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Heat Transport of Diurnal Temperature Oscillations Upon River-water Infiltration Investigated by Fiber-optic High-resolution Temperature Profiling : Volume 8, Issue 3 (29/06/2011)

By Vogt, T.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004012966
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 33
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Heat Transport of Diurnal Temperature Oscillations Upon River-water Infiltration Investigated by Fiber-optic High-resolution Temperature Profiling : Volume 8, Issue 3 (29/06/2011)  
Author: Vogt, T.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Schirmer, M., Cirpka, O. A., & Vogt, T. (2011). Heat Transport of Diurnal Temperature Oscillations Upon River-water Infiltration Investigated by Fiber-optic High-resolution Temperature Profiling : Volume 8, Issue 3 (29/06/2011). Retrieved from

Description: Eawag – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Überlandstr. 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland. River-water infiltration is of high relevance for hyporheic and riparian groundwater ecology as well as for drinking water supply by river-bank filtration. Heat has become a popular natural tracer to estimate exchange rates between rivers and groundwater. However, quantifying flow patterns and velocities is impeded by spatial and temporal variations of exchange fluxes, insufficient sensors spacing during field investigations, or simplifying assumptions for analysis or modeling such as uniform flow. The objective of this study is to investigate local heat transport upon river-water infiltration in the riverbed and the adjacent riparian zone of the losing River Thur in northeast Switzerland. Here we have applied distributed temperature sensing (DTS) along optical fibers wrapped around three tubes to measure high-resolution temperature profiles of the unsaturated zone and shallow groundwater. Diurnal temperature oscillations were tracked in the subsurface and analyzed by means of dynamic harmonic regression to extract amplitudes and phase angles. Subsequent calculations of amplitude attenuation and time shift relative to the river signal show in detail vertical and temporal variations of heat transport. In addition, we apply a numerical two-dimensional heat transport model for the unsaturated zone and shallow groundwater to get a better understanding of the observed heat transport processes in the riparian zone. Our results show that heat transfer of diurnal temperature oscillations from the losing river through groundwater is influenced by thermal exchange with the unsaturated zone. Neglecting the influence of the unsaturated zone would cause biased interpretation and underestimation of groundwater flow velocities. In addition, the observed riparian groundwater temperature distribution cannot be described by uniform flow, but rather by horizontal groundwater flow velocities varying over depth.

Heat transport of diurnal temperature oscillations upon river-water infiltration investigated by fiber-optic high-resolution temperature profiling

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