The roles of soil surface sealing, microtopography and vegetation in rainfall-runoff processes in semi-arid areas Academic Article uri icon


  • Water resources are vital for arid and semiarid land ecosystems. Temporal and spatial distribution of water resources may significantly impact the development and sustainability of these ecosystems. One of the major elements in the water budget is the rainfall-runoff relationship. The response of semiarid regions to short but intense rainfall events has not been fully understood yet due to complex feedbacks between water, vegetation patches, topography and soil characteristics. The widely observed soil surface sealing is an important complicating factor in this system. It complicates impact of topography and vegetation on hydrological processes. Soil surface sealing involves the formation of a compact seal layer at the vicinity of the soil surface, inducing a drastic reduction of the soil infiltrability, thus affecting the local rainfall-runoff relationship. This study aims to quantify the interplay of …

publication date

  • December 1, 2012