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Stream network expansion and contraction - patterns, controls and importance (STREAMEC)

English title Stream network expansion and contraction - patterns, controls and importance (STREAMEC)
Applicant van Meerveld Ilja
Number 159254
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Hydrology and Climate Unit Department of Geography University of Zurich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.11.2015 - 30.06.2020
Approved amount 359'879.00
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Keywords (7)

connectivity; water quality; temporary streams; spatial patterns; runoff generation; headwater catchment; channel network

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Bäche, die nur zeitweise Wasser führen, sind auch in feuchten Regionen wie der Schweiz häufig und haben oft einen wesentlichen Anteil an der Gesamtlänge des Gewässernetzes. Die normalen Beobachtungsmessnetze erfassen diese Gewässer jedoch kaum, und daher ist wenig über die Bedeutung dieser Teile des Gewässernetzes für Abflussmengen und Wasserqualität bekannt. Das Projekt STREAMEC soll diese "aqua temporaria incognita" durch detaillierte Messungen erkunden und damit das Verständnis der hydrologischen Prozesse in Bächen, die nur zeitweise Wasser führen, verbessern.
Lay summary

Temporäre Bäche, also Bäche, die nur zeitweise Wasser führen, sind wenig erforscht und stellen eine "aqua temporaria incognita" dar. Das Projekt STREAMEC beschäftigt sich mit der Rolle dieser Teile des Gewässernetzes. Wichtige Fragen sind, wie und wann diese Bäche zum Abfluss beitragen und inwiefern die Wasserqualität durch solche Bäche beeinflusst wird. Für den Aspekt der Wasserqualität ist es besonders wichtig, dass organisches Material und andere Substanzen, die sich in einem Bach während Perioden ohne Abfluss angesammelt haben, beim Einsetzen des Abflusses mobilisiert werden können, was die Wasserqualität stromabwärts signifikant beeinflussen kann. Um diesen Einfluss besser zu verstehen, ist es wichtig, die Dynamik der Wasserführung und die räumliche Verbindung wasserführender Bachabschnitte zu verstehen.

Im Projekt STREAMEC werden detaillierte Feldmessungen in zwei voralpinen Einzugsgebieten durchgeführt. Das Auftreten von fliessendem Wasser in temporären Bächen wird mit verschiedenen Sensoren und Zeitrafferkameras beobachtet und kartiert. Damit wird untersucht, wann welche Bachabschnitte Wasser führen, und die Dynamik der Verbindungen im Gewässernetz quantifiziert. Der Vergleich dieser Messresultate mit Topographie, Geologie und Vegetation soll es ermöglichen, die Resultate der untersuchten Gebiete auf andere Gebiete zu übertragen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.10.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Expansion and contraction of the flowing stream network alter hillslope flowpath lengths and the shape of the travel time distribution
van Meerveld H. J. Ilja, Kirchner James W., Vis Marc J. P., Assendelft Rick S., Seibert Jan (2019), Expansion and contraction of the flowing stream network alter hillslope flowpath lengths and the shape of the travel time distribution, in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 23(11), 4825-4834.
A Low-Cost, Multi-Sensor System to Monitor Temporary Stream Dynamics in Mountainous Headwater Catchments
Assendelft Rick, van Meerveld H. J. (2019), A Low-Cost, Multi-Sensor System to Monitor Temporary Stream Dynamics in Mountainous Headwater Catchments, in Sensors, 19(21), 4645-4645.

Datasets

Studibach stream networks

Author Assendelft, Rick; van Meerveld, Ilja
Publication date 15.11.2019
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3543674
Repository Zenodo
Abstract
The data set includes:*) Mapped_networks.shp: Shapefile with mapped stream networks in the upper Studibach catchment (Alptal, Switzerland) for three different dates (columns in the attribute table, yyyy_mm_dd): Aug 21, 2018: Extremely dry conditions Nov 2, 2016: Dry conditions Oct. 25, 2016: Wetting-up conditions (during a low intensity rainfall event)The stream state was classified as: Dry streambed Standing water Weakly trickling Trickling Weakly flowing Flowing*) Topo_network.shp: The stream network shown on the topographic map (derived from the Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo) National Map 1:25,000 (Pixelkarte 25))*) Boundary.shp: The catchment boundaries

A Low-Cost, Multi-Sensor System to Monitor Temporary Stream Dynamics in Mountainous Headwater Catchments

Author Assendelft, Rick; van Meerveld, H. J.
Publication date 25.11.2019
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://doi.org/10.3390/s19214645
Repository Supplementary material of the publication
Abstract
The supplementary material of the publication contains the:*) 3D-print object: Housing for the float switch sensor*) 3D- print object: Platform for the float switch sensor*) 3D-print object: Pipe fitting for the flow sensor*) Operating program for the multi-sensor monitoring system

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
EAWAG - Department of Aquatic Ecology Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
EPFL - ENAC IIE ECHO Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
SMIRES Cost Action (Science and Management of Intermittent Rivers & Ephemeral Streams) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
INRAE France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
ETH - Department of Environmental Systems Science Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
WSL - Mountain Hydrology and Mass Movements Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
EGU General Assembly Poster Spatiotemporal changes in the hydrological state of temporary streams in a pre-alpine headwater catchmen 04.05.2020 Vienna (online), Austria Assendelft Rick; van Meerveld Ilja;
EGU General Assembly Poster Expansion and contraction of the flowing stream network changeshillslope flowpath lengths and the travel time distribution 07.04.2019 Vienna, Austria Seibert Jan; van Meerveld Ilja; Assendelft Rick;
17th Biennial Conference Euromediterranean Network of Experimental and Representative Basins (ERB) Poster Assessment of temporary stream dynamics in a mountainous headwatercatchment using a multi-sensor monitoring system 11.09.2018 Darmstadt, Germany Seibert Jan; Assendelft Rick; van Meerveld Ilja;
EGU General Assembly Poster A low cost strategy to monitor the expansion and contraction of theflowing stream network in mountainous headwater catchments 23.04.2017 Vienna, Austria Assendelft Rick; Seibert Jan; van Meerveld Ilja;


Awards

Title Year
Poster awards for "Most Innovative study" and "Best reference to the conference topic" at the ERB (Euromediterranean Network of Experimental and Representative Basins) 2018 conference in Darmstadt. 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
197194 TopFlow: (in)visible water flows near the surface 01.03.2021 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Temporary streams are very common, also in humid climates, and often represent a substantial portion of total stream length. However, temporary streams are generally not included in stream monitoring networks and hydrologists have, so far, largely ignored them. As a result, little is known about the hydrological responses of temporary streams and the factors that control the occurrence of flow in temporary streams. Connectivity of previously disconnected stream segments can result in sudden increases in streamflow and significantly alter stream water quality in downstream perennial streams. For the latter, it is especially important to note that organic material and other substances that might have accumulated in the channel during periods of no flow, might be flushed out at the onset of flow in temporary streams, causing a water chemistry dynamic that is different from that of constantly flowing streams. It is thus important to study how and when connectivity between flowing sections of the stream network is established and what controls the occurrence of flow in temporary streams. The overall aim of the proposed research is to explore these ‘aqua temporaria incognita’. This will provide a better understanding of temporary streams and their importance for spatial and temporal variations in runoff and stream water quality in headwater catchments. This will be done by detailed field experiments in two pre-Alpine headwater catchments. We will map the presence of flowing water in temporary streams using an array of low costs sensors, time-lapse cameras and traditional mapping techniques to study how connectivity of flowing stream reaches is established and what topographic and landscape factors control the occurrence of flow seasonally and during different events. We will use the occurrence of flow in the stream network as an indicator of subsurface flow and hillslope-stream connectivity in order to better understand the precipitation and groundwater level thresholds that control runoff generation. This is a novel way to obtain information on the spatial variability of the temporal controls on subsurface flow generation. Finally, by monitoring the onset of flow and connectivity of stream reaches and simultaneous sampling of water chemistry in temporary streams during events, we will determine how connectivity of the temporary stream network affects downstream water quality.
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