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    Author(s): John M. Buffington; Daniele Tonina
    Date: 2009
    Source: Geography Compass. 3(3): 1038-1062.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1020.01 KB)


    We propose that the mechanisms driving hyporheic exchange vary systematically with different channel morphologies and associated fluvial processes that occur in mountain basins, providing a framework for examining physical controls on hyporheic environments and their spatial variation across the landscape. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of hyporheic environments within mountain catchments represents a nested hierarchy of process controls. Large-scale process drivers (geology, climate, fire, and land use) impose a suite of watershed conditions (topography, streamflow, sediment supply, and vegetation) on the fluvial system. Different combinations of imposed watershed conditions result in different reach-scale channel morphologies (e.g. step-pool, pool-riffle, and braided) that, in turn, structure hyporheic processes (e.g. pressure divergence, spatial variation of hydraulic conductivity) and resultant hyporheic environments (scales and rates of hyporheic exchange). Consequently, a holistic view of natural and anthropogenic drivers over a range of spatial and temporal scales is needed for understanding hyporheic ecosystems.

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    Buffington, John M.; Tonina, Daniele. 2009. Hyporheic exchange in mountain rivers II: Effects of channel morphology on mechanics, scales, and rates of exchange. Geography Compass. 3(3): 1038-1062.


    hyporheic exchange, rivers, channel morphology, fluvial processes

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