Isotopes as indicators of environmental change

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In addition to providing an understanding of processes within a catchment system, isotopic techniques have been instrumental in providing reconstructions of catchment climate and other environmental indicators at various time scales. Many recent changes are a direct consequence of anthropogenic activities. Isotopic analysis serves as a valuable tool for distinguishing between natural variations in long-term climatic patterns and anthropogenic effects, yielding improved understanding of natural feedback mechanisms and the development of realistic remediation strategies. This chapter discusses the examples of isotopic techniques that have been applied to understand several types of ongoing and recent environmental changes, and in paleo-environmental studies. It discusses isotope geochemistry, hydrology, and climatology to look at new ways of applying isotopic tracing techniques to provide information on environmental change. It also gives an overview on how isotopic indicators are being applied in investigations of environmental change in continental settings.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Isotopes as indicators of environmental change
Chapter 22
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-444-81546-0.50029-X
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 56 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Isotope tracers in catchment hydrology
First page 761
Last page 816
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