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Observation of isotopes in the water cycle—the Swiss National Network (NISOT)

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The Swiss National Network for the Observation of Isotopes in the Water Cycle (NISOT) includes eleven precipitation, seven surface water (river) and three groundwater stations, where tritium, deuterium and oxygen-18 are monthly measured in composite samples. The network provides a good overview of the characteristic isotope signatures in recharge waters in Switzerland and of the relations between isotopes and altitude, orography and the amount of precipitation. Mixing of air water vapour and surface waters can be observed along a NW/SE cross section through the Alps. With increasing length of the data series, the network provides a valuable contribution for national and international scientific and practical applications in surface and subsurface hydrology, climatology and biology. The Swiss Geological Survey at the Federal Office for Water and Geology operates the isotope network within the legal framework of the Federal Law on the Protection of Waters and guarantees quality, access and distribution of the isotope data.

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