Catchments as laboratories – Tracing water and solutes through the whole water balance
IPGP - Îlot Cuvier
Séminaires thème Système Terre
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Catchments are the place where water interacts with the landscape to support terrestrial life, including human’s. They can be seen as large and heterogeneous biogeochemical reactors, or as fundamental organizing structures for landforms and ecosystems. Catchments are also the ideal domain to formulate and close the water balance, but simply closing the water balance offers little insight into the actual time that water and solutes spend in the subsurface before being evaporated or drained to a river network. Tracing the water balance is the needed next step to understand which water sustains vegetation and feeds streams. This can be achieved by coupling transport models to experimental tracer data. In this seminar, I will introduce the water-age balance and show how it can help us understand tracer circulation in catchments, with implications for reactive solute transport.