The role of management of Stream-Riparian Zones on Subsurface-Surface flow components

Mads Steiness, Søren Jessen, Mattia Spitilli, Sofie G.W. van't Veen, Anker Lajer Højberg, Peter Engesgaard

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

6 Citationer (Scopus)


A managed riparian lowland in a glacial landscape (Holtum catchment, Denmark) was studied to quantify the relative importance of subsurface and surface flow to the recipient stream. The hydrogeological characterization combined geoelectrical methods, lithological logs, and piezometric heads with monthly flow measurements of springs, a ditch, and a drain, to determine seasonality and thereby infer flow paths. In addition, groundwater discharge through the streambed was estimated using temperature and water-stable isotopes as tracers. The lowland received large groundwater inputs with minimal seasonal variations from adjacent upland aquifers. This resulted in significant amounts of groundwater-fed surface flow to the stream, via man-made preferential flow paths comprising ditches, drainage systems, and a pond, and via two natural springs. Roughly, two thirds of the stream gain was due to surface flow to the stream, mainly via anthropogenic alterations. In contrast, direct groundwater discharge through the streambed accounted for only 4% of the stream flow gain, although bank seepage (not measured) to the straightened and deepened stream potentially accounted for an additional 17%. Comparison to analogous natural flow systems in the catchment substantiate the impact of anthropogenic alterations of riparian lowlands for the subsurface and surface flow components to their streams.

Antal sider23
TidsskriftWater (Switzerland)
Udgave nummer9
StatusUdgivet - 2019


  • Programområde 2: Vandressourcer


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