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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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HESS | Articles | Volume 23, issue 1
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 303-349, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-303-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 303-349, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-303-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 18 Jan 2019

Research article | 18 Jan 2019

Quantifying new water fractions and transit time distributions using ensemble hydrograph separation: theory and benchmark tests

James W. Kirchner
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Bansah, S. and Ali, G.: Evaluating the effects of tracer choice and end-member definitions on hydrograph separation results across nested, seasonally cold watersheds, Water Resour. Res., 53, 8851–8871, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016WR020252, 2017. 
Bayley, G. V. and Hammersley, J. M.: The effective number of independent observations in an autocorrelated time series, J. R. Stat. Soc., 8, 184–197, https://doi.org/10.2307/2983560, 1946. 
Benettin, P., van der Velde, Y., van der Zee, S., 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, https://doi.org/10.1002/wrcr.20309, 2013. 
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Benettin, P., Volkmann, T. H. M., von Freyberg, J., Frentress, J., Penna, D., Dawson, T. E., and Kirchner, J. W.: Effects of climatic seasonality on the isotopic composition of evaporating soil waters, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2881–2890, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-2881-2018, 2018. 
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How long does it take for raindrops to become streamflow? Here I propose a new approach to this old problem. I show how we can use time series of isotope data to measure the average fraction of same-day rainfall appearing in streamflow, even if this fraction varies greatly from rainstorm to rainstorm. I show that we can quantify how this fraction changes from small rainstorms to big ones, and from high flows to low flows, and how it changes with the lag time between rainfall and streamflow.
How long does it take for raindrops to become streamflow? Here I propose a new approach to this...
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