Application of new point measurement device to quantify groundwater-surface water interactions

Mackenzie Cremeans*, J.F. Devlin, Ursula S. McKnight, Poul Løgstrup Bjerg

*Corresponding author for this work

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    The Streambed Point Velocity Probe (SBPVP) measures in situ groundwater velocities at the groundwater-surface water interface without reliance on hydraulic conductivity, porosity, or hydraulic gradient information. The tool operates on the basis of a mini-tracer test that occurs on the probe surface. The SBPVP was used in a meander of the Grindsted Å (stream), Denmark, to determine the distribution of flow through the streambed. These data were used to calculate the contaminant mass discharge of chlorinated ethenes into the stream. SBPVP data were compared with velocities estimated from hydraulic head and temperature gradient data collected at similar scales. Spatial relationships of water flow through the streambed were found to be similar by all three methods, and indicated a heterogeneous pattern of groundwater-surface water exchange. The magnitudes of estimated flow varied to a greater degree. It was found that pollutants enter the stream in localized regions of high flow which do not always correspond to the locations of highest pollutant concentration. The results show the combined influence of flow and concentration on contaminant discharge and illustrate the advantages of adopting a flux-based approach to risk assessment at the groundwater-surface water interface. Chlorinated ethene mass discharges, expressed in PCE equivalents, were determined to be up to 444 kg/yr (with SBPVP data) which compared well with independent estimates of mass discharge up to 438 kg/yr (with mini-piezometer data from the streambed) and up to 372 kg/yr crossing a control plane on the streambank (as determined in a previous, independent study).
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
    Pages (from-to)85-93
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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