Water and solute transport along hydrological pathways
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Water Resources Research
Volume 48, Issue 6, June 2012
How to Cite
2012), Water and solute transport along hydrological pathways, Water Resour. Res., 48, W06537, doi:10.1029/2011WR011367., , , and (
- Issue published online: 30 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 10 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 6 SEP 2011
- Lagrangian modeling;
- hydrological transport;
- water residence time
 A Lagrangian framework for material transport along hydrological pathways is presented and consequences of statistically stationary space-time flow velocity variations on advective transport are investigated. The two specific questions addressed in this work are: How do temporal fluctuations affect forward and backward water travel time distributions when combined with spatial variability? and Can mass transfer processes be quantified using conditional probabilities in spatially and temporally variable flow? Space-time trajectories are studied for generic conditions of flow, with fully ergodic or only spatially ergodic velocity. It is shown that forward and backward distributions of advective water travel time coincide for statistically stationary space-time variations. Temporal variability alters the statistical structure of the Lagrangian velocity fluctuations. Once this is accounted for, integration of the memory function with the travel time distribution is applicable for quantifying retention. Further work is needed to better understand the statistical structure of space-time velocity variability in hydrological transport, as well as its impact on tracer retention and attenuation.