Journal of Hydrology, 15 November 2013, Vol.505, pp.352-363
Dissolved oxygen (DO) is an important groundwater-quality parameter, especially within the context of drinking-water production by riverbank filtration. In riverbank sediments, a strong decrease of DO over the distance of a few meters has frequently been observed. The consumption rates may vary in time, which puts the representativeness of common, sporadic DO measurements in groundwater, based on monthly or even yearly sampling, into question. We present a new modeling approach that allows efficiently estimating DO concentrations in alluvial groundwater from measured DO concentrations in the river under various temperature and discharge conditions. The model is based on the stochastic–convective reactive approach and assumes a time-invariant lognormal travel-time distribution of the stream tube ensemble connecting the river and a groundwater observation well. DO consumption, resulting from aerobic respiration, is modeled by zero-order kinetics. According to high-resolution DO time series measured in the Thur River (NE-Switzerland) and an adjacent observation well, the DO consumption rate appears to depend on river temperature and discharge. While the temperature dependence of aerobic respiration is well known, the discharge dependence is probably related to an increased trapping of particulate organic matter (POM) within the riverbed during high-discharge events, thus enhancing the POM availability and DO consumption rate. We propose an empirical equation that quantifies the dependence between discharge and the DO consumption rate. The estimated parameterization at our field site suggests that an increasing discharge within the narrow window of 20–50 m /s enhances the DO consumption rate by a factor of 4. By considering the measured DO in the river and including the dependence of the DO consumption rate on both discharge and temperature, the model was able to capture the diurnal, short-term (days to weeks), and seasonal dynamics of the observed DO within the alluvial aquifer. The temperature dependence of the DO consumption rate was found to be more important on a seasonal time scale, while the effect of discharge dominated the DO behavior during hydrological events extending over a few days to weeks. The presented modeling approach can be transferred to other riverbank-filtration systems to efficiently estimate DO concentrations in alluvial aquifers under various climatic and hydrologic conditions and, hence, assess the risk of approaching anoxic conditions in a changing climate.
Riverbank Filtration ; Climate Change ; Oxygen Consumption ; Stochastic–Convective Reactive Transport ; POM ; Geography
ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)
View record in ScienceDirect (Access to full text may be restricted)