Your PDF has successfully downloaded.

You may be interested in finding more content on these topics:


You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:


Log in through your institution.

Automated calibration of a stream solute transport model: implications for interpretation of biogeochemical parameters

Durelle T. Scott, Michael N. Gooseff, Kenneth E. Bencala and Robert L. Runkel
Journal of the North American Benthological Society
Vol. 22, No. 4 (December 2003), pp. 492-510
DOI: 10.2307/1468348
Stable URL:
Page Count: 19
  • Download PDF
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
We're having trouble loading this content. Download PDF instead.


AbstractThe hydrologic processes of advection, dispersion, and transient storage are the primary physical mechanisms affecting solute transport in streams. The estimation of parameters for a conservative solute transport model is an essential step to characterize transient storage and other physical features that cannot be directly measured, and often is a preliminary step in the study of reactive solutes. Our study used inverse modeling to estimate parameters of the transient storage model OTIS (One dimensional Transport with Inflow and Storage). Observations from a tracer injection experiment performed on Uvas Creek, California, USA, are used to illustrate the application of automated solute transport model calibration to conservative and nonconservative stream solute transport. A computer code for universal inverse modeling (UCODE) is used for the calibrations. Results of this procedure are compared with a previous study that used a trial-and-error parameter estimation approach. The results demonstrated 1) importance of the proper estimation of discharge and lateral inflow within the stream system; 2) that although the fit of the observations is not much better when transient storage is invoked, a more randomly distributed set of residuals resulted (suggesting nonsystematic error), indicating that transient storage is occurring; 3) that inclusion of transient storage for a reactive solute (Sr2+) provided a better fit to the observations, highlighting the importance of robust model parameterization; and 4) that applying an automated calibration inverse modeling estimation approach resulted in a comprehensive understanding of the model results and the limitation of input data.

Notes and References

This item contains 44 references.

Literature Cited
  • ['Akaike, H. 1974. A new look at statistical model identification. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Automatic Control AC-19. \n\n\t\t\t\t\t716–723.']
  • ['Akaike, H. 1978. Time series analysis and control through parametric models. Pages 1–25 in D. F. Findley (editor). Applied time series analysis. Academic Press, New York.']
  • ['Avanzino, R. J., G. W. Zellweger, V. C. Kennedy, S. M. Zand, and K. E. Bencala. 1984. Results of a solute transport experiment at Uvas Creek, September, 1972. U. S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 84–236. US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California.']
  • ['Bencala, K. E. 1983. Simulation of solute transport in a mountain pool-and-riffle stream with a kinetic mass transfer model for sorption. Water Resources Research 19:732–738.']
  • ['Bencala, K. E., D. M. McKnight, and G. W. Zellweger. 1990. Characterization of transport in an acidic and metal-rich mountain stream based on lithium tracer injection and simulation of transient storage. Water Resources Research 26:989–1000.']
  • ['Bencala, K. E., and R. A. Walters. 1983. Simulation of solute transport in a mountain pool-and-riffle stream: a transient storage model. Water Resources Research 19:718–724.']
  • ['Broshears, R. E., R. L. Runkel, B. A. Kimball, D. M. McKnight, and K. E. Bencala. 1996. Reactive solute transport in an acidic stream: experimental pH increase and simulation of controls on pH, aluminum and iron. Environmental Science and Technology 30:3016–3024.']
  • ['Chapra, S. C., and R. L. Runkel. 1999. Modeling impact of storage zones on stream dissolved oxygen. Journal of Environmental Engineering 125:415–419.']
  • ['Chapra, S. C., and R. J. Wilcock. 2000. Transient storage and gas transfer in a lowland stream. Journal of Environmental Engineering 126:708–712.']
  • ['D’Angelo, D. J., J. R. Webster, S. V. Gregory, and J. L. Meyer. 1993. Transient storage in Appalachian and Cascade mountain streams as related to hydraulic characteristics. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 12:223–235.']
  • ['Fellows, C. S., H. M. Valett, and C. N. Dahm. 2001. Whole-stream metabolism in two montane streams: contribution of the hyporheic zone. Limnology and Oceanography 46:523–531.']
  • ['Hall, R. O., E. S. Bernhardt, and G. E. Likens. 2002. Relating nutrient uptake with transient storage in forested mountain streams. Limnology and Oceanography 47:255–265.']
  • ['Harvey, J. W., and C. C. Fuller. 1998. Effect of enhanced manganese oxidation in the hyporheic zone on basin-scale geochemical mass balance. Water Resources Research 34:623–636.']
  • ['Harvey, J. W., and B. J. Wagner. 2000. Quantifying hydrologic interactions between streams and their subsurface hyporheic zones. Pages 3–44 in J. A. Jones and P. J. Mulholland (editors). Streams and groundwaters. Academic Press, San Diego, California.']
  • ['Harvey, J. W., B. J. Wagner, and K. E. Bencala. 1996. Evaluating the reliability of the stream tracer approach to characterize stream-subsurface water exchange. Water Resources Research 32:2441–2451.']
  • ['Hill, A. R., C. F. Labadia, and K. Sanmugadas. 1998. Hyporheic zone hydrology and nitrogen dynamics in relation to the streambed topography of a N-rich stream. Biogeochemistry 42:285–310.']
  • ['Hill, M. C. 1992. A computer program (MODFLOWP) for estimating parameters of a transient, three-dimensional, ground-water flow model using nonlinear regression. U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 91–484. US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado.']
  • ['Hill, M. C. 1998. Methods and guidelines for effective model calibration. U. S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 98–4005. US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado.']
  • ['Hill, M. C., R. L. Cooley, and D. W. Pollack. 1998. A controlled experiment in ground-water flow model calibration using nonlinear regression. Ground Water 36:520–535.']
  • ['Hinkle, S. R., J. H. Duff, F. J. Triska, A. Laenen, E. B. Gates, K. E. Bencala, D. A. Wentz, and S. R. Silva. 2001. Linking hyporheic flow and nitrogen cycling near the Willamette River—a large river in Oregon, USA. Journal of Hydrology 244:157–180.']
  • ['Kilpatrick, F. A., and E. D. Cobb. 1985. Measurement of discharge using tracers. Techniques of water-resources investigations of the United States Geological Survey, Book 3, Chapter A16. US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado.']
  • ['Kim, B. K., A. P. Jackman, and F. J. Triska. 1992. Modeling biotic uptake by periphyton and transient hyporheic storage of nitrate in a natural stream. Water Resources Research 28:2743–2752.']
  • ['Laenen, A., and K. E. Bencala. 2001. Transient storage assessments of dye-tracer injections in rivers of the Willamette Basin, Oregon. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 37:367–377.']
  • ['McKnight, D. M., G. M. Hornberger, K. E. Bencala, and E. W. Boyer. 2002. In-stream sorption of fulvic acid in an acidic stream: a stream-scale transport experiment. Water Resources Research 38:6-1–6-12.(American Geophysical Union Citation No. 1005, Digital Object Identifier: 10.1029/2001WR000269).']
  • ['McKnight, D. M., B. A. Kimball, and R. L. Runkel. 2001. pH dependence of iron photoreduction in a rocky mountain stream affected by acid mine drainage. Hydrological Processes 15:1979–1992.']
  • ['Mehl, S. W., and M. C. Hill. 2001. A comparison of solute-transport solution techniques and their effect on sensitivity analysis and inverse modeling results. Ground Water 39:300–307.']
  • ['Morrice, J. A., H. M. Valett, C. N. Dahm, and M. E. Campana. 1997. Alluvial characteristics, groundwater-surface water exchange and hydrological retention in headwater streams. Hydrological Processes 11:253–267.']
  • ['Mulholland, P. J., E. R. Marzolf, J. R. Webster, D. R. Hart, and S. P. Hendricks. 1997. Evidence that hyporheic zones increase heterotrophic metabolism and phosphorus uptake in forest streams. Limnology and Oceanography 42:443–451.']
  • ['Mulholland, P. J., A. D. Steinman, E. R. Marzolf, D. R. Hart, and D. L. Deangelis. 1994. Effect of periphyton biomass on hydraulic characteristics and nutrient cycling in streams. Oecologia (Berlin) 98:40–47.']
  • ['Ott, L. 1993. An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis. 4th edition. PWS-Kent Publishing Company, Boston.']
  • ['Poeter, E. P., and M. C. Hill. 1997. Inverse models: a necessary next step in ground-water modeling. Ground Water 35:250–260.']
  • ['Poeter, E. P., and M. C. Hill. 1998. Documentation of UCODE, a computer code for universal inverse modeling. U. S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 98–4080. US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado.']
  • ['Runkel, R. L. 1998. One-dimensional transport with inflow and storage (OTIS): a solute transport model for streams and rivers. U. S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigation Report 98–4018. US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado. (Available from:']
  • ['Runkel, R. L. 2002. A new metric for determining the importance of transient storage. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 21:529–543.']
  • ['Runkel, R. L., B. A. Kimball, D. M. McKnight, and K. E. Bencala. 1999. Reactive solute transport in streams: a surface complexation approach for trace metal sorption. Water Resources Research 35:3829–3840.']
  • ['Runkel, R. L., D. M. McKnight, and E. D. Andrews. 1998. Analysis of transient storage subject to unsteady flow: diel flow variation in an Antarctic stream. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 17:143–154.']
  • ['Stream Solute Workshop. 1990. Concepts and methods for assessing solute dynamics in stream ecosystems. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 9:95–119.']
  • ['Tate, C. M., R. E. Broshears, and D. M. McKnight. 1995. Phosphate dynamics in an acidic mountain stream: interactions involving algal uptake, sorption by iron oxide, and photoreduction. Limnology and Oceanography 40:938–946.']
  • ['Thackston, E. L., and K. B. Schnelle. 1970. Predicting effects of dead zones on stream mixing. Journal of Sanitary Engineering 96:319–331.']
  • ['Valett, H. M., J. A. Morrice, C. N. Dahm, and M. E. Campana. 1996. Parent lithology, surface-groundwater exchange, and nitrate retention in headwater streams. Limnology and Oceanography 41:333–345.']
  • ['Wagner, B. J., and S. M. Gorelick. 1986. A statistical methodology for estimating transport parameters: theory and applications to one-dimensional advective-dispersive systems. Water Resources Research 22:1303–1315.']
  • ['Wagner, B. J., and J. W. Harvey. 1997. Experimental design for estimating parameters of rate-limited mass transfer: analysis of stream tracer studies. Water Resources Research 33:1731–1741.']
  • ['Wörman, A. 1998. Analytical solution and timescale for transport of reacting solutes in rivers and streams. Water Resources Research 34:2703–2716.']
  • ['Zand, S. M., V. C. Kennedy, G. W. Zellweger, and R. J. Avanzino. 1976. Solute transport and modeling of water quality in a small stream. Journal of Research: United States Geological Survey 4:233–240.']