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Universidade Federal do Ceará (2015)

Hydrological and sedimentological processes in a tropical semiarid climate

Santos Julio Cesar Neves dos

Titre : Hydrological and sedimentological processes in a tropical semiarid climate

PROCESSOS HIDROLÓGICOS E SEDIMENTOLÓGICOS EM CLIMA SEMIÁRIDO TROPICA

Auteur : Santos Julio Cesar Neves dos

Université de soutenance : Universidade Federal do Ceará

Grade : Doutorado 2015

Résumé
The understanding of processes such as the generation of surface runoff, sediment yield and their relations with the rainfall regime is the basis for the planning and effective management of soil and water resources in a watershed. In this context, the present study aims to identify the main processes that influence the generation of surface runoff and sediment yield in small watersheds, and determine parameters for empirical sedimentological models, as well as the Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) for the tropical, semi-arid region of Brazil. The study area is the Iguatu Experimental Basin (IEB), which comprises a watershed of 16.74 km2, three small nested watersheds (from 1 to 3 ha) and three erosion plots of 20 m2. One of the watersheds had been under regenerating Caatinga for 35 years, another subjected to a management, which involved thinning the Caatinga, and the last faced deforestation followed by burning and the cultivation of grass. The period of study was six years (2009 to 2014). Collections to quantify surface runoff and sediment yield were taken for each erosive rainfall event in an accumulated period of 24 hours. Surface runoff in the watersheds was quantified using Parshall flumes, and sediment yield was measured with towers and trenches to collect suspended sediment and bedload. On the watershed scale, runoff was measured by means of a spillway, and sediment yield by a turbidimeter. Cluster analysis was used to determine rainfall regimes and groups of similar rainfall-runoff events. With data from the erosion plots and watersheds, the C factors and coefficients of the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) were calibrated and validated. From data measured in the basin, sediment delivery ratios were determined. The occurrence of dry spells and the formation of cracks in the soil were important factors in controlling the generation of runoff and consequently sediment yield. The dry spells made it possible for the soil to dry out, with the formation of cracks, which acted as pathways for preferential flow, generating higher initial abstraction during the start of the rainy season. Changes in ground cover had little influence on accumulated flow, demonstrating that the soil characteristics and conditions as moisture and the presence of cracks, best explain the generation of runoff on expansive soils. The greatest runoff losses in all the watersheds under study were for Rainfall Regime II, characterized by higher depth, intensity and occurrence of the rainfall. For the ground covers under study, values for the C factors and the fit of the coefficients "a" and "b" of MUSLE, proved to be appropriate and recommended according to the statistical indices employed. Values for sediment delivery ratio for individual rainfall events ranged from 0.08 to 1.67%, with an average of 0.68%. In the basin, extreme events may cause high disaggregation of soil particles, but without sufficient transporting energy for dragging the sediment, generating low SDR.

Mots Clés : Dry spells. Surface runoff. Sediment yield. Antecedent soil moisture. Sediment Delivery Ratio.

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Page publiée le 1er août 2017