Seasonal cycles of dissolved constituents in streamwater in two forested catchments in the mid-Atlantic region of the eastern USA

Journal of Hydrology
By:  and 

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Abstract

Streamwater discharge and chemistry of two small catchments on Catoctin Mountain in north-central Maryland have been monitored since 1982. Repetitive seasonal cycles in stream-water chemistry have been observed each year, along with seasonal cycles in the volume of stream discharge and in groundwater levels. The hypothesis that the observed streamwater chemical cycles are related to seasonal changes in the hydrological flow paths that contribute to streamflow is examined using a combination of data on groundwater levels, shallow and deep groundwater chemistry, streamwater discharge, streamwater chemistry, soil-water chemistry, and estimates of water residence times. The concentrations of constituents derived from rock weathering, particularly bicarbonate and silica, increase in streamwater during the summer when the water table is below the regolith-bedrock interface and stream discharge consists primarily of deep groundwater from the fractured-bedrock aquifer. Conversely, the concentrations in streamwater of atmospherically derived components, particularly sulfate, increase in winter when the water table is above the regolith-bedrock interface and stream discharge consists primarily of shallow groundwater from the regolith. Tritium and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) measurements suggest that the groundwater in these systems is young, with a residence time of less than several years. The results of this study have implications for the design of large-scale water-quality monitoring programs. © 1995.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seasonal cycles of dissolved constituents in streamwater in two forested catchments in the mid-Atlantic region of the eastern USA
Series title Journal of Hydrology
DOI 10.1016/0022-1694(95)92713-N
Volume 170
Issue 1-4
Year Published 1995
Language English
Description 22 p.
First page 137
Last page 158
Country United States
State Maryland
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