Predictive Modeling of Transient Storage and Nutrient Uptake: Implications for Stream Restoration

This study examined two key aspects of reactive transport modeling for stream restoration purposes: the accuracy of the nutrient spiraling and transient storage models for quantifying reach-scale nutrient uptake, and the ability to quantify transport parameters using measurements and scaling techniques in order to improve upon traditional conservative tracer fitting methods. Nitrate (NO ? 3 ) uptake rates inferred using the nutrient spiraling model underestimated the total NO ? 3 mass loss by 82%, which was attributed to the exclusion of dispersion and transient storage. The transient storage model was more accurate with respect to the NO ? 3 mass loss (±20%) and also demonstrated that uptake in the main channel was more significant than in storage zones. Conservative tracer fitting was unable to produce transport parameter estimates for a riffle-pool transition of the study reach, while forward modeling of solute transport using measured/scaled transport parameters matched conservative tracer breakthrough curves for all reaches. Additionally, solute exchange between the main channel and embayment surface storage zones was quantified using first-order theory. These results demonstrate that it is vital to account for transient storage in quantifying nutrient uptake, and the continued development of measurement/scaling techniques is needed for reactive transport modeling of streams with complex hydraulic and geomorphic conditions. ASCE Subject Headings: Restoration, Nutrient loads, Transport phenomena, Fluvial hydraulics, Surface waters Author keywords: Restoration, Nutrient loads, Transport phenomena, Fluvial Hydraulics, Surface waters
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Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
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Minnesota Water Research Digital Library
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