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Soil pipe distribution and hydrological functioning within the humid tropics : a synthesis.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date15/06/2010
JournalHydrological Processes
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish


Some of the most responsive runoff systems in the world are found within the humid tropics. These runoff responses are likely to be affected by the presence of natural pipes within the soil. This study provides a synthesis of the hydrological aspects of these phenomena within the humid tropics. Of the studies reporting the presence of soil piping within the humid tropics, most are associated with Ultisol soils, and, locally, most pipe outlets are observed on the lower sections of hillslopes. While the drainage role of pipes has been observed (providing faster and slower components of stream hydrographs), the mechanism of their recharge remains less clear. In part, this is because their spatial extent is poorly mapped within the hillslopes of the humid tropics. Further studies quantifying the length and recharge of soil pipe networks within the humid tropics are needed.