Variation of Hyporheic Temperature Profiles in a Low Gradient Third-Order Agricultural Stream—A Statistical Approach


Sediment size governs advection, controlling the hydraulic conductivity of the stratum, and conduction, influencing the amount of surface area in contact between the sediment particles. To understand the role of sediment particle size on thermal profiles within the hyporheic zone, a statistical approach, involving general summary statistics and time series cross-correlation, was employed. Data were collected along two riffles: Site 1: gravel (d50 = 3.9 mm) and Site 2: sand (d50 =0.94 mm).Temperature probe grids collected 15-minute temperature data at 30, 60, 90, and140cm below the streambed surface over a 6 month period. Surface water and air temperature were recorded. Diel temperature signal penetration depth was limited to the upper 30cm of the streambed and was driven by advection. Surface seasonal trends were detected at greater depths, indicating that thermal pulses are transmitted initially by advection and by conduction to areas deeper in the hyporheic zone. Site 1 showed a high degree of thermal heterogeneity via a localized downwelling zone within a gaining stream environment. Site 2 exhibited a vertically and horizontally homogenized thermal environment attributed to an increased amount of sand sediments that limited advection and significant groundwater discharge that mediated the effects of downwelling surface water.

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Beach, V. and Peterson, E. (2013) Variation of Hyporheic Temperature Profiles in a Low Gradient Third-Order Agricultural Stream—A Statistical Approach. Open Journal of Modern Hydrology, 3, 55-66. doi: 10.4236/ojmh.2013.32008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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