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Chemical and isotopic fingerprinting of small ungauged watershed: How far the hydrological functioning can be understood?

Abstract : This study presents the ability of major/trace elements together with strontium isotopes to trace water origins at small scale at the outlet of a small watershed (Peyne, Hérault, France). Two small sub-basins draining distinct lithologies in their headwater (Plio-Villafranchian conglomerate versus Triassic gypsum-rich marls and dolomites) and the Miocene formations downstream are investigated. The Ca/Na vs. Mg/Na ratios and Ca/Sr vs. 87Sr/86Sr ratios allow the different facies that imprint the water signature to be identified, according to the hydrological conditions (low/high flows). Moreover, Sr isotopes evidence the two distinct Miocene facies, the sandy marls and the marine carbonates. The variation of the signature at the outlet of the basin allows identifying the main contributing compartments according to the hydrological conditions. This approach, based on a limited number of samples, highlights the potential of geochemical and isotopic tracers to define the contributing compartments to the runoff at the outlet of a basin. It thus could be considered as a potential alternative way to classical hydrological monitoring to delineate the main contributing areas during floods, especially in small ungauged river basins, where most of the devastating flash floods are recorded.
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https://hal-brgm.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01684709
Contributeur : Anne-Marie Pouget <>
Soumis le : lundi 15 janvier 2018 - 17:04:13
Dernière modification le : lundi 15 juin 2020 - 14:52:03

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Emmanuelle Petelet-Giraud, Jean-Marc Luck, Dalila Ben Othman, Christian Joseph, Philippe Négrel. Chemical and isotopic fingerprinting of small ungauged watershed: How far the hydrological functioning can be understood?. Comptes Rendus Géoscience, Elsevier Masson, 2016, 348 (5), pp.379 - 386. ⟨10.1016/j.crte.2016.03.001⟩. ⟨hal-01684709⟩

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