Surface and subsurface waters were monitored and sampled at various topographic positions in a 40.5-ha headwater catchment to test several hypotheses of runoff generation and stream chemical and isotopic evolution during snowmelt. Transmissivity feedback was observed on the hillslopes during the melt period. Groundwater levels and stream DOC were highly correlated with stream discharge. Hysteresis in the groundwater-streamflow relation suggests that localized water flux from the riparian areas controlled the rising limb and main peak response of the melt hydrograph, whilst hillslope drainage controlled the timing and volume of the falling limb. Lateral flow from upslope positions was detected in the riparian zone.