EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Isotopic hydrograph separation in a small agricultural catchment

Borbála Széles1, Juraj Parajka1, Ladislav Holko2, Stefan Wyhlidal3, Katharina Schott4, Christine Stumpp5, Patrick Hogan1, Lovrenc Pavlin1, Peter Strauss6, and Günter Blöschl1
Borbála Széles et al.
  • 1Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria (
  • 2Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • 3NES, Nuclear Engineering Seibersdorf GmbH, Seibersdorf, Austria
  • 4Stable Isotope Group, Institute of Soil Science, BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Tulln, Austria
  • 5Institute for Soil Physics and Rural Water Management, BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 6Institute for Land and Water Management Research, Federal Agency of Water Management, Petzenkirchen, Austria

Exploring the isotopic composition of precipitation and streamflow in small catchments and the event and pre-event components of precipitation events using two-component isotopic hydrograph separation may better explain the overall catchment behaviour, more specifically the sources of water origin. This study’s main objective is to investigate the origin of water for different streamflow gauges in a small agricultural catchment, which represent different runoff generation mechanisms. The analysis will be performed in the Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL) in Austria, a 66 ha experimental catchment dominated by agricultural land use (Blöschl et al., 2016). One of the main specialities of this research catchment is that several tributaries of the catchment representing different runoff generation mechanisms are gauged, such as tile drainage flow or saturation excess runoff from erosion gullies. Two-component isotopic hydrograph separation (for both 18O and 2H) will be conducted for five streamflow gauges (catchment inlet and outlet, two erosion gullies and a tile drainage system) for multiple events in the period 2013-2018. The results will be linked and interpreted using additional observations such as time-lapse images of overland flow, electric conductivity measurements, groundwater level changes, evapotranspiration measurements, etc. The aim is to explain and discuss the processes of rainfall-runoff generation in small agricultural catchments.



Blöschl, G., et al. (2016). The Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL) in Petzenkirchen: A hypothesis‐driven observatory. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20(1), 227–255. doi: 10.5194/hess‐20‐227‐2016.

How to cite: Széles, B., Parajka, J., Holko, L., Wyhlidal, S., Schott, K., Stumpp, C., Hogan, P., Pavlin, L., Strauss, P., and Blöschl, G.: Isotopic hydrograph separation in a small agricultural catchment, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6209,, 2021.


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