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Water sources and flow paths in a forested catchment of the East Asian monsoon region

Jean-Lionel Payeur-Poirier1, Luisa Hopp1, Stefan Peiffer1
1 Lehrstuhl für Hydrologie, Universität Bayreuth

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In South Korea, water yield of the Soyang reservoir is tightly linked to water discharge of the forested catchments covering 85 percent of the Soyang basin area. Water discharge of these catchments greatly varies on an annual cycle, with the greatest variations occurring during the summer monsoon. It is hypothesized that the high precipitation regime of the East Asian summer monsoon causes significant changes in sources and flow paths of water in forested catchments, which in turn have effects on water discharge and water quality. The results of this study are to answer the following question, namely “In a forested catchment, when does water flow from what source, by which path, in what proportion and on what time-scale?”.

The first results of the study clearly indicate strong effects of the high precipitation regime of the summer monsoon on the sources, flow paths, discharge and quality of water. Throughout the study period, the runoff coefficient varied in agreement with the variation in specific electrical conductivity of water at the outfall of the catchment, suggesting varying contributions of pre-event and event water to discharge. The runoff coefficient is also related to the antecedent soil moisture conditions of the site. A comparison of the site’s flow duration curve with that of a similar catchment reveals that the site responds more quickly than the latter in terms of runoff generation. The results of the recession analysis also reveal that runoff generation mechanisms vary throughout the study period.

last modified 2014-07-16