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A Study On Stream Bed Hydraulic Conductivity Of Beas River In


India
1 2
VIRENDER KUMAR SARDA, MIKHIL UNNIKRISHNAN

1,2
Civil Engineering Department, NIT Hamirpur

Abstract: Hydraulic conductivity is one of the principal and most important soil hydraulic characteristics and is used in all
equations for groundwater (subsurface water) flow. The vertical hydraulic conductivity of streambed plays an important role
in river water and groundwater interaction. Determination of the vertical hydraulic conductivity of the entire riverbed has
significant importance for the study of groundwater recharge and is a necessary parameter in numerical modeling of stream-
aquifer interactions. In the present study, primary objective was to determine the variation of streambed vertical hydraulic
conductivity along Beas River. To carry out this objective, three locations along the river (A, B and C) and four transects at
each location was selected. Data was collected for two seasons i.e. winter (November-January) and summer (March-May) of
2015-2016. The spatial and temporal variation of streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity of Beas riverbed using field
standpipe permeameter test and laboratory constant head permeameter test were carried out in this study. The results
indicated that there was a wide variation of Kv values obtained from lab test and field test. The values from laboratory test
were smaller than those of field test in all locations. Across the river, values of Kv increased from river bank to the middle of
the river at all locations. Along the river, the streambed Kv values decreased from location-A to location-B. At location-C,
the Kv values were found to be higher than that at location-B. The streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity values obtained
in summer season were larger than those obtained during winter season. The statistical distribution of streambed vertical
hydraulic conductivity along the Beas River was studied using normality tests. It was also observed from the normality tests
that Kv values were not normally distributed at location A and location B, but were normally distributed at location C.

Keywords: Streambed hydraulic conductivity, Beas River, spatial and temporal variation, permeameter tests, normality test.
pores. It also depends on the soil temperature and the
1. INTRODUCTION viscosity and density of the water (Oosterbaan and Nijland,
Hydraulic properties of a streambed are major control in the 1994). In some structure-less soils (sandy soils) the K value
hydrologic connection between a stream and an aquifer is the same in all directions, but usually the K values varies
Chenet al. (2008). They are key parameters in the with flow direction. Anisotropy plays very important role
calculation of stream flow depletion (Chen and Shu, 2006) . in soil hydrology. Hydraulic conductivity in vertical and
Better understandings on the sensitivity of various horizontal direction is marked as Kv , Kh and value in
hydraulic properties are beneficial for model development
and application purposes (Rocha et al., 2006). Streambed intermediate direction is Kr . Soil layers vertical hydraulic
characteristics such as vertical hydraulic conductivity, bed conductivity is very often different from horizontal
material, thickness, width, topography, and the curvature conductivity because of vertical differences in the structure,
influence the streambed hydraulic properties and thus water texture and porosity (Stibinger, 2014). The vertical and
movement (Packman et al., 2004). The application of flow horizontal hydraulic conductivities of the streambed play
laws to engineering problems such as design of earth dams, important roles in surface water and groundwater
tailing dams, clay liner for waste management practice, and exchanges. Therefore, determination of the streambed
slope subjected to rain water infiltration requires the anisotropy is of importance in the analysis of stream-
quantification of hydraulic properties of soil (Gallage et al., aquifer interactions (Cardenas and Zlotnik, 2003).
2013). Streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity plays an
Modeling of a groundwater system is generally based on important role in understanding and quantifying the stream-
solving mathematical equations containing many aquifer interactions and stream ecosystems (Generaeux et
parameters characterizing the system. In order to have a al., 2008, Mckenzie, 2008). Higher streambed Kv induces a
reliable model, its parameter values should fit their actual higher rate of stream depletion due to groundwater
ones. Sometimes the parameters can be measured from withdrawal. Therefore, knowledge of streambed Kv is
samples in the field or in a laboratory, or they can be
determined by specially designed pumping well tests essential to characterize hydrologic connections between a
(Ibrahim, 2013). Accurate estimation of aquifer properties stream and its adjacent aquifers, and is a necessary
such as hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity and parameter in numerical modeling of stream-aquifer
storativity are considered crucial for successful interactions (Min et al., 2012). The major goal in local
groundwater development and management practices water resource management is to develop practices that
(Oosterbaan and Nijland, 1994). maintain adequate water levels in the streams while
Hydraulic conductivity K is one of the principal and most
allowing withdrawals for agricultural, domestic and
industrial production. The first step in this direction is
important soil hydraulic characteristics (parameters) and it determining the spatial variation in streambed hydraulic
is an important factor in water transport in the soil and is conductovity (Wue et al., 2015).
used in all equations for groundwater (subsurface water)
The Kv value of a soil profile can be highly variable from
flow (Stibinger, 2014). The value of a saturated soil Ks
place to place as well as at different depths (spatial
represents its average hydraulic conductivity, which variability). Not only can different soil layers have different
depends mainly on the size, shape, and distribution of the hydraulic conductivities but, even within a soil layer, the
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hydraulic conductivity can vary tremendously (Oosterbaan The principal soil types found in this riverbed are sub-
and Nijland, 1994). Some studies have revealed that the mountain, brown hill, and alluvial soils. The maximum and
vertical hydraulic conductivity changes significantly along minimum silt deposition recorded was in the month of July
the river cross section (perpendicular to the river flow) and September, with mean maximum and minimum
(Min et al., 2012). Along the river flow (in the downstream monthly silt deposition of the order 1079.99 ppm and 70.02
direction), even in a small reach (no more than hundreds of ppm respectively at Dhaulasidh dam site. The dam site is
meters), the permeability varied remarkably. Temporally located approximately 10 km from the downstream side of
changing hydraulic conductivity has the capacity to impact the study area. The maximum and minimum discharge
rates of ecological and biogeochemical processes (Wue et recorded was in the month of July and January, with mean
al., 2015). The temporal variability of streambed Kv has maximum and minimum monthly discharge of the order
298.45 cumecs and 38.4 cumecs (SJVN, 2016).
been studied in detail in the past decades. These studies
have shown that temporal pattern in streambed vertical In the study area (Fig. 1), three locations A, B, C were
hydraulic conductivity differed from one location to another selected over a stretch of 14 km in Beas River from Baleth
and can be an important consideration in induced stream to Jangalberi. The details of these locations are given in
infiltration (Springer et al., 1999). Table 1.
In the rivers of Himachal Pradesh measurement of changes
in the elevation of the streambed surface suggests erosion
and deposition which plays an important role in causing the
spatial and temporal variability in streambed (Surian,
2002). The River Beas serves as a major source of water for
the cities and villages along its bank. It has been utilized for
irrigation purposes and harnessing hydroelectricity. Several
dams are constructed across its span like the Pong Dam,
Pandoh Dam, and Dhaulasidh dam. According to the data
collected from Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited,
the maximum and minimum silt deposition recorded was in
the month of July and September respectively and the
maximum and minimum discharge recorded was in the
month of July and January respectively. The difference
between the maximum and minimum value is found to be
of high magnitude resulting in appreciable changes in the Figure 1 Map showing the study sites. In-situ tests were
riverbed properties. This necessitates the need for detailed performed at 3 locations (from sites A to C) between
study on spatial and temporal variation of hydraulic Jangalberi and Bhaleth [Map of India, 2016].
conductivity of Beas River.
Table 1 Details of different sites of location A, B and C
2. STUDY AREA Location details Distance Distance Width
The study was conducted on Beas River at Tira sujanpur, from between u/s of
which is located in the district of Hamirpur, Himachal river and d/s (m) river(m)
Pradesh, India. The River Beas, which is a major tributary bank
o o Location- u/s Ts1 2.6
of Indus river, originates at 32 2159N and 77 0508E A site Ts2 19.0
223
and flows for some 470 kilometers before meeting Sutlej Ts3 30.8
River in the Indian state of Punjab. The drainage basin of Ts4 42.3 821
Beas River is around 20,303 square kilometers large. The d/s Ts1 1.3
average bed slope is 1 in 40 for first 120 km from its site Ts2 13.7
135
source, which decreases to 1 in 5,000 near plains. The chief Ts3 25.9
tributaries are Bain, Banganga, Luni and Uhal. Ts4 43.0
Average flow for the Beas is 61,302 cusecs in August and Location- u/s Ts1 8.0
4641 cusecs in January. The river flow in summer mainly B site Ts2 23.5 286
consists of monsoonal run off combined with snow-melt Ts3 42.1
discharge. The low flow in winter is more or less constant Ts4 65.8 949
(Map of India, 2016). d/s Ts1 12.0
The climate of this river basin varies all through from very site Ts2 28.0
262
hot summer to cold winter. The temperature varies from Ts3 50.0
o o Ts4 68.5
38 C in summers to almost 0 C in winters. The period Location- u/s Ts1 6.3
from March to June is the period of continuous rise in C site Ts2 20.1
853
temperature. June is the hottest month of the year, with Ts3 34.6
mean maximum and mean minimum monthly temperatures Ts4 50.6
1439
o o d/s Ts1 2.8
of the order of 36 C and 21 C respectively at Indian site Ts2 25.9 413
Meteorological Department (IMD) station at Mandi. The Ts3 47.5
monsoon rainfall occurs mainly during July to September. Ts4 66.2
Maximum rainfall occurs in the months of July-August. At each location, in-situ permeameter tests as well as
The annual average rainfall at IMD stations at Mandi and sample collection were performed at two points, upstream
Dharamshala are 1642.2 mm and 3035 mm respectively (u/s) and downstream (d/s) of the location. At location-A
(Tira Sujanpur, 2015). (Jangalberi), (u/s) and (d/s) sites were taken 850 m apart on
2
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either side of the Mandh River joining the Beas River at A. 3.1.2 Sediment sampling
At location-B (Tira Sujanpur), (u/s) and (d/s) site were Once the field standpipe permeameter test was done, the
taken 100 m apart on either side of the tributary Nuegal soil samples using sampler (Fig. 3) were collected from
khad joining the main river at B. At location-C (Baleth), about 20 cm distances around the standpipe sites so that
(u/s) site was the wider part of the river and (d/s) site was there was no significant difference in the soil
the narrow part and they were 820 m apart. At every u/s and characteristics. The samples were then collected in
d/s site, four transect points Ts1,Ts2,Ts3,Ts 4 were fixed sampling bags and brought to the laboratory for lab test.
across the river for experimental works.
To study the spatial variation, vertical hydraulic
conductivity measurements taken at six locations along the
river and four transect at each location will be selected. To
study the temporal variation, it has also been proposed to
collect data for two seasons i.e. winter (November-January)
and summer (February-April).
A total of 48 measurements at four transect
Ts1,Ts2,Ts3,Ts4 at upstream and downstream sites of
three locations (A, B and C) in two seasons winter
(November-January) and summer (March-May) were
performed to determine the spatial and temporal variation Figure 3 Sediment sampler
of streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity. 3.2 Laboratory test
3.2.1 Constant head permeameter test
Laboratory determination of vertical hydraulic conductivity
3. METHODOLOGY was done using the constant head permeameter test. The
3.1 Field test constant head permeameter apparatus (Fig. 4) consist of a
3.1.1 Field standpipe permeameter test mould with two porous stones and collar. The porous stones
The field standpipe permeameter test (SP) involves were saturated and then placed on the drainage base. About
inserting a pipe vertically into the streambed, filling the 2.5 kg of sample was filled in the mould and then
pipe with river water, measuring the rate of decline of the compacted to the required density. In order to saturate the
water level, and then calculating the vertical hydraulic sample, water reservoir was connected to the base and
conductivity using the rate of decline (Fig. 2). water was allowed to flow upward. The reservoir was later
disconnected from the outlet. The specimen was connected
through the top inlet to the constant head reservoir, the
bottom outlet was opened and steady state of flow was
established. The quantity of flow for a convenient time
interval was noted. Temperature of water collected was also
noted. Using Darcys law, the hydraulic conductivity of
sample was calculated (Sobolewski, 2005):

K QL (2)
Ah
3
Figure 2 In-situ permeameter [Chen, 2002] Where Q = Flow rate (m /day); L = length of sediment
In the present study, a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe of 2
column; A = area (m ); h = head (height of the water).
inner diameter 3.8 cm and length 140 cm was used. The
tube was inserted into the streambed sediments, ensuring
that the length of the sediment column was approximately
35 cm. River water was poured carefully into the pipe
without disturbing the sediment column inside the pipe.
After the initial water head in the pipe was recorded, the
stop watch was started and the elapsed time was recorded.
The water head in the pipe was recorded according to the
set time interval. Water temperature was also noted using
thermometer. During the each test, the water depth was
measured at each test location to determine its relationship
with streambed hydraulic conductivity. Using the water Figure 4 Constant head permeameter apparatus
head records at given time intervals, the values of Kv were 3.3 Statistical analysis
The streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity values
calculated from modified Hvorslev solution (Chen, 2002): obtained from the field permeameter tests were analyzed
Lv h1 statistically by normality tests to check whether the values
Kv ln (1)
t1 t2 h2 are distributed normally along the river. Normality tests are
used to determine if a data set is well-modeled by a normal
Where, LV = length of the sediment column in the pipe (m); distribution and to compute how likely it is for a random
h1 = initial hydraulic head (m); h2 = final hydraulic head variable underlying the data set to be normally distributed
(Normailty test, 2016).
(m); t1 = initial time at h1 (day) and t2 = final time at h2
(day). Statistical analysis of present data was done using the
normality tests by histogram plots and normality test
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methods. The normality test methods such as JarqueBera


(JB), Lilliefors, and ShapiroWilk (SW) tests were used,

L Max f Zi cZi , f Zi pZi1 (6)
at the level of significance 0.05. Lilliefors test is an Where f Zi = frequency associated with score Zi which is
adaption of the Kolmogorov Smirnov (KS) test. The S the proportion of score smaller or equal to its value; pZi
W test has requirements of the sample size N (7 N
= probability associated with this score if it comes from a
2,000), while Lilliefors tests are preferable to apply for a
standard normal distribution with a mean of 0 and a
large sample size N ( N 2,000). The JB test is not good at standard deviation of 1.
distributions with short tails. Lilliefors tests are also less
1 1 2
pZi i
Z
powerful than the SW test (Oztuna et al., 2006). exp Zi (7)
3.3.1 Histogram 2 2
The simplest and perhaps the oldest graphical display for
x m
one-dimensional data is the histogram, which divides the Zi i (8)
range of the data into bins and plots bars corresponding to S
N 2
m
each bin, the height of each bar reflecting the number of
data points in the corresponding bin. The histogram xi
2
graphically summarizes the distribution of a data set such as S i1 (9)
the center of the data, spread of the data, skewness of the N 1
data, presence of outliers, and presence of multiple modes If the calculated value of L is found to be greater than the
in the data (Oztuna et al., 2006). In the present study
Lcritical value, the null hypothesis is rejected (Abdi and
histogram represents graphically the frequency distribution
Molin, 2007).
of field Kv values at each location. Each location (location
3.3.4 Shapiro-Wilk (S-W) test
A, B and C) comprises of sixteen streambed Kv values The Shapiro-Wilk Test (S-W) has become the preferred test
(upstream and downstream values) of two seasons. of normality because of its good power properties as
3.3.2 JarqueBera (JB) test compared to a wide range of alternative tests (Shapiro-Wilk
The Jarqua-Bera test depends on skewness and kurtosis (S-W) test, 2016). The SW test depends on the correlation
statistics. The null hypothesis is that the data is normally between given data and their corresponding normal scores.
distributed. The test is based on the test statistic value (JB) A significant W statistic causes the researcher to reject the
which is calculated using the following formula (Normality assumption that the distribution is normal. The shapiro-wilk
test, 2016): test statistics is given by:
2 2 2
JB N S EK (3) W
b
(10)
6 24 SS
N
Where S = skewness; EK = excess kurtosis. The adjusted
formulae for S and EK with small sample adjustments p value
are given as:
n
3
SS xi m
2
(11)
i1
x m
b x
N m

a x
i1
3
S N 1N 2 SD
i N 1i i (12)
(4) i1
Where x = data observations; m = mean; SD = standard
deviation:
Where ai = weight for sample size N . corresponding to the calculated W is found. If the p
n
4
x m 2 value is less than 0.05, and then the null hypothesis is
N N 1 i 1 3N 1 rejected (Mendis and Pala, 2003).
4
EK N 1N 2N 3 SD
N 2N 3
(5) 3.3.5 Box plot
The critical value of J-B test at significance level of 0.05 is A box plot provides an excellent visual summary of many
5.99. If the calculated value JB is found to be greater than important aspects of a distribution. Box plots display
the critical value, then the null hypothesis is rejected and batches of data (McGill et al., 1978). It is a graphical
data will be concluded as not normally distributed. rendition of statistical data based on the minimum, first
quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum. The term
3.3.3 Lilliefors test "box plot" comes from the fact that the graph looks like a
The Lilliefors corrected Kolmogorov-Smirnov KS Test rectangle with lines extending from the top and bottom
(Box plot, 2016). Box plots provide basic information about
compares the cumulative distribution of data to the a distribution and are good at portraying extreme values and
expected cumulative normal distribution. This test is are especially good at showing differences between
different from the KS test because the population distributions (McGill et al., 1978).
parameters that are unknown are estimated, while the The values of streambed at four transect points across the
statistic is the same. The table values of the two tests are river calculated for upstream and downstream of three
different, which results in different decisions. The test locations along the river during two seasons i.e. winter
statistics associated with Lilliefors test is given as (Abdi (November-January) and summer (March-May) using field
and Molin, 2007): and laboratory tests were plotted against distance of each
transect from the bank in order to analyze the variation of
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Kv . Figures 5 is a typical of such graphs for winter season considerably less sediment transport and deposition from
at location C upstream. the tributary to the main river, thus resulting in higher Kv
during summer.

4 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
4.1 Normality test
Histograms representing graphically the frequency
distribution of field Kv values of each location (A, B and C)
in a 15-km reach of the Beas River and comprising of
sixteen streambed Kv values (upstream and downstream
values of two seasons) were plotted. The population was
taken as sixteen Kv values ((4 u/s transect points + 4 d/s
Figure 5 Variation of Kv across the river section at transect point) two seasons = 16). Their corresponding
frequency and normal probability were found and the plots
Location-C u/s site (winter season)
were drawn with streambed Kv values along abscissa and,
From these it was noted that there was a wide variation of frequency and normal probability along ordinate. Figure 7
streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity obtained from is one such typical plot for location A.
field and laboratory test. The Kv values from laboratory
test were smaller than those of field test in all locations. The
variation of Kv obtained from field and lab tests can
be due to the disturbance in the structure of the sample
taken for the lab test by sediment sampling. In the case of
the field test, the sample inside the pipe was less disturbed
than the sample collected for lab tests. It was also observed
that up to a distance of 30 meters, there was not much
variation in field and laboratory Kv values. Beyond 30
meters, high variation of was observed and this may be due Figure 7 Histogram plot of streambed hydraulic
to higher variation in riverbed profile.
conductivity at location-A
It may also be noted that, at all locations along the river,
Normality tests by these histogram plots showed that
values of Kv increased from river bank to the middle of streambed values were not normally distributed at location
the river. The center of the river usually has higher flow A and location B but were normally distributed at location
velocity than the sides of the channel. A larger value may C. At location A and B, the streambed values were
occur in the channel sediments where the flow velocity is positively skewed as per the histogram plots.
generally higher, since fine-grained sediments can be
washed away by higher flows and they may deposit again in The normality test methods such as JarqueBera (JB),
the area with lower flow velocity. This may lead to higher Lilliefors, and ShapiroWilk (SW) tests were also carried
seepage towards middle of the river. Greater water depth out and the results obtained from these tests are shown in
can also result in coarser sediments which can lead to the Table 2.
higher streambed Kv
Table 2 Results of normality tests for location A, B and C
Figure 6 is a typical plot showing variation of Kv at location
A (d/s) for summer season (March-May).
Location Jarque Lilliefors Shapiro-Wilk
Bera (JB) Test (S-W) Test
Test

Location-A Yes No No
Location-B No No No
Location-C No Yes No

According to the J-B test, the values at location-A were


found to be normally distributed. But, the histogram plot
Figure 6 Variation of Kv across the river section at showed that these values were skewed. The reason behind
this is the unsuitability of J-B test for small size data.
Location-A d/s site (summer season)
Usually J-B test is employed for large size samples. For
From these figures it was noted that the variation in Kv in small samples the decision rule can be viewed as
summer season was the same as that observed during winter approximate. According to the Lilliefors test, location C
season. However, the streambed vertical hydraulic values were found to be normally distributed. The
conductivity values obtained in summer season were larger histogram plot also showed the same result. S-W test
than those obtained during winter season. This may be due showed that none of the data is normally distributed.
to the lesser discharge during summer which leads to
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It could be seen that Lilliefors test for normality gave same i. There was a wide variation of Kv values obtained from
results as the histogram plot results. So, Lilliefors normality
test is suitable for these streambed data. In general, lab test and field test. The Kv values from
laboratory test were smaller than those of field test in
streambed Kv values were found not to be normally
all locations in both the seasons. The variation of
distributed in location A and B. The reason may be due to obtained from field and lab tests can be due to the
the effect of tributaries at these locations. disturbance in the structure of the sample taken for the
4.2 Box plot lab test by sediment sampling.
Box plot of streambed values of three test locations
ii. Across the river, values of Kv increased from river
(location A, B and C) between Jangalberi and Baleth of
Beas River is shown in Fig. 8. In the box plot, box indicates bank to the middle of the river at all locations. Up to a
distance of 30 meters, there was not much variation in
the upper and lower quartile (75th and 25th percentile
value), the solid horizontal line inside the box indicates the Kv values. Beyond 30 meters, high variation of was
median value, and vertical line extends from the top of the observed in all locations.
box indicate the maximum value, and another vertical line iii. Along the river, the streambed Kv values decreased
extends from the bottom of the box indicate the minimum
value. The 25th and 75th percentile values are the values at from location-A to location-B. At location-C, the Kv
one-fourth and three-fourth positions of the total values were found to be higher than that at location-B.
population. The 25th percentile values for location A, B and iv. The streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity values
C are 12.324 m/day, 3.11 m/day and 6.372 m/day obtained in summer season were larger than those
respectively. The 75th percentile values for location A, B obtained during winter season.
and C are 39.74 m/day, 12.21m/day and 26.4 m/day v. Among histogram plots and normality test methods
respectively. like J-B test, Lilliefors test and S-W test, results
obtained from Lilliefors test were found to be better
compatible with histogram plots. So, Lilliefors
normality test is suitable for the present streambed
data. It has also been found that values were not
normally distributed at location A and location B, but
were normally distributed at location C.
vi. The streambed Kv values were found to be maximum
at location-A and minimum at location-B. Along the
river flow, the streambed Kv values decreased from
location-A to location-B and again increased towards
location-C. The effect of tributaries in between these
locations might have played an important role in
variation of streambed Kv values.

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