Ecohydrological response to a geomorphically significant flood event in a semiarid catchment with contrasting ecosystems

Hugo A. Gutiérrez-Jurado, Enrique R. Vivoni, Erkan Istanbulluoglu, Rafael L. Bras

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Abstract

Climate and topographic conditions in a first-order semiarid catchment in central New Mexico have given rise to opposing hillslopes characterized by different soil profile, vegetation and landform characteristics. In this study, we present the differential response of these two hillslope ecosystems to a geomorphically significant (GS) flood event based upon field observations of rainfall, soil moisture and peak channel discharge. We illustrate the role played by slope position, soil properties and vegetation on soil moisture dynamics and runoff production. Furthermore, we document observed geomorphic changes in the opposing slopes. Analysis of the hillslope and channel response to this exceptional event provides insights on the terrain-soil-vegetation interactions acting on the movement of water and sediments through the semiarid system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL24S25
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume34
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 28 2007
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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