This chapter introduces the key concepts of the hyporheic zone. It considers the research context in terms of the Water Framework Directive and the breadth of literature associated with the hyporheic zone. The interplay between hydrological, chemical and biological processes is explained, and a range of different approaches to field sampling and monitoring are described. A framework for considering the factors contributing to the conceptualisation of the hyporheic zone is presented, with an emphasis on the importance of understanding streambed sediments and their architecture to assess hydraulic functioning and modelling of the hyporheic zone. The hyporheic zone in karst catchments is also given specific consideration. Returning to the theme of linked hydrological, biological and chemical processes, the results of two case studies demonstrate the value of integrating hydrological measurements with geochemistry in order to elucidate hyporheic zone functioning.
Part of the book: Hydrology