Contrasting transit times of water from peatlands and eucalypt forests in the Australian Alps determined by tritium: implications for vulnerability and the source of water in upland catchments

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Date: Dec. 1, 2016
From: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences(Vol. 20, Issue 12)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 300 words

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Abstract :

Peatlands are a distinctive and important component of many upland regions that commonly contain distinctive flora and fauna which are different from those of adjacent forests and grasslands. Peatlands also represent a significant long-term store of organic carbon. While their environmental importance has long since been recognised, water transit times within peatlands are not well understood. This study uses tritium (.sup.3 H) to estimate the mean transit times of water from peatlands and from adjacent gullies that contain eucalypt forests in the Victorian Alps (Australia). The .sup.3 H activities of the peatland water range from 2.7 to 3.3 tritium units (TUs), which overlap the measured (2.9 to 3.0 TU) and expected (2.8 to 3.2 TU) average .sup.3 H activities of rainfall in this region. Even accounting for seasonal recharge by rainfall with higher .sup.3 H activities, the mean transit times of the peatland waters are 

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A482226040