815328 Isotope and tracer hydrology

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Sommersemester 2023
Languages of instruction


- Basics of environmental and artifical tracers in hydrology (especially isotopes)
- Research and practical applications of isotopes and tracers
- Properties of various tracers
- Basics of isotope hydrology: What are isotopes? What is isotope fractionation? Which isotopes are used in hydrology?
- Focus on the isotopes of water and their spatiotemporal variability in the water cycle
- Analysing tracer data, inlcuding mathematical modeling
- Planing and executing artifical tracer experiments
- Quantifying flow and transport in the hydrological cycle
- Identify water sources, pollutant sources, transformation processes of nutrients and pollutants
- Estimating water age and transit time distributions
- Isotopes and tracer to assess vulnerability of water resources
- hands-on planning, executing and analysing artifical tracer data
(lab experiment; potentially also field experiment)
- gain experience in collecting, preparing, measuring and analysing samples of water isotopes

Previous knowledge expected

Knowledge in hydrology and soil physics is helpful, but not mandatory

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

- Describe the fundamental principles of isotope hydrology
- Describe the use of stable and radioactive water isotopes in hydrology
- List advantages and disadvantages, and the uses of, artificial tracers in hydrology

- Solve isotope hydrological equations
- Critically discuss a scientific publication related to isotope and tracer hydrology
- Formulation of a conceptual model of water flow and transport processes for a given situation

- Planning and execution of tracer experiments to investigate water flow and transport processes
- Data analysis and interpretation of stable isotope data to solve a hydrological problem
- Present new knowledge and findings to an audience based on a critical reflection
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.