The interactions between groundwater and surface water are complex. To understand these interactions in relation to climate, landform, geology, and biotic factors, a sound hydrogeoecological framework is needed. All these aspects are synthesized and exemplified in this overview. In addition, the mechanisms of interactions between groundwater and surface water (GW-SW) as they affect recharge-discharge processes are comprehensively outlined, and the ecological significance and the human impacts of such interactions are emphasized. Surface-water and groundwater ecosystems are viewed as linked components of a hydrologic continuum leading to related sustainability issues. This overview concludes with a discussion of research needs and challenges facting this evolving field. The biogeochemical processes within the upper few centimeters of sediments beneath nearly all surface-water bodies (hyporheic zone) have a profound effect on the chemistry of the water interchange, and here is where most of the recent research has been focusing. However, to advance conceptual and other modeling of GW-SW systems, a broader perspective of such interactions across and between surface-water bodies is needed, including multidimensional analyses, interface hydraulic characterization and spatial variability, site-to-region regionalization approaches, as well as cross-disciplinary collaborations.
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Interactions between groundwater and surface water: The state of the science