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Dynamic lateral, vertical, and longitudinal hydrologic connectivity drive runoff and carbon export across watershed scales
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|Aug 20, 2018 at 5:50 p.m.
|Aug 20, 2018 at 6:26 p.m.
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Dynamic Connectivity in the Landscape
Chair: Adam Ward (Indiana University)
Connectivity between different locations on the landscape is defined by the movement of water, solutes, energy, and organisms. The magnitude and persistence of connections is critical to prediction of ecological functions, many of which are mediated by hydrological stores and fluxes. In this session we consider connectivity as a spatially and temporally variable process in catchments and river systems.
"Dynamic lateral, vertical, and longitudinal hydrologic connectivity drive runoff and carbon export across watershed scales"
Speaker: Margaret Zimmer (University of California Santa Cruz)
The influence of temporally dynamic lateral, vertical, and longitudinal connectivity of runoff source areas on hydrologic and biogeochemical fluxes across watershed scales is poorly understood. To address this, we monitored the timing, magnitude and chemical composition of precipitation, runoff, and runoff-generating flow paths in nested 3.3 and 48.4 ha watersheds (North Carolina, USA). These watersheds are comprised of ephemeral and intermittent runoff-producing headwaters and perennial runoff-producing lowlands. We monitored the active surface drainage network, which reflected connectivity to, and contributions from, runoff source areas that shifted within baseflow and stormflow conditions. The overall importance of deeper, baseflow-associated and shallower, stormflow-activated source area contributions varied across watershed scales and influenced dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export. The dominant temporal variability of in-stream DOC was driven by frequent event-based flushing of shallow soil zones and annual replenishment. Our findings suggest that hydro-biogeochemical signals at larger watershed outlets can be driven by the expansion, contraction, and connection of lateral, longitudinal, and vertical source areas that reflect distinct runoff generation processes.
|CUAHSI's 2018 Biennial Colloquium
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