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Isotopic characteristics of the Garonne River and its tributaries

Abstract : The Garonne is the largest river in the south-west of France, and its drainage basin stretches between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central mountains. Until now, no water stable isotope study has been performed on the whole Garonne river basin which is composed of different geological substrata, and where the water resources are limited during the dry summer period. This study focuses on the Garonne river and its tributaries from the Pyre'ne'es foothill upstream to its confluence with the Lot River downstream. The aim of the study is to determine the origins of the surface waters using their chemical and stable isotopic compositions (18O, D and 13C), to better understand their circulation within the drainage basin and to assess the anthropogenic influences. The Garonne displays a specific 18O seasonal effect, and keeps its Pyre'nean characteristics until its confluence with the Tarn River. The difference in the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) comes mainly from the change in lithology between the Pyre'ne'es and the Massif Central mountains. Agriculture activity is only detected in the small tributaries.
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Luc Lambs, Frédéric Brunet, Jean-Luc Probst. Isotopic characteristics of the Garonne River and its tributaries. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Wiley, 2009, vol. 3, pp.2543-2550. ⟨10.1002/rcm.4102⟩. ⟨hal-00955354⟩

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