Original paper

A sandy hyporheic zone limited vertically by a solid boundary

Cleven, Ernst-Josef; Meyer, Elisabeth I.


Knowledge on sandy hyporheic zones in streams, especially those limited by a solid layer, is scarce. We studied seasonal and spatial patterns of abiotic parameters in the hyporheic zone of a lowland stream, in which the depth of the sandy sediment is limited by a layer of iron pan, a cemented and firm Fe- and Mn-rich horizon that hinders exchange between stream/interstitial water and ground water. Temperature, dissolved organic carbon, particulate organic matter, phosphorus, and nitrogen compounds in the interstitial water reflected the conditions of the infiltrating channel water. Concentrations of the abiotic parameters varied within the same ranges at all investigated depths, suggesting that interstitial water and channel water were very homogeneous. The exception was dissolved oxygen, where interstitial concentration was lower. However, the spatial distribution of interstitial dissolved oxygen, examined at a small scale (decimetre/centimetre level), did not follow a uniform pattern. These data contribute to a better understanding and documentation of sandy hyporheic zone characteristics.


hyporheic zonesandoxygendissolved organic carbonnitrogenphosphorussedimentcharacteristics.