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Assessment of the impact of pools on the water isotopic signature of a boreal patterned peatland.

Carrer, Gwenael; Rousseau, Alain N.; Jutras, Sylvain; Fossey, Maxime (2016). Assessment of the impact of pools on the water isotopic signature of a boreal patterned peatland. Hydrological Processes , vol. 30 , nº 8. p. 1292-1307. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10715.

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Résumé

Recent studies have shown that boreal peatlands exhibit considerable chemical variability but without clear spatial pattern. This chemical heterogeneity illustrates the complex hydrological behaviour of peatlands, particularly patterned fen. Isotopic, chemical and physical tracers were used to describe the hydrological behaviour of a small boreal headwater catchment (13 ha) during the snow-free period with a special emphasis on the downstream patterned fen. Results showed that shallow pools were mixed every day during the summer, particularly during nights or discharge periods. Despite large water storage capacities in pools, which should induce large buffer effect, hydrological behaviour of patterned fen is more similar to a piston flow process. This is probably due to the division of the fen into successive small cascading streamflow reservoirs. The consequences were a rapid change of the chemical signature throughout the fen, particularly upstream. A spatial pattern was observed downstream in early summer. The isotopic signature passed from an upstream depleted and homogeneous signature to a progressively enriched downstream signature. However, this pattern was not identified during the wetter period (late summer), probably because the discharge, which dominated the water budget, decreased the surface water residence time and flushed a large proportion of stored surface water. We developed for this patterned fen a conceptual model of the surface flow to explain these particular mixing effects and the implications on the dynamics of the chemical signature. To further our understanding of similar boreal headwater catchments, future work should include the development of a multiple mixed-reservoir model.

Type de document:
Mots-clés libres: fen peatland; pools; isotopes; mixing; surface flow;
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 20 déc. 2016 15:00
Dernière modification: 21 déc. 2016 14:46
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/3817

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