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Groundwater dynamics in a till hillslope: flow directions, gradients and delay
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2011 (English)In: Hydrological Processes, ISSN 0885-6087, E-ISSN 1099-1085, Vol. 25, no 12, 1899-1909 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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- to 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 h after the upper parts. This can be explained by the topography with a wetter hollow area in the upper part.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 25, no 12, 1899-1909 p.
Keyword [en]
hillslope hydrology, groundwater dynamics, flow direction, riparian zone
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67548DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7946ISI: 000291594300006OAI: diva2:470772
authorCount :2Available from: 2011-12-29 Created: 2011-12-29 Last updated: 2011-12-29Bibliographically approved

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Seibert, Jan
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