Special Issue "Hydrology and Sedimentology of Hilly and Mountainous Landscapes"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Tammo Steenhuis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
Interests: watershed management; catchment processes; agricultural water management erosion; best management practices; groundwater quality; vadose zone transport; preferential flow
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Fasikaw Zimale
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bahar Dar University, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
Interests: remote sensing; model verification; hydrological data acquisition; watershed models; erosion; water resources; hydrological engineering applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mountains and other sloping lands are complex hydrological systems that provide water for more than 3 billion people to drink, grow food, generate hydropower, and sustain industries. Even so, hydrological processes are not well understood. Published research on the hydrology and sedimentology of mountains and hills is critically needed to safeguard their function as water towers of the world. Manuscripts are, therefore, sought on water and sediment transport in complex sloping landscapes, including but not limited to landscape connectivity, runoff generation processes (saturation excess in humid and Hortonian runoff in arid climates), perched water tables, subsurface and pipe flow, self-organization, various forms of soil loss such as gully, rill sheet, and subsurface erosion, sediment deposition, and effectiveness of best management practices. Experimental studies, literature reviews, theoretical applications, and validated spatially distributed models will be accepted for review.

Prof. Dr. Tammo Steenhuis
Dr. Fasikaw Zimale
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. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • hillslopes
  • mountainous
  • erosion
  • sedimentation
  • conservation practices
  • variable source area
  • connectivity
  • self-organization
  • watersheds
  • perched aquifers

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Water Balance for a Tropical Lake in the Volcanic Highlands: Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Water 2020, 12(10), 2737; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102737 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
Lakes hold most of the freshwater resources in the world. Safeguarding these in a changing environment is a major challenge. The 3000 km2 Lake Tana in the headwaters of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia is one of these lakes. It is situated [...] Read more.
Lakes hold most of the freshwater resources in the world. Safeguarding these in a changing environment is a major challenge. The 3000 km2 Lake Tana in the headwaters of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia is one of these lakes. It is situated in a zone destined for rapid development including hydropower and irrigation. Future lake management requires detailed knowledge of the water balance of Lake Tana. Since previous water balances varied greatly this paper takes a fresh look by calculating the inflow and losses of the lake. To improve the accuracy of the amount of precipitation falling on the lake, two new rainfall stations were installed in 2013. The Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation Version two (CHIRPS-v2) dataset was used to extend the data. After reviewing all the previous studies and together with our measurements, it was found that the period of 1990–1995 likely had the most accurate gauged discharge data. During some months in this period, the lake water balance was negative. Since the river inflow to the lake cannot be negative, water was either lost from the lake via the subsurface through faults, or the outflow measurements were systematically underestimated. Based on the evaporation rate of 1650 mm, we found that unaccounted loss was 0.6 km3 a−1, equivalent to 20 cm of water over the lake area each year. This implies the need for reliable rainfall data and improved river discharge measurements over a greater portion of the basin both entering and exiting the lake. Also, integrated hydrological and geologic investigations are needed for a better understanding of the unaccounted water losses and quantifying the amount of subsurface flow leaving the lake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology and Sedimentology of Hilly and Mountainous Landscapes)
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Article
Hydrogeology of Volcanic Highlands Affects Prioritization of Land Management Practices
Water 2020, 12(10), 2702; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102702 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
Volcanic highlands supply water to 40% of the world’s population. Soil degradation threatens this water supply. Studies on geohydrology that affect the effectiveness of land and water management (LWM) practices in reducing soil degradations are limited. To aid in the effectiveness of LWM [...] Read more.
Volcanic highlands supply water to 40% of the world’s population. Soil degradation threatens this water supply. Studies on geohydrology that affect the effectiveness of land and water management (LWM) practices in reducing soil degradations are limited. To aid in the effectiveness of LWM practices, we conducted a field experiment in the Gomit watershed in the semihumid Ethiopian Highlands on the interaction of hydrogeology and LWM practices. We found that in a watershed with strongly faulted tertiary basalt, 30% of the rainfall was drained through faults to another basin. Consequently, the discharge at the outlet was less than half of that of other watersheds with quaternary basalts. Despite the high sediment concentration, i.e., around 15 g L−1, in the Gomit watershed, the sediment yield of less than 4 Mg ha−1 a−1 was below average for the agricultural watershed in Ethiopia because of the low runoff response. While some faults facilitated drainage, others acted as a barrier. Groundwater stored behind the barriers was used as a municipal potable water source. Since the effectiveness of LWM practices depends on the amount of erosion that can be prevented, considerations of country-wide prioritizing of investments in land and water management practices should include the geology of the watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology and Sedimentology of Hilly and Mountainous Landscapes)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Storm event discharge and sediment yield patterns in a gullying watershed in the sub-humid highlands of Ethiopia
Authors: Meseret B. Addisie1, Seifu A. Tilahun2, Tammo S. Steenhuis3
Affiliation: 1 Guna Tana Integrated Field Research and Development center, Debre Tabor University, Debre Tabor, Ethiopia, P.O.Box 272, [email protected] (M.B.A.);
2 Faculty of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, P.O.Box 26, Ethiopia; [email protected] (S.A.T.)
3 Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA * Correspondence: [email protected]; Tel.: +1-607-255-2489
Abstract: Land degradation and gully formation in the Ethiopian Highlands result in increasing sediment loads in rivers and negatively impacting agricultural production and the environment. This research aimed to investigate event-based discharge and sediment concentration and yield patterns in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. The 4.14 km2Ene-Chilala watershed was selected for this study. Three nested watersheds (W1, W2, W3) and the entire watershed (W4) were monitored. Rainfall, discharge and sediment concentration data were measures during the main rainy seasons between June and September from 2013 to 2016. A total of 502 storm events were collected in the four years. W1 did not have an active gully. Gullies in W2 and W3 were rehabilitated during the four years. The result shows that the mean annual runoff coefficients ranged from 11% for W1 to 19% for W2. Suspended sediment concentrations for all watersheds were greater at the beginning of the rainy season and decreased. The yearly mean sediment yield was the lowest for W1 (5.9 Mg ha-1 a-1) and highest for W3 (15.2 Mg ha-1 a-1). The significant differences in sediment yield among watersheds were with the prevalence of gullies and experience of land management practices. Soil loss and runoff depth were reduced in the period of gully rehabilitation efforts. The Mann‐Kendall trend test indicates a statistically significant negative trend (p<0.005) in annual and seasonal sediment yield from the entire watershed (W4) due to land and gully management practices. Implementation of land management practices in the valley bottom gullies and uplands significantly reduced runoff and sediment yields at the watershed scale and, hence, increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability.
Keywords: Land degradation, Soil loss, Gully erosion, Land management, Ethiopian highlands

2. Title: Topography Impacts Discharge in the Sub-Humid Ethiopian Highlands
Authors: Demesew A. Mhiret1,2, Minychl G. Dersseh1,2, Dessalegn C. Dagnew2, Christian D. Guzman4, Wubneh B. Abebe5, Fasikaw A. Zimale1, Benjamin F. Zaitchik6, Seifu A. Tilahun1, Kristine Walraevens7 and Tammo S. Steenhuis1,8
Affiliation: 1 Faculty of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
2 Blue Nile Water Institute, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 79, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
3 Institute of Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Studies, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 5501, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
4 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA 01003, USA
5 Amhara Design and Supervision Works Enterprise (ADSWE), Bahir Dar P.O. Box 1921, Ethiopia
6 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
7 Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, Pietersnieuwstraat 33, 9000 Gent, Belgium
8 Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 14850, Ithaca, NY, USA.
* Correspondence: [email protected]; Tel.: +251918300305
Abstract: Understanding the relationship between topography, hydrological processes, and runoff source areas is essential in engineering design, such as predicting floods and implementing effective watershed management practices. In the highlands with a monsoon climate, this relationship is not well defined and needs further study. The objective of this study is to relate topographic position and hydrological response in tropical highlands. The research was carried out in the Debre Mawi watershed in the northwest subhumid Ethiopian Highlands. In the monsoon rain phase of 2017 and 2018, groundwater depth, infiltration rate, and surface runoff were monitored at the upslope, midslope, and downslope positions. Surface runoff rates were measured in farmer fields through distributed V-notch weirs as estimates of positional runoff. Water table depths were on average at 30 cm depth in the downslope regions and at 95 cm in the upslope position. The water table depth controlled the mean steady-state infiltration rate. It was high upslope (350 mm hr-1), low midslope (49 mm hr-1), and zero downslope. In 2017, the annual runoff was 37, 24, and 78 mm a-1 from fields in the up, mid, and downslope positions, respectively. The result showed a similar runoff distribution in 2018. The implication is that shallow (perched) groundwater table depths are affected by the topographic position and slope and are critical in determining runoff response in these humid highland conditions. Keywords: Ethiopia, highlands, monsoon, distributed runoff, hydrological response, runoff, topography, watershed

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