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OMERE a long term hydrological research observatory about anthropogenic and climate change impacts on water and matter flow in Mediterranean rural catchments

Congress: 2008
Author(s): M. Voltz, J. Albergel, P. Andrieux, J.M. Lamachère, D. Raclot, N. Ben Mechlia, M. Ben Younes Louati, A. Biarnes, A. Dubreuil, F. Elbaz-Poulichet, J.C. Fabre, C. Floure, F. Garnier, R. Hamdi, G. Hasdine
M.Voltz (1), J. Albergel (1), P. Andrieux (1), J.M. Lamachère(1), D. Raclot (1), N. Ben Mechlia (2), M. Ben Younes Louati (1), A.Biarnes(1), A.Dubreuil (1), F.Elbaz-Poulichet (3), J.C.Fabre (1), C.Floure (1), F. Garnier (1), R. Hamdi (1), G. Hasdine (4), 1) Laboratoire d’Etude des Interactions Sol, Agrosystème, Hydrosystème, UMR SupAgro-INRA-IRD, Montpellier, France, (2) Institut National Agronomique Tunisien, Tunis, Tunisie, (3) Hy-drosciences, UMR CNRS-IRD-USTL, Montpellier, France, (4) Institut National de recherche du Gé-nie Rural et Eaux et Forêts, Tunis, Tunisie

Keyword(s): hydrological research, anthropogenic change, climate change, Mediterranean rural catchments
AbstractThe continuous growth of population density and intensification of land use in the Mediterra-nean area together with the predicted climate change lead to serious agricultural and environmental issues that will have to be answered in the near future: limiting and controlling floods and soil erosion, protecting, restoring and evaluating the quality of water and soil resources, estimating the impacts of climate change on water resources, developing monitoring networks of soil and water quality. In this context, the aims of the hydrological research observatory OMERE are i) to study the impact of climate and land use change on the water flow regime and soil-vegetation-atmosphere inter-actions in Mediterranean head-water catchments, ii) to evaluate the intensity and dynamic of erosion processes, iii) to analyze the main mechanisms that control long term changes in water quality as in-fluenced by pollution pressure by pesticides, iv) to develop generic hydrological distributed modelling approaches in rural areas. The observatory is one of the long term research observatories (Observatoire de Recherche en Envi-ronnement) launched by the French Ministry of research. It consists in two catchments which are simi-lar with respect to climatic conditions, but differ according to the change in land use they are submit-ted to. One of them represents the trends in land use change in the south Mediterranean: the Kamech catchment (245 ha), located on the Cap Bon (Tunisia) where occurs a progressive intensification of agriculture with a full use of the area available for agriculture and an increase in irrigated areas. The other catchment represents land use change occurring in south France: the Roujan catchment (92 ha, Hérault) where intensification of agriculture has already been operated for a few decades and has pro-duced severe water pollution and where land abandonment now occurs. Monitoring, that started in 1994 for Kamech and in 1992 for Roujan, includes atmospheric inputs, surface flow, groudwater fluc -tuations, land management practices, solute and erosion fluxes, evaporation fluxes. This paper will present the sampling strategy, the data storage procedure and some of the major results that were ob-tained by the observatory. They concern the inter-annual variation in the fate and transport of pesti-cides at the field and catchment scale, the dynamic of runoff and erosion processes, the estimation of evapotranspiration fluxes at the catchment scale. More details on OMERE can be found at its web site
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