A special issue of MDPI journal Water (ISSN 2073-4441): "Catchments as Observatories of the Hydrological and Biogeochemical Functioning of the Critical Zone"
This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019
Special Issue Information
Catchments are geographic, geomorphologic and hydrologic unities, today recognized to be relevant natural infrastructures for supporting the development of new research on the critical zone and the management of water resources and soil protection at the continental scale, as well as at regional or local scales. The long term survey of rivers allows us to determine the impacts of climate changes and anthropogenic activities on the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of their drainage basin, but also on soil erosion, pollutant transfers, biogeochemical cycles, soil and water quality, living organisms and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They also allow us to assess the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, ecosystem services and finally, the relationships between man, societies and their environments at different scales.
A better understanding of the mechanisms and a better estimation of mass balances at the scale of catchments requires us to set up long-term surveys to take into account the recurrence of dry and humid periods. These surveys must be done with a high resolution or even continuously (using multi-parameter probes with different sensors) during flood events (“hot moments”), which are the main periods of soil erosion and river transport. The input and output of water and sediment fluxes and their chemical and isotopic composition must be evaluated in relation to changes in climate, hydrology, land cover and agricultural practices. These global surveys make such catchments real environmental observatories of the continental surfaces and interfaces, and particularly of what we today call the critical zone.
This Special Issue calls for innovative papers:
- to show the advances in the coupling of hydrological, biogeochemical and/or ecological approaches to better understand the processes that control the functioning of the critical zone at the scale of catchments, from small catchments until large river basins.
- to show how to survey “catchment pulsation” using continuous or high-frequency measurements in order to assess new hydrological and bigeochemical processes and to better estimate the mass balance of particulate and solute river loads and of physical erosion and chemical weathering.
- to determine the respective contribution of climate change and anthropogenic activities on interannual fluctuations and the long-term trends in hydrological and biogeochemical parameters measured in the river systems.
- to show how to use integrative modelling approaches to better simulate the riverine fluxes of dissolved and particulate elements, organic and inorganic, originating from natural or anthropogenic sources.