Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group

Barcelona, Spain

Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group

Barcelona, Spain

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Nikolaidis N.P.,Technical University of Crete | Demetropoulou L.,Technical University of Crete | Froebrich J.,Wageningen University | Jacobs C.,Wageningen University | And 19 more authors.
Water Policy | Year: 2013

In 2011, the European Council stressed the significance of water quality for sustainable development in Europe and emphasized the need for better integration of the water policy objectives into the Common Agriculture Policy reform in rural areas. Since 2000, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) has required the EU Member States to target good ecological status for their water bodies. However, the implementation of the Directive for the numerous Mediterranean temporary streams has been delayed indicating the need for elaboration of the tools and methods that address the special characteristics of such water bodies. This requirement has been addressed by the recently completed MIRAGE project. In the context of the recent publication of the European Commission,s Blueprint to Safeguard Europe,s Waters, the MIRAGE-proposed framework for the characterization of the ecohydrological dynamics and the systematic description of the measured impact for temporary rivers could bring considerable added value to the EU revision of all relevant water policies. The project recommends additions to WFD articles including an explicit definition of temporary rivers, adaptation of environmental objectives to their peculiarities and establishment of a proper method to determine the initial status and specific actions in River Basin Management Plans. © IWA Publishing 2013.


Gallart F.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Perez-Gallego N.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Latron J.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Catari G.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | And 3 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2013

Badland landscapes are the main sediment sources in the Vallcebre area (Eastern Pyrenees, Catalonia, Spain). Short-term studies (up to 3-years long) carried out between 1980 and 1994 were used to estimate the rates of both denudation on bare surfaces and sediment production at the plot scale, to analyse the seasonal dynamics of bedrock weathering and regolith behaviour, and to study the relationships between geomorphic activity and herbaceous plant colonisation. Since 1990, stream flow and suspended sediment loads have been monitored using three gauging stations equipped with infrared backscattering turbidimeters, ultra-sonic beam attenuation solids sensors and automatic water samplers. The combination of the two different approaches has been useful for a better perception of the dynamics of the badland systems and to assess the long-term contribution of these areas to the basin sediment loads. Badland erosion at the event scale for a period of 15. years was simulated with the KINEROS2 model and allowed the long-term comparison between badland erosion and sediment yield at the small basin scale. Badlands are the main source of sediment in the basin for most of the events, but infrequent runoff events cause the removal of sediment stores and the activation of other sediment sources. The analysis of the uncertainty of sediment yield measurements for a range of record durations demonstrated that long records are needed for obtaining acceptable results due to the high interannual variability. Relatively low-cost short-term geomorphic observations may provide information useful for assessing the long-term sediment production in these basins with badland areas only if the observations are used to implement a model able to simulate long-term observations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Gallart F.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Llorens P.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Latron J.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Cid N.,University of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

Hydrological data for assessing the regime of temporary rivers are often non-existent or scarce. The scarcity of flow data makes impossible to characterize the hydrological regime of temporary streams and, in consequence, to select the correct periods and methods to determine their ecological status. This is why the TREHS software is being developed, in the framework of the LIFE Trivers project. It will help managers to implement adequately the European Water Framework Directive in this kind of water body. TREHS, using the methodology described in Gallart et al. (2012), defines six transient 'aquatic states', based on hydrological conditions representing different mesohabitats, for a given reach at a particular moment. Because of its qualitative nature, this approach allows using alternative methodologies to assess the regime of temporary rivers when there are no observed flow data. These methods, based on interviews and high-resolution aerial photographs, were tested for estimating the aquatic regime of temporary rivers. All the gauging stations (13) belonging to the Catalan Internal Catchments (NE Spain) with recurrent zero-flow periods were selected to validate this methodology. On the one hand, non-structured interviews were conducted with inhabitants of villages near the gauging stations. On the other hand, the historical series of available orthophotographs were examined. Flow records measured at the gauging stations were used to validate the alternative methods. Flow permanence in the reaches was estimated reasonably by the interviews and adequately by aerial photographs, when compared with the values estimated using daily flows. The degree of seasonality was assessed only roughly by the interviews. The recurrence of disconnected pools was not detected by flow records but was estimated with some divergences by the two methods. The combination of the two alternative methods allows substituting or complementing flow records, to be updated in the future through monitoring by professionals and citizens. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Gallart F.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Marignani M.,University of Cagliari | Perez-Gallego N.,Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group | Santi E.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | MacCherini S.,University of Siena
Catena | Year: 2013

The scientific subjects addressed in the research into badlands since the publication of Bryan and Yair's book (Bryan, R.B. and Yair, A. (Editors), 1982 Badland geomorphology and piping. Geo Books, Norwich, 408 pp.) are briefly analysed. With a steadily increasing number of papers per year, attention to some aspects, such as runoff generation, piping and the role of lithology and soils, varied, whereas the percentage of studies on erosion rates increased steadily over time. Vegetation was not a subject of research in early papers, as most of the papers dealing with vegetation were rather descriptive and published in local or limited-diffusion media, which contrasts with the present situation when about 40% of papers published in international journals about badlands address some aspect of vegetation. However, the growth in the attention paid to vegetation and erosion rates was not linked to any increase in papers dealing with badland reclamation. Badlands are now seen as a group of systems with some common features but diverse dynamics, depending mainly on climatic and lithological drivers. More attention should be paid in the future to investigating the evolution of these landforms over time, mostly through modelling studies, whereas emerging technologies foster detailed analyses that were not possible formerly. Although some badland areas determine on- and off-site environmental issues, others are spots of landscape diversity that merit protection rather than reclamation. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Surface Hydrology and Erosion Group and University of Barcelona
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

Hydrological data for assessing the regime of temporary rivers are often non-existent or scarce. The scarcity of flow data makes impossible to characterize the hydrological regime of temporary streams and, in consequence, to select the correct periods and methods to determine their ecological status. This is why the TREHS software is being developed, in the framework of the LIFE Trivers project. It will help managers to implement adequately the European Water Framework Directive in this kind of water body. TREHS, using the methodology described in Gallart et al. (2012), defines six transient aquatic states, based on hydrological conditions representing different mesohabitats, for a given reach at a particular moment. Because of its qualitative nature, this approach allows using alternative methodologies to assess the regime of temporary rivers when there are no observed flow data. These methods, based on interviews and high-resolution aerial photographs, were tested for estimating the aquatic regime of temporary rivers. All the gauging stations (13) belonging to the Catalan Internal Catchments (NE Spain) with recurrent zero-flow periods were selected to validate this methodology. On the one hand, non-structured interviews were conducted with inhabitants of villages near the gauging stations. On the other hand, the historical series of available orthophotographs were examined. Flow records measured at the gauging stations were used to validate the alternative methods. Flow permanence in the reaches was estimated reasonably by the interviews and adequately by aerial photographs, when compared with the values estimated using daily flows. The degree of seasonality was assessed only roughly by the interviews. The recurrence of disconnected pools was not detected by flow records but was estimated with some divergences by the two methods. The combination of the two alternative methods allows substituting or complementing flow records, to be updated in the future through monitoring by professionals and citizens.

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