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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-197
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-197
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: technical note 21 May 2019

Submitted as: technical note | 21 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Technical note: Uncertainty in multi-source partitioning using large tracer data sets

Alicia Correa1,2, Diego Ochoa-Tocachi3, and Christian Birkel1,4 Alicia Correa et al.
  • 1Department of Geography and Water and Global Change Observatory, University of Costa Rica, San José, 2060, Costa Rica
  • 2Institute for Applied Sustainability Research (iSUR), Quito, 170503, Ecuador
  • 3Department of Mathematics, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, 170901, Ecuador
  • 4Northern Rivers Institute, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UF, UK

Abstract. The availability of large tracer data sets opened up the opportunity to investigate multiple source contributions to a mixture. However, the source contributions may be uncertain and apart from Bayesian approaches to estimate such source uncertainty only sound methods for two and three sources. We expand these methods developing an uncertainty estimation method for four sources based on multiple tracers as input data. Taylor series approximation is used to solve the set of linear mass balance equations. We illustrate the method with an example from hydrology, where we use a large tracer set from four water sources contributing to streamflow in a tropical, high-elevation catchment. However, our uncertainty estimation method can be generalized to any number of tracers across a range of disciplines.

Alicia Correa et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Alicia Correa et al.
Data sets

MatLab code to calculate fractions of contribution to the mixture and associated uncertainties A. Correa, D. Ochoa-Tocachi, and C. Birkel https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2649201

Model code and software

MatLab code to calculate fractions of contribution to the mixture and associated uncertainties A. Correa, D. Ochoa-Tocachi, and C. Birkel https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2649201

Alicia Correa et al.
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