Hydropedology 4: Classification of South African Hillslopes.

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J.J. van Tol*, P.A.L. Le Roux, S.A. Lorentz, M. Hensley

J.J. van Tol, Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa. J.J. van Tol, P.A.L. Le Roux, and M. Hensley, Dep. of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, Univ. of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa. S.A. Lorentz, Centre for Water Resources Research, Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville 3209, South Africa. *Corresponding author (jvantol@ufh.ac.za).

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“Soil has an interactive relationship with hydrology. It is a product of water related processes (physical and chemical) and a first order control of the destiny of rainwater. It is mapable with transfer functionality. These properties make it an appropriate entity for classification of hillslope hydrological responses. Hillslopes from all over South Africa were surveyed and hydropedologically interpreted. Soils were classified and based on the interpretation of the dominant hydrological pathway grouped into five hydrological soil types. The type and position of a hydrological soil types in a hillslope served as basis for the hillslope classification. Each of the hillslopes surveyed were assigned to one of six hillslopes classes. A flow diagram of the hydrology is presented. Arrows indicate the dominant flowpaths, and a hydrograph shows the anticipated impact on streamflow. The results made an impact on distributed modeling and land-use decisions, including land-use change to forestry and selection of on-site sanitation limiting water pollution. The composition and distribution of hydrological hillslope classes can serve as a basis for classification of catchments.”


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