EISSN : 23065338
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 313
Latest articles in this journal
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7020021
With predicted alterations in climate and land use, managing water resources is of the utmost importance, especially in areas such as the United States (U.S.) Coastal Plain where extensive connections exist between surface and groundwater systems. These changes create the need for models that effectively assess shifting hydrologic regimes and, in that context, we examine the performance of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in a low-gradient, shallow-aquifer-dominated watershed of the U.S. Coastal Plain using a gridded reanalysis dataset. We evaluate accuracy, uncertainty, and parameter sensitivity by comparing observed and predicted streamflow at two gaging stations and assess model predictions for yearly average runoff (SURQ), percolation (PERC), and sediment loss (SYLD). Streamflow performance was acceptable during calibration (NSE = 0.67 and 0.60) and very good during validation (NSE = 0.84 and 0.91). Model predictions for SURQ, PERC, and SYLD coincided with expected ranges for this region. Parameters related to shallow aquifer properties or groundwater were highly sensitive, which indicates the need for continued study of spatial and temporal variability within the sub-surface components of these hydrologic systems. Our findings highlight the applicability of this reanalysis dataset for modeling hydrologic processes in poorly gaged watersheds and adds to the body of research that seeks to develop effective assessment tools for shallow-aquifer-dominated systems. Our methodology can effectively assist watershed managers in establishing baseline rates of hydrologic processes as is crucial with future predicted shifts in hydrologic regimes due to land-use alteration and climate change.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7020020
To find the adequate spatial model discretization scheme, which balances the models capabilities and the demand for representing key features in reality, is a challenging task. It becomes even more challenging in high alpine catchments, where the variability of topography and meteorology over short distances strongly influences the distribution of snow cover, the dominant component in the alpine water cycle. For the high alpine Research Catchment Zugspitze (RCZ) a new method for objective delineation of hydrological response units (HRUs) using a time series of high resolution LIDAR derived snow depth maps and the physiographic properties of the RCZ is introduced. Via principle component analysis (PCA) of these maps, a dominant snow depth pattern, that turned out to be largely defined during the (winter) accumulation period was identified. This dominant pattern serves as a reference for HRU delineations on the basis of cluster analyses of the catchment’s physiographic properties. The method guarantees for an appropriate, objective, spatial discretization scheme, which allows for a reliable and meaningful reproduction of snow cover variability with the Cold Regions Hydrological Model — at the same time avoiding significant increase of computational demands. Different HRU schemes were evaluated with measured snow depth and the comparison of their model results identified significant differences in model output and best performance of the scheme which best represents measured snow depth distribution.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010019
The Niger Delta is the most climate-vulnerable region in Nigeria. Flooding events are recorded annually in settlements along the River Niger and its tributaries, inundating many towns and displacing people from their homes. In this study, climate change impacts from extreme meteorological events over the period 2010–2099 are predicted and analyzed. Four coupled model intercomparison project phase 5 (CMIP5) global climate models (GCMs) under respectively concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) emission scenarios were used for climate change predictions. Standardized precipitation indices (SPI) of 1-month and 12-month time steps were used for extreme event assessment. Results from the climate change scenarios predict an increase in rainfall across all future periods and under both emission scenarios, with the highest projected increase during the last three decades of the century. Under the RCP8.5 emission scenario, the rainfall at Port Harcourt and Yenagoa Stations is predicted to increase by about 2.47% and 2.62% while the rainfall at Warri Station is predicted to increase by about 1.39% toward the end of the century. The 12-month SPI under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios predict an exceedance in the extreme wet threshold (i.e., SPI > 2) during all future periods and across all study locations. These findings suggest an increasing risk of flooding within the projected periods. The finding can be useful to policymakers for the formulation and planning of flood mitigation and adaptation measures.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010017
Understanding the variation in the hydrological response of a basin associated with land use changes is essential for developing management strategies for water resources. The impact of hydrological changes caused by expected land use changes may be severe for the Wami river system, given its role as a crucial area for water, providing food and livelihoods. The objective of this study is to examine the influence of land use changes on various elements of the hydrological processes of the basin. Hybrid classification, which includes unsupervised and supervised classification techniques, is used to process the images (2000 and 2016), while CA–Markov chain analysis is used to forecast and simulate the 2032 land use state. In the current study, a combined approach—including a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model and Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR)—is used to explore the influences of individual land use classes on fluctuations in the hydrological components. From the study, it is evident that land use has changed across the basin since 2000 (which is expected to continue in 2032), as well as that the hydrological effects caused by land use changes were observed. It has been found that the major land use changes that affected hydrology components in the basin were expansion of cultivation land, built-up area and grassland, and decline in natural forests and woodland during the study period. These findings provide baseline information for decision-makers and stakeholders concerning land and water resources for better planning and management decisions in the basin resources’ use.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010018
Sediment concentration of rivers in developing countries has been increasing greatly over the last 50 years due to the conversion of forest to continuously cultivated land with the increasing population. Few studies have addressed its effect on sedimentation and water quality of the lakes by analyzing bottom sediment characteristics. In this study, the objective was to investigate the spatial distribution (and their interrelationships) of the bottom sediment characteristics in the largest lake in Ethiopia, Lake Tana where water hyacinths have been spreading rapidly during the last decade. Sediment samples were collected from the lake bottom at 60 locations and analyzed for texture, organic matter, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus. Bottom sediment samples had a median of 75% clay, 13% silt, and 9% sand. Clay was greatest in the northwestern part and smallest in the areas near the major rivers entering or exiting the lake. Clay percentage and lake depth were strongly correlated. The mean organic matter content of bottom sediment was 16 g kg−1, total nitrogen 0.8 g kg−1, and Olsen available phosphorus 19 mg kg−1. Phosphorus concentrations peaked where water hyacinths were found in the northeastern part of the lake. This study will serve as a baseline for future water quality and sedimentation changes in Lake Tana. In particular, it might aid in explaining the spread of the water hyacinths.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010016
The study investigated the impact on water supply and demand as an effect of climate change and population growth in the Las Vegas Valley (LVV) as a part of the Thriving Earth Exchange Program. The analyses evaluated future supply and demand scenarios utilizing a system dynamics model based on the climate and hydrological projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phases 3 and 5 (CMIP3 and CMIP5, respectively) using the simulation period expanding from 1989 to 2049. The main source of water supply in LVV is the water storage in Lake Mead, which is directly related to Lake Mead elevation. In order to assess the future water demand, the elevation of Lake Mead was evaluated under several water availability scenarios. Fifty-nine out of the 97 (27 out of the 48) projections from CMIP5 (CMIP3) indicated that the future mean elevation of Lake Mead is likely to be lower than the historical mean. Demand forecasts showed that the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s conservation goal for 2035 can be significantly met under prevalent conservation practices. Findings from this study can be useful for water managers and resource planners to predict future water budget and to make effective decisions in advance to attain sustainable practices and conservation goals.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010015
The reconstruction of hydro-stratigraphic units in subsoil (a general term indicating all the materials below ground level) plays an important role in the assessment of soil heterogeneity, which is a keystone in groundwater flow and transport modeling. A geostatistical approach appears to be a good way to reconstruct subsoil, and now other methods besides the classical indicator (co)kriging are available as alternative approximations of the conditional probabilities. Some of these techniques take specifically into account categorical variables as lithologies, but they are computationally prohibitive. Moreover, the stage before subsoil prediction/simulation can be very informative from a hydro-stratigraphic point of view, as the detailed transiogram analysis of this paper demonstrates. In this context, an application of the spMC package for the R software is presented by using a test site located within the Venetian alluvial plain (NE Italy). First, a detailed transiogram analysis was conducted, and then a maximum entropy approach, based on transition probabilities, named Markovian-type Categorical Prediction (MCP), was applied to approximate the posterior conditional probabilities. The study highlights some advantages of the presented approach in term of hydrogeological knowledge and computational efficiency. The spMC package couples transiogram analysis with a maximum entropy approach by taking advantage of High-Performance Computing (HPC) techniques. These characteristics make the spMC package useful for simulating hydro-stratigraphic units in subsoil, despite the use of a large number of lithologies (categories). The results obtained by spMC package suggest that this software should be considered a good candidate for simulating subsoil lithological distributions, especially of limited areas.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010014
For modeling physical and mechanical phenomena that occur in unsaturated soils, it is very important to identify the correct relationship between suction and water content. This relationship defines the soil water retention curve (SWRC). Its shape depends on numerous factors, including grain size composition, particles’ thickening state and, above all, the hydraulic and stress soil history. In particular, the SWRC in wetting phase differs from SWRC in drying phase, showing a hysteretic behavior. Hysteresis domain is defined by the main drying and wetting curves; when moving from one phase to another, relationship between suction and water content defines secondary curves within them. In this paper, a laboratory experiment was carried out to determine main wetting and drying curves of a pyroclastic ash sample from southern Italy. In same site of the sample collection, a monitoring station was installed that measured the suction and water content values. The experimental curves were compared with the data recorded on the site. In this paper, moreover, an empirical procedure is proposed to model secondary curves (or scanning curves) within the hysteresis domain. The scanning curves obtained with this method were compared with data collected by the in-situ monitoring network, revealing the ability to describe a situation realistically with a good adaptation. With this procedure, it is therefore possible to minimize errors since it covers a hysteretic behavior.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010013
Erosive processes influence on several phenomena. In particular, they could influence on land depletion, on vegetation weakening, on aggradation phenomena of intermediate, and plain reaches of rivers, on waterways interruption due to overaggradation phenomena caused by floods, and on the losses of water volumes that may be stored in reservoirs. Among the models proposed in the literature for the prediction of erosion on the annual scale, one of the most widely used is the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). In the present paper, starting from the definition of the original model, the authors improved the important combined slope length and slope angle (LS-factor), taking into account the mutual interaction of solid particles, in terms of path and confluences, so as to transform the model, which was first classified on a slope scale or at most on a parcel one, into a distributed model on a basin scale. The use of a distributed approach is an integral part of the analysis of the hydrogeological risk. In this way, it is possible to obtain a map of the erodibility of any basin, from which to derive the most vulnerable areas. The proposed methodology has been tested on the Camastra Basin, located in Basilicata Region of Southern Italy.
Hydrology, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/hydrology7010012
In this paper, three different flash floods episodes were analyzed, which occurred in October 2006, February 2010, and June 2018 in the Chalkidiki peninsula (North Greece). The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) model and a revised assessment of the CN parameter were applied to estimate the flood hydrographs, and Hydrologic Engineering Center’s-River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) software was used for the flood simulations. Initially, hydrological and hydraulic models were calibrated at Vatonias watershed (240.90 km2, North Greece), where three rain gauges and one water level station are located. Vatonias is located very close to the Stavros ungauged watersheds and presents similar geomorphology and land use conditions. The effectiveness and accuracy of the methodology were validated using post-flash-flood measurements. The root mean square error goodness of fit was used to compare the observed and simulated flood depths. Critical success index was calculated for the assessment of the accuracy of observed and modeled flooded areas. The results showed that the dense forest vegetation was not capable of preventing the flash flood generation or reducing the peak discharge, especially in small watersheds characterized by short concentration times. The main cause of flash flood generation was the human interference that influenced the hydraulic characteristics of streams and floodplains. The revised assessment of the CN parameter enhanced the estimation and spatial distribution of CN over the entire watershed. The results revealed that the proposed methodology could be a very useful tool to researchers and policy makers for flood risk assessment of higher accuracy and effectiveness in ungauged Mediterranean watersheds.