National Research Program

Hydrogeology of Lakes, Wetlands and Streams

The boundary and physical properties of the sediment-water interface are highly dynamic, controlled by a shifting balance between processes that result in erosion or deposition.  This project investigates the spatial and temporal variability of ground-water surface-water exchange in response to changes in the geometry and hydrogeologic properties of this interface that are driven by episodic and sustained fluvial and hydrologic events.  Episodic events are common and occur across a broad range of physical and climatic settings and are rarely accounted for in scientific investigations or resource management.  Linkages between a dynamic sediment-water interface and the resulting fluxes between ground water and surface water need to be understood, quantified, and modeled to determine their influence on the quantity and quality of our Nation’s water resources as well as the ecological changes that occur at this important ecotone.  Quantification of the spatial and temporal variability of these linkages across the full spectrum of fresh-water settings, including streams and rivers, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries, is required, followed by determination of the larger scale significance of these processes and linkages related to surface-water and ground-water supply, water quality, and water storage. The significance of these processes with regard to climate change also is investigated through a continuation of three decades of data collection at three long-term field sites.  Also see the Shinobee Headwaters Aquatic Ecosystems Project.


Rosenberry, D.O., and Healy, R.W., 2012 (web publication 5/25/11), Influence of a thin veneer of low-hydraulic-conductivity sediment on modelled exchange between river water and groundwater in response to induced infiltration: Hydrological Processes, v. 26, no. 4, p. 544 - 557. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8153. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 556 KB, published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., a US Government work and is in the Public domain in the USA)

Rosenberry, D.O., Klos, P.Z., Neal, A., 2012 (web publication 5/18/11), In situ quantification of spatial and temporal variability of hyporheic exchange in static and mobile gravel-bed rivers: Hydrological Processes, v. 26, no. 4, p. 604-612. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8154. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Greenwood, M.C., Sojda, R.S., Sharp, J.L., Peck, R.G., and Rosenberry, D.O., 2011, Multi-scale clustering of functional data with application to hydraulic gradients in wetlands: Journal of Data Science, v. 9, p. 399-426. (on-line journal article in pdf format, 3.07 MB, on-line version of Journal of Data Science is free)

Mills, C.T., Goldhaber, M.B., Stricker, C.A., Holloway, J.M., Morrison, J.M., Ellefsen, K.J.,. Rosenberry, D.O., and Thurston, R.S., 2011, Using stable isotopes to understand hydrochemical processes in and around a Prairie Pothole wetland in the Northern Great Plains, USA: Applied Geochemistry, v. 26, supplement 1 [Ninth International Symposium on the Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (GES-9)], p. s97-s100. (on-line abstract of article)  

Nyquist, J.E., Toran, L., Fang, A.C., Ryan, R.J., and Rosenberry, D.O., 2011, Tracing tracer breakthrough in the hyporheic zone using time-lapse DC resistivity, Crabby Creek, Pennsylvania: Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (SAGEEP), Keystone, CO, April 11-15, 2010, 7 p. doi:10.4133/1.3445534 (on-line abstract of meeting paper)

Rosenberry, D.O., 2011, The need to consider temporal variability when modeling exchange at the sediment-water interface, in Abesser, C., Nützmann, G., Hill, M.C., Blöschl, G., Lakshmanan, E., eds.,Conceptual and Modelling Studies of Integrated Groundwater, Surface Water, and Ecological Systems: International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 345, p. 3-9.

Hornberger, G.M., Baedecker, M.J., Chin, Y-P, Daigger, G.T., Fountain, T.R., Kratz, T.K., Lawford, R.G., Loucks, D.P., O’Melia, C.R., Polasky, S., Rabalais, N.N., Scholz, J.T., and Winter, T.C., 2010, Review of the WATERS network science plan: The National Academies Press, 69 p. (on-line book)

Rosenberry, D.O., Toran, L., and Nyquist, J.E., 2010, The effect of surficial disturbance on exchange between groundwater and surface water in near-shore margins: Water Resources Research, v. 46, W06518. doi:10.1029/2009WR008755 (on-line abstract of journal article)

Stets, E.G., Winter, T.C., Rosenberry, D.O., and Striegl, R.G., 2010, Quantification of surface water and groundwater flows to open- and closed-basin lakes in a headwaters watershed using a descriptive oxygen stable isotope models: Water Resources Research, v. 46, W03515, doi:10.1029/2009WR007793 (on-line abstract or on-line paper in pdf format, 595 KB, published by the American Geophysical Union, not subject to U.S. copyright)

Toran, L., Johnson, M., Nyquist, J., and Rosenberry, D., 2010, Delineating a road-salt plume in lakebed sediments using electrical resistivity, piezometers, and seepage meters at Mirror Lake, New Hampshire, U.S.A: Geophysics, v. 75, no. 4, p. WA75-WA83. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Gagliano, M.P., Nyquist, J.E., Toran, L., and Rosenberry, D.O., 2009, Assessment of electrical resistivity method to map groundwater seepage zones in heterogeneous sediments: Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Environmental and Engineering Problems, Fort Worth, Texas, Environmental Engineering and Geophysical Society, v. 22, p. 815-823. (on-line abstract)

McKenzie, J.M., Siegel, D.I, and Rosenberry, D.O., 2009, Improving conceptual models of water and carbon transfer through peat: in Baird, A.J., Belyea, L.R., Comas, X, Reeve, A.S., and Slater, L.D., editors, Carbon cycling in northern peatlands: Geophysical Monograph Series, v. 184, American Geophysical Union, Washington D.C., p. 265-275.

Rosenberry, D.O., and Pitlick, J., 2009, Local-scale variability of seepage and hydraulic conductivity in a shallow gravel-bed river: Hydrological Processes, v. 23, no. 23, p. 3306-3308. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rosenberry, D.O., and Pitlick, J., 2009, Effects of sediment transport and seepage direction on hydraulic properties at the sediment-water interface of hyporheic settings: Journal of Hydrology, v. 373, p. 377-391. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rosenberry, D.O. and Winter, T.C., 2009, Hydrologic processes and the water budget, in Winter, T.C. and Likens, G.E., eds., Mirror Lake: interactions among air, land, and water: University of California Press, Berkeley, p. 23-68.

Stets, E.G., Striegl, R.G., Aiken, G.R., Rosenberry, D.O., and Winter, T.C., 2009, Hydrologic support of carbon dioxide flux revealed by whole-lake carbon budgets, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 114, G01008, doi:10.1029/2008JG000783. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Winter, T.C. and Rosenberry, D.O., 2009, Evaluation of methods and uncertainties in the water budget, in Winter, T.C. and Likens, G.E., eds, Mirror Lake: interactions among air, land, and water: University of California Press, Berkeley, p. 205-224.

Mitchell, N., Nyquist, J.E., Toran, L., Rosenberry, D.O., and Mikochik, J., 2008, Electrical resistivity as a tool for identifying geologic heterogeneities which control seepage at Mirror Lake, NH, Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (SAGEEP), Philadelphia, PA, April 6-10, 2008, v. 21, p. 749-759. (on-line abstract)

Rosenberry, D.O. 2008, A seepage meter designed for use in flowing water: Journal of Hydrology, v. 359, no.1-2, p. 118-130. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Rosenberry, D.O., 2008, The effect of river regulations and ground-water discharge on the ecology of the riparian corridors of the Colorado River and tributaries: 36th Congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologists [Proceedings], Toyama, Japan, International Association of Hydrogeologists, p. 1-10, S42-05.

Rosenberry, D.O. and LaBaugh, J.W., 2008, Field techniques for estimating water fluxes between surface water and ground water: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 4-D2, 128 p. (on-line abstract or on-line pubication in pdf format, 84.3 MB)

Rosenberry, D.O., Winter, T.C., Buso, D.C., and Likens, G.E., 2008, Reply to comment by J. Szilagyi on “Comparison of 15 evaporation methods applied to a small mountain lake in the northeastern USA”: Journal of Hydrology, v. 348, p. 566-567.

Simonds, F.W., Swarzenski, P.W., Rosenberry, D.O., Reich, C.D., and Paulson, A.J., 2008, Estimates of nutrient loading by ground-water discharge into the Lynch Cove Area of Hood Canal, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5078, 54 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 5.8 MB)

Healy, R.W., Winter, T.C., LaBaugh, J.W., and Franke, O.L., 2007, Water budgets: Foundations for effective water-resources and environmental management: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1308, 90 p. (on-line abstract or on line circular in pdf format, 27.2 MB)

McKenzie, J.M., Siegel, D.I., Rosenberry, D.O., Glaser, P.H., and Voss, C.I., 2007, Heat transport in the Red Lake Bog, glacial Lake Agassiz peatlands: Hydrological Processes, v. 21, no. 3, p. 369-378. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Metge, D.W., Harvey, R.W., Anders, R., Rosenberry, D.O., Seymour, D., and Jasperse, J., 2007, Use of carboxylated microspheres to assess transport potential of cryptosporidium parvum oocysts at the Russian River Water Supply Facility, Sonoma County, California: Geomicrobiology Journal, v. 24, p. 231-245. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Person, M., Prasenjit, R., Wright, H., Gutowski Jr., W., Ito, E., Winter, T., Rosenberry, D., and Cohen, D., 2007, Hydrologic response of the Crow Wing Watershed, Minnesota, to mid-Holocene climate change: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 119, p. 363-376. (on-line abstract)

Rosenberry, D.O., Winter, T.C., Buso, D.C., and Likens, G.E., 2007, Comparison of 15 evaporation methods applied to a small mountain lake in the northeastern USA: Journal of Hydrology, v. 340, p. 149-166. (on-line abstract of journal article)

For bibliographic citations by Donald Rosenberry prior to 2007, see Role of Lakes in the Hydrologic System, with Emphasis on Their Relation to Ground-Water


  • Donald O. Rosenberry (professional profile)
    U.S. Geological Survey, P.O. Box 25046, ms413, Denver Federal Center, Lakewood, CO
    Telephone: 303-236-4990

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