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Open AccessArticle

Benthic Uptake Rate due to Hyporheic Exchange: The Effects of Streambed Morphology for Constant and Sinusoidally Varying Nutrient Loads

by Daniele Tonina 1,*,†, Alessandra Marzadri 1,† and Alberto Bellin 2,†
1
Center for Ecohydraulics Research, University of Idaho, 322 E Front Street, suite 322, Boise, ID 83702, USA
2
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano 77, Trento 38123, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Philip A. Brunner and Jan Fleckenstein
Water 2015, 7(2), 398-419; https://doi.org/10.3390/w7020398
Received: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 16 January 2015 / Published: 23 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Water Groundwater Interactions: From Theory to Practice)
Hyporheic exchange carries reactive solutes, which may include biological oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO) and reactive dissolved inorganic nitrogen (Nr), into the sediment, where biochemical reactions consume DO. Here, we study the impact of streambed morphology, stream-reactive solute loads and their diel oscillations on the DO benthic uptake rate (BUR) due to hyporheic processes. Our model solves the hyporheic flow field and the solute transport equations analytically, within a Lagrangian framework, considering advection, longitudinal diffusion and reactions modeled as first order kinetics. The application of the model to DO field measurements over a gravel bar-pool sequence shows a good match with measured DO concentrations with an overall agreement of 58% and a kappa index of 0.46. We apply the model to investigate the effects of daily constant and sinusoidally time varying stream BOD, DO and Nr loads and of the morphodynamic parameters on BUR. Our modeling results show that BUR varies as a function of bedform size and of nutrient loads and that the hyporheic zone may consume up to 0.06% of the stream DO at the pool-riffle bedform scale. Daily oscillations of stream BOD and DO loads have small effects on BUR, but may have an important influence on local hyporheic processes and organisms’ distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: hyporheic exchange; streambed morphology; benthic uptake rate; biogeochemical reactions; eutrophication hyporheic exchange; streambed morphology; benthic uptake rate; biogeochemical reactions; eutrophication
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Tonina, D.; Marzadri, A.; Bellin, A. Benthic Uptake Rate due to Hyporheic Exchange: The Effects of Streambed Morphology for Constant and Sinusoidally Varying Nutrient Loads. Water 2015, 7, 398-419.

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