H8. Tracer Applications in Hydrologic Studies

Use of tracers, radioactive and stable isotopes, geochemical, including stable isotopes of water, and artificial tracers are invaluable tools in the study of watershed function and variation in hydrological processes, and the investigation of impacts of climate change, and other anthropogenic influences on hydrological systems. Tracer-based approaches help to advance our knowledge of hydrological function across a wide range of scales and landscapes by investigation of source water contributions to streamflow, mean transit times, spatial and temporal dynamics in dominant hydrological processes, flowpaths and nutrient transport, and soil-plant relationships. Moreover, tracer-enabled distributed hydrologic models are a new generation of models that simulate hydrological processes constrained by both hydrometric measurements (e.g. streamflow) and tracers (e.g., stable isotopes of water). The potential of these models to advance flood prediction and estimate the impacts of climate change on water resources, and variation in source water contribution to the streamflow are an exciting evolving field of study. This session aims to attract a spectrum of recent studies that apply tracer-enabled approaches to study and/or solve hydrology-related issues for a wide range of applications, including the following themes: 

  • Use of tracer-based approaches to investigate hydrological processes 
  • Application of tracer-enabled hydrological models 
  • Advances in tracer-enabled model representation, calibration and verification approaches 
  • Use of tracers and tracer-enabled models to investigate the impacts of climate change and other anthropogenic influences