Hydrologic controls on hyporheic exchange in a headwater mountain stream

Publications Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Number: 

Schmadel, Noah M.; Ward, Adam S.; Wondzell, Steven M. 2017. Hydrologic controls on hyporheic exchange in a headwater mountain stream. Water Resources Research. 53(7): 6260-6278. doi: 10.1002/2017WR020576


The spatial and temporal scales of hyporheic exchange within the stream corridor are controlled by stream discharge and groundwater inflow interacting with streambed morphology. While decades of study have resulted in a clear understanding of how morphologic form controls hyporheic exchange at the feature scale, we lack comparable predictive power related to stream discharge and the spatial structure of groundwater inflows at the reach scale, where spatial heterogeneity in both geomorphic setting and hydrologic forcing are present. In this study, we simulated vertical hyporheic exchange along a 600 m mountain stream reach under high, medium, and low stream discharge while considering groundwater inflow as negligible, spatially uniform, or proportional to upslope accumulated area. Most changes to hyporheic flow path residence time or length in response to stream discharge were small ( Keywords: river corridor, riparian zone, hyporheic, geomorphology, groundwater inflow, hillslope, Groundwater/surface water interaction, Groundwater transport, Modeling, Geomorphology: general