On diurnal riparian zone groundwater-level and streamflow fluctuations

József Szilágyi, Zoltán Gribovszki, Péter Kalicz, Mihály Kucsara

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Gribovszki et al. (Gribovszki, Z., Kalicz, P., Szilagyi, J., Kucsara, M., 2008. Riparian zone evapotranspiration estimation from diurnal groundwater-level fluctuations. J. Hydrol.) recently reported a peculiar phase-shift in diurnal streamflow and riparian zone groundwater-level fluctuations during streamflow recession for a small forested watershed. Employing high-frequency (10 min) groundwater-level and streamflow measurements in a wooded riparian zone of a gaining stream they demonstrated that groundwater-level changes lagged behind that of streamflow changes by about 1-1.5 h. To check the validity of their claim, a 2D finite element numerical model of the coupled system of vadose and saturated zones was employed with diurnal fluctuations in evapotranspiration. The model successfully reproduced the reported phase-shift and produced diurnal groundwater and streamflow fluctuations similar in their characteristics to what was reported. This finding demonstrates that by observing a similar phase-shift in diurnal fluctuations between high-frequency streamflow rate (or stream stage) and groundwater-level measurements during recession flow conditions, does not, in itself, indicate that the stream section is a losing one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2008


  • Diurnal fluctuations
  • Groundwater-level
  • Riparian ET
  • Riparian zone
  • Streamflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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