Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 537544
Title Data from: Feedbacks between shallow groundwater dynamics and surface topography on runoff generation in flat fields
Author(s) Appels, W.M.; Bogaart, P.W.; Zee, S.E.A.T.M. van der
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d21j6
Department(s) Soil Physics and Land Management
WIMEK
Publication type Dataset
Publication year 2017
Keyword(s) overland flow - surface runoff - saturation excess - hydrological modeling - lowlands
Abstract In winter, saturation excess (SE) ponding is observed regularly in temperate lowland regions. Surface runoff dynamics are controlled by small topographical features that are unaccounted for in hydrological models. To better understand storage and routing effects of small scale topography and their interaction with shallow groundwater under SE conditions, we developed a model of reduced complexity to investigate SE runoff generation, emphasizing feedbacks between shallow groundwater dynamics and mesotopography. The dynamic specific yield affected unsaturated zone water storage, causing rapid switches between negative and positive head and a flatter groundwater mound than predicted by analytical agro-hydrological models. Accordingly, saturated areas were larger and local groundwater fluxes smaller than predicted, leading to surface runoff generation. Mesotopographic features routed water over larger distances, providing a feedback mechanism that amplified changes to the shape of the groundwater mound. This in turn enhanced runoff generation, but whether it also resulted in runoff events depended on the geometry and location of the depressions. Whereas conditions favourable to runoff generation may abound during winter, these feedbacks profoundly reduce the predictability of SE runoff: statistically identical rainfall series may result in completely different runoff generation. The model results indicate that waterlogged areas in any given rainfall event are larger than those predicted by current analytical groundwater models used for drainage design. This change in the groundwater mound extent has implications for crop growth and damage assessments.
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