PhD 3 : Closing the observational gap between the hyporheic and meander scale

Objectives: (1) Expand existing tracer methods with Argon 37 to cover characteristic times relevant to the hyporheic and meander scale, (2) Integrate these data into high resolution simulations to characterize exchange processes across scales

Expected Results: The ESR project aims at providing and integrating field and modelling approaches to overcome the conceptual and observational gaps between hyporheic exchange across different spatial and temporal scales. This is indispensable for understanding and quantifying biogeochemical turnover. While current tracer methods provide information on short time scales (1-10 days, Radon) or large time scales (>100 days tritium/helium) observational gaps for the feedback mechanisms between the different scales exist. The natural tracer Argon 37 (used to detect underground nuclear bomb tests) closes this gap but has so far never been employed in this context.  Numerical models will allow quantifying exchange fluxes and processes across the different spatial and temporal scales. These models will be based on a high-resolution characterization of the streambed and will integrate tracer data (222Rn, 37Ar, 3H/3He) covering all the relevant time scales through stochastic inversion. The Emme site will be used to develop these approaches.

Supervisors: UNINE Neuchâtel / Co-Supervisors: UFZ Leipzig, GEOTH Heiligenstadt
Contact : Philip Brunner philip.brunner(at)unine.ch

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