Transport of conservative and "smart" tracers in a first-order creek: Role of transient storage type

Alexander Yakirevich, Daniel Shelton, Robert Hill, Lynda Kiefer, Matthew Stocker, Ryan Blaustein, Michael Kuznetsov, Greg McCarty, Yakov Pachepsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Using "smart" tracers such as Resazurin (Raz) allows assessment of sediment-water interactions and associated biological activity in streams. We compared two approaches to simulate the effects of transient storage (TS) on the transport of conservative and reactive tracers. The first approach considered TS as composed of metabolically active and metabolically inactive compartments, while the second model approach accounted for the surface transient storage (STS) and hyporheic transient storage (HTS). Experimental data were collected at a perennial first-order creek in Maryland, MD, USA, by injecting the conservative tracer bromide (Br) and the reactive (Raz) tracer and sampling water at two weir stations. The STS-HTS approach led to a more accurate simulation of Br transport and tails of the Raz and its product Rezorufin (Rru) breakthrough curves. Sediments support large microbial communities, and the STS-HTS model in creeks provides additional parameters to characterize the habitats of microbial water-quality indicator organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number485
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2017


  • Creek
  • Numerical modeling
  • Resazurin-resorufin system
  • Transient storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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