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Title: Simulating bioclogging effects on dynamic riverbed permeability and infiltration

Abstract

Bioclogging in rivers can detrimentally impact aquifer recharge. This is particularly so in dry regions, where losing rivers are common, and where disconnection between surface water and groundwater (leading to the development of an unsaturated zone) can occur. Reduction in riverbed permeability due to biomass growth is a time-variable parameter that is often neglected, yet permeability reduction from bioclogging can introduce order of magnitude changes in seepage fluxes from rivers over short (i.e., monthly) timescales. To address the combined effects of bioclogging and disconnection on infiltration, we developed in this paper numerical representations of bioclogging processes within a one-dimensional, variably saturated flow model representing losing-connected and losing-disconnected rivers. We tested these formulations using a synthetic case study informed with biological data obtained from the Russian River, California, USA. Our findings show that modeled biomass growth reduced seepage for losing-connected and losing-disconnected rivers. However, for rivers undergoing disconnection, infiltration declines occurred only after the system was fully disconnected. Before full disconnection, biologically induced permeability declines were not significant enough to offset the infiltration gains introduced by disconnection. The two effects combine to lead to a characteristic infiltration curve where peak infiltration magnitude and timing is controlled by permeability declines relative tomore » hydraulic gradient gains. Biomass growth was found to hasten the onset of full disconnection; a condition we term ‘effective disconnection’. Finally, our results show that river infiltration can respond dynamically to bioclogging and subsequent permeability declines that are highly dependent on river connection status.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [2];  [5];  [6]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Hydrogeology
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Earth Sciences Division
  3. UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Hydrogeology
  4. UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig (Germany). Dept. of Environmental Microbiology
  5. MINES ParisTech, 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); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig (Germany)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Univ. of California (United States); Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) (United States); UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Germany)
OSTI Identifier:
1456935
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 52; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; bioclogging; disconnection; dynamic riverbed permeability; time-variable parameters; riverbank filtration; groundwater pumping; infiltration; biofilm; losing rivers; arid climates; heterotrophic bacteria; hyporheic zone; vadose zone

Citation Formats

Newcomer, Michelle E., Hubbard, Susan S., Fleckenstein, Jan H., Maier, Ulrich, Schmidt, Christian, Thullner, Martin, Ulrich, Craig, Flipo, Nicolas, and Rubin, Yoram. Simulating bioclogging effects on dynamic riverbed permeability and infiltration. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/2015WR018351.
Newcomer, Michelle E., Hubbard, Susan S., Fleckenstein, Jan H., Maier, Ulrich, Schmidt, Christian, Thullner, Martin, Ulrich, Craig, Flipo, Nicolas, & Rubin, Yoram. Simulating bioclogging effects on dynamic riverbed permeability and infiltration. United States. doi:10.1002/2015WR018351.
Newcomer, Michelle E., Hubbard, Susan S., Fleckenstein, Jan H., Maier, Ulrich, Schmidt, Christian, Thullner, Martin, Ulrich, Craig, Flipo, Nicolas, and Rubin, Yoram. Fri . "Simulating bioclogging effects on dynamic riverbed permeability and infiltration". United States. doi:10.1002/2015WR018351. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1456935.
@article{osti_1456935,
title = {Simulating bioclogging effects on dynamic riverbed permeability and infiltration},
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 = {Bioclogging in rivers can detrimentally impact aquifer recharge. This is particularly so in dry regions, where losing rivers are common, and where disconnection between surface water and groundwater (leading to the development of an unsaturated zone) can occur. Reduction in riverbed permeability due to biomass growth is a time-variable parameter that is often neglected, yet permeability reduction from bioclogging can introduce order of magnitude changes in seepage fluxes from rivers over short (i.e., monthly) timescales. To address the combined effects of bioclogging and disconnection on infiltration, we developed in this paper numerical representations of bioclogging processes within a one-dimensional, variably saturated flow model representing losing-connected and losing-disconnected rivers. We tested these formulations using a synthetic case study informed with biological data obtained from the Russian River, California, USA. Our findings show that modeled biomass growth reduced seepage for losing-connected and losing-disconnected rivers. However, for rivers undergoing disconnection, infiltration declines occurred only after the system was fully disconnected. Before full disconnection, biologically induced permeability declines were not significant enough to offset the infiltration gains introduced by disconnection. The two effects combine to lead to a characteristic infiltration curve where peak infiltration magnitude and timing is controlled by permeability declines relative to hydraulic gradient gains. Biomass growth was found to hasten the onset of full disconnection; a condition we term ‘effective disconnection’. Finally, our results show that river infiltration can respond dynamically to bioclogging and subsequent permeability declines that are highly dependent on river connection status.},
doi = {10.1002/2015WR018351},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 4,
volume = 52,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {3}
}

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