In order to determine how water flowpath controls stream chemistry, we studied both soil and stream water during spring snowmelt, 1985. Soil solution concentrations of base cations were relatively constant over time indicating that cation exchange was controlling cation concentrations. Similarly SO4 adsorption-desorption or precipitation-dissolution reactions with the matrix were controlling its concentrations. On the other hand, NO3 appeared to be controlled by uptake by plants or microorganisms or by denitrification since their concentrations in the soil fell abruptly as snowmelt proceeded. Dissolved Al and pH varied vertically in the soil profile and their pattern in the stream indicated clearly the importance of water flowpath on stream chemistry. Although Al increased as pH decreased, the relationship does not appear to be controlled by gibbsite. The best fit of calculated dissolved inorganic Al was obtained using AlOHSO4 with a solubility less than that of pure crystalline jurbanite.
- Received April 8, 1991.
- Revision received September 23, 1991.
- Accepted October 15, 1991.
- © IWA Publishing 1992