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  1. Abstract

    A storage‐discharge relation tells us how discharge will change when new water enters a hydrologic system but not which water is released. Does an incremental increase in discharge come from faster turnover of older water already in storage? Or are the recent inputs rapidly delivered to the outlet, “short‐circuiting” the bulk of the system? Here I demonstrate that the concepts of storage‐discharge relationships and transit time distributions can be unified into a single relationship that can usefully address these questions: the age‐ranked storage‐discharge relation. This relationship captures how changes in total discharge arise from changes in the turnover rate of younger and older water in storage and provides a window into both the celerity and velocity of water in a catchment. This leads naturally to a distinction between cases where an increase in total discharge is accompanied by an increase (old water acceleration), no change (old water steadiness), or a decrease in the rate of discharge of older water in storage (old water suppression). The simple theoretical case of a power law age‐ranked storage‐discharge relations is explored to illustrate these cases. Example applications to data suggest that the apparent presence of old water acceleration or suppression is sensitive tomore »the functional form chosen to fit to the data, making it difficult to draw decisive conclusions. This suggests new methods are needed that do not require a functional form to be chosen and provide age‐dependent uncertainty bounds.

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  2. Abstract

    Weathering processes weaken and break apart rock, freeing nutrients and enhancing permeability through the subsurface. To better understand these processes, it is useful to constrain physical properties of materials derived from weathering within the critical zone. Foliated rocks exhibit permeability, strength and seismic anisotropy–the former two bear hydrological and geomorphological consequences while the latter is geophysically quantifiable. Each of these types of anisotropy are related to rock fabric (fractures and foliation); thus, characterizing weathering‐dependent changes in rock fabric with depth may have a range of implications (e.g., landslide susceptibility, groundwater modeling, and landscape evolution). To better understand how weathering effects rock fabric, we quantify seismic anisotropy in saprolite and weathered bedrock within two catchments underlain by the Precambrian Loch Raven schist, located in Oregon Ridge Park, MD. Using circular geophone arrays and perpendicular seismic refraction profiles, anisotropy versus depth functions are created for material 0–25 m below ground surface (bgs). We find that anisotropy is relatively low (0%–15%) in the deepest material sampled (12–25 m bgs) but becomes more pronounced (29%–33%) at depths corresponding with saprolite and highly weathered bedrock (5–12 m bgs). At shallow soil depths (0–5 m bgs), material is seismically isotropic, indicating that mixing processes have destroyed parent fabric. Therefore,more »in situ weathering and anisotropy appear to be correlated, suggesting that in‐place weathering amplifies the intrinsic anisotropy of bedrock.

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