Isotope Hydrology uses stable and radioactive isotopes of water and its dissolved constituents to trace hydrological processes, including the pathways of rainfall and snowmelt to, and interactions between, aquifers, lakes and rivers. The potential of using stable isotopes of water was recognized in the 1930s, but not fully explored until the 1950s, since when the scope and nature of isotope applications in hydrology have blossomed. Improvements in measure¬ment techniques have facilitated use of isotopes in many contexts, and isotope hydrology has become mainstream, as documented in this volume of reprinted papers and accompanying commentaries.
Section A. Fundamentals includes the first papers on deuterium, 18O and tritium contents in natural waters (Friedman, 1953; Epstein & Mayeda, 1953; Libby, 1953), and Craig’s (1961) seminal paper which defined the global meteoric water line used to understand the source of natural waters. The papers that shaped our understanding of isotopes in precipitation and global circulation, e.g. Dansgaard (1964) and Craig & Gordon (1965), come in
B. Atmospheric Water Cycle. The early interpretation of isotope sequences in rock and ice, including the iconic Greenland ice sheet core (Dansgaard et al., 1969), are included in C. Palaeoclimates.
D. River and Lake Hydrology contains influential papers on the use of isotopes to determine the origin of
stream and lake waters. E. Groundwater deals with the origin of groundwaters, the earliest use of tritium, 14C, 81Kr and 36Cl to date them, and isotope applications in pollution and groundwater remediation.
An excellent resource for graduate and post-graduate level courses in hydrology, reproducing many important papers which are otherwise difficult to access.