Small catchments provide water to larger streams and are important sources of fresh water for ecosystems. Therefore, understanding the hydrological functioning of small catchments is essential to understand floods, droughts, and the impacts of land use or climate change on water resources.
Environmental tracers can be used to track water along its flow pathways from the input, as precipitation or snowmelt, to the output, as streamflow or plant transpiration. The stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen are particularly powerful as they are part of the water molecule. Read more.