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Water 2014, 6(4), 1013-1027; doi:10.3390/w6041013
Article

Quantifying Reaeration Rates in Alpine Streams Using Deliberate Gas Tracer Experiments

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Received: 20 January 2014; in revised form: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Tracers)
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Abstract: Gas exchange across the air-water interface is a critical process that maintains adequate dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water column to support life. Oxygen reaeration rates can be accurately measured using deliberate gas tracers, like sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) or xenon (Xe). Two continuous release experiments were conducted in different creeks in the Sierra Nevada of California: Sagehen Creek in September, 2009, using SF6 and Martis Creek in August, 2012, using both SF6 and Xe. Measuring gas loss along the creek, which was approximated with the one-dimensional advection-dispersion equation, allows for the estimation of the SF6 or Xe reaeration coefficient (KSF6, KXe), which is converted to DO reaeration (KDO or K2) using Schmidt numbers. Mean KSF6 for upper and lower Sagehen and Martis Creeks were, respectively, 34 day−1, 37 day−1 and 33 day−1, with corresponding KDOs of 61 day−1, 66 day−1 and 47 day−1. In Martis Creek, KXe was slightly higher (21%) than KSF6, but the calculated KDO from SF6 agreed with the calculated KDO from Xe within about 15%; this difference may be due to bubble-enhanced gas transfer. Established empirical equations of KDO using stream characteristics did a poor job predicting KDO for both creeks.
Keywords: reaeration; field tracer experiment; sulfur hexafluoride; xenon; alpine stream; dissolved oxygen reaeration; field tracer experiment; sulfur hexafluoride; xenon; alpine stream; dissolved oxygen
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Benson, A.; Zane, M.; Becker, T.E.; Visser, A.; Uriostegui, S.H.; DeRubeis, E.; Moran, J.E.; Esser, B.K.; Clark, J.F. Quantifying Reaeration Rates in Alpine Streams Using Deliberate Gas Tracer Experiments. Water 2014, 6, 1013-1027.

AMA Style

Benson A, Zane M, Becker TE, Visser A, Uriostegui SH, DeRubeis E, Moran JE, Esser BK, Clark JF. Quantifying Reaeration Rates in Alpine Streams Using Deliberate Gas Tracer Experiments. Water. 2014; 6(4):1013-1027.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Benson, Andrew; Zane, Matthew; Becker, Timothy E.; Visser, Ate; Uriostegui, Stephanie H.; DeRubeis, Elizabeth; Moran, Jean E.; Esser, Bradley K.; Clark, Jordan F. 2014. "Quantifying Reaeration Rates in Alpine Streams Using Deliberate Gas Tracer Experiments." Water 6, no. 4: 1013-1027.


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