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: closed (10 November 2021) | Viewed by 4036

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, Collections and Topics 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

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Keywords

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

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Conservation and Conventional Vegetable Cultivation Increase Soil Organic Matter and Nutrients in the Ethiopian Highlands
Water 2022, 14(3), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030476 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 726
Abstract
Agriculture in Africa is adversely affected by the loss of soil fertility. Conservation agriculture (CA) was introduced to curb the loss of soil fertility and water shortages and improve crop productivity. However, information on how CA practices enhance soil quality and nutrients is [...] Read more.
Agriculture in Africa is adversely affected by the loss of soil fertility. Conservation agriculture (CA) was introduced to curb the loss of soil fertility and water shortages and improve crop productivity. However, information on how CA practices enhance soil quality and nutrients is scarce in the sub-Saharan Africa context. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of CA and conventional tillage (CT) on soil organic matter and nutrients under irrigated and rainfed vegetable on-farm production systems. During the dry and wet monsoon phases in the northern Ethiopian Highlands, a four-year experiment with CA and CT was carried out on ten vegetable farms under rainfed and irrigated conditions. Although the increase in concentration of organic matter in CA was generally slightly greater than in CT, the difference was not significant. The average organic matter content in the top 30 cm for both treatments increased significantly by 0.5% a−1 from 3% to almost 5%. The increase was not significant for the 30–60 cm depth. The total nitrogen and available phosphorus concentrations increased proportionally to the organic matter content. Consequently, the extended growing season, applying fertilizers and livestock manure, and not removing the crop residue increased the nutrient content in both CA and CT. The increase in CA was slightly greater because the soil was not tilled, and hay was applied as a surface cover. Although CA increased soil fertility, widespread adoption will depend on socioeconomic factors that determine hay availability as a soil cover relative to other competitive uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology and Sedimentology of Hilly and Mountainous Landscapes)
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Article
Topography Impacts Hydrology in the Sub-Humid Ethiopian Highlands
Water 2022, 14(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020196 - 11 Jan 2022
Viewed by 428
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. This relationship is not well defined in the highlands with a monsoon climate and needs further study. [...] Read more.
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. This relationship is not well defined in the highlands with a monsoon climate and needs further study. The objective of this study is to relate topographic position and hydrological response in tropical highlands. The research was conducted in the Debre Mawi watershed in the northwest sub-humid 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. Average water table depths were 30 cm deep in the downslope regions and 95 cm in the upslope position. The water table depth affected the steady-state infiltration rate in the rain phase. It was high upslope (350 mm h−1), low midslope (49 mm h−1), and zero downslope. In 2017, the average runoff coefficients were 0.29 for the upslope and midslope and 0.73 downslope. Thus, topographic position affects all aspects of the watershed hydrology in the humid highlands and is critical in determining runoff response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrology and Sedimentology of Hilly and Mountainous Landscapes)
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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 7 | Viewed by 1355
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 5 | Viewed by 899
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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