Physical parameters characterizing solute transport in the Snake River (an acidic and metal-rich mountain stream near Montezuma, Colorado) were variable along a 5.2-km study reach. Stream cross-sectional area and volumetric inflow each varied by a factor of 3. Because of transient storage, the residence time of injected tracers in the Snake River was longer than would be calculated by consideration of convective travel time alone. Distributed inflows along the stream were a significant source of in-stream chemical variations. These transport characteristics of the Snake River were established on the basis of the assumption of lithium as an ideally conservative tracer and use of simulations of advection, dispersion, and transient storage. Evaluations of the validity of this combined tracer and simulation approach lend confidence to the estimation of the physical transport parameters, but further development is warranted for methods of onsite transport experimentation in hydrologically complex, chemically reactive environments.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Characterization of transport in an acidic and metal-rich mountain stream based on a lithium tracer injection and simulations of transient storage|
|Series title||Water Resources Research|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|