Flow path oscillations in transient ground-water simulations of large peatland systems

Andrew S. Reeve, Robin Evensen, Paul H. Glaser, Donald I. Siegel, Donald Rosenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Transient numerical simulations of the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatland near the Red Lakes in Northern Minnesota were constructed to evaluate observed reversals in vertical ground-water flow. Seasonal weather changes were introduced to a ground-water flow model by varying evapotranspiration and recharge over time. Vertical hydraulic reversals, driven by changes in recharge and evapotranspiration were produced in the simulated peat layer. These simulations indicate that the high specific storage associated with the peat is an important control on hydraulic reversals. Seasonally driven vertical flow is on the order of centimeters in the deep peat, suggesting that seasonal vertical advective fluxes are not significant and that ground-water flow into the deep peat likely occurs on decadal or longer time scales. Particles tracked within the ground-water flow model oscillate over time, suggesting that seasonal flow reversals will enhance vertical mixing in the peat column. The amplitude of flow path oscillations increased with increasing peat storativity, with amplitudes of about 5 cm occurring when peat specific storativity was set to about 0.05 m-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-324
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006


  • Bogs
  • Ground water
  • Peatland
  • Simulation
  • Transient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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