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Effects of micro-topography on surface-subsurface exchange and runoff generation in a virtual riparian wetland – a modeling study

Title data

Frei, Sven ; Fleckenstein, Jan ; Lischeid, Gunnar:
Effects of micro-topography on surface-subsurface exchange and runoff generation in a virtual riparian wetland – a modeling study.
In: Advances in Water Resources. Vol. 33 (2010) Issue 11 . - pp. 1388-1401.
ISSN 1872-9657
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2010.07.006

Abstract in another language

In humid upland catchments wetlands are often a prominent feature in the vicinity of streams and have potential implications for runoff generation and nutrient export. Wetland surfaces are often characterized by distinct micro-topography (hollows and hummocks). The effects of such micro-topography on surface-subsurface exchange and runoff generation for a 10 by 20 m synthetic section of a riparian wetland were investigated in a virtual modeling experiment. A reference model with a planar surface was run for comparison. The geostatistically simulated structure of the micro-topography replicates the topography of a peat-forming riparian wetland in a small mountainous catchment in South-East Germany (Lehstenbach). Flow was modeled with the fully-integrated surface-subsurface code HydroGeoSphere. Simulation results showed that the specific structure of the wetland surface resulted in distinct shifts between surface and subsurface flow dominance. Surface depressions filled and started to drain via connected channel networks in a threshold controlled process, when groundwater levels intersected the land surface. These networks expanded and shrunk in a spill and fill mechanism when the shallow water table fluctuated around the mean surface elevation under variable rainfall inputs. The micro-topography efficiently buffered rainfall inputs and produceed a hydrograph that was characterized by subsurface drainage during most of the year and only temporarily shifted to surface flow dominance (> 80% of total discharge) during intense rainstorms. In contrast the hydrograph in the planar reference model was much “flashier” and more controlled by surface runoff. A non-linear, hysteretic relationship between groundwater level and discharge observed at the study site was reproduced with the micro-topography model. Hysteresis was also observed in the relationship between surface water storage and discharge, but over a relatively narrow range of surface water storage values. Therefore it was concluded that surface water storage was a better predictor for the occurrence of surface runoff than groundwater levels.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER86723
BAYCEER89831
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Ecological Modelling
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 15 May 2015 14:47
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2015 10:46
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/13688