There are many factors which influence groundwater-surface water interactions such as river bed characteristics, geology, geomorphology and climate.In general a number of methods have been used to ascertain the nature of groundwater surface water interactions across different catchments.The water on the Earth's surface - surface water - occurs as streams, lakes, rivers as well as bays and wetlands.
Deuterium and 18O have been used together with both radioactive tracers (3H/3He) and other non-conventional tracers like rare earth elements (REEs) to determine groundwater inflow and outflow from large lakes such as East African Rift Valley lakes (Ojiambo et al., in review). (1998) also have used sources of both radioactive (36Cl) and non-radioactive (37Cl) tracers to ascertain sources of solutes for Antarctic lake systems (Lyons et al, 1998).
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Interactions between groundwater and surface water play a critical role in the functioning of riparian ecosystems.
These interactions can have significant implications for both water quantity and quality.