Experimental investigation of surface and sub-surface flow interaction in a middle bar

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of hydraulic engineering, Gorgan University of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Gorgan

2 Associated Professor, Department of Water Engineering, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

3 Associated professor, Department of hydraulic engineering, Gorgan University of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Gorgan

4 Researcher, Department of hydrogeology, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research—UFZ, Leipzig, Germany


Hyporheic exchange has a crucial effect in ecology and hydrology cycle. Hyporheic flows are highly influenced by stream morphologies like Middle-gravel bars. In this study, flows around a three dimensional symmetric middle gravel bar) 2 m length, 0.64 m width and 0.1 meter height) were investigated. To consider the submergence effect, the experiments were conducted in partial and fully submerged cases. Flow and pressure patterns around middle bar were simulated by a CFD model, then the computed pressure along the bed were assigned as a top boundary condition to simulate the three dimensional subsurface flow using groundwater model. The results showed that dimensionless index of exchange flow decreased by increasing surface flow and have a good linear correlation with Reynolds number in porous media of the bar. The ratio of exchange flow to surface flow was 3.5 to 7.5 percents. Spatial expansion of flow paths increased by increasing discharge and in partial submerged cases, flow paths extended like two dimensional pool-riffles and dunes laterally. Residence time and length of Path lines were log normally distributed which tends to symmetric form by increasing discharge. Dimensionless median residence time is decreased by increasing discharge and ranged from 0.004 to 0.01.


1.         Bjornn TC, Reiser DWJAFSSP. Habitat requirements of salmonids in streams. 1991;19(837):138.

2.         Kaplan LA, Newbold JD. Surface and subsurface dissolved organic carbon. Streams and ground waters: Elsevier; 2000. p. 237-58.

3.         Elliott AH, Brooks NHJWRR. Transfer of nonsorbing solutes to a streambed with bed forms: Laboratory experiments. 1997;33(1):137-51.

4.         Fox A, Boano F, Arnon SJWRR. Impact of losing and gaining streamflow conditions on hyporheic exchange fluxes induced by dune‐shaped bed forms. 2014;50(3):1895-907.

5.         Hassan MA, Tonina D, Beckie RD, Kinnear MJHp. The effects of discharge and slope on hyporheic flow in step‐pool morphologies. 2015;29(3):419-33.

6.         Packman AI, Salehin M, Zaramella MJJoHE. Hyporheic exchange with gravel beds: basic hydrodynamic interactions and bedform-induced advective flows. 2004;130(7):647-56.

7.         Thibodeaux LJ, Boyle JDJN. Bedform-generated convective transport in bottom sediment. 1987;325(6102):341.

8.         Tonina D, Buffington JMJWRR. Hyporheic exchange in gravel bed rivers with pool‐riffle morphology: Laboratory experiments and three‐dimensional modeling. 2007;43(1).

9.         Salehin M, Packman AI, Paradis MJWRR. Hyporheic exchange with heterogeneous streambeds: Laboratory experiments and modeling. 2004;40(11).

10        Käser DH, Binley A, Heathwaite AL, Krause SJHPAIJ. Spatio‐temporal variations of hyporheic flow in a riffle‐step‐pool sequence. 2009;23(15):2138-49.

11.       Cardenas MB, Wilson J, Zlotnik VAJWRR. Impact of heterogeneity, bed forms, and stream curvature on subchannel hyporheic exchange. 2004;40(8).

12.       Stonedahl SH, Harvey JW, Packman AIJWRR. Interactions between hyporheic flow produced by stream meanders, bars, and dunes. 2013;49(9):5450-61.

13.       Tonina D, Buffington JMJWrr. Effects of stream discharge, alluvial depth and bar amplitude on hyporheic flow in pool‐riffle channels. 2011;47(8).

14.       Trauth N, Schmidt C, Maier U, Vieweg M, Fleckenstein JHJWRR. Coupled 3‐D stream flow and hyporheic flow model under varying stream and ambient groundwater flow conditions in a pool‐riffle system. 2013;49(9):5834-50.

15.       Tonina D, Buffington JMJGC. Hyporheic exchange in mountain rivers I: Mechanics and environmental effects. 2009;3(3):1063-86.

16.       Shope CL, Constantz JE, Cooper CA, Reeves DM, Pohll G, McKay WAJWRR. Influence of a large fluvial island, streambed, and stream bank on surface water‐groundwater fluxes and water table dynamics. 2012;48(6).

17.       Trauth N, Schmidt C, Vieweg M, Oswald SE, Fleckenstein JHJWRR. Hydraulic controls of in‐stream gravel bar hyporheic exchange and reactions. 2015;51(4):2243-63.

18.       Li Z, Wang Z, Pan B, Zhu H, Li WJQI. The development mechanism of gravel bars in rivers. 2014;336:73-9.

19.       Ashworth PJJESP, Landforms. Mid‐channel bar growth and its relationship to local flow strength and direction. 1996; 21(2):1996-103.

20.       Trauth N, Fleckenstein JHJWRR. Single discharge events increase reactive efficiency of the hyporheic zone. 2017;53(1):779-98.

21.       Bray E, Dunne TJWRR. Subsurface flow in lowland river gravel bars. 2017;53(9):7773-97.

22.       Elliott AH, Brooks NHJWRR. Transfer of nonsorbing solutes to a streambed with bed forms: Theory. 1997;33(1):123-36.

23.       Ock G, Takemon Y, Sumi T, Kondolf GM, editors. Ecological significance of riverine gravel bars in regulated river reaches below dams. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts; 2012.

24.       Zeng Q, Shi L, Wen L, Chen J, Duo H, Lei GJPo. Gravel bars can be critical for biodiversity conservation: A case study on Scaly-Sided Merganser in South China. 2015;10(5):e0127387.

25.       Sambrook Smith GH, Ashworth PJ, Best JL, Woodward J, Simpson CJJFSV. The morphology and facies of sandy braided rivers: Some considerations of scale invariance. 2005:145-58.

26.       Sahay VK. Spatial Geometry of Channel Bar Deposits of Mississippi river, United States of America. International Basic and Applied Research. 2016;2(9):73-9.

27.       Kondolf GM, Wolman MGJWRR. The sizes of salmonid spawning gravels. 1993;29(7):2275-85.

28.       Cardenas MB, Wilson JJAiwr. Hydrodynamics of coupled flow above and below a sediment–water interface with triangular bedforms. 2007;30(3):301-13.

29.       Janssen F, Cardenas MB, Sawyer AH, Dammrich T, Krietsch J, de Beer DJWRR. A comparative experimental and multiphysics computational fluid dynamics study of coupled surface–subsurface flow in bed forms. 2012;48(8).

30.       Kessler AJ, Glud RN, Cardenas MB, Larsen M, Bourke MF, Cook PLJL, et al. Quantifying denitrification in rippled permeable sands through combined flume experiments and modeling. 2012;57(4):1217-32.

31.       Gooseff MN, Anderson JK, Wondzell SM, LaNier J, Haggerty RJHPAIJ. A modelling study of hyporheic exchange pattern and the sequence, size, and spacing of stream bedforms in mountain stream networks, Oregon, USA. 2006;20(11):2443-57.

32.       Kasahara T, Wondzell SMJWRR. Geomorphic controls on hyporheic exchange flow in mountain streams. 2003;39(1):SBH 3-1-SBH 3-14.

33.       Storey RG, Howard KW, Williams DDJWRR. Factors controlling riffle‐scale hyporheic exchange flows and their seasonal changes in a gaining stream: A three‐dimensional groundwater flow model. 2003;39(2).

34.       Stonedahl SH, Harvey JW, Detty J, Aubeneau A, Packman AIJWRR. Physical controls and predictability of stream hyporheic flow evaluated with a multiscale model. 2012;48(10).

35.       Hester E, Young K, Widdowson MJWRR. Mixing of surface and groundwater induced by riverbed dunes: Implications for hyporheic zone definitions and pollutant reactions. 2013;49(9):5221-37.

36.       Lautz LK, Siegel DIJAiWR. Modeling surface and ground water mixing in the hyporheic zone using MODFLOW and MT3D. 2006;29(11):1618-33.

37.       Liu S, Chui TFMJG. Impacts of streambed heterogeneity and anisotropy on residence time of hyporheic zone. 2018;56(3):425-36.

38.       Chen X, Cardenas MB, Chen LJWRR. Three‐dimensional versus two‐dimensional bed form‐induced hyporheic exchange. 2015;51(4):2923-36.

39.       Chen X, Cardenas MB, Chen LJWRR. Hyporheic Exchange Driven by Three‐Dimensional Sandy Bed Forms: Sensitivity to and Prediction from Bed Form Geometry. 2018;54(6):4131-49.

40.       Marzadri A, Tonina D, Bellin A, Vignoli G, Tubino M. Semianalytical analysis of hyporheic flow induced by alternate bars. Water Resour. Res. 2010;46:W07531.

41.       Tsutsumi D, Laronne JB. Gravel-Bed Rivers: Process and Disasters: John Wiley & Sons; 2017.

42.       Sawyer AH, Cardenas MBJWRR. Hyporheic flow and residence time distributions in heterogeneous cross‐bedded sediment. 2009;45(8).


Main Subjects

Volume 6, Issue 2
July 2019
Pages 323-339
  • Receive Date: 25 October 2018
  • Revise Date: 12 February 2019
  • Accept Date: 12 February 2019
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2019
  • Publish Date: 22 June 2019