Hathaway, J. M., Petrone, R., Westbrook, C., Rooney, R., & Langs, L. (2022). Using Stable Water Isotopes to Analyze Spatiotemporal Variability and Hydrometeorological Forcing in Mountain Valley Wetlands. Water.
Hathaway, Julia M., R. Petrone, C. Westbrook, R. Rooney, and L. Langs. “Using Stable Water Isotopes to Analyze Spatiotemporal Variability and Hydrometeorological Forcing in Mountain Valley Wetlands.” Water (2022).
Hathaway, Julia M., et al. “Using Stable Water Isotopes to Analyze Spatiotemporal Variability and Hydrometeorological Forcing in Mountain Valley Wetlands.” Water, 2022.
Wetlands in Montane and Subalpine Subregions are increasingly recognized as important hydrologic features that support ecosystem function. However, it is currently not clear how climate trends will impact wetland hydrological processes (e.g., evaporative fluxes) across spatiotemporal scales. Therefore, identifying the factors that influence wetland hydrologic response to climate change is an important step in understanding the sensitivity of these ecosystems to environmental change. We used stable water isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen (δ2H and δ18O), coupled with climate data, to determine the spatiotemporal variability in isotopic signatures of wetland source waters and understand the influence of evaporative fluxes on wetlands in the Kananaskis Valley. Our results show that the primary runoff generation mechanism changes throughout the growing season resulting in considerable mixing in wetland surface waters. We found that evaporative fluxes increased with decreasing elevation and that isotopic values became further removed from meteoric water lines during the late peak- and into the post-growing seasons. These findings suggest that a change in the water balance in favor of enhanced evaporation (due to a warmer and longer summer season than present) will not only lead to greater water loss from the wetlands themselves but may also reduce the water inputs from their catchments.