The hydrological significance of mountains: a regional case study, the Ebro River basin, northeast Iberian Peninsula
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This study evaluated the hydrological significance of mountain regions, comparing them with the lowlands of the Ebro River basin (northeast Iberian Peninsula). It was based on records obtained from measuring stations. An altitude of 1000 m above mean sea level was adopted as the criterion for distinguishing between lowland and mountain areas. We analysed 12 sub-basins whose rivers flow directly into the River Ebro, and which covered 66% of the total surface area, 91% of the mountain area and accounted for 77% of total annual runoff. For the River Ebro basin, we found that the mean precipitation depth, the runoff volume per unit of surface area, and the runoff coefficient were all greater in the mountains than in the adjacent lowlands, with respective differences of 70%, 180% and 60%. These results and the particular fragility of the Mediterranean mountain ecosystems confirm the mountain regions of the Ebro basin as strategic zones for hydrological and territorial planning.
Is part ofHydrological Sciences Journal-Journal des Sciences Hydrologiques, 2010, vol. 55, num. 2, p. 223-233
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