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Forskningsartikel2017Vetenskapligt granskad

Evaluating topography-based predictions of shallow lateral groundwater discharge zones for a boreal lake-stream system

Leach, J. A.; Lidberg, W.; Kuglerova, L.; Peralta-Tapia, A.; Agren, A.; Laudon, H.


Groundwater discharge along streams exerts an important influence on biogeochemistry and thermal regimes of aquatic ecosystems. A common approach for predicting locations of shallow lateral groundwater discharge is to use digital elevation models (DEMs) combined with upslope contributing area algorithms. We evaluated a topography-based prediction of subsurface discharge zones along a 1500 m headwater stream reach using temperature and water isotope tracers. We deployed fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing instrumentation to monitor stream temperature at 0.25 m intervals along the reach. We also collected samples of stream water for the analysis of its water isotope composition at 50 m intervals on five occasions representing distinct streamflow conditions before, during, and after a major rain event. The combined tracer evaluation showed that topography-predicted locations of groundwater discharge were generally accurate; however, predicted magnitude of groundwater inflows estimated from upslope contributing area did not always agree with tracer estimates. At the catchment scale, lateral inflows were an important source of streamflow at base flow and peak flow during a major rain event; however, water from a headwater lake was the dominant water source during the event hydrograph recession. Overall, this study highlights potential utility and limitations of predicting locations and contributions of lateral groundwater discharge zones using topography-based approaches in humid boreal regions.

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Water Resources Research
2017, Volym: 53, nummer: 7, sidor: 5420-5437