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Density effects on solute release from streambeds

Jin, Guangqiu, Yang, Wenhai, Xu, Huiyu, Zhang, Zhongtian, Yuan, Saiyu, Tang, Hongwu, Li, Ling, Barry, David Andrew
Hydrological processes 2020 v.34 no.5 pp. 1144-1153
convection, hyporheic zone, laboratory experimentation, mathematical models, mixing, solutes, stream channels, surface water, water flow, water pollution
Contaminants that entered the streambed during previous surface water pollution events can be released to the stream, causing secondary pollution of the stream and impacting its eco‐environmental condition. By means of laboratory experiments and numerical simulations, we investigated density effects on the release of solute from periodic bedforms. The results show that solute release from the upper streambed is driven by bedform‐induced convection, and that density effects generally inhibit the solute release from the lower streambed. Density gradients modify the pore water flow patterns and form circulating flows in the area of lower streambed. The formation of circulating flows is affected by density gradients associated with the solute concentration and horizontal pressure gradients induced by stream slope. The circulating flows near the bottom of the streambed enhance mixing of the hyporheic zone and the ambient flow zone.