Catchment and hillslope hydrology is a major research area in geoscience and the understanding of its underlying processes is still poor. Direct investigation of steep hillslopes via drilling is often infeasible. In this paper, we present the results of non-invasive time-lapse monitoring of a controlled infiltration test at a site in the Italian Central Alps. The hillslope considered is steep (30–35°), covered with grass and a soil layer 1–1.5 m thick above a variably fractured metamorphic bedrock. The key hydrologic question is whether rainfall infiltrates mainly into the underlying fractured bedrock, thus recharging a deeper hydraulic system, or flows in the soil layer as interflow towards the stream channel a few hundred metres downhill. In order to respond to this question, we applied 2200 mm of artificial rain on a 2 m × 2 m slope box over about 18 hours. We estimated the effective infiltration by subtracting the measured runoff (7% of total). Due to the limited irrigation time and the climate conditions, the evapotranspiration was considered as negligible. The soil moisture variation and the underlying bedrock were monitored via a combination of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), TDR probes and tensiometers. A small-scale 3D cross-hole ERT experiment was performed using 2 m deep boreholes purposely drilled and completed with electrodes in the irrigated plot. A larger scale (35 m long) 2D surface ERT survey was also continuously acquired across the irrigated area. Monitoring continued up to 10 days after the experiment. As a result, we observed a very fast vertical infiltration through the soil cover, also favoured by preferential flow patterns, immediately followed by infiltration into the fractured bedrock. The surface layer showed a fast recovery of initial moisture condition nearly completed in the first 12 hours after the end of irrigation. The lateral transmission of infiltrating water and runoff were negligible as compared to the vertical infiltration. These experiment results confirm that the fractured bedrock has a key role in controlling the fast hydrological dynamics of the small catchment system under study. We concluded that deep water circulation is the key pathway to hillslope processes at this site.

Cassiani, G., Godio, A., Stocco, S., Villa, A., Deiana, R., Frattini, P., et al. (2009). Monitoring the hydrologic behaviour of a mountain slope via time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography. NEAR SURFACE GEOPHYSICS, 7(5-6), 475-486 [10.3997/1873-0604.2009013].

Monitoring the hydrologic behaviour of a mountain slope via time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography

VILLA, ALBERTO;FRATTINI, PAOLO;
2009

Abstract

Catchment and hillslope hydrology is a major research area in geoscience and the understanding of its underlying processes is still poor. Direct investigation of steep hillslopes via drilling is often infeasible. In this paper, we present the results of non-invasive time-lapse monitoring of a controlled infiltration test at a site in the Italian Central Alps. The hillslope considered is steep (30–35°), covered with grass and a soil layer 1–1.5 m thick above a variably fractured metamorphic bedrock. The key hydrologic question is whether rainfall infiltrates mainly into the underlying fractured bedrock, thus recharging a deeper hydraulic system, or flows in the soil layer as interflow towards the stream channel a few hundred metres downhill. In order to respond to this question, we applied 2200 mm of artificial rain on a 2 m × 2 m slope box over about 18 hours. We estimated the effective infiltration by subtracting the measured runoff (7% of total). Due to the limited irrigation time and the climate conditions, the evapotranspiration was considered as negligible. The soil moisture variation and the underlying bedrock were monitored via a combination of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), TDR probes and tensiometers. A small-scale 3D cross-hole ERT experiment was performed using 2 m deep boreholes purposely drilled and completed with electrodes in the irrigated plot. A larger scale (35 m long) 2D surface ERT survey was also continuously acquired across the irrigated area. Monitoring continued up to 10 days after the experiment. As a result, we observed a very fast vertical infiltration through the soil cover, also favoured by preferential flow patterns, immediately followed by infiltration into the fractured bedrock. The surface layer showed a fast recovery of initial moisture condition nearly completed in the first 12 hours after the end of irrigation. The lateral transmission of infiltrating water and runoff were negligible as compared to the vertical infiltration. These experiment results confirm that the fractured bedrock has a key role in controlling the fast hydrological dynamics of the small catchment system under study. We concluded that deep water circulation is the key pathway to hillslope processes at this site.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
slope hydrology, electric resistivity tomography
English
Cassiani, G., Godio, A., Stocco, S., Villa, A., Deiana, R., Frattini, P., et al. (2009). Monitoring the hydrologic behaviour of a mountain slope via time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography. NEAR SURFACE GEOPHYSICS, 7(5-6), 475-486 [10.3997/1873-0604.2009013].
Cassiani, G; Godio, A; Stocco, S; Villa, A; Deiana, R; Frattini, P; Rossi, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/7715
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