How daily groundwater table drawdown affects the diel rhythm of hyporheic exchange

Wu, Liwen; Gomez-Velez, Jesus D.; Krause, Stefan; Wörman, Anders; Singh, Tanu; Nützmann, Gunnar; Lewandowski, Jörg

Groundwater table dynamics extensively modify the volume of the hyporheic zone and the rate of hyporheic exchange processes. Understanding the effects of daily groundwater table fluctuations on the tightly coupled flow and heat transport within hyporheic zones is crucial for water resources management. With this aim in mind, a physically based model is used to explore hyporheic responses to varying groundwater table fluctuation scenarios. The effects of different timing and amplitude of groundwater table daily drawdowns under gaining and losing conditions are explored in hyporheic zones influenced by natural flood events and diel river temperature fluctuations. We find that both diel river temperature fluctuations and daily groundwater table drawdowns play important roles in determining the spatiotemporal variability of hyporheic exchange rates, temperature of exfiltrating hyporheic fluxes, mean residence times, and hyporheic denitrification potentials. Groundwater table dynamics present substantially distinct impacts on hyporheic exchange under gaining or losing conditions. The timing of groundwater table drawdown has a direct influence on hyporheic exchange rates and hyporheic buffering capacity on thermal disturbances. Consequently, the selection of aquifer pumping regimes has significant impacts on the dispersal of pollutants in the aquifer and thermal heterogeneity in the sediment.

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Wu, Liwen / Gomez-Velez, Jesus D. / Krause, Stefan / et al: How daily groundwater table drawdown affects the diel rhythm of hyporheic exchange. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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