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Hydrology, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2016)

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Open AccessArticle 2015 Disastrous Floods in Louisiana, USA, and Assam, India: Groundwater Impact on the Water Balance Estimation
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 41; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040041
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 21 November 2016
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Abstract
Traditionally torrential rains are considered as the main factor of flood emergence. With the examples of two disastrous floods in 2015 in absolutely different parts of the world, the authors roughly estimate the water balance and suggest an alternative hypothesis. The simplest model,
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Traditionally torrential rains are considered as the main factor of flood emergence. With the examples of two disastrous floods in 2015 in absolutely different parts of the world, the authors roughly estimate the water balance and suggest an alternative hypothesis. The simplest model, taking into account precipitation, evaporation and soil permeability, clearly points out the significant discrepancy between potentially accumulated and observed water masses. This observation pushes the idea that precipitation is necessary but not sufficient for disastrous flood emergence, so the only other available water source—groundwater—cannot be ignored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floods and Landslide Prediction)
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Open AccessArticle Combined Modelling of Coastal Barrier Breaching and Induced Flood Propagation Using XBeach
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 32; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040032
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 18 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
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Abstract
Breaching of coastal barriers is a three-dimensional process induced by complex interactions between hydrodynamics, sediment transport and soil avalanching processes. Although numerous coastal barriers are breached every year in many coastal countries, causing dramatic inundations of the nearshore areas, the understanding of the
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Breaching of coastal barriers is a three-dimensional process induced by complex interactions between hydrodynamics, sediment transport and soil avalanching processes. Although numerous coastal barriers are breached every year in many coastal countries, causing dramatic inundations of the nearshore areas, the understanding of the processes and interactions associated with both breaching and subsequent flood propagation is still poor. This might explain why their combined modelling and prediction has not yet been sufficiently addressed. Consequently, barrier breaching and subsequent inundation are still often modelled separately, thus ignoring the strong interaction between breaching and flooding. However, the combined modelling of such strongly coupled processes is crucial. Since the open-source model system “XBeach” consists, among others, of a nonlinear shallow water solver coupled with a morphodynamic model, also including a soil avalanching module, it has the potential to simulate both breaching and subsequent flood propagation together. Indeed, the mutual interactions between hydrodynamics and morphodynamics (including soil avalanching) are properly accounted for. This paper, therefore, aims to examine the applicability of XBeach for modelling coastal barrier breaching and inundation modelling in combination, instead of the current approaches, which address the modelling of each of these two processes separately. The performance of XBeach, in terms of inundation modelling, is assessed through comparisons of the results from this model system (i) with the results from common 1D and 2D flood propagation models and (ii) with observations for barrier breaching and subsequent inundation from a real case study. Besides providing an improved understanding of the breaching process, the results of this study demonstrate a new promising application of XBeach and its potential for calculating time-varying inland discharges, as well as for combined modelling of both dune breaching and subsequent flood propagation in coastal zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floods and Landslide Prediction)
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Flood Risk Assessment of Rural Communities in the Oti River Basin, West Africa
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 42; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040042
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
Flood damage in West Africa has increased appreciably during the last two decades. Poor communities are more at risk due to the vulnerability of their livelihoods, especially in rural areas where access to services and infrastructures is limited. The aim of this paper
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Flood damage in West Africa has increased appreciably during the last two decades. Poor communities are more at risk due to the vulnerability of their livelihoods, especially in rural areas where access to services and infrastructures is limited. The aim of this paper is to identify the main factors that contribute to flood risk of rural communities in the Oti River Basin, Togo. A community-based disaster risk index model is applied. The analyses use primary data collected through questionnaires during fieldwork, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method, population and housing census data and flood hazard mapping of the study area. The results showed a moderate level of flood risk despite a high level of hazard and vulnerability for all investigated communities. In addition, the results suggest that decreasing vulnerability through creation of new income-generating opportunities and increasing capacity of communities to manage their own flood risk should be paramount in order to reduce flood risk in the study area. The results of this work contribute to the understanding of flood risk and can be used to identify, assess, and compare flood-prone areas, as well as simulating the impacts of flood management measures in the Oti River Basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rainfall Variability across the Agneby Watershed at the Agboville Outlet in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 43; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040043
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
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Abstract
This study analyzes, at local and regional scales, the rainfall variability across the Agneby watershed at the Agboville outlet over the period 1950–2013. Daily rainfall data from 14 rain gauges are used. The methods used are based, firstly, on the rainfall index which
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This study analyzes, at local and regional scales, the rainfall variability across the Agneby watershed at the Agboville outlet over the period 1950–2013. Daily rainfall data from 14 rain gauges are used. The methods used are based, firstly, on the rainfall index which aims to characterize the inter-annual and decadal variability of rainfall and, secondly, on the moving average to determine the dynamics of the mean seasonal cycle of the precipitations. Furthermore, the Pettitt test and the Hubert segmentation are applied to detect change-point in the rainfall series. At the basin scale, analysis of rainfall signals composites has shown that the rainfall deficit was more pronounced after the leap of monsoon. Dry years were characterized by an early monsoon demise which is remarkable after 1968. Moreover, the years after 1969 presented a shift of the peaks in precipitation for about 12 days. These peaks were reached early. The rainfall signal showed that the rainfall deficit for the period after 1968, relatively to the period before, was 10% in June against 36% in October for the average rainfall in the Agneby basin. At the local scale, the deficit of the peaks depends on the location. These rainfall deficits were 23% against 36.3% in June for the Agboville and Bongouanou rain gauges, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal Changes in the Inundation Area and Water Volume of the Tonle Sap River and Its Floodplain
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040033
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
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Abstract
Flood pulses occur annually along the Tonle Sap River (TSR) due to the large volume of water flowing from Tonle Sap Lake (TSL), its tributaries, and the Mekong River (MR). This study describes the seasonal changes in inundation area and water volume in
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Flood pulses occur annually along the Tonle Sap River (TSR) due to the large volume of water flowing from Tonle Sap Lake (TSL), its tributaries, and the Mekong River (MR). This study describes the seasonal changes in inundation area and water volume in the floodplain along the TSR over three years. The method employed time series remote sensing images of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data, the digital elevation model (DEM) of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), bathymetric data, and observed water level data. Adding normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a “third band” in the maximum likelihood classification (MLC) provided higher accuracy compared to thresholding NDVI and pure MLC (two bands) only. The results showed that the inundation area ranged from 123.8 to 3251.2 km2 (mean: 1028.5 km2) with overall accuracy of 96.9%. The estimated water volume ranged from 418.3 to 2223.9 million m3 (mean: 917.3 million m3) from the dry to wet season, respectively. Seasonally, the TSR floodplain accounted for up to 5.3% and 3.2% of the mean annual inflow and outflow of the TSR, respectively. In addition to the TSL water reservoir, the TSR and its floodplain exchanged and stabilized the flow of the MR and its downstream delta, respectively. Overall, the obtained results have enhanced our understanding of the TSR, supporting further studies on river connectivity and reversal flow in this study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floods and Landslide Prediction)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding the Effects of Climate Change on Urban Stormwater Infrastructures in the Las Vegas Valley
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 34; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040034
Received: 5 June 2016 / Revised: 7 October 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 26 October 2016
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Abstract
The intensification of the hydrological cycle due to climate change entails more frequent and intense rainfall. As a result, urban water systems will be disproportionately affected by the climate change, especially in such urban areas as Las Vegas, which concentrates its population, infrastructure,
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The intensification of the hydrological cycle due to climate change entails more frequent and intense rainfall. As a result, urban water systems will be disproportionately affected by the climate change, especially in such urban areas as Las Vegas, which concentrates its population, infrastructure, and economic activity. Proper design and management of stormwater facilities are needed to attenuate the severe effects of extreme rainfall events. The North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program is developing multiple high-resolution projected-climate data from different combinations of regional climate models and global climate models. The objective of this study was to evaluate existing stormwater facilities of a watershed within the Las Vegas Valley in southern Nevada by using a robust design method for the projected climate. The projected climate change was incorporated into the model at the 100 year return period with 6 h duration depths, using a statistical regionalization analysis method. Projection from different sets of climate model combinations varied substantially. Gridded reanalysis data were used to assess the performance of the climate models. An existing Hydrologic Engineering Center’s Hydrological Modeling System (HEC-HMS) model was implemented using the projected change in standard design storm. Hydrological simulation using HEC-HMS showed exceedances of existing stormwater facilities that were designed under the assumption of stationarity design depth. Recognizing climate change and taking an immediate approach in assessing the city’s vulnerability by using proper strategic planning would benefit the urban sector and improve the quality of life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hydrodynamic Modeling of Nokoué Lake in Benin
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 44; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040044
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 3 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
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Abstract
Nokoué Lake is a complex ecosystem, the understanding of which requires control of physical processes that have occurred. For this, the Surface Water Modeling System (SMS) hydrodynamic model was calibrated and validated on the water depth data. The results of these simulations show
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Nokoué Lake is a complex ecosystem, the understanding of which requires control of physical processes that have occurred. For this, the Surface Water Modeling System (SMS) hydrodynamic model was calibrated and validated on the water depth data. The results of these simulations show a good match between the simulated and observed data for bottom roughness and turbulent exchange coefficients, of 0.02 m−1/3·s and 20 m2/s respectively. Once the ability of the model to simulate the hydrodynamics of the lake is testified, the model is used to simulate water surface elevation, exchanged flows and velocities. The simulation shows that the tidal amplitude is maximum at the inlet of the channel and decreases gradually from the inlet towards the lagoon’s main body. The propagation of the tidal wave is characterized by the dephasing and the flattening of the amplitude tide, which increases as we move away from the channel. This dephasing is characterized by a high and low tides delay of about 1 or 4 h and also depends on the tide amplitude and location. The velocities inside the lake are very low and do not exceed 0.03 m/s. The highest are obtained at the entrance of the channel. In a flood period, in contrast with the low-water period, incoming flows are higher than outflows, reinforced by the amplitude of the tide. An average renewal time of the lake has been estimated and corresponds during a flood period to 30 days for an average amplitude tide and 26.3 days on a high amplitude tide. In a low water period it is 40.2 days for an average amplitude tide and 30 days for a high amplitude tide. From the results obtained, several measures must be taken into account for the rational management of the lake water resources. These include a dam construction at the lake upstream, to control the river flows, and the dredging of the channel to facilitate exchanges with the sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floods and Landslide Prediction)
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Open AccessArticle Verification of Ensemble Water Supply Forecasts for Sierra Nevada Watersheds
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040035
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 29 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
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Abstract
This study verifies the skill and reliability of ensemble water supply forecasts issued by an innovative operational Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS) of the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) at eight Sierra Nevada watersheds in the State of California. The factors potentially influencing
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This study verifies the skill and reliability of ensemble water supply forecasts issued by an innovative operational Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS) of the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) at eight Sierra Nevada watersheds in the State of California. The factors potentially influencing the forecast skill and reliability are also explored. Retrospective ensemble forecasts of April–July runoff with 60 traces for these watersheds from 1985 to 2010 are generated with the HEFS driven by raw precipitation and temperature reforecasts from operational Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) for the first 15 days and climatology from day 16 up to day 365. Results indicate that the forecast skill is limited when the lead time is long (over three months or before January) but increases through the forecast period. There is generally a negative bias in the most probable forecast (median forecast) for most study watersheds. When the mean forecast is investigated instead, the bias becomes mostly positive and generally smaller in magnitude. The forecasts, particularly the wet forecasts (with less than 10% exceedance probability) are reliable on the average. The low April–July flows (with higher than 90% exceedance probability) are forecast more frequently than their actual occurrence frequency, while the medium April–July flows (90% to 10% exceedance) are forecast to occur less frequently. The forecast skill and reliability tend to be sensitive to extreme conditions. Particularly, the wet extremes show more significant impact than the dry extremes. Using different forcing data, including pure climatology and Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2) shows no consistent improvement in the forecast skill and reliability, neither does using a longer (than the study period 1985–2010) period of record. Overall, this study is meaningful in the context of (1) establishing a benchmark for future enhancements (i.e., newer version of HEFS, GEFS and CFSv2) to ensemble water supply forecasting systems and (2) providing critical information (on what skill and reliability to expect at a given lead time, water year type and location) to water resources managers in making uncertainty-informed decisions in maximizing the reliability of the water supply. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Total Water Storage Change in Cameroon: Calculation, Variability and Link with Onset and Retreat Dates of the Rainy Season
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 36; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040036
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 14 November 2016
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Abstract
Total water storage change (TWSC) was calculated using CRU (Climatic Research Unit) monthly gridded data for the period 1962–1993 over Cameroon. Investigations were conducted to link its annual cycle with both the beginning and the end of the rainy season. A method was
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Total water storage change (TWSC) was calculated using CRU (Climatic Research Unit) monthly gridded data for the period 1962–1993 over Cameroon. Investigations were conducted to link its annual cycle with both the beginning and the end of the rainy season. A method was derived as an alternative to determine onset and retreat dates of the rainy season. Two methods were used for the calculation of TWSC. The first method used potential evapotranspiration (PET) from the Thornthwaite formula (PET T H ) and the second, CRU gridded PET data estimated from the Penman–Monteith formula (PET P M ). A comparative study of the corresponding TWSC, namely TWSC T H and TWSC P M , respectively, was done. According to the preliminary results, the study area is classified as humid below latitude 8 N and semiarid above. The results of the spatial and temporal variations showed a close correlation between the two methods, but with a slight gap between their different values, those of TWSC P M being larger and fluctuating less. The annual cycles of TWSC and PR generally showed similar patterns, and their intensities decreased from the southern part of the area (Equatorial forest zone) to the northern part (Sahelian zone). For mean T W S C = 0 , two different points were identified: the first and the second corresponding dates matching the onset and retreat months of the rainy season, respectively, except in the arid area (Sahelian zone), where only the retreat month of the rainy season was perfectly determined. The delay observed in the determination of rainfall onset date in that area is assigned to PET formulas that are defined only for humid areas and to the influence of high temperature just before the beginning of the rainy season, promoting the rapid evaporation of soil water immediately after the first rains. Application of the same method ( T W S C = 0 ) for the individual year showed similar performances. Although TWSC is always negative in Zone 3 and positive in Zones 1 and 2, the study of the interannual variabilities revealed an overall declining trend due to a stronger decrease in precipitation compared with PET. Moreover, the decrease during dry months is more remarkable than during wet months. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Feasibility of High-Resolution Soil Erosion Measurements by Means of Rainfall Simulations and SfM Photogrammetry
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 38; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040038
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
The silty soils of the intensively used agricultural landscape of the Saxon loess province, eastern Germany, are very prone to soil erosion, mainly caused by water erosion. Rainfall simulations, and also increasingly structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, are used as methods in soil erosion research
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The silty soils of the intensively used agricultural landscape of the Saxon loess province, eastern Germany, are very prone to soil erosion, mainly caused by water erosion. Rainfall simulations, and also increasingly structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, are used as methods in soil erosion research not only to assess soil erosion by water, but also to quantify soil loss. This study aims to validate SfM photogrammetry determined soil loss estimations with rainfall simulations measurements. Rainfall simulations were performed at three agricultural sites in central Saxony. Besides the measured data runoff and soil loss by sampling (in mm), terrestrial images were taken from the plots with digital cameras before and after the rainfall simulation. Subsequently, SfM photogrammetry was used to reconstruct soil surface changes due to soil erosion in terms of high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) for the pre- and post-event (resolution 1 × 1 mm). By multi-temporal change detection, the digital elevation model of difference (DoD) and an averaged soil loss (in mm) is received, which was compared to the soil loss by sampling. Soil loss by DoD was higher than soil loss by sampling. The method of SfM photogrammetry-determined soil loss estimations also include a comparison of three different ground control point (GCP) approaches, revealing that the most complex one delivers the most reliable soil loss by DoD. Additionally, soil bulk density changes and splash erosion beyond the plot were measured during the rainfall simulation experiments in order to separate these processes and associated surface changes from the soil loss by DoD. Furthermore, splash was negligibly small, whereas higher soil densities after the rainfall simulations indicated soil compaction. By means of calculated soil surface changes due to soil compaction, the soil loss by DoD achieved approximately the same value as the soil loss by rainfall simulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rainfall Simulator Experiments to Investigate Macropore Impacts on Hillslope Hydrological Response
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 39; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040039
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 28 October 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
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Abstract
Understanding hillslope runoff response to intense rainfall is an important topic in hydrology, and is key to correct prediction of extreme stream flow, erosion and landslides. Although it is known that preferential flow processes activated by macropores are an important phenomena in understanding
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Understanding hillslope runoff response to intense rainfall is an important topic in hydrology, and is key to correct prediction of extreme stream flow, erosion and landslides. Although it is known that preferential flow processes activated by macropores are an important phenomena in understanding runoff processes inside a hillslope, hydrological models have generally not embraced the concept of an extra parameter that represents ‘macropores’ because of the complexity of the phenomenon. Therefore, it is relevant to investigate the influence of macropores on runoff processes in an experimental small artificial hillslope. Here, we report on a controlled experiment where we could isolate the influence of macropores without the need for assumptions regarding their characteristics. Two identical hillslopes were designed, of which one was filled with artificial macropores. Twelve artificial rainfall events were applied to the two hillslopes and results of drainage and soil moisture were investigated. After the experiments, it could be concluded that the influence of macropores on runoff processes was minimal. The S90 sand used for this research caused runoff to respond fast to rainfall, leading to little or no development of saturation near the macropores. In addition, soil moisture data showed a large amount of pendular water in the hillslopes, which implies that the soil has a low air entry value, and, in combination with the lack of vertical flow, could have caused the pressure difference between the matrix and the macropores to vanish sooner and result in equilibrium being reached in a relatively short time. Nevertheless, a better outline is given to determine a correct sand type for these types of experiments and, by using drainage recession analysis to investigate the influences of macropores on runoff, heterogeneity in rainfall intensity can be overcome. This study is a good point of reference to start future experiments from concerning macropores and hillslope hydrology. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Infilling Monthly Rain Gauge Data Gaps with Satellite Estimates for ASAL of Kenya
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 40; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040040
Received: 24 April 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
Design and operation of water resources management systems in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from inadequate observation data. Long running uninterrupted time series of data are often not available for water resource planning. Incomplete datasets with missing gaps is a challenge for users of the
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Design and operation of water resources management systems in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from inadequate observation data. Long running uninterrupted time series of data are often not available for water resource planning. Incomplete datasets with missing gaps is a challenge for users of the data. Inadequate data compromise results of analyses leading to wrong inference and conclusions of scientific assessments and research. Infilling of missing sections of data is necessary prior to the practical use of hydrometeorological time series. This paper proposes the use of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite data as a viable alternate source of infill for missing rain gauge records. The least square regression method, using satellite-based estimates of rainfall was tested to fill in the missing data for 153 data points at nine rain gauge stations in Machakos, Makueni and the Kitui region of Kenya. Results suggest that the satellite rainfall estimates can be used as an alternative data source for rainfall series where the missing data gaps are large. The infilled data series were used in the development of monitoring, forecasting and drought early warning for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) in Kenya. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note A Rapid Physical Habitat Assessment of Wadeable Streams for Mixed-Land-Use Watersheds
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 37; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040037
Received: 9 September 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
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Abstract
Mitigating stream and river impairment is complex, particularly in mixed-land-use watersheds given the likelihood of integrated responses of stream restoration to coupled and ongoing terrestrial ecosystem disturbance and the need for periodic reassessment and maintenance. Traditional biological sampling (e.g., macroinvertebrate sampling or other
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Mitigating stream and river impairment is complex, particularly in mixed-land-use watersheds given the likelihood of integrated responses of stream restoration to coupled and ongoing terrestrial ecosystem disturbance and the need for periodic reassessment and maintenance. Traditional biological sampling (e.g., macroinvertebrate sampling or other biological indices) alone seldom identifies the cause of biological community impairment and large fiscal investments are often made with no apparent improvement to aquatic ecosystem health. A stream physical habitat assessment (PHA) can yield information that, when paired with land-use data may reveal causal patterns in aquatic physical habitat degradation and help to identify sites for rehabilitation or restoration. A rapid and customizable physical habitat assessment method (rPHA) is presented that reduces commonly high PHA time and labor costs while facilitating informative value. Sampling time is reduced to approximately 30–40 min per survey site with a crew of three individuals. The method is flexible and thus adaptable to varied applications and needs. The rPHA design facilitates replication at regular spatial and temporal intervals thereby informing land-use managers and agencies of current conditions and trends in habitat response to natural and anthropogenic stressors. The rPHA outcomes can thus provide science-based supplemental information to better inform management practices and stream restoration decisions in contemporary mixed-land-use watersheds. Full article
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