Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Groundwater dynamics in a till hillslope: flow directions, gradients and delay


Rodhe, A; Seibert, Jan (2011). Groundwater dynamics in a till hillslope: flow directions, gradients and delay. Hydrological Processes, 25(12):1899-1909.

Abstract

Knowledge of groundwater dynamics is important for the understanding of hydrological controls on chemical processes along the water flow pathways. To increase our knowledge of groundwater dynamics in areas with shallow groundwater, the groundwater dynamics along a hillslope were studied in a boreal catchment in Southern Sweden. The forested hillslope had a 1-2 m deep layer of sandy till above bedrock. The groundwater flow direction and slope were calculated under the assumption that the flow followed the slope of the groundwater table, which was computed for different triangles, each defined by three groundwater wells. The flow direction showed considerable variations over time, with a maximum variation of 75 degrees. During periods of high groundwater levels the flow was almost perpendicular to the stream, but as the groundwater level fell, the flow direction became gradually more parallel to the stream, directed in the downstream direction. These findings are of importance for the interpretation of results from hillslope transects, where the flow direction usually is assumed to be invariable and always in the direction of the hillslope. The variations in the groundwater flow direction may also cause an apparent dispersion for groundwater-based transport. In contrast to findings in several other studies, the groundwater level was most responsive to rainfall and snowmelt in the upper part of the hillslope, while the lower parts of the slope reached their highest groundwater level up to 40 hours after the upper parts. This can be explained by the topography with a wetter hollow area in the upper part.

Abstract

Knowledge of groundwater dynamics is important for the understanding of hydrological controls on chemical processes along the water flow pathways. To increase our knowledge of groundwater dynamics in areas with shallow groundwater, the groundwater dynamics along a hillslope were studied in a boreal catchment in Southern Sweden. The forested hillslope had a 1-2 m deep layer of sandy till above bedrock. The groundwater flow direction and slope were calculated under the assumption that the flow followed the slope of the groundwater table, which was computed for different triangles, each defined by three groundwater wells. The flow direction showed considerable variations over time, with a maximum variation of 75 degrees. During periods of high groundwater levels the flow was almost perpendicular to the stream, but as the groundwater level fell, the flow direction became gradually more parallel to the stream, directed in the downstream direction. These findings are of importance for the interpretation of results from hillslope transects, where the flow direction usually is assumed to be invariable and always in the direction of the hillslope. The variations in the groundwater flow direction may also cause an apparent dispersion for groundwater-based transport. In contrast to findings in several other studies, the groundwater level was most responsive to rainfall and snowmelt in the upper part of the hillslope, while the lower parts of the slope reached their highest groundwater level up to 40 hours after the upper parts. This can be explained by the topography with a wetter hollow area in the upper part.

Statistics

Citations

20 citations in Web of Science®
22 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 17 Nov 2011
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:17 Nov 2011 12:28
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 09:39
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0885-6087
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.7946

Download