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Volume 18(2), 220- 223, 2014

JOURNAL of Horticulture, Forestry and Biotechnology


www.journal-hfb.usab-tm.ro
Dynamics of hydrological parameters in a small torrential
basin covered with full-stocked forests
C
. 1
1
D . M
1
1orne1 ., rago1, .
University of Suceava, Faculty of Forestry
*Corresponding author. Email: dragoi@usv.ro
Abstract The paper is focused on how the ever-changing structure of the Key words
forest canopy alters the hydrological parameters of a small torrential basin,
where heavy rains may occur suddenly without being recorded at
meteorological stations, as happened in 1991 and 1993 with Paraul Negru
watershed, where this study was carried out. The study consists in calculating
the average annual load at the very beginning of five decades, from 1956 to
2006, based on the forest stand description, provided by the forest
management plans, and the terrain features, plugged into a CAD system,
where all important morphological features were estimated.
Land use change is considered one of the nine
boundaries of development (Folke, 2013) , mainly due
to ecosystem services provided by forests. One of main
hypotheses hard to disagree with is the crucial role
played by forests in preventing floods , due the high
retention capacity of forest canopy, litter and soil,
combined with the capacity of forest trees to pump up
the water.
The goal of this study is to show how the hydrological
parameters of a full-stocked small watershed change
over time, even though the forest cover remains
unchanged, except for the age structure of the stands.
Material and Method
In a small watershed Paraul Negru, located in Gura
Humorului forest district, the main hydrological
parameters were estimated five times, taking into
account the slightly changes produced into the forest
canopy as described by each management plan
Fig. 2 Location of Paraul negru watershed
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The methodology actually addresses an intriguing
question: may we have encountered extreme floods
even in a fully forested basin? In order to answer this
question, we have chosen a very small watershed,
potentially torrential due to steep slopes, but almost
completely covered with full-stocked forests and
located pretty close to a meteorological station, which
has provided most of all important meteorological data
needed to estimate the hydrological parameters of the
watershed.
produced in a 50 years timeframe, period in which two
major floods had occurred downstream: one in 1991
and the next one in 1993, although the rainfalls in those
two periods, recorded at the nearest station (Gura
H umorului, 6 km distance), were not recorded as the
highest ones.
mm 80.0 .,-----------------
75.0
70.0
65.0
60.0
55.0
50.0
45.0
40.0
35.0
30.0
25.0
20.0
t--
j--,
tt=
JI
~
~
,_
~
-

-
l
J
-
-
ti
-
-
i=-
J_ ~ 1
-
Fig. 1 Highest annual rainfalls in the studied period, as
recorded at Gura Humorului meteorological station




secom:::...-:_ :_-
O. e:-:: ping the maps and data processing under

- e::ing up a database with all relevant data about
s:ands lo ated within the watershed, for the period
2e, \- en 19 -6 and 2006, data collected from the forest
:::ianag rnent plans.
In order to assess the hydrological parameters at the
losing: section of the watershed two indirect methods
\\ere in order to calculate the following
parameters: Z - total retention (mm); I soil infiltration
(mm); Sc - run-off water layer (mm); Pl% rainfall
with 1 % likelihood of occurrence (%) ; i% rainfall
intensity for 1 % occurrence likelihood (mm) ; Tc - time
of concentration; c - run-off coefficient; Qmaxl %
peak discharge for 1 % likelihood (m
3
/ s); Wa -
sediment transportation;
Fig. 3 .Contour lines and hydrological network in Paraul
Negru watershed
The runoff coefficient (c) has been determined by two
methods, Gaspar () and Freve1i () respectively, taking
into account the infiltration coefficient (ci) and the
retention coefficient ( cz), given that c= 1-c,-c;.
In order to account for the stand structure when
assessing c,, we have used the procedure proposed by
Clinciu and Lazar (Lazar et Clinciu, 1987), based on
stands hydrological mapping, which fetches each
companme : in one of the four hydrological
categ:ories.. _..\_ 3. C. or D.
The -hi _--c,- ---o ,- \1! appraised by the rationale
formul;_ \\ - :- - -::-s _:se oi :be potential evapo-
: :. _02d w2.:: --es ed using
Results
This study addresses two different aspects: the causes -
te rain and the forest supposed to influence the
torrential patterns - and the effects, which are the
hydrological parameters of the watershed. The first
parameter that brings about different hydrological
categories wherein the stand fall is the forest density,
that changes, in average values, as shown in. Another
feature slightly changed over time is the forest
distribution on age classes, which reflects some
windtluows that had been produced meanwhile, as
shown in; comparing the shares of the ages classes in
1986 with the ones reached in 1964, one may consider
that a small area, about 20 hectares, was affected by
\\indthrO\\-s. most of the stands getting older in normal
condit ions. meaning that influence of the age structure
i n gligible.
The wa er flO\\. and the solid load, assessed by indirect
methods. do not pose significant variations during the
221
five decades period, except for a slightly increase of
the erosion produced on slopes, brought about by
140
120
I
'
u
i
(
l
it
-;
I a EVP
I
pp
,___
100
80
mm
60
- -
- -

f- >-- f-
-
- -
40
20

I f
"
Ill N v VI VII VIII IX
Month
x XI XII
Fig. 4 Average precipitation and potential evapo-
perspiration, as given by at Gura Humorului
meteorological station
150
ha
100
50
0
1964 1976 1986 1996 2006
Fig. 6 Changes produced in age structure of the forest
Discussion and Conclusions
Between 1955 and 2006 the percentage of forest cover
remained the same, 97,6 % of the total area.
hydrological role played by the forest, described by the
four hydrological categories within the stands of trees
fell has showed a high hydrological effectiveness
although the whole watershed might be included in the
category of medium risk of triggering to1Tents when
exceptional heavy rainfalls occurred.
Nevertheless the small change of solid load produced
by slope erosion was brought about by small changes
in the hydrological effectiveness of the stands, altered
during the studied period, by salvage harvesting
operations and scattered windthrows.
In spite of this hydrological reliability of the
watershed, two toITential floods yet had occurred in
1991 and 1994, and the only cause of these two events
222
small er densities
ha 350
=--=-E
200 --
150 --
100 -1= M -
--
1 .
o-
1964 1976 1986
of
11
1996
the stands.
t
-- .
t i 0, 7-1,0 /
-- 1-


I [
2006
Fig. 5 Small changes in the forest density produced in the
last five decades

..
... 120 +--- --- -.,..---- .,...... __ 'fr-- 1
E
100
80
60
40
20
1964 1976 1986 1996 2006
Fig. 7 Average annual load (Wa) resulted from slope
erosion (Wav) and waterbed erosion (Waa)
shall be sought in the weak capacity of forest
vegetation to buffer the water input, phenomenon
which occurs only when the soil retention capacity
diminished, and this happened after snow melting or
long rainy periods, which are not recorded at
meteorological station for different reasons. This was
the case of the studied watershed, where the
appropriate forest layer couldn' t deter two exceptional
floods , produced downstream.
References
I .Lazar, N. 1984 Contributii la studiul torentilor din
bazinul hidrografic PhD Teza de doctorat,
Universitatea din
2.Lazar, N., Clinciu, I. 1987 Determinarea
coeficientului de scurgere In functie de categoriile
hidrologice de arborete, In bazinele hidrografice cu
torentiale cu folosinta preponderent forestiera. In
Manuscris. I.C.A.S. .
3.Idol, T. 2003 Hydrologic Effects of Changes in
Forest Structure and Species Composition. Manoa:
Department of Natural Resources & Environmental
Management, Center of Tropical Agricultural and
Human Resources at the University ofHawai.
4.Folke, C., 2013 Respecting Planetary Boundaries and
Reconnecting to the Biosphere. In State of the World
2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?
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