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Title: Quantifying hyporheic exchange dynamics in a highly regulated large river reach.

Abstract

Hyporheic exchange is an important mechanism taking place in riverbanks and riverbed sediments, where river water and shallow groundwater mix and interact with each other. The direction, magnitude, and residence time of the hyporheic flux that penetrates the river bed are critical for biogeochemical processes such as carbon and nitrogen cycling, and biodegradation of organic contaminants. Many approaches including field measurements and numerical methods have been developed to quantify the hyporheic exchanges in relatively small rivers. However, the spatial and temporal distributions of hyporheic exchanges in a large, regulated river reach remain less explored due to the large spatial domains, complexity of geomorphologic features and subsurface properties, and the great pressure gradient variations at the riverbed created by dam operations.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1429743
Report Number(s):
SAND-2017-2520J
651549
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Program Document
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Hammond, Glenn Edward, Zhou, T, Huang, M, Hou, Z, Bao, J, Arntzen, E, Mackley, R, Harding, S, Titzler, S, Murray, C, Perkins, W, Chen, X, Stegen, J, Thorne, P, and Zachara, J. Quantifying hyporheic exchange dynamics in a highly regulated large river reach.. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Hammond, Glenn Edward, Zhou, T, Huang, M, Hou, Z, Bao, J, Arntzen, E, Mackley, R, Harding, S, Titzler, S, Murray, C, Perkins, W, Chen, X, Stegen, J, Thorne, P, & Zachara, J. Quantifying hyporheic exchange dynamics in a highly regulated large river reach.. United States.
Hammond, Glenn Edward, Zhou, T, Huang, M, Hou, Z, Bao, J, Arntzen, E, Mackley, R, Harding, S, Titzler, S, Murray, C, Perkins, W, Chen, X, Stegen, J, Thorne, P, and Zachara, J. Wed . "Quantifying hyporheic exchange dynamics in a highly regulated large river reach.". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1429743.
@article{osti_1429743,
title = {Quantifying hyporheic exchange dynamics in a highly regulated large river reach.},
author = {Hammond, Glenn Edward and Zhou, T and Huang, M and Hou, Z and Bao, J and Arntzen, E and Mackley, R and Harding, S and Titzler, S and Murray, C and Perkins, W and Chen, X and Stegen, J and Thorne, P and Zachara, J},
abstractNote = {Hyporheic exchange is an important mechanism taking place in riverbanks and riverbed sediments, where river water and shallow groundwater mix and interact with each other. The direction, magnitude, and residence time of the hyporheic flux that penetrates the river bed are critical for biogeochemical processes such as carbon and nitrogen cycling, and biodegradation of organic contaminants. Many approaches including field measurements and numerical methods have been developed to quantify the hyporheic exchanges in relatively small rivers. However, the spatial and temporal distributions of hyporheic exchanges in a large, regulated river reach remain less explored due to the large spatial domains, complexity of geomorphologic features and subsurface properties, and the great pressure gradient variations at the riverbed created by dam operations.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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  • Hyporheic exchange is a critical mechanism shaping hydrological and biogeochemical processes along a river corridor. Recent studies on quantifying the hyporheic exchange were mostly limited to local scales due to field inaccessibility, computational demand, and complexity of geomorphology and subsurface geology. Surface flow conditions and subsurface physical properties are well known factors on modulating the hyporheic exchange, but quantitative understanding of their impacts on the strength and direction of hyporheic exchanges at reach scales is absent. In this study, a high resolution computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that couples surface and subsurface flow and transport is employed to simulate hyporheicmore » exchanges in a 7-km long reach along the main-stem of the Columbia River. Assuming that the hyporheic exchange does not affect surface water flow conditions due to its negligible magnitude compared to the volume and velocity of river water, we developed a one-way coupled surface and subsurface water flow model using the commercial CFD software STAR-CCM+. The model integrates the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equation solver with a realizable κ-ε two-layer turbulence model, a two-layer all y + wall treatment, and the volume of fluid (VOF) method, and is used to simulate hyporheic exchanges by tracking the free water-air interface as well as flow in the river and the subsurface porous media. The model is validated against measurements from acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) in the stream water and hyporheic fluxes derived from a set of temperature profilers installed across the riverbed. The validated model is then employed to systematically investigate how hyporheic exchanges are influenced by surface water fluid dynamics strongly regulated by upstream dam operations, as well as subsurface structures (e.g. thickness of riverbed and subsurface formation layers) and hydrogeological properties (e.g. permeability). The results suggest that the thickness of riverbed alluvium layer is the dominant factor for reach-scale hyporheic exchanges, followed by the alluvium permeability, the depth of the underlying impermeable layer, and the assumption of hydrostatic pressure.« less
  • Physicochemical relationships in the boundary zone between groundwater and surface water (i.e., the hyporheic zone) are controlled by surface water hydrology and the hydrogeologic properties of the riverbed. We studied how sediment permeability and river discharge altered the vertical hydraulic gradient (VHG) and water quality of the hyporheic zone within the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. The Columbia River at Hanford is a large, cobble-bed river where water level fluctuates up to 2 m daily because of hydropower generation. Concomitant with recording river stage, continuous readings were made of water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, and water level ofmore » the hyporheic zone. The water level data were used to calculate VHG between the river and hyporheic zone. Sediment permeability was estimated using slug tests conducted in piezometers installed into the river bed. The response of water quality measurements and VHG to surface water fluctuations varied widely among study sites, ranging from no apparent response to co-variance with river discharge. At some sites, a hysteretic relationship between river discharge and VHG was indicated by a time lag in the response of VHG to changes in river stage. The magnitude, rate of change, and hysteresis of the VHG response varied the most at the least permeable location (hydraulic conductivity (K) = 2.9 x 10-4 cms-1), and the least at the most permeable location (K=8.0 x 10-3 cms-1). Our study provides empirical evidence that sediment properties and river discharge both control the water quality of the hyporheic zone. Regulated rivers, like the Columbia River at Hanford, that undergo large, frequent discharge fluctuations represent an ideal environment to study hydrogeologic processes over relatively short time scales (i.e., days to weeks) that would require much longer periods of time to evaluate (i.e., months to years) in un-regulated systems.« less
  • The flow magnitude and timing from hydroelectric dams in the Snake River basin of the Pacific northwestern United States is managed in part for the benefit of salmon. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of current Hells Canyon Dam discharge operations on hydrologic exchange flows between the river and riverbed in Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning areas. Interactions between river water and pore water within the upper 1 m of the riverbed were quantified through the use of self-contained temperature and water level data loggers suspended inside of piezometers. The data were recorded at 20more » min intervals over a period of 200 days when the mean daily discharge was 218–605 m3 s–1, with hourly stage changes as large as 1.9 m. Differences in head pressure between the river and riverbed were small, often within ±2 cm. Measured temperature gradients in the riverbed indicated significant interactions between the surface and subsurface water. Neither hydraulic nor temperature gradients at most sites were significantly affected by either short- or long-term changes in discharge operations from Hells Canyon Dam. Only 2 out of 14 study sites exhibited acute flux reversals between the river and riverbed resulting from short-term, large magnitude changes in discharge. The findings suggest small-scale piezometric head differences play a minor role in the hydrologic exchange between the river and riverbed at the study sites. The processes controlling hydrologic exchange at the study sites are likely to be bedform-induced advective pumping, turbulence at the riverbed surface, and large-scale hydraulic gradients along the longitudinal profile of the riverbed. By incorporating the knowledge of hydrologic exchange processes into water management planning, regional agencies will be better prepared to manage the limited water resources among competing priorities that include salmon recovery, flood control, irrigation supply, hydropower production, and recreation.« less
  • Hyporheic exchange is a crucial component in the water cycle. The strength of the exchange directly affects the biogeochemical and ecological processes occurred in the hyporheic zone from micro to reach scale. Hyporheic fluxes can be quantified using many direct and indirect measurements as well as analytical and numerical modeling tools. However, in a relatively large river, these methods are limited by accessibility, the difficulty of performing representative sampling, and complexity of geomorphologic features and subsurface properties. In rivers regulated by hydroelectric dams, quantifying hyporheic fluxes becomes more challenging due to frequent hydropeaking events, featured by hourly to daily variationsmore » in flow and river stages created by dam operations(Hancock 2002). In this study, we developed and validated methods that based on field measurements to estimate shallow water hyporheic fluxes across the river bed at five locations along the shoreline of the Columbia River. Vertical thermal profiles measured by self-recording thermistors were combined with time series of hydraulic gradients derived from river stage and water level at in-land wells to estimate the hyporheic flux rate. The results suggested that the hyporheic exchange rate had high spatial and temporal heterogeneities over the riverbed, with predicted flux rate varies from +1×10 -6 m s-1 to -1.5×10 -6 m s -1 under various flow conditions at the some locations, and with a magnitude of fluxes 6-9 times higher in the primary channel than that in the secondary channel. Furthermore, the variations on shallow water hyporheic flow dynamics may further lead to different biogeochemical and ecological consequences at different river segments.« less