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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-160
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
25 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Is Annual Recharge Coefficient a Valid Concept in Arid and Semi-Arid Region?
Yiben Cheng1, Hongbin Zhan2, Wenbin Yang1, Hongzhong Dang1, and Wei Li1 1Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Haidian District, Beijing 100093, P. R. China
2Department of Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3115, USA
Abstract. Deep soil recharge (DSR) (at depth more than 200 cm) is an important part of water circulation in arid and semi-arid regions. Quantitative monitoring of DSR is of great importance to assess water resources and study water balance in arid and semi-arid regions. Simple estimates of recharge based on fixed fractions of annual precipitation are misleading because they do not reflect the plant and soil factors controlling recharge. This study used a typical bare land on the Eastern margin of Mu Us Sandy Land of China an example to illustrate a new lysimeter method of measuring DSR underneath bare sand land in arid and semi-arid regions. Positioning monitoring was done on precipitation and DSR measurement underneath mobile sand dunes from 2013 to 2015 in the study area. Results showed that use of a constant recharge coefficient for estimating DSR in bare sand land in arid and semi-arid regions is questionable and could lead to considerable errors. It appeared that DSR in those regions was influenced by precipitation pattern, and was closely correlated with spontaneous heavy precipitation (defined for an event with more than 10 mm precipitation) other than the average precipitation strength. This study showed that as much as 42 % of precipitation in a single heavy precipitation event can be transformed into DSR. During the observation period, the maximum annual DSR could make up to 24.33 % of the annual precipitation. This study provided a reliable method of estimating DSR in sandy area of arid and semi-arid regions, which is valuable for managing groundwater resources and ecological restoration in those regions.

Citation: Cheng, Y., Zhan, H., Yang, W., Dang, H., and Li, W.: Is Annual Recharge Coefficient a Valid Concept in Arid and Semi-Arid Region?, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-160, in review, 2017.
Yiben Cheng et al.
Yiben Cheng et al.
Yiben Cheng et al.

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Short summary
This study uses a newly designed lysimeter to study three consecutive years (2013–2015) of deep soil recharge (DSR) underneath bare sand land on the Eastern margin of Mu Us Sandy Land in the Ordos basin of China. The objective is to identify the characteristics of the DSR distribution and the factors affecting the DSR distribution. Specifically, we like to examine if the commonly used recharge coefficient concept can be applied for arid and semi-arid regions.
This study uses a newly designed lysimeter to study three consecutive years (2013–2015) of deep...
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