Stream-groundwater exchange and hydrologic turnover at the network scale
The exchange of water between streams and groundwater can influence stream water quality, hydrologic mass balances, and attenuate solute export from watersheds. We used conservative tracer injections (chloride, Cl -) across 10 stream reaches to investigate stream water gains and losses from and to groundwater at larger spatial and temporal scales than typically associated with hyporheic exchanges. We found strong relationships between reach discharge, median tracer velocity, and gross hydrologic loss across a range of stream morphologies and sizes in the 11.4 km 2 Bull Trout Watershed of central ID. We implemented these empirical relationships in a numerical network model and simulated stream water gains and losses and subsequent fractional hydrologic turnover across the stream network. We found that stream gains and losses from and to groundwater can influence source water contributions and stream water compositions across stream networks. Quantifying proportional influences of source water contributions from runoff generation locations across the network on stream water composition can provide insight into the internal mechanisms that partially control the hydrologic and biogeochemical signatures observed along networks and at watershed outlets. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Covino, T; McGlynn, B; Mallard, J
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