Improved Vertical Streambed Flux Estimation Using Multiple Diurnal Temperature Methods in Series

D. J. Irvine, M. A. Briggs, I. Cartwright, C. R. Scruggs, L. K. Lautz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Analytical solutions that use diurnal temperature signals to estimate vertical fluxes between groundwater and surface water based on either amplitude ratios (Ar) or phase shifts (Δϕ) produce results that rarely agree. Analytical solutions that simultaneously utilize Ar and Δϕ within a single solution have more recently been derived, decreasing uncertainty in flux estimates in some applications. Benefits of combined (ArΔϕ) methods also include that thermal diffusivity and sensor spacing can be calculated. However, poor identification of either Ar or Δϕ from raw temperature signals can lead to erratic parameter estimates from ArΔϕ methods. An add-on program for VFLUX 2 is presented to address this issue. Using thermal diffusivity selected from an ArΔϕ method during a reliable time period, fluxes are recalculated using an Ar method. This approach maximizes the benefits of the Ar and ArΔϕ methods. Additionally, sensor spacing calculations can be used to identify periods with unreliable flux estimates, or to assess streambed scour. Using synthetic and field examples, the use of these solutions in series was particularly useful for gaining conditions where fluxes exceeded 1 m/d.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved Vertical Streambed Flux Estimation Using Multiple Diurnal Temperature Methods in Series'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this