|Title||Characterizing hyporheic exchange processes using high-frequency electrical conductivity-discharge relationships on subhourly to interannual timescales|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Singley, JG, Wlostowski, A, Bergstrom, AJ, Sokol, ER, Torrens, CL, Jaros, C, Wilson, CE, Hendrickson, PJ, Gooseff, MN|
|Journal||Water Resources Research|
|Pagination||4124 - 4141|
Concentration-discharge (C-Q) relationships are often used to quantify source water contributions and biogeochemical processes occurring within catchments, especially during discrete hydrological events. Yet, the interpretation of C-Q hysteresis is often confounded by complexity of the critical zone, such as numerous source waters and hydrochemical nonstationarity. Consequently, researchers must often ignore important runoff pathways and geochemical sources/sinks, especially the hyporheic zone because it lacks a distinct hydrochemical signature. Such simplifications limit efforts to identify processes responsible for the transience of C-Q hysteresis over time. To address these limitations, we leverage the hydrologic simplicity and long-term, high-frequency Q and electrical conductivity (EC) data from streams in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. In this two end-member system, EC can serve as a proxy for the concentration of solutes derived from the hyporheic zone. We utilize a novel approach to decompose loops into subhysteretic EC-Q dynamics to identify individual mechanisms governing hysteresis across a wide range of timescales. We find that hydrologic and hydraulic processes govern EC response to diel and seasonal Q variability and that the effects of hyporheic mixing processes on C-Q transience differ in short and long streams. We also observe that variable hyporheic turnover rates govern EC-Q patterns at daily to interannual timescales. Last, subhysteretic analysis reveals a period of interannual freshening of glacial meltwater streams related to the effects of unsteady flow on hyporheic exchange. The subhysteretic analysis framework we introduce may be applied more broadly to constrain the processes controlling C-Q transience and advance understanding of catchment evolution.
|Short Title||Water Resour. Res.|