Data from Rickel et al. (2021), Seasonal shifts in surface water-groundwater connections from electrical resistivity in a ferricrete-impacted stream

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Created: Aug 10, 2020 at 5:21 p.m.
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These data are described in Rickel, A., Hoagland, B., Navarre-Sitchler, A. and Singha, K. (2021). Seasonal shifts in surface water-groundwater connections from electrical resistivity in a ferricrete-impacted stream. Geophysics, v. 86, no. 5, 13 p. 10.1190/GEO-2020-0599.1.

The efficacy of the hyporheic zone (HZ) — where surface water and groundwater mix — for processing nutrients or uptake of metals is dependent on streambed hydraulic conductivity and stream discharge, among other characteristics. Here, we explore electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) of hyporheic exchange in Cement Creek near Silverton, Colorado, which is affected by ferricrete precipitation. To quantify flows through the HZ, we conducted four-hour salt injection tracer tests and collected time-lapse ERT of the streambed and banks of Cement Creek at high and low flow. We installed piezometers to conduct slug tests, which suggested a low permeability zone at 44-cm depth likely comprised of ferricrete that cemented cobbles together. Based on the ERT, the tracer released into the stream was constrained within the shallow streambed with little subsurface flow through the banks. Tracer was detected in the HZ for a longer time at high flow compared to low flow, suggesting that more flow paths were available to connect the stream to the HZ. Tracer was confined above the ferricrete layer during both the high- and low-flow tests. Mass transfer and storage area parameters were calculated from combined analysis of apparent bulk conductivity derived from ERT and numerical modeling of the tracer breakthrough curves. The hyporheic storage area estimated at low discharge (0.1 m2) was smaller than at high discharge (0.4 m2) and residence times were 2.7 h at low discharge and 4.1 h at high discharge. During high discharge, in-stream breakthrough curves displayed slower breakthrough and longer tails, which was consistent with the time-lapse electrical inversions and One-dimensional Transport with Inflow and Storage (OTIS) modeling. Our findings indicate that ferricrete reduces the hydraulic conductivity of the streambed and limits the areal extent of the HZ, which may lower the potential for pollutant attenuation from the metal-rich waters of Cement Creek.

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Resource Level Coverage


Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
Upper Cement Creek
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Start Date:
End Date:



This resource includes the raw data from Analysis of the Influence of Ferricrete on Hyporheic Exchange 
Flows. The general naming convention used in this resource is: FlowRegime_StreamReach_DataType. 

The raw data types included in this resource are: electrical resistivity tomography (DataType = ERT), 
stream gauging (DataType = StreamGauging), fluid electrical conductivity (DataType = FluidEC), water 
chemistry (DataType = WaterChemistry), and slug tests (DateType = SlugTest). 

The electrical resistivity tomography data were collected with an IRIS Syscal Pro unit. Electrode positions 
remained the same between flows, as listed in the respective files. A dipole-dipole array was used. 
Electrodes A, B, M, and N are represented in the file by Spa.1, Spa.2, Spa.3, and Spa.4, respectively. Each 
row in this file represents a quadripole, with Vp representing the voltage measured (mV), In 
representing the current injected (mA), Date representing the time of data collection, and Dev 
representing the error associated with each quadripole (%).

The stream gauging data were retrieved with a HACH flow meter. The files include discretized 
measurements of distance (m), depth (m), velocity (m/s), and discharge (m3/s) for each measurement 
made. It also includes the total discharge (m3/s), the proportion of total discharge that was captured in 
each measurement, and general notes about each measurement.

The fluid electrical conductivity data were collected with a HOBO Conductivity Logger. The files include 
the time of collection, the low range fluid conductivity (uS/cm), full range conductivity (uS/cm), and 
temperature (F or C, as labeled). The low-flow fluid conductivity files also include specific conductivity 

The water chemistry data were analyzed using different methods. In-situ measurements of temperature, 
pH, and electrical conductivity were made with the ThermoFisher Orion Star multiparameter meter. 
Reduced iron and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations were measured with a HACH DR1900 field-
portable spectrophotometer. Cations and anions were analyzed with the Dionex ICS-2100 ion 
chromatograph. Metals samples were analyzed with a Perkin-Elmer Optima 5300 DV inductively coupled 
plasma-optical emission spectrometer. The file includes measurements of pH (-), DO (mg/L), As (ug/L), 
Fe (mg/L), S181 (mg/L), Pb (ug/L), Al (mg/L), Mn (ug/L), and SO4 (mg/L), including both total 
concentration and dissolved concentration where applicable (as labeled in the file). Samples were 
collected in the stream and in all of the wells in the streambed.

Slug test data were collected by hand with a sounding tape within the 3 wells in the streambed. Slug 
tests were taken in September and November, labeled respectively. The files include the time passed 
since the start of the test (s), the water level measured from the top of casing to water (ft or cm, as 
labeled), and depth of water above initial (cm).


Related Resources

This resource is described by: Rickel, A. (2020). The Analysis of the Influence of Ferricrete on Hyporheic Exchange Flows (Master's thesis). Colorado School of Mines: Golden, CO.
The content of this resource serves as the data for: Rickel, A., Hoagland, B., Navarre-Sitchler, A. and Singha, K. (2021). Seasonal Shifts in Surface Water-Groundwater Connections in a Ferricrete-Impacted Stream Estimated from Electrical Resistivity. Geophysics, v. 86, no. 5, 13 p. 10.1190/GEO-2020-0599.1.


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation EAR-1806718

How to Cite

Rickel, A., B. Hoagland, A. Sitchler, K. Singha (2021). Data from Rickel et al. (2021), Seasonal shifts in surface water-groundwater connections from electrical resistivity in a ferricrete-impacted stream, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoCommercial CC BY-NC.


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