Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
Research article
13 Sep 2017
Research article |  | 13 Sep 2017

The paradoxical evolution of runoff in the pastoral Sahel: analysis of the hydrological changes over the Agoufou watershed (Mali) using the KINEROS-2 model

Laetitia Gal, Manuela Grippa, Pierre Hiernaux, Léa Pons, and Laurent Kergoat

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Cited articles

Abdourhamane Touré, A., Guillon, R., Garba, Z., Rajot, J. L., Petit, C., Bichet, V., Durand, A., and Sebag, D.: Sahelian landscape evolution during the six last decades in the Niamey vicinity: from the bush disappearing to the soil crusting, Pangea, 47, 35–40, 2011.
Aich, V., Liersch, S., Vetter, T., Andersson, J., Müller, E., and Hattermann, F.: Climate or Land Use? – Attribution of Changes in River Flooding in the Sahel Zone, Water, 7, 2796–2820,, 2015.
Albergel, J.: Sécheresse, désertification et ressources en eau de surface – Application aux petits bassins du Burkina Faso, in: The Influence of Climate Change and Climatic Variability on the Hydrologic Regime and Water Resources, vol. 168, IAHS Publications, Vancouver, Canada, 355–441, 1987.
Al-Qurashi, A., McIntyre, N., Wheater, H., and Unkrich, C.: Application of the Kineros2 rainfall-runoff model to an arid catchment in Oman, J. Hydrol., 355, 91–105,, 2008.
Anyamba, A., Justice, C., Tucker, C. J., and Mahoney, R.: Seasonal to interannual variability of vegetation and fires at SAFARI-2000 sites inferred from advanced very high resolution rediometer time series data, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 8507,, 2003.
Short summary
The intense, prolonged Sahel drought has caused a widespread increase in surface runoff and surface waters like lakes or rivers, against all expectations. Using long-term observations and the Kineros2 hydrological model, we show that the runoff coefficient of the Agoufou watershed increased from ~ 0 to 5.5 % in 1950–2011. We attribute this phenomenon to a change in vegetation and soil surface properties, in response to the drought, rather than land–use change or rainfall regime intensification.