Peatland represents quite significant phenomenon in the headstream areas of Czech rivers. Considering the fact that these areas are crucial for streamflow generation process, it is very important to study the mechanism of runoff formation in a peatland and its hydrological function. Natural runoff process is affected by man already by its birth, thus in headwaters where numerous procedures related to runoff retardation and water retention increase in headstream areas could be realized. To understand and clarify the runoff generation process and the effect of various physicogeographic factors on its dynamics, the detailed analyses were carried out in the Vltava River headwaters (sw. Czechia) in recent years. It was necessary to consider the evaluation of peatland retention capacity, its hydraulic communication with draining watercourses and of runoff regime variability during various hydroclimatic conditions. The big attention was focused on findings of a runoff dynamics dependence on the groundwater table in the peatland and of the runoff chemistry and balance using isotopic hydrology methods. Natural tracers were applied at sprinkling plots to identify preferential flow and runoff formation at two opposite hillslopes in this peaty mountain headwater.
Part of the book: Peat