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Título

Analysis of soil surface component patterns affecting runoff generation. An example of methods applied to Mediterranean hillslopes in Alicante (Spain)

AutorArnau Rosalén, Eva; Calvo-Cases, Adolfo; Boix-Fayos, Carolina ; Lavee, H.; Sarah, P.
Palabras claveSoil surface components
Runoff generation
Patterns
Hillslope processes
Fecha de publicación1-nov-2008
EditorElsevier
CitaciónGeomorphology 101(4): 595-606 (2008)
ResumenSpatial patterns of soil surface components (vegetation, rock fragments, crusts, bedrock outcrops, etc.) are a key factor determining hydrological functioning of hillslopes. A methodological approach to analyse the patterns of soil surface components at a detailed scale is proposed in this paper. The methods proposed are applied to two contrasting semi-arid Mediterranean hillslopes, and the influence of soil surface component patterns on the runoff response of the slopes was analysed. A soil surface components map was derived from a high resolution photo-mosaic obtained in the field by means of a digital camera. Rainfall simulation experimental data were used to characterise the hydrological behaviour of areas with a specific pattern of soil surface components by means of the parameters of the Horton equation. Plot runoff data were extrapolated at the hillslope scale based on the soil surface component maps and their hydrological characterisation. The results show that in both slopes runoff generation is concentrated up- and downslope, with a water accepting area in the centre of both slopes disrupting the hydrological connectivity at the slope scale. This reinfiltration patch at the centre of the slope is related to the type of soil surface component and its spatial pattern. Herbaceous vegetation and ‘on top rock fragments’ increase the infiltration capacity of soils at the centre of the slope. In contrast, embedded rock fragments, rock outcrops, as well as crusted surfaces located in the upper and lower slopes favour runoff generation in these areas. In addition, a general pattern of water contribution areas downslope is apparent on both slopes. The south-facing slope shows a higher hydrological connectivity and more runoff. 55% of the surface of the south-facing slope produces runoff at the end of a 1 hour rainfall event and 17.3% of the surface is covered by a runoff depth between 0.5 and 1 mm. While on the north-facing slope only 38% of the surface produces runoff under the same conditions. Longitudinal connectivity of runoff is higher at the south-facing slope where more runoff-generating surfaces appear and where the vegetation pattern favours the connectivity of bare areas.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.03.001
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/16207
DOI10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.03.001
ISSN0169-555X
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