Title: A hierarchical approach on groundwater-surface water interaction in wetlands along the upper Biebrza River, Poland
Authors: Anibas, C ×
Verbeiren, B
Buis, K
Chormanski, J
De Doncker, L
Okruszko, T
Meire, P
Batelaan, Okke #
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: European Geophysical Society
Series Title: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences vol:16 issue:7 pages:2329-2346
Abstract: As recognized in the European Water Framework
Directive, groundwater-dependent wetlands and their
diverse ecosystems have important functions which need to
be protected. The vegetation in such habitats is often dependent
on quality, quantity and patterns of river discharge
and groundwater-surface water interaction on a local or reach
scale. Since groundwater-surface water exchange studies on
natural rivers and wetlands with organic soils are scarce,
more functional analysis is needed. To this end we combined
different field methods including piezometer nests, temperature
as tracer and seepage meter measurements. Some of
these measurements were used as inputs and/or as validation
for the numerical 1-D heat transport model STRIVE. In
transient mode the model was used to calculate spatially distributed
vertical exchange fluxes from temperature profiles
measured at the upper Biebrza River in Poland over a period
of nine months. Time series of estimated fluxes and hydraulic
head gradients in the hyporheic zone were used to estimate
the temporal variability of groundwater-surface water
This paper presents a hierarchical approach for quantifying
and interpreting groundwater-surface water interaction in
space and time. The results for the upper Biebrza show predominantly
upward water fluxes, sections of recharge, however,
exist along the reach. The fluxes depend more on hydraulic
gradients than on riverbed conductivity. This indicates
that the fluvio-plain scale is required for interpreting
the exchange fluxes, which are estimated on a local scale.
The paper shows that a conceptual framework is necessary
for understanding the groundwater-surface water interaction
processes, where the exchange fluxes are influenced by local
factors like the composition of the riverbed and the position
of the measurement on a local scale, and by regional factors
like the hydrogeology and topography on a fluvio-plain scale.
The hierarchical methodology increases the confidence in
the estimated exchange fluxes and improves the process understanding.
The accuracy of the measurements and related
uncertainties, however, remain challenges for wetland environments.
Gaining quantitative information on groundwatersurface
water interaction can improve modeling confidence
and as a consequence helps to develop effective procedures
for management and conservation of valuable groundwater
dependent wetlands.
ISSN: 1027-5606
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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