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Hydrological behaviour and modelling of a volcanic tropical cultivated catchment

Charlier J.B., Cattan P., Moussa R., Voltz M.. 2008. Hydrological Processes, 22 (22) : p. 4355-4370.

The hydrological behaviour of the cultivated F´ef´e catchment (17Ð8 ha) on the tropical volcanic island of Guadeloupe was studied to identify flow paths, to quantify water fluxes, and finally, to build a lumped model to simulate discharge and piezometer levels. The approach combined two steps, an experimental step and a modelling step, which covered two time scales, the annual and the storm event scale. The hydrological measurements were conducted over 2 years. The F´ef´e catchment is characterized by heavy rainfall (4229 mm year_1) on permeable Andosols; the results showed that underground flow paths involved two overlapping aquifers, and that the annual water balance in 2003 was shared among outflows of the deep aquifer (42%), evapotranspiration (31%), and streamflow (27%). On the event scale, the surface runoff coefficient ranges between 6Ð2% and 24Ð4% depending on antecedent dry or wet moisture conditions. Hortonian overland flow predominated over subsurface and saturation overland flow processes. Recharge of the shallow aquifer is mainly governed by a constant infiltration capacity of the Andosols with depth in the vadose zone. Outflows of this shallow aquifer were the baseflow of the main stream and the recharge of the deep aquifer. Volcanic deposits at F´ef´e promoted the underground flow path, and cultivated areas seemed to explain the high stormflow values relative to other tropical small catchments under rain forest. A conceptual lumped model integrating runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, and fluctuations of the two overlapping aquifers was developed. The model has six parameters and was calibrated and validated on the hydrograph at the outlet and on the two piezometers of the shallow and the deep aquifers. The results show fair to good agreement between measured and simulated variables, and consequently, the model was consistent with the main hydrological processes observed from experimental results in wet conditions. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : andosol; terre cultivée; bilan hydrique du sol; bassin versant; expérimentation; modèle de simulation; sol volcanique; hydrologie; guadeloupe

Thématique : Ressources en eau et leur gestion; Sciences et aménagement du sol

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