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New Insights from the Use of Carbon Isotopes as Tracers of Doc Sources and Doc Transport Processes in Headwater Catchments : Volume 10, Issue 11 (20/11/2013)

By Lambert, T.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003992432
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 43
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: New Insights from the Use of Carbon Isotopes as Tracers of Doc Sources and Doc Transport Processes in Headwater Catchments : Volume 10, Issue 11 (20/11/2013)  
Author: Lambert, T.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 11
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany


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Lambert, T., Jeanneau, L., Petitjean, P., Pierson-Wickmann, A., Gruau, G., Jaffrezic, A., & Thibault, J. (2013). New Insights from the Use of Carbon Isotopes as Tracers of Doc Sources and Doc Transport Processes in Headwater Catchments : Volume 10, Issue 11 (20/11/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre de Rennes, CNRS, UMR6118 Géosciences Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France. Monitoring the isotopic composition (δ13CDOC) of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) during flood events can be helpful for locating DOC sources in catchments and quantifying their relative contribution to DOC stream flux. High-resolution (< hourly basis) δ13CDOC data were obtained on six successive storm events occurring during the high-flow period in a small headwater catchment from western France. Intra-storm δ13CDOCvalues exhibit a marked temporal variability, with some storms showing large variations (>2‰), and others yielding a very restricted range of values (<1‰). Comparison of these results with previously published data shows that the range of intra-storm δ13CDOC values closely reflects the temporal and spatial variation in δ13CDOC observed in the riparian soils of this catchment during the same period. Using δ13C data in conjunction with hydrometric monitoring and an end-member mixing approach, we show that (i) >80% of the stream DOC flux flows through the most superficial soil horizons of the riparian domain and (ii) the soil DOC flux is comprised of DOC coming ultimately from both riparian and upland domains. Based on its δ13C fingerprint, we find that the upland DOC contribution decreases from ca. 30% of the stream DOC flux at the beginning of the high-flow period to <10% later in this period. Overall, upland domains contribute significantly to stream DOC export, but act as a size-limited reservoir, whereas soils in the wetland domains act as a near-infinite reservoir. Through this study, we show that δ13CDOC provides a powerful tool for tracing DOC sources and DOC transport mechanisms in headwater catchments.

New insights from the use of carbon isotopes as tracers of DOC sources and DOC transport processes in headwater catchments

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