utilization of stable water and carbon isotopes: (i) silicate and carbonate weathering in river basins, (ii) the riverine carbon and oxygen cycles, and (iii) water balances at the catchment scale. Most studies at watershed scales currently focus on water and carbon balances but future applications hold promise to integrate sediment fluxes and turnover, ground and surface water interactions, as well as the understanding of contaminant sources and their effects in river systems.

Dates and versions

hal-00681344 , version 1 (21-03-2012)

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Peter Schulte, Robert van Geldern, Heiko Freitag, Ajaz Karim, Philippe Négrel, et al.. Applications of stable water and carbon isotopes in watershed research: Weathering, carbon cycling, and water balances. Earth-Science Reviews, 2011, 109 (1-2), pp.20-31. ⟨10.1016/j.earscirev.2011.07.003⟩. ⟨hal-00681344⟩
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