Basin Scale (basin + scale)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Basin Scale

  • river basin scale

  • Selected Abstracts

    Changes in fish assemblages in catchments in north-eastern Spain: biodiversity, conservation status and introduced species

    FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, Issue 8 2010
    Summary 1. North-eastern Spain is a hot spot for the introduction of alien fish species, and its native fish fauna is one of the most endangered worldwide. We used an extensive data set from 2002 to 2003 and historical information from the area to characterize fish diversity and establish conservation priorities in river catchments. 2. Diversity indices were used to characterize fish diversity at the basin scale. An index of conservation status was applied for each species, which considers the occurrence, abundance and endemicity of each taxon. We used indirect ordination methods to test the relationship among basin features and to identify those variables most correlated with each other. To identify physical, biotic and environmental characteristics that seem to make a basin particularly susceptible to invasion, we performed a step-wise multiple regression to examine the relationship between the number of native, translocated and introduced fish species (including the original native species richness of each basin), and landscape variables. 3. Over a period of approximately 50 years, the mean range size of native fish species has decreased by 60%. The greatest decline occurred in Gasterosteus gymnurus, Anguilla anguilla and Salaria fluviatilis, for which species over 75% of the original distribution area has been lost. The species with the highest conservation index were Gasterosteus gymnurus and Salaria fluviatilis. 4. Basin area and the catchment type explained 70% of variation in native species richness, whereas the number of dams and basin area accounted for more than 80% of variation in the number of introduced species. 5. The original native species richness and the number of introduced species at basin scale were not related, and thus there was no evidence of "biotic resistance" to invasion. The restoration of natural hydrologic processes and the development of specific management tools to protect native species, such as the prioritization of areas for fish conservation and the eradication of local populations of exotic species, are required to restore native fish fauna in these catchments. [source]

    Hydrometeorological controls and erosive response of an extreme alpine debris flow

    Lorenzo Marchi
    Abstract On 29 August, 2003, an intense convective storm system affected the Fella River basin, in the eastern Italian Alps, producing rainfall peaks of approximately 390 mm in 12 h. The storm triggered an unusually large debris flow in the ungauged Rio Cucco basin (065 km2), with a volume of approximately 78 000 m3. The analysis of the time evolution of the rainstorm over the basin has been based on rainfall estimates from radar observations and data recorded by a raingauge network. Detailed geomorphological field surveys, carried out both before and after the flood of August 2003, and the application of a distributed hydrological model have enabled assessment of flood response, estimation of erosion volumes and sediment supply to the channel network. The accounts of two eyewitnesses have provided useful elements for reconstructing the time evolution and the flow processes involved in the event. Liquid peak discharge estimates cluster around 20 m3 s,1 km,2, placing this event on the flood envelope curve for the eastern Italian Alps. The hydrological analysis has shown that the major controls of the flood response were the exceptional cumulated rainfall amount, required to exceed the large initial losses, and the large rainfall intensities at hourly temporal scales, required to generate high flood response at the considered basin scale. Observations on the deposits accumulated on the alluvial fan indicate that, although the dominant flow process was a debris flow, sheetflood also contributed to fan aggradation and fluvial reworking had an important role in winnowing debris-flow lobes and redistributing sediment on the fan surface. This points out to the large discharge values during the recession phase of the flood, implying an important role for subsurface flow on runoff generation of this extreme flash flood event. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Spatial patterns of simulated transpiration response to climate variability in a snow dominated mountain ecosystem

    Lindsey Christensen
    Abstract Transpiration is an important component of soil water storage and stream-flow and is linked with ecosystem productivity, species distribution, and ecosystem health. In mountain environments, complex topography creates heterogeneity in key controls on transpiration as well as logistical challenges for collecting representative measurements. In these settings, ecosystem models can be used to account for variation in space and time of the dominant controls on transpiration and provide estimates of transpiration patterns and their sensitivity to climate variability and change. The Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys) model was used to assess elevational differences in sensitivity of transpiration rates to the spatiotemporal variability of climate variables across the Upper Merced River watershed, Yosemite Valley, California, USA. At the basin scale, predicted annual transpiration was lowest in driest and wettest years, and greatest in moderate precipitation years (R2 = 032 and 029, based on polynomial regression of maximum snow depth and annual precipitation, respectively). At finer spatial scales, responsiveness of transpiration rates to climate differed along an elevational gradient. Low elevations (1200,1800 m) showed little interannual variation in transpiration due to topographically controlled high soil moistures along the river corridor. Annual conifer stand transpiration at intermediate elevations (1800,2150 m) responded more strongly to precipitation, resulting in a unimodal relationship between transpiration and precipitation where highest transpiration occurred during moderate precipitation levels, regardless of annual air temperatures. Higher elevations (2150,2600 m) maintained this trend, but air temperature sensitivities were greater. At these elevations, snowfall provides enough moisture for growth, and increased temperatures influenced transpiration. Transpiration at the highest elevations (2600,4000 m) showed strong sensitivity to air temperature, little sensitivity to precipitation. Model results suggest elevational differences in vegetation water use and sensitivity to climate were significant and will likely play a key role in controlling responses and vulnerability of Sierra Nevada ecosystems to climate change. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Development of the ecohydrological model SWIM for regional impact studies and vulnerability assessment

    Valentina Krysanova
    Abstract In this paper the ecohydrological model SWIM developed for regional impact assessment is presented, and examples of approaches to climate and land use change impact studies are described. SWIM is a continuous-time semi-distributed ecohydrological model, integrating hydrological processes, vegetation, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment transport at the river basin scale. Its spatial disaggregation scheme has three levels: (1) basin, (2) sub-basins and (3) hydrotopes within sub-basins. The model was extensively tested and validated for hydrological processes, nitrogen dynamics, crop yield and erosion (mainly in mesoscale sub-basins of the German part of the Elbe River basin). After appropriate validation in representative sub-basins, the model can be applied at the regional scale for impact studies. Particular interest in the global change impact studies is given to effects of expected changes in climate and land use on hydrological processes and agro-ecosystems, including water balance components, water quality and crop yield. This paper (a) introduces the reader to the class of process-based ecohydrological catchment scale models, (b) introduces SWIM as one such model, and (c) presents two examples of impact studies performed with SWIM for the federal state of Brandenburg (Germany), which overlaps with the lowland part of the Elbe drainage area. The impact studies provide a better understanding of the complex interactions between climate, hydrological processes and vegetation, and improve our potential adaptation to the expected changes. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Remotely sensed data used for modelling at different hydrological scales

    Peter Droogers
    Abstract There is a growing awareness that water will be one of the most critical natural resources and that there is a need for better management of the limited water resources. This paper reports on a study of a water-scarce river basin in western Turkey. Hydrological analyses, emphasizing water use for irrigation, are performed at three different spatial scales (field scale, irrigation scheme scale and basin scale) using two kind of model: a parametric basin-scale model and a physically based crop-scale model. Data accessibility for this basin, especially for areal data, was low. A combined use of public domain data sets and remotely sensed data was used to solve this problem. A public domain digital elevation model was used to generate the streamflow network and the distances and slopes to streams. Land-cover data and leaf area index data were derived from public domain NOAA,AVHRR images. For one irrigation scheme in the basin, detailed areal water balances were obtained from the simulation model and a comparison was made between a normal and a water-short year. At the basin scale, observed flows were compared with simulated flows. It is concluded that remotely sensed data and other public domain data can be used with simulation models at different scales to create a powerful tool to evaluate water resources in a basin context. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Nutrient fluxes at the river basin scale.

    I: the PolFlow model
    Abstract Human activity has resulted in increased nutrient levels in rivers and coastal seas all over Europe. Models that can describe nutrient fluxes from pollution sources to river outlets may help policy makers to select the most effective source control measures to achieve a reduction of nutrient levels in rivers and coastal seas. Part I of this paper describes the development of such a model: PolFlow. PolFlow was specially designed for operation at the river basin scale and is here applied to model 5-year average nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes in two European river basins (Rhine and Elbe) covering the period 1970,1995. Part II reports an error analysis and model evaluation, and compares PolFlow to simpler alternative models. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Nutrient fluxes at the river basin scale.

    II: the balance between data availability, model complexity
    Abstract In order to model complex environmental systems, one needs to find a balance between the model complexity and the quality of the data available needed to run and validate the model. This paper describes a method to find this balance. Four models of different complexity were applied to describe the transfer of nitrogen and phosphorus from pollution sources to river outlets in two large European river basins (Rhine and Elbe). A comparison of the predictive capability of these four models tells us something about the added value of the added model complexity. We also quantified the errors in the data that were used to run and validate the models and analysed to what extent the model validation errors could be attributed to data errors, and to what extent to shortcomings of the model. We conclude that although the addition of more process description is interesting from a theoretical point of view, it does not necessarily improve the predictive capability. Although our analysis is based on an extensive pollution-sources,river-load database it appeared that the information content of this database was sufficient only to support models of a limited complexity. Our analysis also illustrates that for a proper justification of a model's degree of complexity one should compare the model to simplified versions of the model. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Exposure modeling on a river basin scale in support of risk assessment for chemicals in european river basins

    Jos van Gils
    Abstract Following the 2000 European Water Framework Directive and recent insights into sediment management on a river basin scale, we discuss in this paper an exposure model aiming to support a risk assessment for chemicals on a basin-wide scale. It establishes spatial relations between causes (pollution sources) and effects (ecological risk), taking into account the geometry, hydrology, and fine sediment dynamics of European river basins. The model, called EXPOBASIN, explicitly takes into account the interaction of chemicals with fine sediment particles, which is important for many policy-relevant chemicals, such as trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and it addresses the potential release of historically polluted sediments as a result of extreme floods, which is a major concern in different European river basins. Bioavailability and bioaccumulation are included in the assessment. As a result, the exposure can be quantified not only in terms of water concentrations, but also in terms of sediment concentrations and concentrations in biota. The primary question to be answered by EXPOBASIN is how chemicals, pollution sources, or both rank quantitatively and objectively on a basin-wide scale. Near the end of 2009, the tool will become available to all European water managers and their technical advisors, as a result of the European Union 6th Framework Programme project MODELKEY The calibration and validation of EXPOBASIN has only just started and will be completed in 2008/2009. Applications to 3 case study areas are planned in this respect. This paper presents the key building blocks of EXPOBASIN and shows some sample results illustrating the raking of pollution sources and chemicals. At the end of the paper, some perspectives for future developments are outlined. [source]

    The sediments of the venice lagoon (Italy) evaluated in a screening risk assessment approach: Part I,application of international sediment quality guidelines

    Sabine E Apitz
    Abstract Although it generally is agreed on in the scientific community that an evaluation of sediment quality solely based on total contaminant levels should be regarded only as a 1st tier or 1 LOE in a WOE framework, not all regulatory frameworks follow this approach. As will be discussed later, dredged material disposal in Venice Lagoon currently is regulated based upon the use of regionally developed SQGs as strict pass/fail criteria. The implications of this policy upon the management of the lagoon are under investigation, but studies on contaminant mobility and bioavailability and on sediment-related effects on biota and exposure (bioassays, biomarkers, bioaccumulation, biomagnification) having the characteristics (duration, number of sites and samples, frequency, number of chemicals and endpoints, etc.) to properly support (e.g., preliminary and/or detailed quantitative risk assessment) decisions on a basin scale have been carried out only recently in the Venice Lagoon (Thetis 2003; Losso et al. 2004; Carrer et al. 2005; Thetis 2005c). [source]

    Framework for surface water quality management on a river basin scale: Case study of Lake Iseo, Northern Italy

    D. H. A. Al-Khudhairy
    Abstract River (DESERT) and lake (EVOLA) water quality models are used to simulate the influences of alternative water quality management scenarios on the quality of receiving surface waters in the Lake Iseo basin, Northern Italy. The scenarios are representative of the European Union Directive on Urban Waste Water Treatment (91/271/EEC) and of the regional authority's objective to reduce the total phosphorus loads from point sources entering Lake Iseo and to restore the lake as close as it is practically possible to its former natural qualitative state. Application of DESERT shows that the regional ,Water Clean Up Plan' can achieve similar reductions in total phosphorus concentrations in the basin's main river system, Oglio River, to the 91/271/EEC directive, but at notably lower economic costs. Application of EVOLA to Lake Iseo shows that it is not practical to achieve the regional authority's objective of a specific total phosphorus concentration in the lake by 2016. Instead, the results show that a more realistic, but higher, total phosphorus concentration can be achieved by 2016. The results of both modelling exercises indicate the usefulness of DESERT and EVOLA for comparing and assessing water quality management scenarios and for revising the regional authority's final objectives with regards to total phosphorus concentration in Lake Iseo, as well as the regional ,Water Clean Up Plan' for restoring and safeguarding the quality of the basin's surface waters. [source]

    Three-dimensional seismic characterisation of large-scale sandstone intrusions in the lower Palaeogene of the North Sea: completely injected vs. in situ remobilised sandbodies

    BASIN RESEARCH, Issue 4 2010
    Ewa Szarawarska
    ABSTRACT A large number of km-scale, saucer-shaped sandstone bodies of enigmatic origin have recently been documented in the North Sea and the Faroe Shetland Basin. This study utilises three-dimensional seismic data, calibrated by well data, to examine two such bodies that exhibit very similar saucer-shaped geometries in cross-section. The Volund and Danica structures, located 250 km apart are interpreted as end members of a spectrum of large-scale remobilised and injected sandstones present in the North Sea Palaeogene. Both are characterised by a central 1,2 km-wide low area surrounded by a discordant, 2,300 m tall inclined dyke complex, that tips out into a bedding concordant body interpreted as a shallow-level sill and/or partly extruded sandstone. The origin of the central concordant sandstone body as either injected (laccolith) or depositional is of key importance to a complete understanding of the origin and prospectivity of these structures. The key criteria for recognising an injected vs. depositional origin for the central concordant sandbody are: (1) a flat, nonerosional base; (2) ,jack-up' of the overburden equal to the underlying sand thickness; (3) equally thick layers of encasing mudstones; and (4) paleogeographic context. This study suggests that the Danica structure was deposited as a channel sandstone and remobilised in situ; this led to the formation of wing-like intrusions along the channel margins. In contrast, the Volund structure overburden displays a forced-fold geometry, arguably a diagnostic feature of an intrusive origin. The ability to recognise and differentiate completely injected vs. in situ remobilised sandbodies is important both from a basin analysis, hydrocarbon exploration and rock mechanics points of view. An improved understanding of these aspects will lead to a reduction of risks associated with the exploration and development of such a sandbody and an enhanced understanding of sediment remobilisation and fluid flow on a basin scale. [source]

    Controls on old and new water contributions to stream flow at some nested catchments in Vermont, USA

    James B. Shanley
    Abstract Factors controlling the partitioning of old and new water contributions to stream flow were investigated for three events in four catchments (three of which were nested) at Sleepers River Research Watershed in Danville, Vermont. In the 1993 snowmelt period, two-component isotopic hydrograph separations showed that new water (meltwater) inputs to the stream ranged widely from 41 to 74%, and increased with catchment size (41 to 11 125 ha) (with one exception) and with open land cover (0,73%). Peak dissolved organic carbon concentrations and relative alkalinity dilution in stream water ranked in the same order among catchments as the new water fractions, suggesting that new water followed shallow flow paths. During the 1994 snowmelt, despite similar timing and magnitude of melt inputs, the new-water contribution to stream flow ranged only from 30 to 36% in the four catchments. We conclude that the uncommonly high and variable new water fractions in streamwater during the 1993 melt were caused by direct runoff of meltwater over frozen ground, which was prevalent in open land areas during the 1993 winter. In a high-intensity summer rainstorm in 1993, new water fractions were smaller relative to the 1993 snowmelt, ranging from 28 to 46%, but they ranked in the identical catchment order. Reconciliation of the contrasting patterns of new,old water partitioning in the three events appears to require an explanation that invokes multiple processes and effects, including: 1.topographically controlled increase in surface-saturated area with increasing catchment size; runoff over frozen ground; 3.low infiltration in agriculturally compacted soils; 4.differences in soil transmissivity, which may be more relevant under dry antecedent conditions. These data highlight some of the difficulties faced by catchment hydrologists in formulating a theory of runoff generation at varying basin scales. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Spatial patterns of suspended sediment yields in a humid tropical watershed in Costa Rica

    Jagdish Krishnaswamy
    Abstract An Erratum has been published for this article in Hydrological Processes 16(5) 2002, 1130,1131. Humid tropical regions are often characterized by extreme variability of fluvial processes. The Rio Terraba drains the largest river basin, covering 4767 km2, in Costa Rica. Mean annual rainfall is 3139419sd mm and mean annual discharge is 2168492sd mm (1971,88). Loss of forest cover, high rainfall erosivity and geomorphologic instability all have led to considerable degradation of soil and water resources at local to basin scales. Parametric and non-parametric statistical methods were used to estimate sediment yields. In the Terraba basin, sediment yields per unit area increase from the headwaters to the basin mouth, and the trend is generally robust towards choice of methods (parametric and LOESS) used. This is in contrast to a general view that deposition typically exceeds sediment delivery with increase in basin size. The specific sediment yield increases from 112114sd t km,2 year,1 (at 3179 km2 on a major headwater tributary) to 4041417sd t km,2 year,1 (at 47667 km2) at the basin mouth (1971,92). The analyses of relationships between sediment yields and basin parameters for the Terraba sub-basins and for a total of 29 basins all over Costa Rica indicate a strong land use effect related to intensive agriculture besides hydro-climatology. The best explanation for the observed pattern in the Terraba basin is a combined spatial pattern of land use and rainfall erosivity. These were integrated in a soil erosion index that is related to the observed patterns of sediment yield. Estimated sediment delivery ratios increase with basin area. Intensive agriculture in lower-lying alluvial fans exposed to highly erosive rainfall contributes a large part of the sediment load. The higher elevation regions, although steep in slope, largely remain under forest, pasture, or tree-crops. High rainfall erosivity (>7400 MJ mm ha,1 h,1 year ,1) is associated with land uses that provide inadequate soil protection. It is also associated with steep, unstable slopes near the basin mouth. Improvements in land use and soil management in the lower-lying regions exposed to highly erosive rainfall are recommended, and are especially important to basins in which sediment delivery ratio increases downstream with increasing basin area. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Structure of Macroinvertebrate Communities in Relation to Environmental Variables in a Subtropical Asian River System

    Xiao-Ming Jiang
    Abstract Subtropical Asian rivers support a highly diverse array of benthic macroinvertebrates. Yet, their biodiversity and functionality has been poorly investigated. We choose the Chishui River system, one of the largest un-dammed, first level branches upstream of the Yangtze River, China, to: 1) determine the spatial pattern of macroinvertebrate diversity and community structure, and 2) examine the influence of variables at local habitat and basin scales on the distribution of macroinvertebrate communities. Samples were collected from 43 sites in spring of 2007. After Canonical Correspondence Analysis, two basin and five habitat variables were found to be significant predictors of the macroinvertebrate community structure. Variance partitioning analysis showed that habitat physical variables had a greater influence than other environmental variables in macroinvertebrate community, which suggested that preserving habitat, especially upstream, should be strongly considered in biological conservation. ( 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]