This study presents the results of the influence of stream bed hydraulic conductivity on baseflow sustainability by using a coupled model of surface and subsurface hydrology. The model provides a coupled solution to the dynamic interactions between a river and a surfacial aquifer and is used to numerically study the effect of stream bed conductivity on the overall system response. To achieve this objective, the model is formulated to include a one-dimensional river flow model and a two-dimensional vertically averaged groundwater flow model in an unconfined aquifer. The coupling is achieved at the river bed via a hydraulic flux that is described as a function of river bed conductivity and the gradient between river stage and groundwater head. The model incorporates the concept of simultaneous presence of the two hydrologic processes for simulating the dynamic interactions and uses a novel numerical technique to solve the two systems concurrently. These interactions are analyzed by numerical experimentation under different hydraulic conductivity conditions. The influence of hydraulic conductivity and hydraulic gradient is studied under steady and unsteady flow regimes to assess the occurrence of baseflow. The analysis also reveals critical insights into the governing mechanisms that provide and sustain the baseflow in rivers.

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