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Water Science and Applications

 

Keywords

  • Paleohydrology
  • Floods

Index Terms

  • 1821 Hydrology: Floods
  • 1829 Hydrology: Groundwater hydrology
  • 1875 Hydrology: Unsaturated zone

Article

WATER SCIENCE AND APPLICATION, VOL. 5, PP. 311-328, 2002

Paleofloods and the estimation of long term transmission losses and recharge to the lower Nahal Zin alluvial aquifer, Negev Desert, Israel

Noam Greenbaum

Departments of Geography and Natural Resources & Environmental Management, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel


Uri Schwartz

Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel


Asher P. Schick

Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel


Yehouda Enzell

Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel


The long term, event-based recharge of the alluvial fan aquifer of Nahal Zin, a 1400 km2 catchment in the hyperarid Negev Desert, is derived from a combination of: (a) measurements of transmission losses and recharge in an intensively instrumented alluvial reach and alluvial fan of the lower Nahal Zin, (b) a paleoflood study of Nahal Zin that estimates the long-term frequency of the largest floods, and (c) statistically significant relationships between the measured flood parameters—peak discharge, volume, and duration over the last 65 years. These relationships are integrated here with the paleoflood record to estimate long-term transmission losses. Transmission losses were found to be highly correlated (R2 = 0.95; significant at 95%) with inflow volume to the reach. The relations between peak discharge and flood volume and flow duration to flood volume were R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.55 respectively (at 95% significance). Transmission losses are substantially reduced when the time interval between two successive floods is less than one week. The results show that transmission losses and recharge are related to the flood volume by a power decay function. Flood volume increases exponentially with flood peak. The cumulative transmission losses during the combined (1935–1998) measured and historical records were 25×106 m3, 52% of which were contributed by medium size floods (30–200 m3s−1) and the remaining 48% by large floods (>200 m3s−1).

Citation: Greenbaum, N., U. Schwartz, A. P. Schick, and Y. Enzell (2002), Paleofloods and the estimation of long term transmission losses and recharge to the lower Nahal Zin alluvial aquifer, Negev Desert, Israel, in Ancient Floods, Modern Hazards: Principles and Applications of Paleoflood Hydrology, Water Sci. Appl., vol. 5, edited by P. K. House et al., pp. 311–328, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/WS005p0311.

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