Statistical and geostatistical features of streambed hydraulic conductivities in the Platte River, Nebraska

Xunhong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This paper presents streambed hydraulic conductivities of the Platte River from south-central to eastern Nebraska. The hydraulic conductivities were determined from river channels using permeameter tests. The vertical hydraulic conductivities (K v ) from seven test sites along this river in south-central Nebraska belong to one statistical population. Its mean value is 40.2 m/d. However, the vertical hydraulic conductivities along four transects of the Ashland test site in eastern Nebraska have lower mean values, are statistically different from the K v values in south-central Nebraska, and belong to two different populations with mean values of 20.7 and 9.1 m/d, respectively. Finer sediments carried from the Loup River and Elkhorn River watersheds to the eastern reach of the Platte River lowers the vertical hydraulic conductivity of the streambed. Correlation coefficients between water depth and K v values along a test transect indicates a positive correlation - a larger K v usually occurs in the part of channel with deeper water. Experimental variograms derived from the vertical hydraulic conductivities for several transects across the channels of the Platte River show periodicity of spatial correlation, which likely result from periodic variation of water depth across the channels. The sandy to gravelly streambed contains very local silt and clay layers; spatially continuous low-permeability streambed was not observed in the river channels. The horizontal hydraulic conductivities were larger than the vertical hydraulic conductivities for the same test locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-701
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Permeameter test
  • Platte River
  • Streambed
  • Variogram models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science

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