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Title

Spatial and temporal variability of groundwater dynamics in a sub-Mediterranean mountain catchment

AuthorsLana-Renault, Noemí ; Regüés-Muñoz, D. ; Serrano Muela, M. P. ; Latron, Jérôme
KeywordsWater table
Runoff contributing areas
Stream flow
Sub-Mediterranean mountain
Experimental catchment
Issue Date7-Jun-2013
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
CitationHydrological Processes (on-line first): (2013)
Abstract[EN] The temporal and spatial dynamics of groundwater was investigated in a small catchment in the Spanish Pyrenees, which was extensively used for agriculture in the past. Analysis of the water tablefluctuations atfive locations over a 6-year period demonstrated that the groundwater dynamics had a marked seasonal cycle involving a wetting-up period that commenced with the first autumn rainfall events, a saturation period during winter and spring and a drying-down period from the end of spring until the end of the summer. The length of the saturation period showed great interannual variability, which was mainly influenced by the rainfall and evapotranspiration characteristics. There was marked spatial variability in the water table, especially during the wetting-up period, which could be related to differences in slope and drainage area, geomorphology, soil properties and local topography. Areas contributing to runoff generation were identified within the catchment byfield mapping of moisture conditions. Areas contributing to infiltration excess runoff were correlated with former cultivated fields affected by severe sheetwash erosion. Areas contributing to saturation excess runoff were characterized by a marked spatial dynamics associated with catchment wetness conditions. The saturation spatial pattern, which was partially related to the topographic index, was very patchy throughout the catchment, suggesting the influence of other factors associated with past agricultural activities, including changes in local topography and soil properties. The relationship between water table levels and streamflow was weak, especially during the wetting-up period, suggesting little connection between ground water and the hydrological response, at least at some locations. The results suggest that in drier and human-disturbed environments, such as sub-Mediterranean mountains, saturation patterns cannot be represented only by the general topography of the catchment. They also suggest that groundwater storage and runoff is not a succession of steady-state flow conditions, as assumed in most hydrological models. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Description37 páginas, 10 figuras, 2 tablas.- The definitive version is available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hyp.9892/pdf
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.9892
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/79204
DOI10.1002/hyp.9892
ISSN0885-6087
E-ISSN1099-1085
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
(IPE) Artículos
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