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Snowmelt hydrograph interpretation: Revealing watershed scale hydrologic characteristics of the Yellowstone volcanic plateau

Journal of Hydrology

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.12.037

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Abstract

Snowmelt hydrograph analysis and groundwater age dates of cool water springs on the Yellowstone volcanic plateau provide evidence of high volumes of groundwater circulation in watersheds comprised of quaternary Yellowstone volcanics. Ratios of maximum to minimum mean daily discharge and average recession indices are calculated for watersheds within and surrounding the Yellowstone volcanic plateau. A model for snowmelt recession is used to separate groundwater discharge from overland runoff, and compare groundwater systems. Hydrograph signal interpretation is corroborated with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and tritium concentrations in cool water springs on the Yellowstone volcanic plateau. Hydrograph parameters show a spatial pattern correlated with watershed geology. Watersheds comprised dominantly of quaternary Yellowstone volcanics are characterized by slow streamflow recession, low maximum to minimum flow ratios. Cool springs sampled within the Park contain CFC's and tritium and have apparent CFC age dates that range from about 50 years to modern. Watersheds comprised of quaternary Yellowstone volcanics have a large volume of active groundwater circulation. A large, advecting groundwater field would be the dominant mechanism for mass and energy transport in the shallow crust of the Yellowstone volcanic plateau, and thus control the Yellowstone hydrothermal system. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Snowmelt hydrograph interpretation: Revealing watershed scale hydrologic characteristics of the Yellowstone volcanic plateau
Series title:
Journal of Hydrology
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.12.037
Volume
383
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Hydrology
First page:
209
Last page:
222
Number of Pages:
14