Hydrology, Cryosphere & Earth Surface Editors' Highlights

Repeating Famous Hillslope Experiment Provides New Insights

Repeating a famous hillslope experiment after 55 years shows that soil properties can change within several decades and highlights the importance of a leaky boundary for hillslope drainage.

Source: Water Resources Research


Most hydrological model studies assume constant soil properties. When Lee et al. [2020] redid one of the most famous hillslope hydrological experiments at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, their results showed that soil properties can change significantly within several decades. This is a very important finding. The outflow from the flume changed considerably compared to the original experiment due to a leak in the concrete. This allowed the researchers to determine the effect of permeable bedrock on hillslope outflow. Above all, the manuscript highlights the usefulness in redoing an experiment many decades later.

Citation: Lee, R. M., McGuire, K. J., Strahm, B. D., Knoepp, J. D., Jackson, C. R., & Stewart, R. D. [2020]. Revisiting the Hewlett and Hibbert (1963) Hillslope Drainage Experiment and Modeling Effects of Decadal Pedogenic Processes and Leaky Soil Boundary Conditions. Water Resources Research, 56, e2019WR025090. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019WR025090

—Ilja van Meerveld, Editor, Water Resources Research

Text © 2020. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
Except where otherwise noted, images are subject to copyright. Any reuse without express permission from the copyright owner is prohibited.