Storage selection functions: A coherent framework for quantifying how catchments store and release water and solutes

Andrea Rinaldo*, Paolo Benettin, C.J. Harman, Markus Hrachowitz, K.J. McGuire, Ype Van Der Velde, Enrico Bertuzzo, Gianluca Botter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We discuss a recent theoretical approach combining catchment-scale flow and transport processes into a unified framework. The approach is designed to characterize the hydrochemistry of hydrologic systems and to meet the challenges posed by empirical evidence. StorAge Selection functions (SAS) are defined to represent the way catchment storage supplies the outflows with water of different ages, thus regulating the chemical composition of out-fluxes. Biogeochemical processes are also reflected in the evolving residence time distribution and thus in age-selection. Here we make the case for the routine use of SAS functions and look forward to areas where further research is needed. Key Points: Storage selection functions recapitulate age dynamics Formulation of transport by travel time distributions Flow and transport at catchment scales

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4840-4847
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume51
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • basin-scale transport
  • biogeochemical processes
  • hydrologic response
  • mixing and dispersion
  • residence time distributions
  • travel time distributions

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