Sunday, June 29, 2014

Residence time approaches to the hydrological budgets

The natural evolution of geomorphic unit hydrograph approach to the hydrologic response is the analysis of residence time of water for any of the processes in the hydrological budget. Indeed,  there exists something already done in this direction of research, and can be found in the work of Andrea Rinaldo and collaborators. Gianluca Botter talked about the topic in his speech reported here, in a recent post. Without the claim to be very general, very deep, or very informed, I am collecting here some papers of the group on the subject.
Residence time is important under several aspects. The more direct application of theories per residence time seems to be the estimation of pollutants transport around the catchments, but the use of isotopic tracers to determine the age of water, immediately move their applications also the  understanding of the dynamics of runoff formation with mixing between various "waters". If plants are included, also evapotranspiration can become part of the game thus modifying what we expect (See also the post here with related references). Why not, then, make a step forward and use the theory also for temperature (as a passive tracer) ?
This could disclose a way to follow the entropy production and fluxes in the hydrological cycle at catchment scale: a topic in itself.


Benettin, P., A. Rinaldo, and G. Botter (2013), Kinematics of age mixing in advection-dispersion models, Water Resour. Res., 49, 8539–8551, doi:10.1002/2013WR014708.

E. Bertuzzo, M. Thomet, G. Botter, A. Rinaldo, Catchment-scale herbicides transport: Theory and application, Advances in Water Resources 52 (2013), p. 232–242

Botter, G., E. Bertuzzo, and A. Rinaldo (2010), Transport in the hydrologic response: Travel time distributions, soil moisture dynamics, and the old water paradox, Water Resour. Res., 46, W03514, doi:10.1029/2009WR008371.

Botter, G., E. Bertuzzo, and A. Rinaldo (2011), Catchment residence and travel time distributions:
The master equation, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L11403, doi:10.1029/2011GL047666

Botter, G., Catchment mixing processes and travel time distributions, Water Resour. Res., 48, W05545, doi:10.1029/2011WR011160.

F. Comola, B. Schaefli, A. Rinaldo and M. Lehning, Thermodynamics in the hydrologic response: Travel time formulation and application to Alpine catchments, Water resour. Res., Accepted manuscript online: 13 FEB 2015 03:59AM EST | DOI: 10.1002/2014WR016228

Cornaton, F., and P. Perrochet (2006), Groundwater age, life expectancy and tran- sit time distributions in advective-dispersive systems: 1. Generalized reservoir the- ory, Advances in Water Resources, 29(9), 1267–1291, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2005. 10.009. 

Cornaton, F. J. (2012), Transient water age distributions in environmental flow systems: The time-marching Laplace transform solution technique, Water Resources Research, 48(3), n/a–n/a, doi:10.1029/2011WR010606. 

Cvetkovic, V., C. Carstens, J.-O. Selroos, and G. Destouni (2012), Water and solute transport along hydrological pathways, Water Resources Research, 48(6), W06,537, doi:10.1029/2011WR011367. 

Ginn, T. R. (1999), On the distribution of multicomponent mixtures over generalized ex- posure time in subsurface flow and reactive transport: Foundations, and formulations for groundwater age, chemical heterogeneity, and biodegradation, Water Resources Research, 35(5), 1395–1407. 

Ginn, T. R., H. Haeri, A. Massoudieh, and L. Foglia (2009), Notes on Groundwater Age in Forward and Inverse Modeling, Transport in Porous Media, 79(1), 117–134, doi:10.1007/s11242-009-9406-1. 

Harman, C. J. (2014), Time-variable transit time distributions and transport: Theory and application to storage-dependent transport of chloride in a watershed, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2014WR015707. 

Kirchner, J., X. Feng, and C. Neal (2001), Catchment-scale advection and dispersion as a mechanism for fractal scaling in stream tracer concentrations, Journal of Hydrology, 254(1-4), 82–101, doi:{10.1016/S0022-1694(01)00487-5}. 

McDonnell, J., et al. (2010), How old is the water ? Open questions in catchment transit time conceptualization, modelling and analysis, Hydrol. Processes, 24(12), 1745–1754.

McGuire, K. J., and J. J. McDonnell (2006), A review and evaluation of catchment transit time modelling, J. Hydrol., 330, 543–563.

Niemi, A. J. (1977), Residence time distribution of variable flow processes, Int. J. Appl. Radiat. Isot., 28, 855–860.

Rinaldo, A. and Rodriguez-Iturbe, I., Geomorphological theory of the hydrologic response, Hydrol Proc., vol 10, 803-829, 1996

Rinaldo, A., K. J. Beven, E. Bertuzzo, L. Nicotina, J. Davies, A. Fiori, D. Russo, and G. Botter (2011), Catchment travel time distributions and water flow in soils, Water Resour. Res., 47, W07537, doi:10.1029/2011WR010478. (See also the complimentary material: here)

van der Velde, Y., P. J. J. F. Torfs, S. E. A. T. M. van der Zee, and R. Uijlenhoet (2012), Quantifying catchment-scale mixing and its effect on time-varying travel time distributions, Water Resources Research, 48, doi:{10.1029/2011WR011310}. 

Weiler, M., B. L. McGlynn, K. J. McGuire, and J. J. McDonnell (2003), How does rainfall become runoff? a combined tracer and runoff transfer function approach, Water Resources Research, 39(11), n/a–n/a, doi:10.1029/2003WR002331. 

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