Special Issue "Hydrology in the Caribbean Basin"

A special issue of Hydrology (ISSN 2306-5338).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Michael Piasecki
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York, 160 Convent Ave., 10031 New York City, NY USA
Interests: watershed hydrology; modeling of hydrologic processes; impact of de- and reforestation on the hydrologic health of watersheds, ,river;hydraulics; hydrology in the Caribbea, hydro-climate sensor networks
Dr. Eric Harmsen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agro-Engineering and BioSystems, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, PO Box 9000 259 Ave. Alfonso Valdes Cobian, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00680 PUERTO RICO
Interests: measurement and modeling all components of the hydrologic cycle; remote sensing of water and energy balance in the Tropics; and agro-climatology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We appreciate the opportunity to propose a special issue on hydrologic research in the Caribbean Basin. This basin carries a great deal of significance as both a place for tourism and agrobusiness as well as being home to over 150 million people. Its composition is diverse as it is made up of a chain of islands stretching from the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico) eastwards to include the Leeward and Windward Islands, and then the Cancun peninsula, the countries making up Central American, and the countries in the northern region of South America (Columbia and Venezuela). Climate Change is posed to have a dramatic impact on the weather patterns for this region with anticipated changes that include longer periods of droughts, an overall decline of annual rainfall volumes, and an increased occurrence of extreme events such as tropical storms and hurricanes. There are also anthropogenic changes due to deforestation and agrobusiness, the latter requiring water from ground and surface water sources, as well as tourism development that put a strain on the freshwater resources. All of the above mechanisms have and continue to have a significant impact on the water resources in the region with potentially vast adverse impacts.

In this special issue we want to explore both the current state of hydrologic research in the region and the focus areas that emerge as the challenges are mounting for the countries in the region and their populations. As such, we would like to define the scope as encompassing as we can where we see WATER at the nexus of adjoining contextual areas. For example, Climate Change is a significant driver for changes in Caribbean weather patterns, which suggest that hydro climatology is one of the areas we seek to address. Another driver is agrobusiness which requires irrigation, especially in view of larger and longer lasting draughts. This has also a potentially devastating impact on subsistence farming because many of these farmers rely on rainfed irrigation. Also, since island nations are, by definition, surrounded by a sea of saltwater, saltwater intrusion into the coastal aquifers is becoming a pressing problem. This suggests the interest areas of both groundwater hydrology as aquifers provide a significant percentage of freshwater supplies, as well as irrigation hydrology. Anthropogenic impacts include deforestation on a broad scale as impoverished populations seek to cover their energy demands by cutting down trees for charcoal production. There is also the wide-scale lumber industry and the removal of indigenous plant diversity for the sake of mono-cultural agrobusiness plantations. This has a significant impact on the ecological health of the region as soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and plant cover and canopies are being dramatically altered or disappear altogether. We are therefore compelled to include the area of watershed scale hydrology in which changes to the processes can be observed as far as the storage volumes, residence times and flow paths of fresh water are concerned.

We remain open to other topical areas if the submission process should yield contributions that are of high quality and fit into the context of Caribbean Hydrology; key here is to try to be inclusive rather than to exclude individuals. We are looking forward to the creation and compilation of this special issue.

Dr. Michael Piasecki
Dr. Eric Harmsen
Guest Editors


Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Hydrology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • hydrology
  • climatology
  • irrigation
  • watershed
  • groundwater
  • agriculture
  • tourism
  • Caribbean
  • climate change
  • extreme weather
  • water resources and supply

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Calcium and Potassium Nutrition Increases the Water Use Efficiency in Coffee: A Promising Strategy to Adapt to Climate Change
Hydrology 2021, 8(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8020075 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Coffee (Coffea spp.) represents one of the most important sources of income and goods for the agricultural sector in Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean region. The sustainability of coffee production at the global and regional scale is under threat by climate [...] Read more.
Coffee (Coffea spp.) represents one of the most important sources of income and goods for the agricultural sector in Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean region. The sustainability of coffee production at the global and regional scale is under threat by climate change, with a major risk of losing near to 50% of today’s suitable area for coffee by 2050. Rain-fed coffee production dominates in the region, and under increasing climate variability and climate change impacts, these production areas are under threat due to air temperature increase and changes in rainfall patterns and volumes. Identification, evaluation, and implementation of adaptation strategies for growers to cope with climate variability and change impacts are relevant and high priority. Incremental adaptation strategies, including proper soil and water management, contribute to improved water use efficiency (WUE) and should be the first line of action to adapt the coffee crop to the changing growing conditions. This research’s objective was to evaluate at field level over five years the influence of fertilization with calcium (Ca+2) and potassium (K+) on WUE in two coffee arabica varieties: cv. Castillo and cv. Caturra. Castillo has resistance against coffee leaf rust (CLR) (Hemileia vastatrix Verkeley and Brome), while Caturra is not CLR-resistant. WUE was influenced by yield changes during the years by climate variability due to El Niño–ENSO conditions and CLR incidence. Application of Ca+2 and K+ improved the WUE under such variable conditions. The highest WUE values were obtained with an application of 100 kg CaO ha−1 year−1 and between 180 to 230 kg K2O ha−1 year−1. The results indicate that adequate nutrition with Ca+2 and K+ can improve WUE in the long-term, even underwater deficit conditions and after the substantial incidence. Hence, an optimum application of Ca+2 and K+ in rain-fed coffee plantations can be regarded as an effective strategy to adapt to climate variability and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology in the Caribbean Basin)
Open AccessArticle
Tropical Convection in the Caribbean and Surrounding Region during a Regional, Warming Sea-Surface Temperature Period, 1982–2020
Hydrology 2021, 8(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8020056 - 24 Mar 2021
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Warming sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have implications for the climate-sensitive Caribbean region, including potential impacts on precipitation. SSTs have been shown to influence deep convection and rainfall, thus understanding the impacts of warming SSTs is important for predicting regional hydrometeorological conditions. This study investigates [...] Read more.
Warming sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have implications for the climate-sensitive Caribbean region, including potential impacts on precipitation. SSTs have been shown to influence deep convection and rainfall, thus understanding the impacts of warming SSTs is important for predicting regional hydrometeorological conditions. This study investigates the long-term annual and seasonal trends in convection using the Galvez-Davison Index (GDI) for tropical convection from 1982–2020. The GDI is used to describe the type and potential for precipitation events characterized by sub-indices that represent heat and moisture availability, cool/warm mid-levels at 500 hPa, and subsidence inversion, which drive the regional Late, Early, and Dry Rainfall Seasons, respectively. Results show that regional SSTs are warming annually and per season, while regionally averaged GDI values are decreasing annually and for the Dry Season. Spatial analyses show the GDI demonstrates higher, statistically significant correlations with precipitation across the region than with sea-surface temperatures, annually and per season. Moreover, the GDI climatology results show that regional convection exhibits a bimodal pattern resembling the characteristic bimodal precipitation pattern experienced in many parts of the Caribbean and surrounding region. However, the drivers of these conditions need further investigation as SSTs continue to rise while the region experiences a drying trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology in the Caribbean Basin)
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Open AccessCommunication
Hydrological Mapping in the Luquillo Experimental Forest: New Local Datum Improves Watershed Ecological Knowledge
Hydrology 2021, 8(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8010054 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Streams and rivers of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico, have been the subject of extensive watershed and aquatic research since the 1980s. This research includes understanding stream export of nutrients and coarse particulate organic matter, physicochemical constituents, aquatic fauna populations and community [...] Read more.
Streams and rivers of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico, have been the subject of extensive watershed and aquatic research since the 1980s. This research includes understanding stream export of nutrients and coarse particulate organic matter, physicochemical constituents, aquatic fauna populations and community structure. However, many of the streams and watersheds studied do not appear in standard scale maps. We document recent collaborative and multi-institutional work to improve hydrological network information and identify knowledge gaps. The methods used to delimit and densify stream networks include establishment and incorporation of an updated new vertical datum for Puerto Rico, LIDAR derived elevation, and a combination of visual-manual and automated digitalization processes. The outcomes of this collaborative effort have resulted in improved watershed delineation, densification of hydrologic networks to reflect the scale of on-going studies, and the identification of constraining factors such as unmapped roadways, culverts, and other features of the built environment that interrupt water flow and alter runoff pathways. This work contributes to enhanced knowledge for watershed management, including attributes of riparian areas, effects of road and channel intersections and ridge to reef initiatives with broad application to other watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology in the Caribbean Basin)
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Open AccessArticle
Resolution-Dependent Perspectives on Caribbean Hydro-Climate Change
Hydrology 2020, 7(4), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology7040093 - 28 Nov 2020
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Near-surface winds around the mountainous Caribbean islands contribute to orographic lifting and thermal diurnal rainfall that requires mesoscale analysis. Here, a new perspective is presented via high-resolution satellite and reanalysis products. Singular value decomposition is applied to 5 km cold-cloud duration satellite data [...] Read more.
Near-surface winds around the mountainous Caribbean islands contribute to orographic lifting and thermal diurnal rainfall that requires mesoscale analysis. Here, a new perspective is presented via high-resolution satellite and reanalysis products. Singular value decomposition is applied to 5 km cold-cloud duration satellite data to understand the leading mode of seasonal hydro-climate variability and its regional controls. The spatial loadings reflect wet islands in a dry marine climate, while temporal amplitude is modulated by the large-scale zonal circulation. When summer-time trade winds weaken, daytime confluence around Caribbean islands enlarges, gathering and lifting more moisture. In addition to the static geographic forcing, transient easterly waves impart the majority of marine rainfall between June and September. Higher resolution products capture the thermal orographic effect and reveal upward trends in island rainfall and soil moisture over the satellite era, while lower resolution products miss this effect. The climate of mountainous Caribbean islands is trending toward increased runoff and soil moisture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology in the Caribbean Basin)
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