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Title: Influence of Hydrological Perturbations and Riverbed Sediment Characteristics on Hyporheic Zone Respiration of CO 2 and N 2

Abstract

Rivers in climatic zones characterized by dry and wet seasons often experience periodic transitions between losing and gaining conditions across the river-aquifer continuum. Infiltration shifts can stimulate hyporheic microbial biomass growth and cycling of riverine carbon and nitrogen leading to major exports of biogenic CO 2 and N 2 to rivers. In this study, we develop and test a numerical model that simulates biological-physical feedback in the hyporheic zone. We used the model to explore different initial conditions in terms of dissolved organic carbon availability, sediment characteristics, and stochastic variability in aerobic and anaerobic conditions from water table fluctuations. Our results show that while highly losing rivers have greater hyporheic CO 2 and N 2 production, gaining rivers allowed the greatest fraction of CO 2 and N 2 production to return to the river. Hyporheic aerobic respiration and denitrification contributed 0.1–2 g/m 2/d of CO 2 and 0.01–0.2 g/m 2/d of N 2; however, the suite of potential microbial behaviors varied greatly among sediment characteristics. We found that losing rivers that consistently lacked an exit pathway can store up to 100% of the entering C/N as subsurface biomass and dissolved gas. Finally, our results demonstrate the importance of subsurface feedbacks whereby microbesmore » and hydrology jointly control fate of C and N and are strongly linked to wet-season control of initial sediment conditions and hydrologic control of seepage direction. These results provide a new understanding of hydrobiological and sediment-based controls on hyporheic zone respiration, including a new explanation for the occurrence of anoxic microzones and large denitrification rates in gravelly riverbeds.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [4];  [1]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division
  2. Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Hydrogeology
  3. Univ. of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany). Geoscience Centre, Dept. of Applied Geology
  4. Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Environmental Microbiology
  5. MINES ParisTech, PSL Research Univ., Paris (France). Geosciences Dept.
  6. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1561881
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-8953
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Newcomer, Michelle E., Hubbard, Susan S., Fleckenstein, Jan H., Maier, Ulrich, Schmidt, Christian, Thullner, Martin, Ulrich, Craig, Flipo, Nicolas, and Rubin, Yoram. Influence of Hydrological Perturbations and Riverbed Sediment Characteristics on Hyporheic Zone Respiration of CO2 and N2. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017JG004090.
Newcomer, Michelle E., Hubbard, Susan S., Fleckenstein, Jan H., Maier, Ulrich, Schmidt, Christian, Thullner, Martin, Ulrich, Craig, Flipo, Nicolas, & Rubin, Yoram. Influence of Hydrological Perturbations and Riverbed Sediment Characteristics on Hyporheic Zone Respiration of CO2 and N2. United States. doi:10.1002/2017JG004090.
Newcomer, Michelle E., Hubbard, Susan S., Fleckenstein, Jan H., Maier, Ulrich, Schmidt, Christian, Thullner, Martin, Ulrich, Craig, Flipo, Nicolas, and Rubin, Yoram. Thu . "Influence of Hydrological Perturbations and Riverbed Sediment Characteristics on Hyporheic Zone Respiration of CO2 and N2". United States. doi:10.1002/2017JG004090. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1561881.
@article{osti_1561881,
title = {Influence of Hydrological Perturbations and Riverbed Sediment Characteristics on Hyporheic Zone Respiration of CO2 and N2},
author = {Newcomer, Michelle E. and Hubbard, Susan S. and Fleckenstein, Jan H. and Maier, Ulrich and Schmidt, Christian and Thullner, Martin and Ulrich, Craig and Flipo, Nicolas and Rubin, Yoram},
abstractNote = {Rivers in climatic zones characterized by dry and wet seasons often experience periodic transitions between losing and gaining conditions across the river-aquifer continuum. Infiltration shifts can stimulate hyporheic microbial biomass growth and cycling of riverine carbon and nitrogen leading to major exports of biogenic CO2 and N2 to rivers. In this study, we develop and test a numerical model that simulates biological-physical feedback in the hyporheic zone. We used the model to explore different initial conditions in terms of dissolved organic carbon availability, sediment characteristics, and stochastic variability in aerobic and anaerobic conditions from water table fluctuations. Our results show that while highly losing rivers have greater hyporheic CO2 and N2 production, gaining rivers allowed the greatest fraction of CO2 and N2 production to return to the river. Hyporheic aerobic respiration and denitrification contributed 0.1–2 g/m2/d of CO2 and 0.01–0.2 g/m2/d of N2; however, the suite of potential microbial behaviors varied greatly among sediment characteristics. We found that losing rivers that consistently lacked an exit pathway can store up to 100% of the entering C/N as subsurface biomass and dissolved gas. Finally, our results demonstrate the importance of subsurface feedbacks whereby microbes and hydrology jointly control fate of C and N and are strongly linked to wet-season control of initial sediment conditions and hydrologic control of seepage direction. These results provide a new understanding of hydrobiological and sediment-based controls on hyporheic zone respiration, including a new explanation for the occurrence of anoxic microzones and large denitrification rates in gravelly riverbeds.},
doi = {10.1002/2017JG004090},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences},
issn = {2169-8953},
number = 3,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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Cited by: 9 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Geometry of the 1-D river, aquifer, and hyporheic zone compartment conceptual model setup. The exchange of nutrients, water fluxes, and gases across the hyporheic zone occurs because of bidirectional flow paths and steep DO-pH gradients. Head boundary conditions are implemented on the top and bottom of the modelmore » to represent the river and the groundwater table. Riverbed and aquifer hydraulic conductivities are shown as Kc and Ka, respectively. NEP = net ecosystem production; GPP = gross primary production; Ra = autotrophic respiration; Rh1 + Rh2 = river and hyporheic heterotrophic respiration; D = diffusion.« less

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