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Isotopic study of sulfate sources and residence times in a subalpine watershed

Environmental Geology

By:
, ORCID iD , and
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00254-002-0684-y

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Abstract

Stable sulfur and oxygen isotope ratios and naturally occurring 35SSO4 activities were used to examine sulfate sources, address the role of sulfur dynamics, and estimate residence times of atmospherically derived sulfate in Loch Vale Watershed, Colorado. In 1996, surface water samples from small streams flowing through talus, forest, and wetland areas had δ34SSO4 values ranging from 1.8 to 3.7‰. Values of δ18OSO4 at the three sites ranged from –1.3 to 3.7‰. Average δ34SSO4 and δ18OSO4 values in Loch Vale precipitation (1991–1999) are higher (5.2 and 13.6, respectively) than surface water values, indicating that some of the deposited sulfate is transformed and/or mixed with other sulfur sources in the watershed (e.g. mineral and organic sulfur). Sulfate ages determined by 35SSO4 activities support this and show that deposited sulfate may be stored on a timescale of 1 year or more prior to being released to surface waters.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Isotopic study of sulfate sources and residence times in a subalpine watershed
Series title:
Environmental Geology
DOI:
10.1007/s00254-002-0684-y
Volume:
43
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
8 p.
First page:
606
Last page:
613