Characterization of the spatial differences in hydrological functioning in a tidal marsh, Patuxent River, MD: A framework for understanding nutrient dynamics
Prestegaard, Karen L.
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This study investigates spatial variations in sediment hydraulic conductivity (K), network channel shape and horizontal groundwater flux magnitude toward tidal network channels in a freshwater tidal marsh. Results showed the average value of K at zero meters from the creekbank was significantly higher than the K at both 5 and 15 meters from the network channel creekbank. Creekbank gradient did increase with increasing distance from the main channel and some data indicated that channel width-to-depth ratio (F), which is inversely related to creekbank gradient, correlates well with K. In addition, horizontal groundwater flux magnitude at a depth of 11 cm was significantly greater than flux magnitude at 22 cm below the ground surface at the first-order network channel location. Horizontal flux magnitude was also significantly higher from 5 to 0 meters than from 15 to 5 meters from the network channel creekbank at both the first- and second-order channel locations.