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Groundwater Inputs to Rivers: Hydrological, Biogeochemical and Ecological Effects Inferred by Environmental Isotopes

Abstract

In an effort to improve river management, numerous studies over the past two decades have supported the concept that river water and groundwater need to be considered together, as part of a hydrologic continuum. In particular, studies of the interface between surface water and groundwater (the hyporheic zone) have seen the tight collaboration of catchment hydrologists and stream ecologists in order to elucidate processes affecting stream functioning. Groundwater and surface waters interact at different spatial and temporal scales depending on system hydrology and geomorphology, which in turn influence nutrient cycling and in-stream ecology in relation to climatic, geologic, biotic and anthropogenic factors. In this paper, groundwater inputs to rivers are explored from two different and complementary perspectives: the hydrogeological, describing the generally acknowledged mechanisms of streamflow generation and the main factors controlling stream-aquifer interactions, and the ecologic, describing the processes occurring at the hyporheical and the riparian zones and their possible effects on stream functioning and on nutrient cycling, also taking into consideration the impact of human activities. Groundwater inflows to rivers can be important controls on hot moment/hot spot type biogeochemical behaviors. A description of the common methods used to assess these processes is provided emphasizing tracer methods (including  More>>
Authors:
Stellato, L.; [1]  Newman, B. D. [2] 
  1. Centre for Isotopic Research on Cultural and Environmental heritage (CIRCE), Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, Caserta (Italy)
  2. Isotope Hydrology Section, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)
Publication Date:
May 15, 2013
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
IAEA-TECDOC-1695
Resource Relation:
Other Information: 4 figs., 154 refs.; Related Information: In: Application of Isotope Techniques for Assessing Nutrient Dynamics in River Basins| 250 p.
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; CONTROL; GROUND WATER; HOT SPOTS; HYDROLOGY; INTERACTIONS; ISOTOPES; NUTRIENTS; RECOMMENDATIONS; STORAGE; STREAMS; SURFACES
OSTI ID:
22118972
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Isotope Hydrology Section, Vienna (Austria)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISBN 978-92-0-138810-0; ISSN 1011-4289; TRN: XA13R0670075608
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form. Also available on-line: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/TE-1695_web.pdf; Enquiries should be addressed to IAEA, Marketing and Sales Unit, Publishing Section, E-mail: sales.publications@iaea.org; Web site: http://www.iaea.org/books
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 187-217
Announcement Date:
Aug 08, 2013

Citation Formats

Stellato, L., and Newman, B. D. Groundwater Inputs to Rivers: Hydrological, Biogeochemical and Ecological Effects Inferred by Environmental Isotopes. IAEA: N. p., 2013. Web.
Stellato, L., & Newman, B. D. Groundwater Inputs to Rivers: Hydrological, Biogeochemical and Ecological Effects Inferred by Environmental Isotopes. IAEA.
Stellato, L., and Newman, B. D. 2013. "Groundwater Inputs to Rivers: Hydrological, Biogeochemical and Ecological Effects Inferred by Environmental Isotopes." IAEA.
@misc{etde_22118972,
title = {Groundwater Inputs to Rivers: Hydrological, Biogeochemical and Ecological Effects Inferred by Environmental Isotopes}
author = {Stellato, L., and Newman, B. D.}
abstractNote = {In an effort to improve river management, numerous studies over the past two decades have supported the concept that river water and groundwater need to be considered together, as part of a hydrologic continuum. In particular, studies of the interface between surface water and groundwater (the hyporheic zone) have seen the tight collaboration of catchment hydrologists and stream ecologists in order to elucidate processes affecting stream functioning. Groundwater and surface waters interact at different spatial and temporal scales depending on system hydrology and geomorphology, which in turn influence nutrient cycling and in-stream ecology in relation to climatic, geologic, biotic and anthropogenic factors. In this paper, groundwater inputs to rivers are explored from two different and complementary perspectives: the hydrogeological, describing the generally acknowledged mechanisms of streamflow generation and the main factors controlling stream-aquifer interactions, and the ecologic, describing the processes occurring at the hyporheical and the riparian zones and their possible effects on stream functioning and on nutrient cycling, also taking into consideration the impact of human activities. Groundwater inflows to rivers can be important controls on hot moment/hot spot type biogeochemical behaviors. A description of the common methods used to assess these processes is provided emphasizing tracer methods (including physical, chemical and isotopic). In particular, naturally occurring isotopes are useful tools to identify stream discharge components, biogeochemical processes involved in nutrient cycling (such as N and P dynamics), nutrient sources and transport to rivers, and subsurface storage zones and residence times of hyporheic water. Several studies which have employed isotope techniques to clarify the processes occurring when groundwater enters the river,are reported in this chapter, with a view to highlighting both the advantages and limitations of these tracer methods. In short, isotope techniques can be a powerful tool for understanding the importance and nature of groundwater-surface water interactions on nutrient cycling in streams and rivers. The main recommendations for their use are to keep well in mind the appropriate spatial and temporal scales of the chosen technique and to use them in conjunction with other methodologies in order to better test working hypotheses and conceptual models. A multi-scale approach, from channel to catchment scale, is also recommended for the identification of the role that groundwater plays in nutrient cycling and sustaining river and floodplain habitats. (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {2013}
month = {May}
}