Changes in the Mediterranean hydrology: observation and modeling
Changes in the Mediterranean hydrology: observation and modeling
Editor(s): Lionel Jarlan, Mehrez Zribi, Said Khabba, Yves Tramblay, Luca Brocca, Gil Mahe, María José Polo, and Aaron Boone
In recent years, international organizations and rich scientific activity have pointed out water as a strategic issue for the economic development of the Mediterranean region. This region is characterized by a severe and continuous decline in surface and groundwater resources in terms of both quantity and quality, combined with an increase in demand, among which 70–80 % relates to agricultural activities. This situation is exacerbated on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, where the specificity of climate (aridity and frequent droughts) combined with changes induced by human activities increase the risk of water shortage. In order to answer these societal challenges, it is necessary to implement systemic approaches of the eco-hydrological functioning of agro-systems in connection with physical reservoirs (storage and renewal capacities) and actors (operators and managers). The targeted spatial scales are the scales of the decision-making processes ranging from the plot for irrigation scheduling to the intermediate scale of the catchment for resource planning in the whole Mediterranean region. Long-term observations are essential for both resource management and eco-hydrological model development and calibration over a wide range of climate conditions including extremes that are likely to become more frequent in the future. Current water resource observation systems were thought to provide a good picture of available supply at the catchment outflow locations, but are affected by a loss of data quality, a decrease in the number of gauging stations, and the lack of available data since the 1980s. In particular, upstream processes such as snowpack dynamics and subsurface flows that contribute to groundwater recharge and downstream usage are poorly monitored, and the sediment exports from the continent to the sea are poorly known, giving no clue to understanding how arable lands are removed and transported out of the cultivated areas. These topics have received the attention of the international community, within which the SICMED program (continental surface and interface in the Mediterranean) (CNRS/INSU, MISTRALS program) has supported many research actions for 10 years, some results of which are expected to be presented in this issue.

This special issue welcomes studies dedicated to the water cycle and the water resources in the semi-arid Mediterranean areas. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following: specific eco-hydrological process understanding (groundwater recharge, snowpack dynamics, intermittent wadi flows, evapotranspiration of crops), quantification and prediction of water resources and uses, impact of water resource management on the sediment transport to the sea, observation issues based on earth observation data and characterization and impact analysis of drought events, and social interactions related to the transfer of research to practice.

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22 Feb 2022
Spatial distribution of groundwater recharge, based on regionalised soil moisture models in Wadi Natuf karst aquifers, Palestine
Clemens Messerschmid and Amjad Aliewi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 1043–1061,,, 2022
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25 Oct 2021
The 63-year changes in annual streamflow volumes across Europe with a focus on the Mediterranean basin
Daniele Masseroni, Stefania Camici, Alessio Cislaghi, Giorgio Vacchiano, Christian Massari, and Luca Brocca
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 5589–5601,,, 2021
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19 Aug 2021
Snowpack dynamics in the Lebanese mountains from quasi-dynamically downscaled ERA5 reanalysis updated by assimilating remotely sensed fractional snow-covered area
Esteban Alonso-González, Ethan Gutmann, Kristoffer Aalstad, Abbas Fayad, Marine Bouchet, and Simon Gascoin
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 4455–4471,,, 2021
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11 Feb 2021
Projection of irrigation water demand based on the simulation of synthetic crop coefficients and climate change
Michel Le Page, Younes Fakir, Lionel Jarlan, Aaron Boone, Brahim Berjamy, Saïd Khabba, and Mehrez Zribi
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 637–651,,, 2021
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02 Sep 2020
Calibration of a lumped karst system model and application to the Qachqouch karst spring (Lebanon) under climate change conditions
Emmanuel Dubois, Joanna Doummar, Séverin Pistre, and Marie Larocque
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 4275–4290,,, 2020
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27 Jul 2020
Evapotranspiration partition using the multiple energy balance version of the ISBA-A-gs land surface model over two irrigated crops in a semi-arid Mediterranean region (Marrakech, Morocco)
Ghizlane Aouade, Lionel Jarlan, Jamal Ezzahar, Salah Er-Raki, Adrien Napoly, Abdelfattah Benkaddour, Said Khabba, Gilles Boulet, Sébastien Garrigues, Abdelghani Chehbouni, and Aaron Boone
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 3789–3814,,, 2020
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01 Apr 2020
The role of liquid water percolation representation in estimating snow water equivalent in a Mediterranean mountain region (Mount Lebanon)
Abbas Fayad and Simon Gascoin
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1527–1542,,, 2020
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