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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-439
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Sep 2018

Research article | 20 Sep 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Assessing the effect of flood restoration on surface–subsurface interactions in Rohrschollen Island (Upper Rhine River – France) using integrated hydrological modeling and thermal infrared imaging

Benjamin Jeannot1, Sylvain Weill1, David Eschbach2,3, Laurent Schmitt2, and Frederick Delay1 Benjamin Jeannot et al.
  • 1Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, ENGEES, LHyGeS UMR 7517, F-67000 Strasbourg, France
  • 2Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, ENGEES, LIVE UMR 7362, LTSER – Zone Atelier Environnementale Urbaine, F‐67083 Strasbourg, France
  • 3Sorbonne Université, CNRS, EPHE, UMR 7619 Metis, 75005 Paris, France

Abstract. Rohrschollen Island is an artificial island of the large Upper Rhine River whose geometry and hydrological dynamics are the result of engineering works during the 19th and 20th centuries. Before its channelization, the Rhine River was characterized by an intense hydro-morphological activity which maintained a high level of biodiversity along the fluvial corridor. This functionality considerably decreased during the two last centuries. Since 2012, a restoration project was launched to reactivate typical alluvial processes, including bedload transport, lateral channel dynamics and surface–subsurface water exchanges. An integrated hydrological model has been applied to the area of Rohrschollen Island to assess the efficiency of the restoration regarding surface and subsurface flows. This model is calibrated using measured piezometric heads. Simulated patterns of water exchanges between the surface and subsurface compartments of the Island are checked against the information derived from thermal infrared imaging. The simulated results are then used to better understand the evolutions of the infiltration/exfiltration zones over time and space and to determine the physical controls of surface–subsurface interactions on the hydrographic network of Rohrschollen Island. The use of integrated hydrological modeling has proven to be an efficient approach to assess the efficiency of restoration actions regarding surface and subsurface flows.

Benjamin Jeannot et al.
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Short summary
A hydrological model is used in combination with thermal measurements to investigate the effect of restoration actions in an artificial island of the Upper Rhine River. The injection of water in a new-built channel is efficient as it enhance the overall hydrologic dynamics of the system with possible benefits for water quality and biodiversity. The combined use of the model and thermal measurements is also proved to be a relevant tool to study the effect of restoration on hydrological systems.
A hydrological model is used in combination with thermal measurements to investigate the effect...
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