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 -
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 AccessCase Report
Infilling Monthly Rain Gauge Data Gaps with Satellite Estimates for ASAL of Kenya
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 40; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040040 -
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 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 -
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
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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 -
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 AccessTechnical Note
A Rapid Physical Habitat Assessment of Wadeable Streams for Mixed-Land-Use Watersheds
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 37; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040037 -
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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Open AccessArticle
Rainfall Simulator Experiments to Investigate Macropore Impacts on Hillslope Hydrological Response
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 39; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040039 -
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 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 -
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 (PETTH) and the second, CRU gridded PET data estimated from the Penman–Monteith formula (PETPM). A comparative study of the corresponding TWSC, namely TWSCTH and TWSCPM, 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 TWSCPM 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 TWSC=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 (TWSC=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
Verification of Ensemble Water Supply Forecasts for Sierra Nevada Watersheds
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040035 -
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
Understanding the Effects of Climate Change on Urban Stormwater Infrastructures in the Las Vegas Valley
Hydrology 2016, 3(4), 34; doi:10.3390/hydrology3040034 -
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
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 -
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
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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 -
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
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Open AccessArticle
Trends in Playa Inundation and Water Storage in the Ogallala Aquifer on the Texas High Plains
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 31; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030031 -
Abstract
The Ogallala Aquifer is an important source of irrigation water on the Texas High plains; however, significant decreases in saturated thickness threaten its future use for irrigation. A better understanding of the roles of playas, ephemeral surface ponds, in aquifer recharge is needed
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The Ogallala Aquifer is an important source of irrigation water on the Texas High plains; however, significant decreases in saturated thickness threaten its future use for irrigation. A better understanding of the roles of playas, ephemeral surface ponds, in aquifer recharge is needed to establish levels of withdrawals that will meet either established desired future conditions or sustainability. In this study, data regarding playa inundation, depth to groundwater, precipitation and land cover from 2001 to 2011 were collected and analyzed to ascertain associations between these characteristics for four study areas on the Texas High plains. Each area covered 40,000–70,000 ha. Three of the study areas in Hockley, Floyd and Swisher counties were chosen because their center contained a playa instrumented to measure weather and depth of inundation. There were 20 distinct inundation events at the three instrumented playas between 2006 and 2010. For each of these inundations, water loss exceeded rates of potential evapotranspiration (ET) by a factor of 1.6–15.7 times, implying that infiltration was occurring. Playa inundation in all four study areas was also assessed by analyzing images from the National Agricultural Imaginary program. Data on depth to groundwater were analyzed from 2000 to 2010 to determine annual changes of stored water. Annual changes in groundwater were weakly associated with surface area of inundated playas in late summer, but was strongly associated with annual rainfall. Rates of infiltration based on playa water loss versus potential ET, and volume of water in playas was more than sufficient to account for annual changes in groundwater. Land use adjoining the playas had less of influence on playa inundation than annual rainfall. These results strengthen the argument that water storage in playas on the Texas High Plains is an important source of water for aquifer recharge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Groundwater Evaporation Ponds: A Viable Option for the Management of Shallow Saline Waterlogged Areas
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 30; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030030 -
Abstract
The province of Punjab is the main food basket of India. In recent years, many regions of Punjab are facing acute waterlogging problems and increased secondary salinity, which have negative impacts on food security of the nation. In particular, these problems are more
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The province of Punjab is the main food basket of India. In recent years, many regions of Punjab are facing acute waterlogging problems and increased secondary salinity, which have negative impacts on food security of the nation. In particular, these problems are more pronounced in the Muktsar district of Punjab. The observed groundwater levels trend between 2005 and 2011 implies that groundwater levels are coming towards the land surface at the rate of 0.5 m/year in Lambi and Malout blocks. In this study, a groundwater flow model was constructed using MODFLOW to understand the groundwater table dynamics and to test the groundwater evaporation ponds to draw down the groundwater levels in the waterlogging areas of Muktsar district. The predicted flow model results indicate that groundwater levels could be depleted at the rate of 0.3 m/year between 2012 and 2018 after the construction of Groundwater Evaporation Ponds (GEP). In addition, the constructed ponds can be used for aquaculture that generates additional income. The proposed GEP method may be a promising tool and suitable for the reduction of waterlogging in any region if there is no proper surface drainage, and also for enhancement of agricultural production that improves the social and economic status of the farming community. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Flood Risk Analysis in Lower Part of Markham River Based on Multi-Criteria Decision Approach (MCDA)
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 29; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030029 -
Abstract
Papua New Guinea is blessed with a plethora of enviable natural resources, but at the same time it is also cursed by quite a few natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslide, floods, droughts etc. Floods happen to be a natural process of
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Papua New Guinea is blessed with a plethora of enviable natural resources, but at the same time it is also cursed by quite a few natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslide, floods, droughts etc. Floods happen to be a natural process of maintaining the health of the rivers and depth of its thalweg; it saves the river from becoming morbid while toning up the fertility of the riverine landscape. At the same time, from human perspective, all these ecological goodies are nullified when flood is construed overwhelmingly as one of the most devastating events in respect to social and economic consequences. The present investigation was tailored to assess the use of multi-criteria decision approach (MCDA) in inland flood risk analysis. Categorization of possible flood risk zones was accomplished using geospatial data sets, like elevation, slope, distance to river, and land use/land cover, which were derived from digital elevation model (DEM) and satellite image, respectively. A pilot study area was selected in the lower part of Markham River in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The study area is bounded by 146°31′ to 146°58′ east and 6°33′ to 6°46′ south; covers an area of 758.30 km2. The validation of a flood hazard risk map was carried out using past flood records in the study area. This result suggests that MCDA within GIS techniques is very useful in accurate and reliable flood risk analysis and mapping. This approach is convenient for the assessment of flood in any region, specifically in no-data regions, and can be useful for researchers and planners in flood mitigation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Spatiotemporal Variations in Snow and Soil Frost—A Review of Measurement Techniques
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 28; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030028 -
Abstract
Large parts of the northern hemisphere are covered by snow and seasonal frost. Climate warming is affecting spatiotemporal variations of snow and frost, hence influencing snowmelt infiltration, aquifer recharge and river runoff patterns. Measurement difficulties have hampered progress in properly assessing how variations
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Large parts of the northern hemisphere are covered by snow and seasonal frost. Climate warming is affecting spatiotemporal variations of snow and frost, hence influencing snowmelt infiltration, aquifer recharge and river runoff patterns. Measurement difficulties have hampered progress in properly assessing how variations in snow and frost impact snowmelt infiltration. This has led to contradicting findings. Some studies indicate that groundwater recharge response is scale dependent. It is thus important to measure snow and soil frost properties with temporal and spatial scales appropriate to improve infiltration process knowledge. The main aim with this paper is therefore to review ground based methods to measure snow properties (depth, density, water equivalent, wetness, and layering) and soil frost properties (depth, water and ice content, permeability, and distance to groundwater) and to make recommendations for process studies aiming to improve knowledge regarding infiltration in regions with seasonal frost. Ground-based radar (GBR) comes in many different combinations and can, depending on design, be used to assess both spatial and temporal variations in snow and frost so combinations of GBR and tracer techniques can be recommended and new promising methods (auocostics and self potential) are evolving, but the study design must be adapted to the scales, the aims and the resources of the study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Conditions for the Occurrence of Slaking and Other Disaggregation Processes under Rainfall
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 27; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030027 -
Abstract
Under rainfall conditions, aggregates may suffer breakdown by different mechanisms. Slaking is a very efficient breakdown mechanism. However, its occurrence under rainfall conditions has not been demonstrated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of slaking under rain. Two
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Under rainfall conditions, aggregates may suffer breakdown by different mechanisms. Slaking is a very efficient breakdown mechanism. However, its occurrence under rainfall conditions has not been demonstrated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of slaking under rain. Two soils with silt loam (SL) and clay loam (CL) textures were analyzed. Two classes of aggregates were utilized: 1–3 mm and 3–5 mm. The aggregates were submitted to stability tests and to high intensity (90 mm·h−1) and low intensity (28 mm·h−1) rainfalls, and different kinetic energy impacts (large and small raindrops) using a rainfall simulator. The fragment size distributions were determined both after the stability tests and rainfall simulations, with the calculation of the mean weighted diameter (MWD). After the stability tests the SL presented smaller MWDs for all stability tests when compared to the CL. In both soils the lowest MWD was obtained using the fast wetting test, showing they were sensitive to slaking. For both soils and the two aggregate classes evaluated, the MWDs were recorded from the early beginning of the rainfall event under the four rainfall conditions. The occurrence of slaking in the evaluated soils was not verified under the simulated rainfall conditions studied. The early disaggregation was strongly related to the cumulative kinetic energy, advocating for the occurrence of mechanical breakdown. Because slaking requires a very high wetting rate on initially dry aggregates, it seems unlikely to occur under field conditions, except perhaps for furrow irrigation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Rainfall Variability, Land Use and Land Cover Change on Stream Flow of the Black Volta Basin, West Africa
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 26; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030026 -
Abstract
Potential implications of rainfall variability along with Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULC) on stream flow have been assessed in the Black Volta basin using the SWAT model. The spatio-temporal variability of rainfall over the Black Volta was assessed using the Mann-Kendall
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Potential implications of rainfall variability along with Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULC) on stream flow have been assessed in the Black Volta basin using the SWAT model. The spatio-temporal variability of rainfall over the Black Volta was assessed using the Mann-Kendall monotonic trend test and the Sen’s slope for the period 1976–2011. The statistics of the trend test showed that 61.4% of the rain gauges presented an increased precipitation trend whereas the rest of the stations showed a decreased trend. However, the test performed at the 95% confidence interval level showed that the detected trends in the rainfall data were not statistically significant. Land use trends between the year 2000 and 2013 show that within thirteen years, land use classes like bare land, urban areas, water bodies, agricultural lands, deciduous forests and evergreen forests have increased respectively by 67.06%, 33.22%, 7.62%, 29.66%, 60.18%, and 38.38%. Only grass land has decreased by 44.54% within this period. Changes in seasonal stream flow due to LULC were assessed by defining dry and wet seasons. The results showed that from year 2000 to year 2013, the dry season discharge has increased by 6% whereas the discharge of wet season has increased by 1%. The changes in stream flows components such us surface run-off (SURF_Q), lateral flow (LAT_Q) and ground water contribution to stream flow (GW_Q) and also on evapotranspiration (ET) changes due to LULC was evaluated. The results showed that between the year 2000 and 2013, SURF_Q and LAT_Q have respectively increased by 27% and 19% while GW_Q has decreased by 6% while ET has increased by 4.59%. The resultant effects are that the water yield to stream flow has increased by 4%. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Runoff and Soil Erosion Assessment on Forest Roads Using a Small Scale Rainfall Simulator
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 25; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030025 -
Abstract
Forestry operations can significantly alter hydrological and erosional processes in a catchment. In the course of developing timberland, a network of persistent roads and skid trails causing soil compaction is usually established. Hereby, the infiltration rate of the soil is distinctly reduced, which
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Forestry operations can significantly alter hydrological and erosional processes in a catchment. In the course of developing timberland, a network of persistent roads and skid trails causing soil compaction is usually established. Hereby, the infiltration rate of the soil is distinctly reduced, which leads to the generation of overland flow—this may also cause soil erosion. In this study, a small-scale rainfall simulator is used to investigate hydrological and erosional processes on forest roads and skid trails. The results show increased runoff rates on forest roads, up to 25 times higher than on undisturbed forest topsoil. On skid trails, the runoff rates were altered especially in rutted areas (16 times higher) while unrutted parts showed a lesser change (four times higher). With sufficient overland flow, soil erosion rates also rose, particularly when the vegetation cover of the surface was removed: bare road surfaces featured higher mean erosion rates (195 g·m−2) than partly or completely vegetated skid trails (13 g·m−2) and undisturbed sites (5 g·m−2). The findings presented in this study indicate the need for the use of compaction reducing technology during forestry operations and a revegetation of road surfaces in order to minimize the detrimental factor of roads and skid trails on water retention and soil conservation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Watershed Infiltration and Erosion Parameters from Field Rainfall Simulation Analyses
Hydrology 2016, 3(3), 23; doi:10.3390/hydrology3030023 -
Abstract
Realistic modeling of infiltration, runoff and erosion processes from watersheds requires estimation of the effective hydraulic conductivity (Km) of the hillslope soils and how it varies with soil tilth, depth and cover conditions. Field rainfall simulation (RS) plot studies provide an
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Realistic modeling of infiltration, runoff and erosion processes from watersheds requires estimation of the effective hydraulic conductivity (Km) of the hillslope soils and how it varies with soil tilth, depth and cover conditions. Field rainfall simulation (RS) plot studies provide an opportunity to assess the surface soil hydraulic and erodibility conditions, but a standardized interpretation and comparison of results of this kind from a wide variety of test conditions has been difficult. Here, we develop solutions to the combined set of time-to-ponding/runoff and Green– Ampt infiltration equations to determine Km values from RS test plot results and compare them to the simpler calculation of steady rain minus runoff rates. Relating soil detachment rates to stream power, we also examine the determination of “erodibility” as the ratio thereof. Using data from over 400 RS plot studies across the Lake Tahoe Basin area that employ a wide range of rain rates across a range of soil slopes and conditions, we find that the Km values can be determined from the combined infiltration equation for ~80% of the plot data and that the laminar flow form of stream power best described a constant “erodibility” across a range of volcanic skirun soil conditions. Moreover, definition of stream power based on laminar flows obviates the need for assumption of an arbitrary Mannings “n” value and the restriction to mild slopes (<10%). The infiltration equation based Km values, though more variable, were on average equivalent to that determined from the simpler calculation of steady rain minus steady runoff rates from the RS plots. However, these Km values were much smaller than those determined from other field test methods. Finally, we compare RS plot results from use of different rainfall simulators in the basin and demonstrate that despite the varying configurations and rain intensities, similar erodibilities were determined across a range of infiltration and runoff rates using the laminar form of the stream power equation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Identification of Streamflow Changes across the Continental United States Using Variable Record Lengths
Hydrology 2016, 3(2), 24; doi:10.3390/hydrology3020024 -
Abstract
The study focused on investigating the presence of change patterns in 600 unimpaired streamflow stations across the continental U.S. at different time intervals to understand the change patterns that can provide significant insight regarding climate variability and change. Each station had continuous streamflow
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The study focused on investigating the presence of change patterns in 600 unimpaired streamflow stations across the continental U.S. at different time intervals to understand the change patterns that can provide significant insight regarding climate variability and change. Each station had continuous streamflow data of at least 30 years (the entire dataset covered a range of 109 years). Presence of trends and shifts were detected in water year and the four seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer) analyzing the water year and seasonal mean flows. Two non-parametric tests, namely, the Mann-Kendall test and the Pettitt’s test were used to identify the trends and the shifts, respectively. The results showed an increasing trend in the northeast and upper-mid regions, whereas southeast and northwest regions underwent a decrease. Shifts followed similar patterns as trends with higher number of stations with significant change. Fall and spring showed the highest number of stations with increasing and decreasing change, respectively, in the seasonal analyses. Results of this study may assist water managers to understand the streamflow change patterns across the continental U.S., especially at the regional scale since this study covers a long range of years with a large number of stations in each region. Full article