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The seasonal variation in major ion geochemistry and H activities and catchment area, drainage density, mean slope, distance to stream, and landuse, imply that mean transit times are controlled by a variety of factors including the hydraulic properties of the soils and aquifers that are difficult to characterise spatially.
2009 Timing of brittle faulting and thermal events, Sydney region: association with the early stages of extension of East Gondwana. Correlative of Napperby Formation (Gunnedah Basin).
However, differences between mean transit times at different streamflows in the same catchment or between different subcatchments in the same area are more reliably estimated.
Despite the uncertainties, the conclusions that the mean transit times are years to decades and decrease with increasing streamflow are robust.
Estimating the time required for water to travel through headwater catchments from where it recharges to where it discharges into streams (the transit time) is important for understanding catchment behaviour.
This study uses tritium (H activities using a range of lumped parameter models are between 7 and 62 years and are longest during low streamflows.