Soil water content (SWC) is a fundamental variable involved in several hydrological processes governing catchment functioning. Comparative analysis of hydrological processes in different catchments based on SWC data is therefore beneficial to infer driving factors of catchment response. Here, we explored the use of high-temporal resolution SWC data in three forested catchments (2.4–60 ha) in different European climates to characterize hydrological responses during wet and dry conditions. The investigated systems include Ressi, Italy, with a humid temperate climate, Weierbach, Luxembourg, with a semi-oceanic climate, and Can Vila, Spain, with a Mediterranean climate. We introduced a new SWC metric defined as the difference between seasonal mean SWC at a relatively shallow and a deep soil layer. The difference is classified in three distinct states: similar SWC between the two layers, higher SWC in the deeper layer, and higher SWC in the shallow layer. In the most humid site, Ressi, we frequently found similar SWC at the two soil depths which was associated with high runoff ratios. Despite similar precipitation amounts in Can Vila and Weierbach, SWC patterns were very different in both catchments. In Weierbach, SWC was similar across the entire soil profile during wet conditions, whereas evaporation of shallow water resulted in higher SWC in the deep soil layer during dry conditions. This led to high runoff ratios during wet conditions and low runoff ratios during dry conditions. In Can Vila, SWC was consistently higher in the deeper layer compared to the shallow layer, irrespective of the season, suggesting an important role of hydraulic redistribution and vertical water movement in this site. Our approach provides an easy and useful method to assess differences in hydrological behaviour solely based on SWC data. As similar datasets are increasingly collected and available, this opens the possibility for further analyses and comparisons in sites around the globe with contrasted physiographic and climate characteristics.

Comparing hydrological responses across catchments using a new soil water content metric / Segura, C.; Penna, D.; Borga, M.; Hissler, C.; Iffly, J. F.; Klaus, J.; Latron, J.; Llorens, P.; Marchina, C.; Martínez‐Carreras, N.; Pfister, L.; Zuecco, G.. - In: HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES. - ISSN 0885-6087. - ELETTRONICO. - 37:(2023), pp. 0-0. [10.1002/hyp.15010]

Comparing hydrological responses across catchments using a new soil water content metric

Penna, D.;
2023

Abstract

Soil water content (SWC) is a fundamental variable involved in several hydrological processes governing catchment functioning. Comparative analysis of hydrological processes in different catchments based on SWC data is therefore beneficial to infer driving factors of catchment response. Here, we explored the use of high-temporal resolution SWC data in three forested catchments (2.4–60 ha) in different European climates to characterize hydrological responses during wet and dry conditions. The investigated systems include Ressi, Italy, with a humid temperate climate, Weierbach, Luxembourg, with a semi-oceanic climate, and Can Vila, Spain, with a Mediterranean climate. We introduced a new SWC metric defined as the difference between seasonal mean SWC at a relatively shallow and a deep soil layer. The difference is classified in three distinct states: similar SWC between the two layers, higher SWC in the deeper layer, and higher SWC in the shallow layer. In the most humid site, Ressi, we frequently found similar SWC at the two soil depths which was associated with high runoff ratios. Despite similar precipitation amounts in Can Vila and Weierbach, SWC patterns were very different in both catchments. In Weierbach, SWC was similar across the entire soil profile during wet conditions, whereas evaporation of shallow water resulted in higher SWC in the deep soil layer during dry conditions. This led to high runoff ratios during wet conditions and low runoff ratios during dry conditions. In Can Vila, SWC was consistently higher in the deeper layer compared to the shallow layer, irrespective of the season, suggesting an important role of hydraulic redistribution and vertical water movement in this site. Our approach provides an easy and useful method to assess differences in hydrological behaviour solely based on SWC data. As similar datasets are increasingly collected and available, this opens the possibility for further analyses and comparisons in sites around the globe with contrasted physiographic and climate characteristics.
2023
37
0
0
Segura, C.; Penna, D.; Borga, M.; Hissler, C.; Iffly, J. F.; Klaus, J.; Latron, J.; Llorens, P.; Marchina, C.; Martínez‐Carreras, N.; Pfister, L.; Zuecco, G.
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1335714
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