Biological Systems Engineering



Aaron R. Mittelstet

Date of this Version



Published in Hydrological Processes. 2020;1–11.

DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13823


Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Used by permission.


This study evaluated the spatial variability of streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity (Kv) in different stream morphologies in the Frenchman Creek Watershed, Western Nebraska, using different variogram models. Streambed Kv values were determined in situ using permeameter tests at 10 sites in Frenchman, Stinking Water and Spring Creeks during the dry season at baseflow conditions. Measurements were taken both in straight and meandering stream channels during a 5 day period at similar flow conditions. Each test site comprised of at least three transects and each transect comprised of at least three Kv measurements. Linear, Gaussian, exponential and spherical variogram models were used with Kriging gridding method for the 10 sites. As a goodness-of-fit statistic for the variogram models, cross-validation results showed differences in the median absolute deviation and the standard deviation of the cross-validation residuals. Results show that using the geometric means of the 10 sites for gridding performs better than using either all the Kv values from the 93 permeameter tests or 10 Kv values from the middle transects and centre permeameters. Incorporating both the spatial variability and the uncertainty involved in the measurement at a reach segment can yield more accurate grid results that can be useful in calibrating Kv at watershed or sub-watershed scales in distributed hydrological models.