Hyporheic Zone Hydrochemistry of the Mine-Polluted River


Intensity of stream waters mixing with groundwaters and lateral extent of these processes in the hyporheic zone were investigated in a near-bank sandbar and an adjacent floodplain through the comparison of groundwaters and stream water chemistry of the Bia?a Przemsza River in southern Poland. The stream waters were polluted by the discharge of mine waters from “Boles?aw” lead and zinc mine. The investigated waters were several times more mineralized than the natural spring waters of the river valley. The concentration of: potassium, sodium, and the pH, as well as cadmium, lead, and zinc decreased in the hyporheic zone towards the stream bank, whereas conductance, calcium, magnesium, sulphates, as well as silica contents were the highest on the floodplain, diminishing towards the stream. The changes observed in the chemical composition of groundwaters were apparent in mixing stream waters below the depth of 2 m with shallow groundwaters draining the valley slope. Hyporheic mixing also takes place in the 10-meter-wide, marginal zone of the sandbar, whereas in the 5-meter-wide stream-side zone of the sandbar groundwaters represent weakly transformed stream water.

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Ciszewski, D. (2015) Hyporheic Zone Hydrochemistry of the Mine-Polluted River. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 47-52. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.310008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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