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'High frequency monitoring of stable isotopes in an urban stream'
Crystal Tulley-Cordova (tulleycordova@gmail.com), University of Utah



For several decades hydrologists have recognized that the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen and oxygen can be used to distinguish different sources of water contributing to stream discharge. The majority of these “isotope hydrograph separation” studies have shown that old water (water stored within the catchment prior to a precipitation event) is the dominant contributor to storm event runoff in most stream systems, with small contributions of new water (storm precipitation). 2,3 Limited data from urban systems show a stronger response to storm precipitation, but the main contributor to the stream continues to be groundwater.1 I propose to research the relationship between urban and natural systems by conducting isotopic research on Red Butte Creek. This work will address the following questions: Is the balance of old and new water contributions to runoff different in the pristine and urban stream sections? Is there a change in the balance of old and new water contributions throughout the seasonal cycle? 1Sidle, W. C. and P.Y. Lee. “Urban Stormwater Tracing with the Naturally Occurring Deuterium Isotope”Water Environment Research (1999) , Vol. 71, No. 6, pp. 1251-1256. Web. 8 Jan. 2013 2 Wels, C., C.H. Taylor, R.J. Cornett, and B.D. Lazerte. “Streamflow generation in a headwater basin on the precambrian shield.” Hydrological Processes (1991), vol. 5, issue 2, pp. 185-199. Web. 7 Jan. 2013 3Buttle, J. M., A. M. Vonk, and C. H. Taylor. 'Applicability of isotopic hydrograph separation in a suburban basin during snowmelt.' Hydrological Processes 9.2 (1995): 197-211