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See detailPassive temperature tomography experiments to characterize transmissivity and connectivity of preferential flow paths in fractured media
Klepikova, Maria ULg

in Journal of Hydrology (2014)

The detection of preferential flow paths and the characterization of their hydraulic properties are major challenges in fractured rock hydrology. In this study, we propose to use temperature as a passive ... [more ▼]

The detection of preferential flow paths and the characterization of their hydraulic properties are major challenges in fractured rock hydrology. In this study, we propose to use temperature as a passive tracer to characterize fracture connectivity and hydraulic properties. In particular, we propose a new temperature tomography field method in which borehole temperature profiles are measured under different pumping conditions by changing successively the pumping and observation boreholes. To interpret these temperature-depth profiles, we propose a three step inversion-based framework. We consider first an inverse model that allows for automatic permeable fracture detection from borehole temperature profiles under pumping conditions. Then we apply a borehole-scale flow and temperature model to produce flowmeter profiles by inversion of temperature profiles. This second step uses inversion to characterize the relationship between temperature variations with depth and borehole flow velocities (Klepikova et al., 2011). The third inverse step, which exploits cross-borehole flowmeter tests, is aimed at inferring inter-borehole fracture connectivity and transmissivities. This multi-step inverse framework provides a means of including temperature profiles to image fracture hydraulic properties and connectivity. We test the proposed approach with field data obtained from the Ploemeur (N.W. France) fractured rock aquifer, where the full temperature tomography experiment was carried out between three 100 m depth boreholes 10 m apart. We identified several transmissive fractures and their connectivity which correspond to known fractures and corroborate well with independent information, including available borehole flowmeter tests and geophysical data. Hence, although indirect, temperature tomography appears to be a promising approach for characterizing connectivity patterns and transmissivities of the main flow paths in fractured rock. [less ▲]

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See detailPassive temperature tomography experiments to characterize transmissivity and connectivity of preferential flow paths in fractured media
Klepikova, Maria ULg

in Journal of Hydrology (2014)

The detection of preferential flow paths and the characterization of their hydraulic properties are major challenges in fractured rock hydrology. In this study, we propose to use temperature as a passive ... [more ▼]

The detection of preferential flow paths and the characterization of their hydraulic properties are major challenges in fractured rock hydrology. In this study, we propose to use temperature as a passive tracer to characterize fracture connectivity and hydraulic properties. In particular, we propose a new temperature tomography field method in which borehole temperature profiles are measured under different pumping conditions by changing successively the pumping and observation boreholes. To interpret these temperature-depth profiles, we propose a three step inversion-based framework. We consider first an inverse model that allows for automatic permeable fracture detection from borehole temperature profiles under pumping conditions. Then we apply a borehole-scale flow and temperature model to produce flowmeter profiles by inversion of temperature profiles. This second step uses inversion to characterize the relationship between temperature variations with depth and borehole flow velocities (Klepikova et al., 2011). The third inverse step, which exploits cross-borehole flowmeter tests, is aimed at inferring inter-borehole fracture connectivity and transmissivities. This multi-step inverse framework provides a means of including temperature profiles to image fracture hydraulic properties and connectivity. We test the proposed approach with field data obtained from the Ploemeur (N.W. France) fractured rock aquifer, where the full temperature tomography experiment was carried out between three 100 m depth boreholes 10 m apart. We identified several transmissive fractures and their connectivity which correspond to known fractures and corroborate well with independent information, including available borehole flowmeter tests and geophysical data. Hence, although indirect, temperature tomography appears to be a promising approach for characterizing connectivity patterns and transmissivities of the main flow paths in fractured rock. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of isotopic tracers as a tool for understanding hydrodynamic behavior of the highly exploited Diass aquifer system (Senegal)
Madioune, Diakher Hélène; Faye, Serigne; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2014), 511

The Diass horst aquifer system located 50 km east of Dakar (Senegal) is exploited in two main aquifers covered by a sandy superficial aquifer: the confined/unconfined Palaeocene karstic limestone and the ... [more ▼]

The Diass horst aquifer system located 50 km east of Dakar (Senegal) is exploited in two main aquifers covered by a sandy superficial aquifer: the confined/unconfined Palaeocene karstic limestone and the confined Maastrichtian sandstone aquifer underneath. This system has experienced intensive groundwater abstraction during the last 50 years to supply increasing water demand, agricultural and industrial needs. The high abstraction rate from 1989 to 2009 (about 109,000 m3/d) has caused a continuous groundwater level decline (up to 30 m), a modification of the groundwater flow and salinization in parts of the aquifers. The objective of the study is to improve our understanding of the system functioning with regards to high pumping, identify the geochemical reactions that take place in the system, infer origin and timing of recharge by using mainly stable (δ18O, δ2H, 13C) and radioactive (3H and 14C) isotopes. Water types defined in the Piper diagram vary in order of abundance from Ca–HCO3 (65%), Ca/Na–Cl (20%), Na–HCO3 (3%) and Na–Cl (12%). Values of δ18O and δ2H for the superficial aquifer range between −5.8 and −4.2‰ and between −42 and −31‰, respectively. For the Palaeocene aquifer they range from −5.8 to −5.0‰ and from −38 to −31‰, respectively; values in the Maastrichtian aquifer are between −5.9 and −4.3‰ for δ18O and −38 to −26‰ for δ2H. Plotted against the conventional δ18O vs δ2H diagram, data from the upper aquifer exhibit a dispersed distribution with respect to isotopic fractionation while those of the Palaeocene and Maastrichtian aquifers are aligned parallel and slightly below/or on the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL) evidencing ancient waters which had evaporated during infiltration. The low tritium (generally <0.7 TU) and 14C (0.7–57.2 pmc) contents indicate predominance of older water being recharged during the Pleistocene and Holocene periods. However, few boreholes which exhibit high tritium (1.2–4.3 TU) and 14C (65.7–70.8 pmc) values indicate some mixture with recent water likely through faulting and vertical drainage from the upper to deeper aquifers as well as lateral flow along flow paths to the piezometric depressions created by pumping. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the effects of spatial discretization on large-scale flow model performance and prediction uncertainty
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Goderniaux, Pascal; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2014), 510

Large-scale physically-based and spatially-distributed models (>100 km2) constitute useful tools for water management since they take explicitly into account the heterogeneity and the physical processes ... [more ▼]

Large-scale physically-based and spatially-distributed models (>100 km2) constitute useful tools for water management since they take explicitly into account the heterogeneity and the physical processes occurring in the subsurface for predicting the evolution of discharge and hydraulic heads for several predictive scenarios. However, such models are characterized by lengthy execution times. Therefore, modelers often coarsen spatial discretization of large-scale physically-based and spatially-distributed models for reducing the number of unknowns and the execution times. This study investigates the influence of such a coarsening of model grid on model performance and prediction uncertainty. The improvement of model performance obtained with an automatic calibration process is also investigated. The results obtained show that coarsening spatial discretization mainly influences the simulation of discharge due to a poor representation of surface water network and a smoothing of surface slopes that prevents from simulating properly surface water-groundwater interactions and runoff processes. Parameter sensitivities are not significantly influenced by grid coarsening and calibration can compensate, to some extent, for model errors induced by grid coarsening. The results also show that coarsening spatial discretization mainly influences the uncertainty on discharge predictions. However, model prediction uncertainties on discharge only increase significantly for very coarse spatial discretizations. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling the effect of clay drapes on pumping test response in a cross-bedded aquifer using multiple-point geostatistics
Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Journal of Hydrology (2012), 450-451

This study investigates whether fine-scale clay drapes can cause an anisotropic pumping test response at a much larger scale. A pumping test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded ... [more ▼]

This study investigates whether fine-scale clay drapes can cause an anisotropic pumping test response at a much larger scale. A pumping test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded units composed of materials with different grain sizes and hydraulic conductivities. The measured drawdown values in the different observation wells reveal an anisotropic or elliptically-shaped pumping cone. The major axis of the pumping ellipse is parallel with the strike of cm to m-scale clay drapes that are observed in several outcrops. To determine (1) whether this large-scale anisotropy can be the result of fine-scale clay drapes and (2) whether application of multiple-point geostatistics can improve interpretation of pumping tests, this pumping test is analyzed with a local 3D groundwater model in which fine-scale sedimentary heterogeneity is modelled using multiple-point geostatistics. To reduce CPU and RAM demand of the multiple-point geostatistical simulation step, edge properties indicating the presence of irregularly-shaped surfaces are directly simulated. Results show that the anisotropic pumping cone can be attributed to the presence of the clay drapes. Incorporating fine-scale clay drapes results in a better fit between observed and calculated drawdowns. These results thus show that fine-scale clay drapes can cause an anisotropic pumping test response at a much larger scale and that the combined approach of multiple-point geostatistics and cell edge properties is an efficient method for integrating fine-scale features in larger scale models. [less ▲]

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See detailImaging artificial salt water infiltration using electrical resistivity tomography constrained by geostatistical data
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Vandenbohede, Alexander; Lebbe, Luc et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2012), 438-439

Electrical resistivity tomography is a well-known technique to monitor fresh-salt water transitions. In such environments, boreholes are often used to validate geophysical results but rarely used to ... [more ▼]

Electrical resistivity tomography is a well-known technique to monitor fresh-salt water transitions. In such environments, boreholes are often used to validate geophysical results but rarely used to constrain the geoelectrical inversion. To estimate the extent of salt water infiltration in the dune area of a Natural Reserve (Westhoek, Belgium), electrical resistivity tomography profiles were carried out together with borehole electromagnetic measurements. The latter were used to calculate a vertical variogram, representative of the study site. Then, a geostatistical constraint, in the form of an a priori model covariance matrix based on the variogram, was imposed as regularization to solve the electrical inverse problem. Inversion results enabled to determine the extension of the salt water plume laterally and at depth, but also to estimate the total dissolved solid content within the plume. These results are in agreement with the hydrogeological data of the site. A comparison with borehole data showed that the inversion results with geostatistical constraints are much more representative of the seawater body (in terms of total dissolved solids, extension and height) than results using standard smoothness-constrained inversion. The field results obtained for the Westhoek site emphasize the need to go beyond standard smoothness-constrained images and to use available borehole data as prior information to constrain the inversion. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of ground penetrating radar full-waveform inversion for field scale soil moisture mapping
Minet, Julien ULg; Bogaert, P.; Vanclooster, M. et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2012), 424-425

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an efficient method for soil moisture mapping at the field scale, bridging the scale gap between small-scale invasive sensors and large-scale remote sensing instruments ... [more ▼]

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an efficient method for soil moisture mapping at the field scale, bridging the scale gap between small-scale invasive sensors and large-scale remote sensing instruments. Nevertheless, commonly-used GPR approaches for soil moisture characterization suffer from several limitations and the determination of the uncertainties in GPR soil moisture sensing has been poorly addressed. Herein, we used an advanced proximal GPR method based on full-waveform inversion of ultra-wideband radar data for mapping soil moisture and uncertainties in the soil moisture maps were evaluated by three different methods. First, GPR-derived soil moisture uncertainties were computed from the GPR data inversion, according to measurements and modeling errors and to the sensitivity of the electromagnetic model to soil moisture. Second, the reproducibility of the soil moisture mapping was evaluated. Third, GPR-derived soil moisture was compared with ground-truth measurements (soil core sampling). The proposed GPR method appeared to be highly precise and accurate, with spatially averaged GPR inversion uncertainty of 0.0039 m3m-3, a repetition uncertainty of 0.0169 m3m-3 and an uncertainty of 0.0233 m3m-3 when compared with ground-truth measurements. These uncertainties were mapped and appeared to be related to some local model inadequacies and to small-scale variability of soil moisture. In a soil moisture mapping framework, the interpolation was found to be the determinant source of the observed uncertainties. The proposed GPR method was proven to be largely reliable in terms of accuracy and precision and appeared to be highly efficient for soil moisture mapping at the field scale. [less ▲]

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See detailShallow heat injection and storage experiment : heat transport simulation and sensitivity analysis.
Vandenbohede, Alexander; Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2011), 409(1-2), 262-272

Interest in heat transport in porous media has increased because of its many applications such use as tracer or in geotechnical engineering solutions. Understanding of the physical processes and ... [more ▼]

Interest in heat transport in porous media has increased because of its many applications such use as tracer or in geotechnical engineering solutions. Understanding of the physical processes and parameters determining heat transport is therefore important. In this paper, heat transport is studied during a shallow heat injection and storage field test. The test is simulated using SEAWAT. Sensitivity analyses and collinear diagnostics are used to derive which parameters can be derived from the test and how reliable these values are. Heat transport during the test is compared with heat transport in the surficial zone at the same field site to compare parameter values. The most sensitive parameter is the thermal conductivity of the solid followed by the porosity, heat capacity of the solid and the longitudinal dispersivity. This indicates the predominance of conductive transport during the storage phase over the convective transport during the injection phase. Whereas heat transport in the surficial zone is insensitive to the longitudinal dispersivity, this parameter must be included to simulate the field test. This indicates that dispersivity can not be ignored simulating convective heat transport in aquifers. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of a multi-model approach to account for conceptual model and scenario uncertainties in groundwater modelling
Rojas, Rodriguo; Kahunde, Samalie; Peeters, Luk et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2010), 394(3-4), 416-435

Groundwater models are often used to predict the future behaviour of groundwater systems. These models may vary in complexity from simplified system conceptualizations to more intricate versions. It has ... [more ▼]

Groundwater models are often used to predict the future behaviour of groundwater systems. These models may vary in complexity from simplified system conceptualizations to more intricate versions. It has been recently suggested that uncertainties in model predictions are largely dominated by uncertainties arising from the definition of alternative conceptual models. Different external factors such as climatic conditions or groundwater abstraction policies, on the other hand, may also play an important role. Rojas et al. (2008) proposed a multimodel approach to account for predictive uncertainty arising from forcing data (inputs), parameters and alternative conceptualizations. In this work we extend upon this approach to include uncertainties arising from the definition of alternative future scenarios and we apply the extended methodology to a real aquifer system underlying the Walenbos Nature Reserve area in Belgium. Three alternative conceptual models comprising different levels of geological knowledge are considered. Additionally, three recharge settings (scenarios) are proposed to evaluate recharge uncertainties. A joint estimation of the predictive uncertainty including parameter, conceptual model and scenario uncertainties is estimated for groundwater budget terms. Finally, results obtained using the improved approach are compared with the results obtained from methodologies that include a calibration step and which use a model selection criterion to discriminate between alternative conceptualizations. Results showed that conceptual model and scenario uncertainties significantly contribute to the predictive variance for some budget terms. Besides, conceptual model uncertainties played an important role even for the case when a model was preferred over the others. Predictive distributions showed to be considerably different in shape, central moment and spread among alternative conceptualizations and scenarios analysed. This reaffirms the idea that relying on a single conceptual model driven by a particular scenario, will likely produce bias and under-dispersive estimations of the predictive uncertainty. Multimodel methodologies based on the use of model selection criteria produced ambiguous results. In the frame of a multimodel approach, these inconsistencies are critical and can not be neglected. These results strongly advocate the idea of addressing conceptual model uncertainty in groundwater modelling practice. Additionally, considering alternative future recharge uncertainties will permit to obtain more realistic and, possibly, more reliable estimations of the predictive uncertainty. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of the Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell method to an abandoned coalfield in Belgium
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Brouyère, Serge ULg; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2010), 392(3-4), 188-200

The Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell (HFEMC) method is a flexible modelling technique particularly suited to mining problems. The principle of this method is to subdivide the modelled zone into several ... [more ▼]

The Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell (HFEMC) method is a flexible modelling technique particularly suited to mining problems. The principle of this method is to subdivide the modelled zone into several subdomains and to select a specific equation, ranging from the simple linear reservoir equation to the groundwater flow in porous media equation, to model groundwater flow in each subdomain. The model can be run in transient conditions, which makes it a useful tool for managing mine closure post-issues such as groundwater rebound and water inrushes. The application of the HFEMC method to an abandoned underground coal mine near the city of Liege (Belgium) is presented. The case study zone has been discretized taking advantage of the flexibility of the method. Then, the model has been calibrated in transient conditions based on both hydraulic head and water discharge rate observation and an uncertainty analysis has been performed. Finally, the calibrated model has been used to run several scenarios in order to assess the impacts of possible future phenomena on the hydraulic heads and the water discharge rates. Among others, the simulation of an intense rainfall event shows a quick and strong increase in hydraulic heads in some zones coupled with an increase in associated water discharge rates. This could lead to stability problems in local hill slopes. These predictions will help managing and predicting mine water problems in this complex mining system. [less ▲]

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See detailFrom Root Zone Modelling To Regional Forecasting Of Nitrate Concentration In Recharge Flows - The Case Of The Walloon Region (Belgium)
Sohier, Catherine ULg; Degre, Aurore ULg; Dautrebande, Sylvia

in Journal of Hydrology (2009), 369(3-4), 350-359

In order to model the nitrate concentration of the recharge water in a spatially distributed way for the agricultural areas of the Walloon Region of Belgium, the EPIC model was first adapted to the ... [more ▼]

In order to model the nitrate concentration of the recharge water in a spatially distributed way for the agricultural areas of the Walloon Region of Belgium, the EPIC model was first adapted to the specific soil description by modifying the reservoir sizes. It was also adapted to the regional crop production by modifying classcrop files in relation with observed data (both aerial and underground crop growth, yield) in wheat, sugar beet, and potato fields. As the vadose zone presents a depth between 1.5 and 104 m in this region, new reservoirs were added according to the geological descriptions available. Deep nitrate transfer was validated in a specific site where cropping history was known. Nitrate nitrogen after harvest in the root zone was validated for wheat within different crop rotations using the first results of a nitrate-monitoring program planned by the authorities to test the effectiveness of the mitigation measures in agriculture. This extended model was also linked to a GIS (geographical information system) using 1 km2-cells. All the required data were rasterised to allow HRU (hydrological response unit) identification within the cells. The cell’s daily water flows are weighted flows of each HRU depending on their relative area within the cell. Water balances at catchment scale allow us to validate the calculation. Taking into account the evolution of distributed land use and observed climatic data, we have built maps of fast indicators and long-term indicators. The first map represents nitrate concentration in the water leaving the root zone and the second one represents the time transfer for nitrate from 1.5 m depth to the groundwater table and nitrate concentration in recharge water. These maps constitute major tools for nitrogen management at a regional level. [less ▲]

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See detailBenzene dispersion and natural attenuation in an alluvial aquifer with strong interactions with surface water
Batlle-Aguilar, Jordi; Brouyère, Serge ULg; Dassargues, Alain ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2009)

Field and laboratory investigations have been conducted at a former coke plant, in order to assess pollutant attenuation in a contaminated alluvial aquifer, discharging to an adjacent river. Various ... [more ▼]

Field and laboratory investigations have been conducted at a former coke plant, in order to assess pollutant attenuation in a contaminated alluvial aquifer, discharging to an adjacent river. Various organic (BTEX, PAHs, mineral oils) and inorganic (As, Zn, Cd) compounds were found in the aquifer in concentrations exceeding regulatory values. Due to redox conditions of the aquifer, heavy metals were almost immobile, thus not posing a major risk of dispersion off-site the brownfield. Field and laboratory investigations demonstrated that benzene, among organic pollutants, presented the major worry for off-site dispersion, mainly due to its mobility and high concentration, i.e. up to 750 mg L 1 in the source zone. However, benzene could never be detected near the river which is about 160 m downgradient the main source. Redox conditions together with benzene concentrations determined in the aquifer have suggested that degradation mainly occurred within 100 m distance from the contaminant source under anoxic conditions, and most probably with sulphate as main oxidant. A numerical groundwater flow and transport model, calibrated under transient conditions, was used to simulate benzene attenuation in the alluvial aquifer towards the Meuse River. The mean benzene degradation rate used in the model was quantified in situ along the groundwater flow path using compound-specific carbon isotope analysis (CSIA). The results of the solute transport simulations confirmed that benzene concentrations decreased almost five orders of magnitude 70 m downgradient the source. Simulated concentrations have been found to be below the detection limit in the zone adjacent to the river and consistent with the absence of benzene in downgradient piezometers located close to the river reported in groundwater sampling campaigns. In a transient model scenario including groundwater–surface water dynamics, benzene concentrations were observed to be inversely correlated to the river water levels, leading to the hypothesis that benzene dispersion is mainly controlled by natural attenuation. [less ▲]

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See detailLarge scale surface – subsurface hydrological model to assess climate change impacts on groundwater reserves
Goderniaux, Pascal ULg; Brouyère, Serge ULg; Fowler, Hayley J. et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2009), 373

Estimating the impacts of climate change on groundwater represents one of the most difficult challenges faced by water resources specialists. One difficulty is that simplifying the representation of the ... [more ▼]

Estimating the impacts of climate change on groundwater represents one of the most difficult challenges faced by water resources specialists. One difficulty is that simplifying the representation of the hydrological system often leads to discrepancies in projections. This study provides an improved methodology for the estimation of the impacts of climate change on groundwater reserves, where a physically-based surface – subsurface flow model is combined with advanced climate change scenarios for the Geer basin (465 km²), Belgium. Coupled surface–subsurface flow is simulated with the finite element model HydroGeoSphere. The simultaneous solution of surface and subsurface flow equations in HydroGeoSphere, as well as the internal calculation of the actual evapotranspiration as a function of the soil moisture at each node of the defined evaporative zone, improve the representation of interdependent processes like recharge, which is crucial in the context of climate change. More simple models or externally coupled models do not provide the same level of realism. Fully integrated surface – subsurface flow models have recently gained attention, but have not been used in the context of climate change impact studies. Climate change simulations were obtained from 6 regional climate model (RCM) scenarios assuming the SRES A2 emission (medium-high) scenario. These RCM scenarios were downscaled using a quantile mapping bias-correction technique that, rather than applying a correction only to the mean, forces the probability distributions of the control simulations of daily temperature and precipitation to match the observed distributions. The same corrections are then applied to RCM scenarios for the future. Climate change scenarios predict hotter and drier summer and warmer and wetter winters. The combined use of an integrated surface – subsurface modelling approach, a spatial representation of the evapotranspiration processes and sophisticated climate change scenarios improves the model realism and projections of climate change impacts on groundwater reserves. For the climatic scenarios considered, the integrated flow simulations show that significant decreases are expected in the groundwater levels (up to 8 meters) and in the surface water flow rates (between 9% and 33%) by 2080. [less ▲]

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See detailTrends in productivity of crops, fallow and rangelands in Southwest Niger: Impact of land use, management and variable rainfall
Hiernaux, Pierre; Ayantunde, Augustine; Kalilou, Adamou et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2009), 375 (1-2)

To document trends in land use and herbaceous production, 71 field sites sampled among cropped fields, fallow fields and rangelands in the Fakara region (Niger) were monitored from 1994 to 2006. The ... [more ▼]

To document trends in land use and herbaceous production, 71 field sites sampled among cropped fields, fallow fields and rangelands in the Fakara region (Niger) were monitored from 1994 to 2006. The overall trend in land use confirmed the historical increase of the cropped areas since mid 20th century, at an annual rate of 2% from 1994 to 2006. This trend is the result of changes in the relative extent of fields permanently cropped and fields under shifting cultivation, and for the latter, the relative proportion of short (3 years) and long (10 years) duration fallows. Type of land use together with topography and soil type determine the herbaceous production and the resulting yield measured towards the end of the wet season. The variation in site yields between years is of the same order of magnitude as the variation in yields between sites within a year. There is an overall decreasing trend in site yields by 5% annually from 1994 to 2006 that is not explained by variations in rainfall. The decreasing trend is observed on fields under shifting cultivation, fallowed fields and rangelands, although not all sites are equally affected. Causes are likely to be multiple which might include changes in land use, decline of soil fertility and increased grazing pressure. Indeed, the remaining rangelands on marginal land and the fallows still accessible to livestock are subject to such a heavy grazing during the rainy season that the herbaceous standing mass measured at the end of the season reflects poorly the actual production. After the two first years of cropping, the herbaceous yield in fields under shifting cultivation with no fertilisation is negatively affected by the number of successive years of cropping. Moreover, clearing fallow after a decreasing number of years affects the mean herbaceous yield of fallowed fields by reducing the contribution of more productive old fallows. Changes in land use, grazing pressure and soil fertility also triggered changes in species composition with a strong reduction in diversity from rangelands to fallows, and again from fallows to cropland weeds. No correlations was found however between productivity and species composition. Cumulative rainfall does not explain between site or between year deviations in herbaceous yield even when sites are sorted by land use type or by soil type in the case of fallow and rangelands. Simulated production calculated with the STEP model does not explain herbaceous yields much better even when sites are grouped by land use and soil type. However, relative changes of herbaceous yields are reasonably predicted on sites that remained fallowed and were not heavily grazed for at least four consecutive years. [less ▲]

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See detailSmall-scale sedimentary structures and permeability in a cross-bedded aquifer
Huysmans, Marijke; Peeters, Luk; Moermans, Gert et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2008), (361), 41-51

The objective of this study is to investigate the relation between small-scale sedimentary structures and permeability in the Brussels Sands formation, an early Middle-Eocene shallow marine sand deposit ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study is to investigate the relation between small-scale sedimentary structures and permeability in the Brussels Sands formation, an early Middle-Eocene shallow marine sand deposit in Central Belgium that constitutes a major groundwater source in the region. A field campaign was carried out consisting of field observations of the sedimentary structures and in situ measurements of air permeability. The sedimentary structures were interpreted, sketched, digitally photographed and measured in a representative outcrop. Additionally, a total of 2750 cm-scale air permeability measurements were carried out in situ. Analysis of the spatial distribution of sedimentary structures and permeability shows that clay-rich sedimentary features such as bottomsets and distinct mud drapes exhibit a different statistical and geostatistical permeability distribution compared to the other lithofacies in the cross-bedded sands. Spatial analysis of the air permeability data shows that permeability anisotropy in the cross-bedded lithofacies is dominated by the foreset lamination orientation. These results show that smallscale sedimentary heterogeneity strongly influences the local spatial distribution of the hydraulic properties and results in permeability heterogeneity and stratification that would produce anisotropy in upscaled permeability values. [less ▲]

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See detailStochastic generation of meteorological variables and effects on global models of water and carbon cycles in vegetation and soils
Hubert, Benoît ULg; François, Louis ULg; Warnant, Pierre ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (1998), 213(1-4), 318-334

Global models of water and carbon cycles in continental vegetation and soils are usually forced with monthly mean climatic data-sets and thus neglect day to day variations of the weather. This treatment ... [more ▼]

Global models of water and carbon cycles in continental vegetation and soils are usually forced with monthly mean climatic data-sets and thus neglect day to day variations of the weather. This treatment may be justified for empirical models based on parametrizations validated at a monthly timescale. Mechanistic models handling hydrological and biological processes at much shorter timescales might, however, be largely affected by such an approximation, since the various processes described are highly nonlinear. A random generator of daily precipitations and temperatures applicable at the global scale has thus been developed from worldwide meteorological data covering 6 years of observations. The probability of a wet day is correlated to the weather encountered the previous day. The amount of precipitation, the daily mean temperature and the diurnal. range of temperature are described from the statistical point of view by the cumulative distribution functions (CDF) of three random variables. The CDF's a relative to temperatures are different for rainy and dry days. This stochastically generated weather field is used as input to IBM (Improved Bucket Model) and CARAIB (CARbon Assimilation In the Biosphere), two global models of respectively soil hydrology and vegetation productivity. Large differences in both the geographical distribution and the global value of soil water, vegetation productivity and carbon stocks are obtained between the model runs using monthly uniform weather on one side and randomly generated weather on the other. The main contribution to this difference at the global scale arises from the precipitation generation occurring as a result of high degree of nonlinearity of the interception scheme used in IBM. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailDiffusivité de l'eau dans un milieu non saturé hétérogène
Debouche, Charles ULg; Dautrebande, Sylvia; Sine, Léopold

in Journal of Hydrology (1974), 22

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