Quantifying wetland–aquifer interactions in a humid subtropical climate region: An integrated approach

Journal of Hydrology
By: , and 



Wetlands are widely recognized as sentinels of global climate change. Long-term monitoring data combined with process-based modeling has the potential to shed light on key processes and how they change over time. This paper reports the development and application of a simple water balance model based on long-term climate, soil, vegetation and hydrological dynamics to quantify groundwater–surface water (GW–SW) interactions at the Norman landfill research site in Oklahoma, USA. Our integrated approach involved model evaluation by means of the following independent measurements: (a) groundwater inflow calculation using stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen (16O, 18O, 1H, 2H); (b) seepage flux measurements in the wetland hyporheic sediment; and (c) pan evaporation measurements on land and in the wetland. The integrated approach was useful for identifying the dominant hydrological processes at the site, including recharge and subsurface flows. Simulated recharge compared well with estimates obtained using isotope methods from previous studies and allowed us to identify specific annual signatures of this important process during the period of study (1997–2007). Similarly, observations of groundwater inflow and outflow rates to and from the wetland using seepage meters and isotope methods were found to be in good agreement with simulation results. Results indicate that subsurface flow components in the system are seasonal and readily respond to rainfall events. The wetland water balance is dominated by local groundwater inputs and regional groundwater flow contributes little to the overall water balance.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying wetland–aquifer interactions in a humid subtropical climate region: An integrated approach
Series title Journal of Hydrology
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.06.022
Volume 498
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Eastern Branch, Oklahoma Water Science Center
Description 17 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Hydrology
First page 237
Last page 253
Country United States
State Oklahoma
City Norman
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details