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Water 2014, 6(12), 3783-3806; doi:10.3390/w6123783

Effects of Soil and Water Conservation Measures on Groundwater Levels and Recharge

1
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
2
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
3
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
4
College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
5
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 23 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014

Abstract

Measures of soil and water conservation (SWC) could affect the hydrological process. The impacts of typical measures on groundwater recharge, levels and flow were analyzed based on simulated rainfall experiments and a groundwater model. The three-dimensional finite-difference groundwater flow model (MODFLOW) was calibrated and verified for bare slope, grassland and straw mulching scenarios based on the experiments. The results of the verification in groundwater balance, levels, runoff and flow field all showed that MODFLOW could be applied to study the impact of SWC measures on groundwater. Meanwhile, the results showed the recharge rate (α) and specific yield of the three soil layers (Sy1, Sy2 and Sy3) were the most sensitive parameters to the change in the underlying surface. Then, the impacts of the SWC measures’ construction and destruction on the groundwater regime were studied. The results indicated the measures could strengthen groundwater recharge. The amounts of groundwater recharge, runoff and level were on the order of straw mulching > grassland > bare slope. When the underlying surface was converted from grass and mulching to bare slope, the recharge decreased by 42.2% and 39.1%. It was concluded that SWC measure construction would increase groundwater recharge and the measure destruction would decrease recharge. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil and water conservation; Modular Three-dimensional Finite-difference Ground-water Flow Model (MODFLOW); groundwater; rainfall experiment soil and water conservation; Modular Three-dimensional Finite-difference Ground-water Flow Model (MODFLOW); groundwater; rainfall experiment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, H.; Gao, J.; Li, X.; Wang, H.; Zhang, Y. Effects of Soil and Water Conservation Measures on Groundwater Levels and Recharge. Water 2014, 6, 3783-3806.

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