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Title: Groundwater-surface Water Interactions in the Hyporheic Zone
Author: W N Smith J
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1568, Representation ID: 548, Object ID: 2712; EAPRJOUT_1087, Representation ID: 340, Object ID: 2356
The Environment Agency has established a research programme on groundwater-surface water interactions, specifically aimed at pollutant attenuation processes at the interface of groundwater and surface waters, sometimes called the hyporheic zone. This report reviews the current state of knowledge of the nature of the hyporheic zone, and of the processes that occur at the groundwater-surface water interface. It describes the importance of these processes for pollutant and/or nutrient attenuation and critically evaluates the current definitions and conceptual models of the hyporheic zone. The biology and ecology of microbial, invertebrate and vertebrate interactions in hyporheic sediments are reviewed, to present a basic understanding of hyporheic ecosystems to river ecosystem managers. Currently, hyporheic and groundwater ecosystems are largely ignored by both hydrogeologists (who focus on water quality and water resources) and freshwater ecologists (who focus on benthic and in-stream ecosystems). The hyporheic zone is a critical interface between groundwater and surface water environments and is shown to be a dynamic ecotone characterised by steep chemical and biological gradients. Its ecology is an important component on the lotic food web and has a vital role in the cycling and processing of energy, carbon and nutrients. The geochemical and microbial properties of the hyporheic zone are such that it presents significant, but currently little investigated, opportunities for pollutant attenuation that may reduce the impacts of polluted groundwater on a dependent river ecosystem, or vice versa. The report concludes by identifying knowledge gaps in the existing literature and research priorities that need to be addressed within the context of an integrated catchment management to achieve Water Framework Directive objectives.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: GroundwaterSurface waterPollutantsDegradation
Extent: 71
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