Journal article

A high space-time resolution dataset linking meteorological forcing and hydro-sedimentary response in a mesoscale Mediterranean catchment (Auzon) of the Ardeche region, France

A comprehensive hydrometeorological dataset is presented spanning the period 1 January 201131 December 2014 to improve the understanding of the hydrological processes leading to flash floods and the relation between rainfall, runoff, erosion and sediment transport in a mesoscale catchment (Auzon, 116 km(2)) of the Mediterranean region. Badlands are present in the Auzon catchment and well connected to high-gradient channels of bedrock rivers which promotes the transfer of suspended solids downstream. The number of observed variables, the various sensors involved (both in situ and remote) and the space-time resolution (similar to km(2), similar to min) of this comprehensive dataset make it a unique contribution to research communities focused on hydrometeorology, surface hydrology and erosion. Given that rainfall is highly variable in space and time in this region, the observation system enables assessment of the hydrological response to rainfall fields. Indeed, (i) rainfall data are provided by rain gauges (both a research network of 21 rain gauges with a 5 min time step and an operational network of 10 rain gauges with a 5 min or 1 h time step), S-band Doppler dual-polarization radars (1 km(2), 5 min resolution), disdrometers (16 sensors working at 30 s or 1 min time step) and Micro Rain Radars (5 sensors, 100m height resolution). Additionally, during the special observation period (SOP-1) of the HyMeX (Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment) project, two X-band radars provided precipitation measurements at very fine spatial and temporal scales (1 ha, 5 min). (ii) Other meteorological data are taken from the operational surface weather observation stations of Meteo-France (including 2m air temperature, atmospheric pressure, 2 m relative humidity, 10m wind speed and direction, global radiation) at the hourly time resolution (six stations in the region of interest). (iii) The monitoring of surface hydrology and suspended sediment is multi-scale and based on nested catchments. Three hydrometric stations estimate water discharge at a 2-10 min time resolution. Two of these stations also measure additional physico-chemical variables (turbidity, temperature, conductivity) and water samples are collected automatically during floods, allowing further geochemical characterization of water and suspended solids. Two experimental plots monitor overland flow and erosion at 1 min time resolution on a hillslope with vineyard. A network of 11 sensors installed in the intermittent hydrographic network continuously measures water level and water temperature in headwater subcatchments (from 0.17 to 116 km(2)) at a time resolution of 2-5 min. A network of soil moisture sensors enables the continuous measurement of soil volumetric water content at 20 min time resolution at 9 sites. Additionally, concomitant observations (soil moisture measurements and stream gauging) were performed during floods between 2012 and 2014. Finally, this dataset is considered appropriate for understanding the rainfall variability in time and space at fine scales, improving areal rainfall estimations and progressing in distributed hydrological and erosion modelling.


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