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Hydrological characterization of watersheds in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia

Gebrehiwot, Solomon Gebreyohannis and Ilstedt, Ulrik and Gärdenäs, Annemieke and Bishop, Kevin (2011). Hydrological characterization of watersheds in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia. Hydrology and earth system sciences. 15:1, 11-20
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/hess-15-11-2011

Abstract

Thirty-two watersheds (31–4350 km2), in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia, were hydrologically characterized with data from a study of water and land resources by the US Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) published in 1964. The USBR document contains data on flow, topography, geology, soil type, and land use for the period 1959 to 1963. The aim of the study was to identify watershed variables best explaining the variation in the hydrological regime, with a special focus on low flows. Moreover, this study aimed to identify variables that may be susceptible to management policies for developing and securing water resources in dry periods. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Square (PLS) were used to analyze the relationship between five hydrologic response variables (total flow, high flow, low flow, runoff coefficient, low flow index) and 30 potential explanatory watershed variables. The explanatory watershed variables were classified into three groups: land use, climate and topography as well as geology and soil type. Each of the three groups had almost equal influence on the variation in hydrologic variables (R2 values ranging from 0.3 to 0.4). Specific variables from within each of the three groups of explanatory variables were better in explaining the variation. Low flow and low flow index were positively correlated to land use types woodland, dense wet forest and savannah grassland, whereas grazing land and bush land were negatively correlated. We concluded that extra care for preserving low flow should be taken on tuffs/basalts which comprise 52% of the Blue Nile Basin. Land use management plans should recognize that woodland, dense wet forest and savannah grassland can promote higher low flows, while grazing land diminishes low flows.

Authors/Creators:Gebrehiwot, Solomon Gebreyohannis and Ilstedt, Ulrik and Gärdenäs, Annemieke and Bishop, Kevin
Title:Hydrological characterization of watersheds in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia
Series/Journal:Hydrology and earth system sciences (1607-7938)
Year of publishing :3 January 2011
Volume:15
Number:1
Page range:11-20
Publisher:Copernicus Publication
ISSN:1607-7938
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Obsolete subject words > NATURAL SCIENCES > Earth sciences > Exogenous earth sciences > Physical geography
Obsolete subject words > NATURAL SCIENCES > Earth sciences > Atmosphere and hydrosphere sciences > Hydrology
Keywords:Blue Nile, Ethiopia, Low flow, US Bureau of Reclamation, Hydrology, Water resource management
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-381
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-381
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.5194/hess-15-11-2011
ID Code:8635
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot
Deposited On:26 Mar 2012 13:17
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:49

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