Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 9-25-2019


The purpose of this research is to investigate the predominant sources and processes that influence runoff in the watersheds that interact with hydraulic structures in different climate systems. The predominant sources in three basins were analyzed: The San Juan-Chama River System in the USA, the Manduriacu, and Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower systems in Ecuador. This field study is based on the identification of the predominant sources in the watershed by the comparison of the isotopic signature between the seasonal variation of water sources to the surface water samples in different stream order tributaries. The results exposed that there are three different predominant runoff sources in the three watersheds during the year: a) waterheads in Manduriacu, b) local sources in Coca Codo Sinclair and c) snowpack sources in San Juan-Chama. Also, the predominant processes are: a) altitude effect in the Manduriacu and Coca Codo Sinclair and b) seasonal effect in the waterheads in San Juan-Chama. Moreover, the findings of this study support the applications of stable isotopes values to identify the dominant physical processes and primary sources in a watershed at a natural scale.


Stable isotope, runoff, rainfall, watershed, tropical Andes, Chama


Center of Stable Isotopes, Central University of Ecuador

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mark Stone

Second Committee Member

Joseph Galewsky

Third Committee Member

Zachary Sharp

Fourth Committee Member

Jose Cerrato