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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-547
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-547
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Oct 2018

Research article | 29 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

A 50-year analysis of hydrological trends and processes in a Mediterranean catchment

Nathalie Folton, Eric Martin, Patrick Arnaud, Pierre L'Hermite, and Mathieu Tolsa Nathalie Folton et al.
  • Irstea, RECOVER Research Unit, 3275 Route de Cézanne, CS 40061, 13182 Aix-en-Provence, France

Abstract. The Réal Collobrier hydrological observatory in southeastern France, managed by Irstea since 1966, constitutes a benchmark site for regional hydro-climatology. Because of the dense network of stream gauges and raingauges available, this site provides a unique opportunity to evaluate long term hydro-meteorological Mediterranean trends. The main catchment (70km2) and its sub-catchments are located in the Maures massif of Southeastern France, close to the Mediterranean coast. The vegetation is composed of forest mainly calcified on crystalline soils (maquis of heath, cork-oak, maritime pine and chestnut). Direct human influence has been negligible over the past 50 years. The land use/land cover has remained almost unchanged, with the notable exception of a wildfire in 1990 that impacted a small sub-catchment. Therefore changes in the hydrological response of the catchments are caused by changes in climate and/or physical conditions. This study investigates changes in observational data using up to 50-year daily series of precipitation and streamflow. The analysis used several climate indices describing distinct modes of variability, at inter-annual and seasonal time scales. Trends were assessed by the Mann-Kendall method. The analysis also used hydrological indices describing drought events based on daily data for a description of low flows, in particular in terms of timing and severity. The analysis shows that there is a marked tendency towards a decrease in the water resources of the Réal Collobrier catchment in response to climate trends, with a consistent increase in drought severity and duration. But the changes are variable among the sub-catchments.

Nathalie Folton et al.
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Nathalie Folton et al.
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The long-term study of precipitation, flows, flood or drought mechanisms, in the Réal Collobrier research Watershed, located in South-East France, in the Mediterranean forest, improves knowledge of the water cycle and is unique tool for understanding of how catchments function. This study shows a small decrease in rainfall and a tendency marked towards a decrease in the water resources of the catchment in response to climate trends, with a consistent increase in drought severity and duration.
The long-term study of precipitation, flows, flood or drought mechanisms, in the Réal...
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