Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Evidence of distinct contaminant transport patterns in rivers using tracer tests and a multiple domain retention model
WET Engn Srl, I-31033 Castelfranco Veneto, TV, Italy.
Univ Padua, Dept Hydraul Maritime Environm & Geotech Engn, I-35131 Padua, Italy.
Univ Padua, Dept Chem Proc Engn, I-35131 Padua, Italy.
WET Engn Srl, I-31033 Castelfranco Veneto, TV, Italy.
Show others and affiliations
2011 (English)In: Advances in Water Resources, ISSN 0309-1708, E-ISSN 1872-9657, Vol. 34, no 6, 737-746 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Solute transport in rivers is controlled by surface hydrodynamics and by mass exchanges with distinct retention zones. Surface and hyporheic retention processes can be accounted for separately in solute transport models with multiple storage compartments. In the simplest two component model, short term storage can be associated to in-channel transient retention, e.g. produced by riparian vegetation or surface dead zones, and the long-term storage can be associated to hyporheic exchange. The STIR (Solute Transport In Rivers) multiple domain transport model is applied here to tracer test data from three very different Mediterranean streams with distinctive characteristics in terms of flow discharge, vegetation and substrate material. The model is used with an exponential residence time distribution (RTD) to represent surface storage processes and two distinct modeling closures are tested to simulate hyporheic retention: a second exponential RTD and a power-law distribution approximating a known solution for bedform-induced hyporheic exchange. Each stream shows distinct retention patterns characterized by different timescales of the storage time distribution. Both modeling closures lead to very good approximations of the observed breakthrough curves in the two rivers with permeable bed exposed to the flow, where hyporheic flows are expected to occur. In the one case where the occurrence of hyporheic flows is inhibited by bottom vegetation, only the two exponential RTD model is acceptable and the time scales of the two components are of the same magnitude. The significant finding of this work is the recognition of a strong signature of the river properties on tracer data and the evidence of the ability of multiple-component models to describe individual stream responses. This evidence may open a new perspective in river contamination studies, where rivers could possibly be classified based on their ability to trap and release pollutants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 34, no 6, 737-746 p.
Keyword [en]
Solute transport; Transient storage; Contaminant retention; Dead zones; Hyporheic exchange; STIR
National Category
Ocean and River Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-81017DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.03.005ISI: 000291514300006OAI: diva2:497047
QC 20120214Available from: 2012-02-14 Created: 2012-02-10 Last updated: 2012-02-14Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bottacin-Busolin, Andrea
In the same journal
Advances in Water Resources
Ocean and River Engineering

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 57 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link