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Estimation of seepage rates in a losing stream by means of fiber-optic high-resolution vertical temperature profiling


Vogt, Tobias; Schneider, Philipp; Hahn-Woernle, Lisa; Cirpka, Olaf A (2010). Estimation of seepage rates in a losing stream by means of fiber-optic high-resolution vertical temperature profiling. Journal of Hydrology, 380(1-2):154-164.

Abstract

Vertical temperature profiling in the river beds of losing streams has been shown to be useful in obtaining seepage rates. We present a method for high-resolution vertical temperature profiling in surface-water sediments for detailed quantification of seepage flux over depth and time. The method is based on fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing, in which temperature profiles along an optical fiber are obtained by making use of Raman scattering. An optical fiber was wrapped around a 2 in. PVC tube and installed vertically within the streambed sediment. The wrapping transfers the spatial resolution along the fiber of 1 m to a vertical resolution of about 5 mm. The high-resolution temperature profiler was tested at a losing reach of the Swiss prealpine River Thur resulting in a 20-day long temperature time series with a temporal resolution of 10 min. The time series are analyzed by means of dynamic harmonic regression to obtain the diurnal contributions of the measured time series at all depths and time points. The time for the diurnal temperature signal to reach the observation depth and the associated attenuation of the signal are calculated from the phase angles and amplitudes of the diurnal contributions. The time shift results in an apparent celerity of diurnal temperature propagation, which is converted into an apparent seepage rate by fitting the data to the analytical solution for convective–conductive heat transfer in a semi-infinite, uniform, one-dimensional domain with a sinusoidal surface temperature. The high spatial resolution allows the location of discontinuities in the river bed which would have remained undetected if temperature had been measured only at a few individual depths to be identified. This is a particular strength of the fiber-optic high-resolution temperature profiler. The time series also give evidence of sporadic high infiltration rates at times of high water tables.

Abstract

Vertical temperature profiling in the river beds of losing streams has been shown to be useful in obtaining seepage rates. We present a method for high-resolution vertical temperature profiling in surface-water sediments for detailed quantification of seepage flux over depth and time. The method is based on fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing, in which temperature profiles along an optical fiber are obtained by making use of Raman scattering. An optical fiber was wrapped around a 2 in. PVC tube and installed vertically within the streambed sediment. The wrapping transfers the spatial resolution along the fiber of 1 m to a vertical resolution of about 5 mm. The high-resolution temperature profiler was tested at a losing reach of the Swiss prealpine River Thur resulting in a 20-day long temperature time series with a temporal resolution of 10 min. The time series are analyzed by means of dynamic harmonic regression to obtain the diurnal contributions of the measured time series at all depths and time points. The time for the diurnal temperature signal to reach the observation depth and the associated attenuation of the signal are calculated from the phase angles and amplitudes of the diurnal contributions. The time shift results in an apparent celerity of diurnal temperature propagation, which is converted into an apparent seepage rate by fitting the data to the analytical solution for convective–conductive heat transfer in a semi-infinite, uniform, one-dimensional domain with a sinusoidal surface temperature. The high spatial resolution allows the location of discontinuities in the river bed which would have remained undetected if temperature had been measured only at a few individual depths to be identified. This is a particular strength of the fiber-optic high-resolution temperature profiler. The time series also give evidence of sporadic high infiltration rates at times of high water tables.

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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:2010
Deposited On:04 Mar 2014 14:13
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:44
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-1694
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.10.033

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