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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017, Article ID 6159325, 8 pages
Research Article

Quantifying the Spatial Variations of Hyporheic Water Exchange at Catchment Scale Using the Thermal Method: A Case Study in the Weihe River, China

1College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an 710127, China
2State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yangling 712100, China
3Fenner School of Environmental and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Jinxi Song; nc.ude.uwn@gnosixnij

Received 8 January 2017; Accepted 2 March 2017; Published 21 March 2017

Academic Editor: Xiaofeng Li

Copyright © 2017 Junlong Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Understanding the dynamics of hyporheic water exchange (HWE) has been limited by the hydrological heterogeneity at large catchment scale. The thermal method has been widely used to understand water exchange patterns in a hyporheic zone. This study was conducted in the Weihe River catchment in Shaanxi Province, China. A conceptual model was developed to determine water transfer patterns, and a one-dimensional heat diffusion-advection equation was employed to estimate vertical fluxes of ten different segments in the hyporheic zone in various ten segments of the catchment. The amount of water exchange varied from 78.47 mm/d to 23.66 mm/d and a decreasing trend from the upstream to downstream of catchment was observed. The spatial correlation of variability between the water exchange and distance is 0.62. The results indicate that mountain’s topography trend is the primary driver influencing the distribution of river tributaries, and the water exchange amount has a decreasing trend from upstream to downstream of the main river channel.