Five power generation plants along an eleven kilometer stretch divert Bishop Creek water for hydro-electric power. Stream diversion may be adversely affecting the riparian vegetation. Stable isotopic analysis is employed to determine surface water/ground-water interactions along the creek. surface water originates primarily from three headwater lakes. Discharge into Bishop Creek below the headwaters is primarily derived from ground water. The average δD and δ18O values are significantly different for surface water and ground water that an isotopic analysis can delineate between these two components of flow. Therefore isotopic shifts along the creek can determine gaining reaches. In addition, by knowing the isotopic signatures of various waters in the watershed, it may be possible to examine tree waters to determine their water source(s).
Desert Ecology | Environmental Monitoring | Fresh Water Studies | Plant Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
Space, M. L.,
Hess, J. W.,
Smith, S. D.
An Isotopic analysis of the hydrology and riparian vegetation water sources on Bishop Creek.
Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems Conference
US Forest Service.