Geosciences Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 465–475 | Cite as

Dynamic processes of hyporheic exchange and temperature distribution in the riparian zone in response to dam-induced water fluctuations

  • Dongsheng LiuEmail author
  • Jian Zhao
  • Xiaobing Chen
  • Yingyu Li
  • Shipan Weiyan
  • Mengmeng Feng


We examined the dynamic processes of hyporheic exchange and temperature distribution in a riparian zone in response to low-temperature water fluctuations downstream of the Xin’an River Dam, China, using analytical and mainly hydrodynamic methods. For this purpose, we installed six HM21 piezometers (R, P1–P5) between the river water and the groundwater at an interval of approximately 2 m perpendicular to the flow path. We also installed 20 PT100 thermistors (T1–T20) along the transect at depths of 1.19 m to 3.58 m and monitored the temperatures of river and air. Water levels and temperatures were automatically logged every 5 min by the real-time system from November to December 2014 and sent to the remote platform through the remote terminal unit. Results revealed that the intensity and direction of the hyporheic exchange (Q) between the river water and the groundwater varied periodically (t = 1 d) with the water level of the river. In each cycle, the Q was in a counterclockwise loop curve with the water level of the river and with the non-uniform distribution along the transect perpendicular to the river, which showed that the farther the lateral exchange was away from the river, the lower its intensity and the more hysteretic the alteration of its direction. The daily exchange width and residence time had no necessary connection with the average river stage, but mainly depended on the amplitude of the fluctuating river stage and the duration of river infiltration and established a strong linear relationship with their product. The temperature distribution of the riparian aquifer was mainly affected by the surface radiation and river water infiltration. It was characterized as “cool on the surface and warm at the bottom” in the vertical direction and could be divided into low-, medium-, and high-temperature zones along the horizontal direction. The horizontal infiltration distance (L) increased by power functions with the increase in infiltration rate (v) and decrease in river temperature (T).

Key words

dam-induced water fluctuations riparian zone hyporheic exchange temperature distribution dynamic processes 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arntzen, E.V., Geist, D.R., and Dresel, P.E., 2006, Effects of fluctuating river flow on groundwater/surface water mixing in the hyporheic zone of a regulated, large cobble bed river. River Research and Applications, 22, 937–946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Curry, R.A., Gehrels, J., and Noakes, D.L.G., 1994, Effects of river flow fluctuations on groundwater discharge through brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, spawning and incubation habitats. Hydrobiologia, 277, 121–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chafiq, M., Gibert, J., and Claret, C., 1999, Interactions among sediments, organic matter, and microbial activity in the hyporheic zone of an intermittent stream. Canadian Journal of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, 56, 487–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cardenas, M.B., 2010, Lessons from and assessment of Boussinesq aquifer modeling of a large fluvial island in a dam-regulated river. Advances in Water Resources, 33, 1359–1366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Casado, A., Hannah, D.M., Peiry, J.L., and Campo, A.M., 2013, Influence of dam-induced hydrological regulation on summer water temperature: Sauce Grande River, Argentina. Ecohydrology, 6, 523–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Friesz, P.J., 1996, Geohydrology of stratified drift and streamflow in the Deerfield river basin, northwestern Massachusetts. Water-Resources Investigations Report 96–4115, U.S. Geological Survey, Massachusetts, 49 p.Google Scholar
  7. Fritz, B.G. and Arntzen, E.V., 2007, Effect of rapidly changing river stage on uranium flux through the hyporheic zone. Ground Water, 45, 753–760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Greenwood, M.H., Sims, R.C, and Mclean, J.E., 2007, Temperature effect on tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) biodegradation kinetics in hyporheic zone soils. Biomedical Engineering Online, 6, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gerecht, K.E., Cardenas, M.B., and Guswa, A.J., 2011, Dynamics of hyporheic flow and heat transport across a bed-to-bank continuum in a large regulated river. Water Resources Research, 47. doi: 10.1029/2010WR009794Google Scholar
  10. Graham, P.W., Andersen, M.S., and McCabe, M.F., 2015, To what extent do long-duration high-volume dam releases influence riveraquifer interactions? A case study in New South Wales, Australia. Hydrogeology Journal, 23, 319–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harleman, D.R.F., 1982, Hydrothermal analysis of lakes and reservoirs. Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 108, 301–325.Google Scholar
  12. Hancock, P.J., 2002, Human impacts on the stream-groundwater exchange zone. Environmental Management, 29, 763–781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hanrahan, T.P., 2008, Effects of river discharge on hyporheic exchange flows in salmon spawning areas of a large gravel-bed river. Hydrological Processes, 22, 127–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harvey, J.W., Böhlke, J.K., and Voytek, M.A, 2013, Hyporheic zone denitrification: controls on effective reaction depth and contribution to whole-stream mass balance. Water Resources Research, 49, 6298–6316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hernández, J.R., Huerta, O.H., Llanes, M.P., Fonseca, A.C., and Villa, E.C., 2013, Groundwater responses to controlled water releases in the limitropheregion of the Colorado River: implications for management and restoration. Ecological Engineering, 59, 93–03.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lin, J.Q. and Yan, Z.M., 2013, Laboratory experiments on lateral hyporheic exchange in riverbanks with curved bank morphology. Advances in Water Science, 24, 118–124.Google Scholar
  17. Mulet, R.C., Saltvelt, S.J., and Alfredsen, K., 2015, The survival of atlantic salmon (salmo salar) eggs during dewatering in a river subjected to hydropeaking. River Research and Applications, 31, 433–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nilsson, C. and Berggren, K., 2000, Alteration of riparian ecosystems caused by river regulation. Bioscience, 50, 783–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nyberg, L., Calles, O., and Greenberg, L., 2008, Impact of short-term regulation on hyporheic water quality in a boreal river. River Research and Applications, 24, 407–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Storey, R.G., Fulthorpe, R.R., and Williams, D.D., 1999, Perspectives and predictions on the microbial ecology of the hyporheic zone. Freshwater Biology, 41, 119–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Singh, S.K., 2004, Aquifer response to sinusoidal or arbitrary stage of semipervious stream. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 130, 1108–1118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sawyer, A.H., Cardenas, M.B., and Bomar, A., 2009, Impact of dam operations on hyporheic exchange in the riparian zone of a regulated river. Hydrological Processes, 23, 2129–2137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Taniguchi, M., Burnett, W.C., and Smith, C.F., 2003, Spatial and temporal distributions of submarine groundwater discharge rates obtained from various types of seepage meters at a site in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Biogeochemistry, 66, 35–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Winter, T.C., Harvey, J.W., and Franke, O.L., 1998, Ground water and surface water: a single resource. U.S. Geological Survey Circular, 1139, 1–79.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Association of Korean Geoscience Societies and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongsheng Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jian Zhao
    • 1
  • Xiaobing Chen
    • 1
  • Yingyu Li
    • 1
  • Shipan Weiyan
    • 1
  • Mengmeng Feng
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations