GOMEZ Maria Laura
Ionic and stable isotope chemistry as indicators of water sources to the Mendoza river basin, Central Andes of Argentina
CRESPO, S; ARANIBAR, J.; GOMEZ, M. L.; SCHWIKOWSKI, M.; BRUETSCH, S.; CARA, L.; VILLALBA, R.
HYDROLOGICAL SCIENCES JOURNAL-JOURNAL DES SCIENCES HYDROLOGIQUES
Lugar: Oxfordshire; Año: 2017 vol. 1 p. 588 - 588
REVISTA CON Q1 The Mendoza River is located in the North of Mendoza province (Argentina) with an average annual discharge of 47m3/s, that provides water for domestic use, irrigation, industry, and hydroelectric energy generation for more than 1 million people. This water supply is mainly dependent on snow and ice melt from the Andes. Climate change may modify the spatial and seasonal patterns of precipitation and glacier melt: it is therefore important to quantify the relative contribution of each source to the river?s flow. We propose that differences in precipitation systems, geology, and sediment contact times of different surface areas and recharge sources provide differentiable chemical and stable isotopic signatures to the water, allowing the identification of its geographic and hydrologic origin. The two main north-south mountain ranges in this region- the Cordillera Frontal and Cordillera Principal- receive different contributions of precipitation from Atlantic and Pacific moisture sources. Waters from both mountain ranges have different stable isotope and ion chemistry. In addition, water derived from different ice bodies, snow, and groundwater, also differ in their stable isotope and/or ion composition. This preliminary study indicates that it is possible to identify the relative contributions of precipitation from the Cordillera Principal and Cordillera Frontal and also identify the main water sources (groundwater, glacier, debris covered glacier and rock glacier) contributing to the streams of the Mendoza river basin.