Using stable isotopes of water to infer wetland hyddrological dynamics

Christopher Bradley, Anthony Gerrard, MJ Leng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper considers the potential of oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios to identify spatial and temporal changes in the water source of a lowland headwater wetland situated adjacent to the River Tern in Shropshire, UK. Stable isotope composition (6180) of end-members varied between -7.5 and -8.0%. For groundwater, -7.3 and -8.5%. for river-water and -4.5 and -8.0- for precipitation. Water samples were extracted from six nests each comprising three porous cup samplers at depths or 0.2 m, 0.5 m and 1.0 m between June 2000 and October 2001, and their isotope compositions determined. Groundwater appears to be the main source of water to the wetland, but stable isotope ratios enable seasonal variations in the contribution of precipitation to be determined, and indicate the extent of precipitation storage within the wetland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1173
Number of pages10
JournalHydrology and Earth System Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • oxygen and hydrogen isotopes
  • water source
  • hydrodynamics
  • lowland wetland


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