A kinematic approach is applied to compute moisture flux and particle velocities in the unsaturated zone. The computations are compared with observations of tracer marked meltwater particles. Groundwater flow is computed accounting for storage and assuming constant particle velocity. It is found that meltwater particles that reach the groundwater not very close to the ground surface do not contribute to runoff until several months after the melt event. The meltwater constitutes a significant part of the melt runoff only when saturated overland flow occurs or when the percolated water flows along the rock beneath a thin soil layer.
- Received August 15, 1988.
- © IWA Publishing 1988