LPMLE3: A novel 1-D approach to study water flow in streambeds using heat as a tracer

U. Schneidewind, M. Berkel, van, C. Anibas, Gerd Vandersteen, C. Schmidt, I. Joris, P. Seuntjens, O. Batelaan, Heiko J. Zwart

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    35 Citations (Scopus)
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    We introduce LPMLE3, a new 1-D approach to quantify vertical water flow components at streambeds using temperature data collected in different depths. LPMLE3 solves the partial differential equation for coupled water flow and heat transport in the frequency domain. Unlike other 1-D approaches it does not assume a semi-infinite halfspace with the location of the lower boundary condition approaching infinity. Instead, it uses local upper and lower boundary conditions. As such, the streambed can be divided into finite subdomains bound at the top and bottom by a temperature-time series. Information from a third temperature sensor within each subdomain is then used for parameter estimation. LPMLE3 applies a low order local polynomial to separate periodic and transient parts (including the noise contributions) of a temperature-time series and calculates the frequency response of each subdomain to a known temperature input at the streambed top. A maximum-likelihood estimator is used to estimate the vertical component of water flow, thermal diffusivity, and their uncertainties for each streambed subdomain and provides information regarding model quality. We tested the method on synthetic temperature data generated with the numerical model STRIVE and demonstrate how the vertical flow component can be quantified for field data collected in a Belgian stream. We show that by using the results in additional analyses, nonvertical flow components could be identified and by making certain assumptions they could be quantified for each subdomain. LPMLE3 performed well on both simulated and field data and can be considered a valuable addition to the existing 1-D methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6596-6610
    Number of pages15
    JournalWater resources research
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


    • EWI-27415
    • IR-102211
    • METIS-319477
    • 2023 OA procedure


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