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Article

Constraining the Water Cycle Model of an Important Karstic Catchment in Southeast Tibetan Plateau Using Isotopic Tracers (2H, 18O, 3H, 222Rn)

by 1,2,3, 1,2,3,*, 4, 1,2,3, 4, 5 and 6
1
Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
Innovation Academy for Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3
College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve Administrative Bureau, Zhangzha Town, Jiuzhaigou 623402, China
5
Aba Bureau of Hydrology and Water Resources Survey, Wenchuan 623000, China
6
China-Croatia “Belt and Road” Joint Laboratory on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3306; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123306
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 2 November 2020 / Accepted: 17 November 2020 / Published: 24 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Understanding the connectivity between surface water and groundwater is key to sound geo-hazard prevention and mitigation in a waterscape such as the Jiuzhaigou Natural World Heritage Site in the southeast Tibetan Plateau, China. In this study, we used environmental isotope tracers (2H, 18O 3H, and 222Rn) to constrain a water cycle model including confirming hydrological pathways, connectivity, and water source identification in the Jiuzhaigou catchments. We established the local meteoric water line (LMWL) based on the weekly precipitation isotope sampling of a precipitation station. We systematically collected water samples from various water bodies in the study area to design the local water cycle model. The regional water level and discharge changes at one month after the earthquake indicated that there was a hydraulic connection underground across the local water divide between the Rize (RZ) river in the west and Zechawa (ZCW) lake in the east by the δ18O and δ2H measurements. We employed an end-member mixing model to identify and quantify Jiuzhaigou runoff-generating sources and their contributions, and we found that the average contributions of precipitation and groundwater to the surface runoff in the catchments are about 30% and 70%, respectively. The two branches of the Shuzheng (SZ) trunk were recharged by 62 ± 19% from the ZCW lake and 38 ± 19% from the RZ river, which was consistent with the fractions calculated by the actual discharge volume. 222Rn mass balance analyses were employed to estimate the water exchange between groundwater and river, which further confirmed this estimate. 222Rn concentrations and 3H contents showed that the groundwater had a short residence time and it was moderate precipitation, thought the contribution of groundwater to the river was 70%, according to the different tracers. A three-dimensional conceptual model of the water cycle that integrated the regional hydrological and geological conditions was established for the catchments. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydraulic connection; end-member mixing model; 222Rn; groundwater–surface water interactions; Jiuzhaigou; Changhai Lake; water cycle model hydraulic connection; end-member mixing model; 222Rn; groundwater–surface water interactions; Jiuzhaigou; Changhai Lake; water cycle model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liao, D.; Pang, Z.; Xiao, W.; Hao, Y.; Du, J.; Yang, X.; Sun, G. Constraining the Water Cycle Model of an Important Karstic Catchment in Southeast Tibetan Plateau Using Isotopic Tracers (2H, 18O, 3H, 222Rn). Water 2020, 12, 3306. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123306

AMA Style

Liao D, Pang Z, Xiao W, Hao Y, Du J, Yang X, Sun G. Constraining the Water Cycle Model of an Important Karstic Catchment in Southeast Tibetan Plateau Using Isotopic Tracers (2H, 18O, 3H, 222Rn). Water. 2020; 12(12):3306. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123306

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liao, Dawei, Zhonghe Pang, Weiyang Xiao, Yinlei Hao, Jie Du, Xiaobo Yang, and Geng Sun. 2020. "Constraining the Water Cycle Model of an Important Karstic Catchment in Southeast Tibetan Plateau Using Isotopic Tracers (2H, 18O, 3H, 222Rn)" Water 12, no. 12: 3306. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123306

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