Use of oxygen-18 and deuterium to assess the hydrology of groundwater-lake systems
A thorough understanding of a lake’s hydrology is essential for many lake studies. In some situations the interactions between groundwater systems and lakes are complex; in other cases the hydrology of a multilake system needs to be quantified. In such places, stable isotopes offer an alternative to the more traditional piezometer networks, which are costly to install and time-consuming to maintain. The stable-isotope mass-balance relations presented here can be used to estimate groundwater exchange rates for individual lakes and geographically clustered lakes. These relations also can be used to estimate other hydrological factors, such as average relative humidity. In places where the groundwater system is unstable (e.g., where flow reversals occur), natural solute tracers may provide a better alternative than stable isotopes for estimating rates of groundwater flow to and from lakes.
American Chemical Society
Washington, D. C.