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The effect of topography, subsurface strata and land-use on observed distributions of soil moisture within a sub-catchment of the River Eden, Cumbria.

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Publication date2008
Host publicationSustainable Hydrology for the 21st Century. Proc. 10th BHS National Hydrology Symposium, Exeter
PublisherBritish Hydrological Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (print)1903741165
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The location of saturated areas, generating saturation overland flow by return-flow and direct rainfall, affects the rates and pathways of nutrients and sediment moving into streams, thereby having implications for river water quality. The prediction of saturated areas is difficult as it depends on many factors such as topography, subsurface strata, land-use and aspect. This study, in the Blind Beck sub-catchment of the Eden River (Cumbria), investigates how these factors affect soil moisture patterns. Intensive spatial measurements of soil moisture are made during different seasons across research plots affected by different contributing factors. Geostatistical analysis is used to quantify differences in spatial patterns observed. Measured soil moisture distributions are to be compared to spatial distributions of relative wetness predicted by existing topography-only indices. This paper presents the results of a preliminary set of soil moisture plots.