Heuristic numerical and analytical models of the hydrologic controls over vertical solute transport in a domed peat bog, Jura Mountains, Switzerland

Jeffrey M. McKenzie, Donald I. Siegel, William Shotyk, Philipp Steinmann, Gabriele Pfunder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the results of numerical and analytical simulations to test the hypothesis that downward vertical flow of porewater from the crests of domed alpine and kettle bogs controls vertical porewater distributions of major solutes such as Ca and Mg. The domed Etang de la Gruère bog (EGr), Switzerland, characterized by a vertical downward gradient of 0.04 and stratified layers of peat, is chosen as a field site for the model calibration and evaluation. The middle 4-m section of the 6.5 m thick bog peat is heavily humified and has a hydraulic conductivity of ∼10-5.6 cm s-1. Above and below, peat is less humified with a hydraulic conductivity of ∼10-3 cm s-1. Heuristic finite difference simulations, using Visual MODFLOW, of the bog hydraulics show that the higher conductivity peat at the bog base is critical to create the observed deep, local flow cells that substantively recharge porewater. Model results and Peclet number calculations show that before ∼700014C yr BP diffusion of solutes from underlying mineral soils controlled the vertical distribution of porewater chemistry. From 7000 to ∼1250 14C BP the porewater chemistry was probably controlled by both upward diffusion and downward advection, and after ∼1250 14C yr BP porewater chemistry was probably controlled by downward advection. Concentrations of conservative major solutes in the porewaters of alpine, ombrotrophic bogs are the net effect of both downward vertical porewater movement and upward vertical diffusion, the magnitudes of which are delicately poised to the configuration of the bog water table over time and subsurface peat stratigraphy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1064
Number of pages18
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2002

Keywords

  • Diffusion
  • Domed bog
  • Hydrology
  • Jura Mountains
  • Numerical modelling
  • Peat
  • Peclet number
  • Solute transport
  • Switzerland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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