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David W. Clow

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Concentrations of weathering products in streams often show relatively little variation compared to changes in discharge, both at event and annual scales. In this study, several hypothesized mechanisms for this “chemostatic behavior” were evaluated, and the potential for those mechanisms to influence relations between climate, weathering fluxes, and CO2 consumption via mineral weathering was assessed. Data from Loch Vale, an alpine catchment in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, indicates that cation exchange and seasonal precipitation and dissolution of amorphous or poorly crystalline aluminosilicates are important processes that help regulate solute concentrations in the stream; however, those processes have no direct...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Chemical Geology
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The National Weather Service's Snow Data Assimilation (SNODAS) program provides daily, gridded estimates of snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), and related snow parameters at a 1-km2 resolution for the conterminous USA. In this study, SNODAS snow depth and SWE estimates were compared with independent, ground-based snow survey data in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to assess SNODAS accuracy at the 1-km2 scale. Accuracy also was evaluated at the basin scale by comparing SNODAS model output to snowmelt runoff in 31 headwater basins with US Geological Survey stream gauges. Results from the snow surveys indicated that SNODAS performed well in forested areas, explaining 72% of the variance in snow depths and 77% of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Hydrological Processes
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The relationship between the chemical and isotopic composition of groundwater and residence times was used to understand the temporal variability in stream hydrochemistry in Sagehen basin, California. On the basis of the relationship between groundwater age and [Ca2+], the mean residence time of groundwater feeding Sagehen Creek during base flow is approximately 28 years. [Cl−]:[Ca2+] ratios in Sagehen Creek can be used to distinguish between two important processes: changes in the apparent age of groundwater discharging into the creek and dilution with snowmelt. The mean residence time of groundwater discharging into the creek is approximately 15 years during snowmelt periods. The results from this study have implications...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Water Resources Research
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Fluxes of CO2 and CH4 through a seasonal snowpack were measured in and adjacent to a subalpine wetland in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Gas diffusion through the snow was controlled by gas production or consumption in the soil and by physical snowpack properties. The snowpack insulated soils from cold midwinter air temperatures allowing microbial activity to continue through the winter. All soil types studied were net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere through the winter, whereas saturated soils in the wetland center were net emitters of CH4 and soils adjacent to the wetland were net CH4 consumers. Most sites showed similar temporal patterns in winter gas fluxes; the lowest fluxes occurred in early winter,...
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Relations between stream water chemistry and topographic, vegetative, and geologic characteristics of basins were evaluated for nine alpine/subalpine basins in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, to identify controlling parameters and to better understand processes governing patterns in stream water chemistry. Fractional amounts of steep slopes (≥30°), unvegetated terrain, and young surficial debris within each basin were positively correlated to each other. These terrain features, which commonly occur on steep valley side slopes underlain by talus, were negatively correlated with concentrations of base cations, silica, and alkalinity and were positively correlated with nitrate, acidity, and runoff. These relations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Water Resources Research
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