The transient storage model (TSM) has been widely used in studies of stream solute transport and fate, with an increasing emphasis on reactive solute transport. In this study we perform sensitivity analyses of a conservative TSM and two different reactive solute transport models (RSTM), one that includes first-order decay in the stream and the storage zone, and a second that considers sorption of a reactive solute on streambed sediments. Two previously analyzed data sets are examined with a focus on the reliability of these RSTMs in characterizing stream and storage zone solute reactions. Sensitivities of simulations to parameters within and among reaches, parameter coefficients of variation, and correlation coefficients are computed and analyzed. Our results indicate that (1) simulated values have the greatest sensitivity to parameters within the same reach, (2) simulated values are also sensitive to parameters in reaches immediately upstream and downstream (inter-reach sensitivity), (3) simulated values have decreasing sensitivity to parameters in reaches farther downstream, and (4) in-stream reactive solute data provide adequate data to resolve effective storage zone reaction parameters, given the model formulations. Simulations of reactive solutes are shown to be equally sensitive to transport parameters and effective reaction parameters of the model, evidence of the control of physical transport on reactive solute dynamics. Similar to conservative transport analysis, reactive solute simulations appear to be most sensitive to data collected during the rising and falling limb of the concentration breakthrough curve. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Sensitivity analysis of conservative and reactive stream transient storage models applied to field data from multiple-reach experiments