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Environmental Significace of the Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction Zone

Videos and Animations

Watch more videos featuring Subsurface Biogeochemical funded research at DOE's SBR video page.

WHONDRS Diel Cycling Study Protocol

This video demonstrates the protocol we used during our WHONDRS Diel Cycling Study in the summer of 2018. We had collaborators at seven sites across the world collect surface and pore water samples every three hours for 48 hours. Our goal was to target different drivers of stream water level fluctuations (i.e., hydropower dams, glacial freeze/thaw, wastewater effluent, tidal inputs) and capture the microbial and biogeochemical changes that occurred during the anticipated hydrologic changes. All data we produce are open access and available on ESS-DIVE as soon as possible.

WHONDRS Surface Water Sampling Protocol

This video demonstrates the quick and easy protocol to sample surface water for our WHONDRS metabolite biogeography study. We send out free sampling kits to collaborators across the world, and in under 10 minutes, they collect filtered water samples to send back to us for characterization of carbon, geochemistry, and microbial community. All data we produce are open access and available on ESS-DIVE as soon as possible.

New Sensor for Hydrobiogeochemistry in River Corridors

Estimating the mass flux of water through subsurface sediments is important for understanding hydrologic and biogeochemical function of river corridors, but is very challenging in dynamic systems. WHONDRS is solving this challenge with new sensor technology. The first version of this new technology is summarized in this video. The FluxTool provides estimates of sediment porosity and true hydrologic mass flux using pressure, temperature, fluid conductivity, and bulk conductivity. Additional capabilities to estimate redox and other biogeochemical parameters are being developed as well. Once fully field-tested, WHONDRS will make this instrument freely available to researchers working in dynamic river corridors. Generated data will be modeled using a PNNL-developed computational code that will be publicly accessible very soon.

What is WHONDRS?

What is WHONDRS? The Worldwide Hydrobiogeochemistry Observation Network for Dynamic River Systems (WHONDRS) is a consortium of researchers and other interested parties that aims to understand coupled hydrologic, biogeochemical, and microbial function within river corridors experiencing recurring, episodic, or chronic hydrologic perturbations. WHONDRS aims to galvanize a global community around understanding these coupled systems from local to global scales and ultimately provide the scientific basis for improved management of dynamic river corridors throughout the world. This video gives an overview of some of the work WHONDRS is doing and a subset of the scientific questions driving our research. Learn more at or contact

Understanding Large River Corridors: Multidisciplinary Instrumentation and Modeling

In the past five decades more than 50,000 dams have been built on rivers worldwide. Changing conditions in watershed hydrology, contaminants, precipitation, snowpack volume, and other factors will alter the hydrology, biology, and chemistry of regulated river corridors. How will these changes be predicted? To inform a new generation of models, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are conducting an ongoing experiment along a 60-by-15 meter stretch of the Columbia River in southeastern Washington state. Donning wetsuits and working bundled up along the shoreline, they deployed thousands of meters of wires, sampling tubes, and sensors to help them predict hydrobiogeochemical function under future environmental conditions.

Impacts of hydrologic exchange flows on water quality

Hear from SFA co-PI James Stegen about the impacts of hydrologic exchange flows on water quality and greenhouse gas emissions as you watch activities at the SFA's Columbia River field site. For more information, see Stegen et al., Nature Communications, 2016 (DOI: 10.1038/NCOMMS11237.)

E4D-RT: Real-time Four-Dimensional Subsurface Imaging

An imaging technology that enables researchers—for the first time—to take four-dimensional views of the subsurface was selected as a 2016 R&D 100 Award winner. Known as E4D-RT: Real-time Four-Dimensional Subsurface Imaging, the technology combines geology, physics, mathematics and chemistry with supercomputer modeling to create four-dimensional images of what's happening below the surface. The tool is being used in the SFA to dynamically image river water intrusion into the surficial aquifer. Listen as SFA researcher Tim Johnson explains.

analog for porous media

Animation of simulated fluid flow through a three-dimensional wavy-walled tube

Watch an animation of simulated fluid flow through a three-dimensional wavy-walled tube. SFA researchers used this as an analog for porous media (with pore bodies and throats) to understand the impacts of unsteady flow features on solute dispersion. For more information, see Richmond et al., Adv. Water Resour., 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2013.06.014

analog for porous media

Animation of geophysical observations of river water intrusion into the surficial aquifer at the Hanford Site 300 Area

View an animation of geophysical observations of river water intrusion into the surficial aquifer at the Hanford Site 300 Area. The animation is based on Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT). The intrusion is driven by variations in river stage, and can be observed by ERT because of differences in electrical conductivity between groundwater and river water. The contours on the animation represent variations in electrical conductivity (specific conductivity or SpC). The inset in the upper right corner shows the variations in river stage (surface elevation) during the observational period.


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