Special Issue "Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ines Krajcar Bronić
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory for Low-level Radioactivities, Division of Experimental Physics, Institute Ruđer Bošković, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: radiocarbon; radiocarbon dating; tritium; stable isotopes in water; archaeology; ecology; environmental monitoring; LSC measurement techniques; biogenic component in fuels; carbonaceous sediments; radiation protection; palaeoclimatology; karst geochronology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jadranka Barešić
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory for Low-level Radioactivities, Division of Experimental Physics, Institute Ruđer Bošković, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: radiocarbon; tritium; stable isotopes; radiocarbon dating; marine reservoir effect; hydrology; environmental monitoring; ecology; karst geochronology; AMS-14C technique

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Studies of groundwater recharge and infiltration conditions, the mechanisms of mass transfer, and mixing of waters with different compositions and ages are among the basic problems of geology and hydrogeology. Isotope hydrology techniques have proved to be effective tools for solving many critical hydrological problems and processes, and they can provide information that could not be obtained by any other conventional means. Isotopes of hydrogen (3H, 2H) and oxygen (18O) are perfect candidates for groundwater tracers because they are constituent elements of the water molecule. Knowledge on the isotopic composition (δ18O, δ2H and 3H activity) in surface and groundwater has found wide applications in hydrology, such as determination of mean residence time of water in aquifers, the determination of recharge areas, mixing of surface and groundwater, the interconnections between aquifers, and the origin of groundwater. Contributions related to other isotopes (e.g., 15N, 34S, and many others), conceptual model development, water resources management on a local to regional scale, as well as papers on water isotopes applied in palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental studies are highly welcome.

Dr. Ines Krajcar Bronić
Dr. Jadranka Barešić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • isotope hydrology
  • water stable isotopes
  • Tritium
  • precipitation
  • groundwater
  • surface water
  • drip water
  • karst hydrology
  • anthropogenic releases
  • groundwater age
  • vulnerability of water resources and risks

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology
Water 2021, 13(4), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040430 - 07 Feb 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
The availability and quality of freshwater currently represent one of the great issues for mankind [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Using High-Frequency Water Vapor Isotopic Measurements as a Novel Method to Partition Daily Evapotranspiration in an Oak Woodland
Water 2020, 12(11), 2967; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12112967 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
Partitioning evapotranspiration (ET) into its constituent fluxes (transpiration (T) and evaporation (E)) is important for understanding water use efficiency in forests and other ecosystems. Recent advancements in cavity ringdown spectrometers (CRDS) have made collecting high-resolution water isotope [...] Read more.
Partitioning evapotranspiration (ET) into its constituent fluxes (transpiration (T) and evaporation (E)) is important for understanding water use efficiency in forests and other ecosystems. Recent advancements in cavity ringdown spectrometers (CRDS) have made collecting high-resolution water isotope data possible in remote locations, but this technology has rarely been utilized for partitioning ET in forests and other natural systems. To understand how the CRDS can be integrated with more traditional techniques, we combined stable isotope, eddy covariance, and sap flux techniques to partition ET in an oak woodland using continuous water vapor CRDS measurements and monthly soil and twig samples processed using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). Furthermore, we wanted to compare the efficacy of δ2H versus δ18O within the stable isotope method for partitioning ET. We determined that average daytime vapor pressure deficit and soil moisture could successfully predict the relative isotopic compositions of soil (δe) and xylem (δt) water, respectively. Contrary to past studies, δ2H and δ18O performed similarly, indicating CRDS can increase the utility of δ18O in stable isotope studies. However, we found a 41–49% overestimation of the contribution of T to ET (fT) when utilizing the stable isotope technique compared to traditional techniques (reduced to 4–12% when corrected for bias), suggesting there may be a systematic bias to the Craig-Gordon Model in natural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
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Article
Isotope Composition of Precipitation, Groundwater, and Surface and Lake Waters from the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Water 2020, 12(9), 2414; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092414 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
The application of tritium, 2H, and 18O in the characterization of the precipitation, groundwater, and surface and lake water of the Plitvice Lakes (PL), Croatia, over the 1979–2019 period is presented. An increase in the mean annual air temperature of 0.06 [...] Read more.
The application of tritium, 2H, and 18O in the characterization of the precipitation, groundwater, and surface and lake water of the Plitvice Lakes (PL), Croatia, over the 1979–2019 period is presented. An increase in the mean annual air temperature of 0.06 °C/year and in the annual precipitation amount of 10 mm/year is observed. The good correlation of the tritium activity concentration in the PL and Zagreb precipitation implies that the tritium data for Zagreb are applicable for the study of the PL area. The best local meteoric water line at PL was obtained by the reduced major axis regression (RMA) and precipitation-weighted ordinary least squares regression (PWLSR) approaches: δ2HPWLSR = (7.97 ± 0.12) δ18O + (13.8 ± 1.3). The higher deuterium excess at PL (14.0 ± 2.2 ‰) than that at Zagreb reflects the higher altitude and influence of the Mediterranean precipitation. The δ2H in precipitation ranges from −132.4‰ to −22.3‰ and δ18O from −18.3 ‰ to −4.1‰. The much narrower ranges in the groundwater (<1‰ in δ18O, <10‰ in δ2H) indicate the good mixing of waters in aquifers and short mean residence times. The higher average δ2H in all three karst springs observed after 2003 can be attributed to the increase in the mean air temperature. The mean δ2H and δ18O values in the surface and lake water increase downstream due to the evaporation of surface waters. There is no significant difference between the surface water line and the lake water line (2011–2014). The stable isotope composition of the surface and lake waters reacts to extreme hydrological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
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Article
Stable Isotope Hydrology of Cave Groundwater and Its Relevance for Speleothem-Based Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Croatia
Water 2020, 12(9), 2386; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092386 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 897
Abstract
Speleothems deposited from cave drip waters retain, in their calcite lattice, isotopic records of past environmental changes. Among other proxies, δ18O is recognized as very useful for this purpose, but its accurate interpretation depends on understanding the relationship between precipitation and [...] Read more.
Speleothems deposited from cave drip waters retain, in their calcite lattice, isotopic records of past environmental changes. Among other proxies, δ18O is recognized as very useful for this purpose, but its accurate interpretation depends on understanding the relationship between precipitation and drip water δ18O, a relationship controlled by climatic settings. We analyzed water isotope data of 17 caves from different latitudes and altitudes in relatively small but diverse Croatian karst regions in order to distinguish the dominant influences. Drip water δ18O in colder caves generally shows a greater resemblance to the amount-weighted mean of precipitation δ18O compared to warmer sites, where evaporation plays an important role. However, during glacial periods, today’s ‘warm’ sites were cold, changing the cave characteristics and precipitation δ18O transmission patterns. Superimposed on these settings, each cave has site-specific features, such as morphology (descending or ascending passages), altitude and infiltration elevation, (micro) location (rain shadow or seaward orientation), aquifer architecture (responsible for the drip water homogenization) and cave atmosphere (governing equilibrium or kinetic fractionation). This necessitates an individual approach and thorough monitoring for best comprehension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
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Article
Regional Isotopic Signatures of Groundwater in Croatia
Water 2020, 12(7), 1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12071983 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
Tracer methods are useful for investigating groundwater travel times and recharge rates and analysing impacts on groundwater quality. The most frequently used tracers are stable isotopes and tritium. Stable isotopes of oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δ2H) are [...] Read more.
Tracer methods are useful for investigating groundwater travel times and recharge rates and analysing impacts on groundwater quality. The most frequently used tracers are stable isotopes and tritium. Stable isotopes of oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δ2H) are mainly used as indicators of the recharge condition. Tritium (3H) is used to estimate an approximate mean groundwater age. This paper presents the results of an analysis of stable isotope data and tritium activity in Croatian groundwater samples that were collected between 1997 and 2014 at approximately 100 sites. The composition of the stable isotopes of groundwater in Croatia originates from recent precipitation and is described using two regional groundwater lines. One of them is applied to groundwater accumulated in the aquifers in the Pannonian part of Croatia and the other is for groundwater accumulated in the Dinaric karst of Croatia. The isotope content shows that the studied groundwater is mainly modern water. A mix of sub-modern and modern water is mostly accumulated in semi-confined porous aquifers in northern Croatia, deep carbonate aquifers, and (sub)thermal springs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
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Article
Analysis of the Spatial Distribution of Stable Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotopes in Precipitation across the Iberian Peninsula
Water 2020, 12(2), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020481 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1074
Abstract
The isotopic composition of precipitation provides insight into the origin of water vapor, and the conditions attained during condensation and precipitation. Thus, the spatial variation of oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope composition (δp) and d-excess of precipitation was explored across [...] Read more.
The isotopic composition of precipitation provides insight into the origin of water vapor, and the conditions attained during condensation and precipitation. Thus, the spatial variation of oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope composition (δp) and d-excess of precipitation was explored across the Iberian Peninsula for October 2002–September 2003 with 24 monitoring stations of the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP), and for October 2004–June 2006, in which 13 GNIP stations were merged with 21 monitoring stations from a regional network in NW Iberia. Spatial autocorrelation structure of monthly and amount weighted seasonal/annual mean δp values was modelled, and two isoscapes were derived for stable oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in precipitation with regression kriging. Only using the GNIP sampling network, no spatial autocorrelation structure of δp could have been determined due to the scarcity of the network. However, in the case of the merged GNIP and NW dataset, for δp a spatial sampling range of ~450 km in planar distance (corresponding to ~340 km in geodetic distance) was determined. The range of δp, which also broadly corresponds to the range of the d-excess, probably refers to the spatially variable moisture contribution of the western, Atlantic-dominated, and eastern, Mediterranean-dominated domain of the Iberian Peninsula. The estimation error of the presented Iberian precipitation isoscapes, both for oxygen and hydrogen, is smaller than the ones that were reported for the regional subset of one of the most widely used global model, suggesting that the current regional model provides a higher predictive power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
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Article
Effects of Farming Activities on the Temporal and Spatial Changes of Hydrogen and Oxygen Isotopes Present in Groundwater in the Hani Rice Terraces, Southwest China
Water 2020, 12(1), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010265 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 836
Abstract
Landform changes caused by human activities can directly affect the recharge of groundwater, and are reflected in the temporal and spatial changes in groundwater stable isotope composition. These changes are particularly evident in high-intensity farming areas. In this study, we tested and analyzed [...] Read more.
Landform changes caused by human activities can directly affect the recharge of groundwater, and are reflected in the temporal and spatial changes in groundwater stable isotope composition. These changes are particularly evident in high-intensity farming areas. In this study, we tested and analyzed groundwater stable isotope samples at different elevations of rice terraces in a typical agricultural watershed of the Hani Terraces, a World Heritage Cultural Landscape in southwest China. Thus, we determined the characteristic variations and factors that influence the temporal and spatial effects on groundwater stable isotopes in the Hani Terraces, which are under the influence of high-intensity farming activities. The elevation gradients of δ18O and δ2H in groundwater are significantly increased due to farming activities. The values were 0.88‰ (100 m)−1 and −4.5‰ (100 m)−1, respectively, and they changed with time. The groundwater circulation cycle is approximately three months. We also used the special temporal and spatial variation characteristics of the groundwater isotopes as a way to evaluate the source and periodic changes of groundwater recharge. In addition, high-intensity rice farming activities, such as ploughing every year from October to January can increase the supply of terraced water to groundwater, thus ensuring the sustainability of rice cultivation in the terraces during the dry season. This demonstrates the role of human wisdom in the sustainable and benign transformation of surface cover and the regulation of groundwater circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
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