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Testing and comparison of four ionic tracers to measure stream flow loss by multiple tracer injection

Hydrological Processes

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Abstract

An injectate containing lithium, sodium, chloride and bromide was added continuously at five sites along a 507 m study reach of St Kevin Gulch, Lake County, Colorado to determine which sections of the stream were losing water to the stream bed and to ascertain how well the four tracers performed. The acidity of the stream (pH 3.6) made it possible for lithium and sodium, which are normally absorbed by ion exchange with stream bed sediment, to be used as conservative tracers. Net flow losses as low as 0.81 s-1, or 8% of flow, were calculated between measuring sites. By comparing the results of simultaneous injection it was determined whether subsections of the study reach were influent or effluent. Evaluation of tracer concentrations along 116 m of stream indicated that all four tracers behaved conservatively. Discharges measured by Parshall flumes were 4-18% greater than discharges measured by tracer dilution. -from Author

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Testing and comparison of four ionic tracers to measure stream flow loss by multiple tracer injection
Series title:
Hydrological Processes
Volume
8
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Hydrological Processes
First page:
155
Last page:
165
Number of Pages:
11