, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 527-535

Hydrologic Pathways during Snowmelt in First-order Stream Basins at the Turkey Lakes Watershed

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Abstract

The chemical composition of stream and soil water collected from two first-order stream basins in the Turkey Lakes Watershed (TLW) during the spring melt periods of 1992–1996 was examined to determine the flowpaths of snowmelt to the stream channel. Soil water was intensively sampled from within the soil organic layers as well as above (shallow soil water) and within (deep soil water) a compact basal till. Stream SiO2 concentrations of the high-elevation basin 47 were the same as the levels found in shallow soil water, and forest-floor percolate SiO2 concentrations were elevated to these levels during intense melting periods. The SiO2 concentrations from the stream and the shallow and deep soil water were similar at the low-elevation basin 31. With the exception of deep soil water, water collected from the soil and stream at basin 47 had higher H+ and Al and lower base cation concentrations than basin 31. Stream Al concentrations were significantly correlated with forest-floor percolate Al concentrations at the high-elevation basin, whereas stream Al concentrations were correlated with mineral soil water Al concentrations at the low-elevation site. There were significant positive correlations between stream and shallow soil water H+ at both basins. Shallow soil water pathways, therefore, were an important contributor to streamflow, and influenced stream chemical response during the spring snowmelt at TLW.

Received 5 October 1999; accepted 16 August 2000.