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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-200
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-200
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  29 Jun 2020

29 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

New measures of deep soil water recharge during vegetation restoration process in semi-arid regions of northern China

Yiben Cheng1, Hongbin Zhan2, Wenbin Yang3, Qunou Jiang1, Yunqi Wang1, and Mingchang Shi1 Yiben Cheng et al.
  • 1School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • 2Department of Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3115, USA
  • 3Institute of desertification control, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, 100093, China

Abstract. Desertification in semi-arid regions is currently a global environmental and societal problem. This research attempts to understand whether a 40-year-old rain-feed Artamisia sphaerocephala Krasch sand-fixing land in Three North Shelterbelt Program (3NSP) of China can be developed sustainably or not, using a newly designed lysimeter to monitor the precipitation-induced deep soil recharge (DSR) at 220 cm depth. Evapotranspiration is calculated through a water balance equation when precipitation and soil moisture data are collected. Comparison of soil particle sizes and soil moisture distributions in artificial sand-fixing land and neighboring bare land is made to assess the impact of sand-fixing reforestation. Results show that such a sand-fixing reforestation results in a root system being mainly developed in the horizontal direction and the changed soil particle distribution. Specifically, the sandy soil with 50.53 % medium sand has been transformed into a sandy soil with 68.53 % fine sand. Within the Artamisia sphaerocephala Krasch sand-fixing experimental area, the DSR values in bare sand plot and Artemisia sphaerocephala Krasch plot are respectively 283.6 mm and 90.6 mm in wet years, reflecting a difference of more than three times. The deep soil layer moisture in semi-arid sandy land is largely replenished by precipitation-induced infiltration. The DSR values of bare sandy land plot and Artemisia sphaerocephala Krasch plot are respectively 51.6 mm and 2 mm in dry years, a difference of more than 25 times. The proportions of DSR reduced by Artemisia sphaerocephala Krasch is 68.06 % and 96.12 % in wet and dry years, respectively. This research shows that Artamisia sphaerocephala Krasch in semi-arid region can continue to grow and has the capacity of fixing sand. It consumes a large amount of precipitated water, and reduces the amount of DSR considerably.

Yiben Cheng et al.

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Yiben Cheng et al.

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Short summary
Three North Forest Program has produced a vast area of lined forest in the semi-arid regions, which consumes a large amount of water resources, This study using a newly designed lysimeter to measure water distribution without destroying the in situ vegetation soil structure. It solves the shortcomings of the traditional lysimeter needs to change the in-situ soil structure and destroy the vegetation root system, as well as the shortcomings of high cost and inconvenient of installation.
Three North Forest Program has produced a vast area of lined forest in the semi-arid regions,...
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