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Surface water - groundwater interaction: hyporheic processes of a regulated river
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the last two decades large attention has been paid to the interface between rivers and groundwaters. Previous studies mainly focused on pristine streams with minimal human impact on the flow pattern (e.g (Triska et al., 1989). Nowadays, attention is drawn towards large regulated river systems that comprise 58% of the large world’s rivers (Nilsson et al., 2005). Therefore, research on hyporheic processes in such rivers is vital. Studies performed in large regulated rivers show an impact on hyporheic variables such as pressure, temperature, water chemistry and spatial extent of the hyporheic zone. The goal of this study is to extend the knowledge regarding geochemical processes in the hyporheic water by performing comprehensive analyses of hyporheic zone water chemistry of a large regulated boreal river.The hyporheic zone processes together with the river water were studied during a one year period in the regulated Lule River, Northern Sweden. Major features and variations were compared to the pristine settings of the neighboring Kalix River. A monitoring program included continuous measurements of water levels, electrical conductivity and water temperature, with occasional sampling of water chemistry that comprised filtered (<0.45 µm) concentrations of Ca, Na, Mg, K, Si, Fe, Mn, Al and organic carbon. The key difference in hydrological regime between regulated and pristine conditions was the absence of a spring peak, and overall reduced water discharge variations throughout the year in the regulated river. As a result, a fine-grained clogging layer forms on the regulated river bed, which restricts surface water-groundwater exchange. Presence of the clogging layer causes a longer residence time of the groundwater resulting in with higher filtered concentrations in the hyporheic zone. As a result of the short time regulation, frequent oxygenation of the subsurface by infiltration of the surface waters induced lower pH, higher DOC content, and increased filtered Fe, Mn, Si, K, Na, and Al concentrations. Enrichment of the hyporheic water in K and DOC occurs during water level fluctuations, when these elements are leached from the upper soil layer rich in decomposing organic matter.Changes in river stages due to river regulation also reach groundwater up to 50 m away from the river, thus initiating water table variations in the aquifer. It is hypothesized that in the studied area these water level variations induced a decrease in groundwater pH (up to one pH unit lower than the reference groundwater a few hundred meters uphill). Finally, possible acidification of soils and groundwater adjacent to the Lule River groundwater may in turn affect the riparian and riverine ecosystems negatively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-30092Local ID: 3ccefdfa-1f19-406b-a0c6-e06381836323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-30092DiVA, id: diva2:1003319
Conference
Nordic Hydrological Conference : Catchment Restoration and Water Protection 13/08/2012 - 15/08/2012
Note
Godkänd; 2012; 20121203 (dmysie)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

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