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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 23 Apr 2019

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

Spatial and temporal variation in river corridor exchange across a 5th order mountain stream network

Adam S. Ward1, Steven M. Wondzell2, Noah M. Schmadel1,3, Skuyler Herzog1, Jay P. Zarnetske4, Viktor Baranov5,6, Phillip J. Blaen7,8,9, Nicolai Brekenfeld7, Rosalie Chu10, Romain Derelle11, Jennifer Drummond7,12, Jan Fleckenstein13,14, Vanessa Garayburu-Caruso15, Emily Graham15, David Hannah7, Ciaran Harman16, Jase Hixson1, Julia L. A. Knapp17,18, Stefan Krause7, Marie J. Kurz13,19, Jörg Lewendowski20,21, Angang Li22, Eugenia Marti12, Melinda Miller1, Alexander M. Milner7, Kerry Neil1, Luisa Orsini11, Aaron I. Packman22, Stephen Plont4,23, Lupita Renteria24, Kevin Roche25, Todd Royer1, Catalina Segura26, James Stegen15, Jason Toyoda10, Jacqueline Wells24, and Nathan I. Wisnoski27 Adam S. Ward et al.
  • 1O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  • 2USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
  • 3Earth Surface Processes Division, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA
  • 4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA
  • 5LMU Munich Biocenter, Department of Biology II,Großhaderner Str. 2, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
  • 6Department of River Ecology and Conservation, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, 63571 Gelnhausen, Germany
  • 7School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences,University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham ,B15 2TT, UK
  • 8Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
  • 9Yorkshire Water, Halifax Road, Bradford, BD6 2SZ, UK
  • 10Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 11Environmental Genomics Group, School of Biosciences, the University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  • 12Integrative Freshwater Ecology Group, Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Blanes, Spain
  • 13Dept. of Hydrogeology, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research - UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 14Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
  • 15Earth and Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 16Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • 17Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 18Center for AppliedGeoscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  • 19The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 20Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Department Ecohydrology, Müggelseedamm 310, 12587 Berlin, Germany
  • 21Humboldt University Berlin, Geography Department, Rudower Chaussee 16, 12489 Berlin, Germany
  • 22Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
  • 23Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
  • 24Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 25Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
  • 26Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management, Oregon State University Corvallis, OR, USA
  • 27Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Abstract. Although most field and modeling studies of river corridor exchange have been conducted a scales ranging from 10’s to 100’s of meters; results of these studies are used to predict their ecological and hydrological influences at the scale of river networks. Further complicating prediction, exchange are expected to vary with hydrologic forcing and the local geomorphic setting. While we desire predictive power, we lack a complete spatiotemporal relationship relating discharge to the variation in geologic setting and hydrologic forcing that are expected across a river basin. Indeed, Wondzell’s [2011] conceptual model predicts systematic variation in river corridor exchange as a function of (1) variation in discharge over time at a fixed location, (2) variation in discharge with location in the river network, and (3) local geomorphic setting. To test this conceptual model we conducted more than 60 solute tracer studies collected in a synoptic campaign in the 5th order river network of the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest (Oregon, USA). We interpret the data using a series of metrics describing river corridor exchange and solute transport, testing for consistent direction and magnitude of relationships relating these metrics to discharge and local geomorphic setting. We confirmed systematic decrease in river corridor exchange space through the river networks, from headwaters to the larger mainstem. However, we did not find systematic variation with changes in discharge through time, nor with local geomorphic setting. While interpretation of our results are complicated by problems with the analytical methods, they are sufficiently robust for us to conclude that space-for-time and time-for-space substitutions are not appropriate in our study system. Finally, we suggest two strategies that will improve the interpretability of tracer test results and help the hyporheic community develop robust data sets that will enable comparisons across multiple sites and/or discharge conditions.

Adam S. Ward et al.
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Adam S. Ward et al.
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Short summary
The movement of water and solutes between streams and their shallow, connected subsurface is important to many ecosystem functions. These exchanges are widely expected to vary with stream flow across space and time, but these assumptions are seldom tested across basin scales. We completed more than 60 experiments across a 5th order river basin to document these changes, finding patterns in space but not time. We conclude space-for-time and time-for-space are not good assumptions.
The movement of water and solutes between streams and their shallow, connected subsurface is...