Isotopic variation in storm rainfall is an important consideration in hydrograph separation using the mass balance approach but is rarely considered when determining the accuracy of old water estimates. Study of a small watershed on the South Island of New Zealand in which new water is a major component of the storm hydrograph shows that, in addition to the within‐storm isotopic variations themselves, rainfall weighting techniques may substantially influence estimates of old/new water as a function of both total runoff and total quick flow production. Two incremental approaches to rainfall weighting are presented. Results show that within‐storm incremental weighting is better than the standard weighting technique, which imposes a total storm rainfall value exogenously on the mass balance equation.
Water Resources Research – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1990
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