Spatial distribution of the water exchange through river cross-section – measurements and the numerical model

Maria Grodzka-Łukaszewska , Zofia Agnieszka Pawlak , Grzegorz Igor Sinicyn

The aspects of surface stability and groundwater exchange recognized by many researchers due to the intensification of agriculture and industry (manifested in, e.g., regulation and dredging of riverbed sediments of rivers) are now widely discussed on the international forum of water policy and management. It is essential to assess the spatial variability of water exchange through the river length and cross sections for the preparation of data and calculation of the groundwater flow model. This article presents research which describes the spatial distribution of the surface water-groundwater interaction within the river cross-section. Two measurement series were carried out to describe its variability. Additionally, a groundwater flow model was developed to simulate and represent the variable nature of water exchange in the hyporheic zone in the river’s cross-section. The model was successfully verified by means of measurements of water flux in the hyporheic zone. The precise spatial description of this variability is the first step to determine the possibility of introducing this variable in an accurate manner, within the limits of measurement uncertainties or simulation assumptions, in the construction of mathematical models of groundwater flow.

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