Method for estimating spatially variable seepage loss and hydraulic conductivity in intermittent and ephemeral streams
Article first published online: 24 MAY 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 44, Issue 5, May 2008
How to Cite
2008), Method for estimating spatially variable seepage loss and hydraulic conductivity in intermittent and ephemeral streams, Water Resour. Res., 44, W05418, doi:10.1029/2007WR006626., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 24 MAY 2008
- Article first published online: 24 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 FEB 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 23 JAN 2008
- Manuscript Received: 1 NOV 2007
- streambed seepage;
- surface water–groundwater interaction;
- groundwater recharge
 A method is presented for estimating seepage loss and streambed hydraulic conductivity along intermittent and ephemeral streams using streamflow front velocities in initially dry channels. The method uses the kinematic wave equation for routing streamflow in channels coupled to Philip's equation for infiltration. The coupled model considers variations in seepage loss both across and along the channel. Water redistribution in the unsaturated zone is also represented in the model. Sensitivity of the streamflow front velocity to parameters used for calculating seepage loss and for routing streamflow shows that the streambed hydraulic conductivity has the greatest sensitivity for moderate to large seepage loss rates. Channel roughness, geometry, and slope are most important for low seepage loss rates; however, streambed hydraulic conductivity is still important for values greater than 0.008 m/d. Two example applications are presented to demonstrate the utility of the method.