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Title (Primary) Transit-time and temperature control the spatial patterns of aerobic respiration and denitrification in the riparian zone
Author Nogueira, G.E.H.; Schmidt, C.; Brunner, P.; Graeber, D.; Fleckenstein, J.H.
Journal Water Resources Research
Year 2021
Department ASAM; HDG
Volume 57
Issue 12
Page From e2021WR030117
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
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Keywords biogeochemical turnover; temperature; denitrification; floodplain; hydrogeosphere; transient simulation
Abstract During the flow of stream water from losing reaches through aquifer sediments, aerobic and anaerobic respiration (denitrification) can deplete dissolved oxygen and nitrate (NO3-), impacting water quality in the floodplain and downstream gaining reaches. Such processes, which vary in time with short and long-term changes in stream flow and temperature, need to be assessed at the stream corridor scale to fully capture their effects on net turnover, but this has rarely been done. To address this gap, we combine a fully-integrated 3D transient numerical flow model with temperature-dependent reactive transport along advective subsurface flow paths to assess aerobic and anaerobic respiration dynamics at the stream corridor scale in a predominantly losing stream. Our results suggest that given carbon availability (as an electron donor), complete NO3- removal occurred further away from the stream after complete oxygen depletion and was relatively insensitive to variations in temperature and transit-times. Conversely, transit-times and oxygen concentrations constrained nitrate removal along short hyporheic flow paths. Even under limited carbon availability and low-temperatures, NO3- removal fractions (RNO3) will be greater at locations further from the stream than along shorter hyporheic flow paths (RNO3=0.4 and RNO3=0.1, respectively). With increasing temperature, the relative effects of stream flow and solute concentrations on biogeochemical turnover and the redox zonation around the stream decreased. The study highlights the importance of seasonal variations of stream flow and temperature for water quality at the stream-corridor scale. It also provides an adaptive framework to assess and quantify reach-scale biogeochemical turnover around dynamic streams.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Nogueira, G.E.H., Schmidt, C., Brunner, P., Graeber, D., Fleckenstein, J.H. (2021):
Transit-time and temperature control the spatial patterns of aerobic respiration and denitrification in the riparian zone
Water Resour. Res. 57 (12), e2021WR030117