Modeling the Effects of Turbulence on Hyporheic Exchange and Local-to-Global Nutrient Processing in Streams
Grant, Stanley B.
Gomez-Velez, Jesus D.
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New experimental techniques are allowing, for the first time, direct visualization of mass and momentum transport across the sediment-water interface in streams. These experimental insights are catalyzing a renaissance in our understanding of the role stream turbulence plays in a host of critical ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling. In this commentary, we briefly review the nature of stream turbulence and its role in hyporheic exchange and nutrient cycling in streams. A simple process-based model, borrowed from biochemical engineering, provides the link between empirical relationships for grain-scale turbulent mixing and nutrient processing at reach, catchment, continental, and global scales.