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Title: A New Approach to Quantify Shallow Water Hydrologic Exchanges in a Large Regulated River Reach

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 variations 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 mmore » 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
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Co., Richland, WA (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States)
  4. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Nanjing Normal Univ., Nanjing (China)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4441; WATEGH; KP1702030
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Water (Basel); Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2073-4441
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; hydrologic exchange; SW–GW interaction; field measurements; Columbia River
OSTI Identifier: