Modelling the impacts of river stage manipulation on a complex river-floodplain system in a semi-arid region

S. Alaghmand, S. Beecham, I.D. Jolly, K.L. Holland, J.A. Woods, A. Hassanli

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the complex interaction between a river and a saline floodplain in a semi-arid environment strongly influenced by groundwater lowering using a fully integrated physically-based numerical model. The main objective is to quantify the impacts of river stage manipulation on freshening
of the shallow floodplain groundwater through bank storage. It is shown that river stage rises produce a relatively less saline floodplain aquifer with a larger freshwater lens. First, an increase in river stage reduces saline groundwater recharge to the floodplain. Second, the enhanced bank storage is able to freshen the groundwater near the river banks during high-flow pulses by mixing fresh water with saline groundwater. Overall, it was found that river stage manipulation may be considered as a short term salt management technique. However, if longer term strategies are required, it may be possible to implement these salt interception measures periodically
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-126
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • River stage manipulation
  • Surface water and groundwater interaction
  • Semi-arid floodplain
  • Unsaturated zone stored solute
  • HydroGeoSphere
  • Lower Murray River

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