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Using Stable Isotopes to Determine the Water Balance of Utah Lake (Utah, USA)

Department of Earth Science, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT 84058, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Now at Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.
Now at Malach Consulting, Spanish Fork, UT 84660, USA.
Hydrology 2020, 7(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology7040088
Received: 22 September 2020 / Revised: 22 October 2020 / Accepted: 13 November 2020 / Published: 16 November 2020
To investigate the hydrology of Utah Lake, we analyzed the hydrogen (δ2H) and oxygen (δ18O) stable isotope composition of water samples collected from the various components of its system. The average δ2H and δ18O values of the inlets are similar to the average values of groundwater, which in turn has a composition that is similar to winter precipitation. This suggests that snowmelt-fed groundwater is the main source of Utah Valley river waters. In addition, samples from the inlets plot close to the local meteoric water line, suggesting that no significant evaporation is occurring in these rivers. In contrast, the lake and its outlet have higher average δ-values than the inlets and plot along evaporation lines, suggesting the occurrence of significant evaporation. Isotope data also indicate that the lake is poorly mixed horizontally, but well mixed vertically. Calculations based on mass balance equations provide estimates for the percentage of input water lost by evaporation (~47%), for the residence time of water in the lake (~0.5 years), and for the volume of groundwater inflow (~700 million m3) during the period April to November. The short water residence time and the high percentage of total inflow coming from groundwater might suggest that the lake is more susceptible to groundwater pollution than to surface water pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: throughflow index; residence time; groundwater inflow; hydrogen isotopes; oxygen isotopes throughflow index; residence time; groundwater inflow; hydrogen isotopes; oxygen isotopes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zanazzi, A.; Wang, W.; Peterson, H.; Emerman, S.H. Using Stable Isotopes to Determine the Water Balance of Utah Lake (Utah, USA). Hydrology 2020, 7, 88. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology7040088

AMA Style

Zanazzi A, Wang W, Peterson H, Emerman SH. Using Stable Isotopes to Determine the Water Balance of Utah Lake (Utah, USA). Hydrology. 2020; 7(4):88. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology7040088

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zanazzi, Alessandro, Weihong Wang, Hannah Peterson, and Steven H. Emerman 2020. "Using Stable Isotopes to Determine the Water Balance of Utah Lake (Utah, USA)" Hydrology 7, no. 4: 88. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology7040088

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