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Special Issue "Hillslope Hydrology: Towards Improved Process Understanding Using Modeling and/or Field Observations"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jaromir Dusek

Department of Hydraulics and Hydrology, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hillslope hydrology; transport in porous media; preferential flow; pesticides; soils; runoff processes
Guest Editor
Dr. Ali Ameli

Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 604 827 2662
Interests: catchment hydrology; process understanding; hydrologic connectivity; transit time; residence time; hydrology & biogeochemistry interplay; watershed management
Guest Editor
Dr. Matthias Sprenger

Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: isotope hydrology; ecohydrology; water ages; catchment hydrology; hillslope hydrology
Guest Editor
Prof. Shiqin Wang

Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: isotope hydrology; hydrogeology; water & nitrate cycle; vadose zone; groundwater modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The hillslope is a fundamental spatial unit of headwater catchments. It is recognized that hillslopes are of key importance for a reliable description of both catchment runoff generation and biogeochemical processes. However, understanding hillslope processes has been limited by problems posed by the presence of heterogeneity. Quantifying the threshold hydrological responses of hillslopes to rainfall as controlled by soil heterogeneity, preferential flow, and the spatiotemporal connectivity of soils’ saturated patches requires distinct and multi-scale monitoring procedures which are rare in most environments. The inability to measure or map heterogeneity has restricted the development of robust physically based models, critically required for getting the right answer for the right reason in hydrologic predictions as well as for understanding the interplay between hydrology, biogeochemistry, and ecohydrological feedbacks. To advance the current models, heterogeneity should be replaced by the ecosystem function that it performs, instead of characterizing and specifying its exact details. This would allow to move from a micro-scale Newtonian response to a hillslope-scale, functionally based response. The recent literature indicates that the residence times of water and the landscape transit time distribution are the crucial macro-scale descriptors of how catchment functions, providing a fundamental basis for studying hydrological and biogeochemical transformations in the subsurface. Flux partitioning of water and dissolved substances occurring along various flow pathways (e.g., above and on the soil surface, above the soil–bedrock interface, evaporation, and transpiration) with different residence times plays a major role in the overall hillslope water and material balance. The connectivity of hillslope soil water with the riparian zone and the underlying geological structures remain also poorly understood. To address the above-mentioned challenges, novel monitoring and observation techniques, as well as new modeling approaches, are needed to foster a better quantification of hillslope hydrologically functioning descriptors, including water transit time, residence time, and flow pathways.

Dr. Jaromir Dusek
Dr. Ali Ameli
Dr. Matthias Sprenger
Prof. Shiqin Wang
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 monthly 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

  • hillslope hydrology
  • stormflow
  • rainfall–runoff relationship
  • modeling
  • flux partitioning
  • threshold behavior
  • travel time of water
  • bedrock
  • preferential flow
  • soil heterogeneity
  • water residence time

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Performance of Conservation Techniques for Semiarid Environments: Field Observations with Caatinga, Mulch, and Cactus Forage Palma
Water 2019, 11(4), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040792
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Understanding small-scale hydrologic processes and the impact of soil conservation techniques are crucial in reducing runoff and sediment losses in semi-arid regions. This study was conducted in the Alto Ipanema River Basin, in Pernambuco State (Brazil). Soil and water dynamics were intensely monitored [...] Read more.
Understanding small-scale hydrologic processes and the impact of soil conservation techniques are crucial in reducing runoff and sediment losses in semi-arid regions. This study was conducted in the Alto Ipanema River Basin, in Pernambuco State (Brazil). Soil and water dynamics were intensely monitored in twelve experimental plots with different coverage conditions (plot with bare soil—Bare; plot with natural vegetation—Natur; plot with mulch—Mulch; plot with Cactus Palma—Palma). By far, bare soil conditions produced higher runoff and soil losses. Mulch cover was close to natural vegetation cover, but still presented higher runoff and sediment losses. Palma, which is a very popular spineless cactus for animal feed in the Brazilian semi-arid region, presented an intermediate hydrologic impact in controlling runoff, enhancing soil moisture, and also reducing soil losses. Experiments were conducted in one hydrologic year (2016/2017) at three different sites. They were intensely monitored and had the same number of plots. This enabled us to carry out a robust performance assessment of the two soil conservation practices adopted (Mulch and Palma), compared to natural vegetation cover and bare soil conditions. Such low-cost alternatives could be easily adopted by local farms in the region, and, hence, improve soil reclamation and regional resiliency in a water-scarce environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation of Lateral Subsurface Flow Depending on Land Use and Soil Cultivation
Water 2019, 11(4), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040766
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
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Abstract
The magnitude and timing of flood events are influenced by surface and subsurface flow generation as well as by present land use distribution. An integrated understanding of the interactions of soil properties, land use and flow generation is still missing. Therefore, field experiments [...] Read more.
The magnitude and timing of flood events are influenced by surface and subsurface flow generation as well as by present land use distribution. An integrated understanding of the interactions of soil properties, land use and flow generation is still missing. Therefore, field experiments are required to gain further knowledge about land use dependencies of discharge generation and concentration processes. In our research, we built an experimental setup consisting of three sites with similar soil and topographic conditions and different land use types (cropland, grassland, forest). The applied multimethod approach includes meteorological parameters, soil moisture, soil moisture tension, surface runoff, lateral subsurface flow, and stream discharge observations. The results show that low subsurface flow discharges more often occur at the cropland site, while large flow volumes were mainly observed at the grassland site. A correlation of the horizontal distribution of subsurface flow volumes and the accumulation areas of the surface topography has been found (r² = 0.76). The observed average response times for advective events increase from the forest site (6.0 h) to the grassland site (12.4 h) to the cropland site (20.9 h). Response times of convective events were shorter than 1 h at all sites. Full article
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