Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Water Resources Research (June 2003) 39(6): 1,141-1,153. DOI:10.1029/2002WR001383. Copyright 2003, the American Geophysical Union. Used by permission.


We present a three-dimensional model of heterogeneous modern channel bend deposits developed through purely structure-imitating interpolation (kriging) of hydraulic properties. This model, augmented with ground-penetrating radar data and directional variograms, agrees with detailed observations in similar modern environments and leads to a process-based interpretation of the presented hydraulic conductivity structure. Integration of all available information permitted delineation and characterization of the modern streambed as a distinct hydrostratigraphic unit without coring or outcrop studies. Our results imply that the modern streambed is commonly oversimplified in available analytical and numerical models of groundwater-surface water interactions where it is assumed to be homogeneous and isotropic and characterized by a constant width and thickness. This three-dimensional approach that integrates concepts and principles developed in sedimentology, hydrogeology, geophysics, and geostatistics has potential implications on model development of stream-aquifer systems.