Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-527
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-527
01 Dec 2021
 | 01 Dec 2021
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Spatial and temporal simulation of groundwater recharge and cross-validation with point measurements in volcanic aquifers with variable topography

Alemu Yenehun, Mekete Dessie, Fenta Nigate, Ashebir Sewale Belay, Mulugeta Azeze, Marc Van Camp, Derbew Fenetie Taye, Desale Kidane, Enyew Adgo, Jan Nyssen, Ann van Griensven, and Kristine Walraevens

Abstract. A physically distributed water balance model called WetSpass is applied to estimate the recharge for the semi-humid Lake Tana basin in northwest Ethiopia. Lake Tana basin is one of the growth corridors of the country, where huge waterworks infrastructure is developing. Estimating groundwater recharge at required spatial and temporal scales is a challenge in groundwater management, sustainability and pollution studies. In this study, the WetSpass model is developed at 90 m grid resolution. The spatial recharge map by WetSpass is cross-validated with water table fluctuation (WTF) and chloride mass balance (CMB) methods. The mean annual recharge, surface runoff, and evapotranspiration over the whole basin using WetSpass are estimated at 315 mm, 416 mm, and 770 mm of rainfall, respectively. The mean annual recharge ranges from 0 mm to 1085 mm (0 % to 57 % of the rainfall): 0 mm at water bodies and highest on flat, sandy loam soil and bush land cover. Similarly, a high range of recharge is also noted using WTF and CMB methods showing the strong heterogeneous nature of the hydro(meteoro)logical characteristics of the area. Generally, the recharge is found higher in southern and eastern catchments and lower in the northern catchments, primarily due to higher rainfall amounts in the former parts. A fair general correlation between the recharge by WTF and WetSpass is found. WetSpass is effective in aquifers where diffuse recharging mechanism is the predominant type and recharge is controlled by rainfall. It is less effective in the storage-controlled flat floodplain alluvial and fractured rock aquifer areas. In these areas, the point estimates by WTF and CMB are effective and can be considered as reliable values. The land use change from 1986 to 2014 brought a relatively small hydrological change in recharge although the land use has changed significantly.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Alemu Yenehun, Mekete Dessie, Fenta Nigate, Ashebir Sewale Belay, Mulugeta Azeze, Marc Van Camp, Derbew Fenetie Taye, Desale Kidane, Enyew Adgo, Jan Nyssen, Ann van Griensven, and Kristine Walraevens

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-527', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Alemu Yenehun Beyene, 25 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Alemu Yenehun Beyene, 22 Feb 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-527', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Jan 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Alemu Yenehun Beyene, 22 Feb 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-527', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Alemu Yenehun Beyene, 25 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Alemu Yenehun Beyene, 22 Feb 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-527', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Jan 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Alemu Yenehun Beyene, 22 Feb 2022
Alemu Yenehun, Mekete Dessie, Fenta Nigate, Ashebir Sewale Belay, Mulugeta Azeze, Marc Van Camp, Derbew Fenetie Taye, Desale Kidane, Enyew Adgo, Jan Nyssen, Ann van Griensven, and Kristine Walraevens
Alemu Yenehun, Mekete Dessie, Fenta Nigate, Ashebir Sewale Belay, Mulugeta Azeze, Marc Van Camp, Derbew Fenetie Taye, Desale Kidane, Enyew Adgo, Jan Nyssen, Ann van Griensven, and Kristine Walraevens

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Latest update: 18 May 2024
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Short summary
Population growth, industrial expansion, and climate change are causing stress on the limited freshwater resources of the globe. Groundwater is one of the important freshwater resources. Hence, managing these limited resources is a key task for the sector experts. To do so, understanding recharge processes and its quantification is vital. In this study, three different methods using measured data are applied to estimate recharge and identify the controlling factors.