Volume XVII |

Playing with water – An introduction to experimental hydrology

Abstract: Water is the most important resource for the humankind, thus understanding hydrological processes could be con-sidered a vital task. Therefore, the main aims of this papers are to assess: (i) the current status of hydrologic field ex-periments; (ii) the techniques and the stages of the field hydrologic experiments at the microscale/plot-scale. Microscale hydrological studies are important both socially and economically as they emphasize the role of key factors (e.g. slope) in the utilization of water resources, the identification of critical hydrological thresholds for mobilizing, the propagation of soil particles in water flows and also the time it takes for pesticides, nutrients, and heavy metals to be mobilized. The key to conducting a successful hydrological microscale experiment lies in performing repeated attempts in the field. From an economic point of view, expedition (temporary) hydrologic field experiments are beneficial, as they shorten the working period and reduce the financial costs of the data acquisition process.
One of the challenges of experimental hydrology is the manipulation of “upscaling” or the statistical approach taken towards gathering and processing data.