Spatial Distribution of Runoff Depth from a Watershed Located in a Cuesta Relief Area of São Paulo State, Brazil


This study was undertaken in a 1566 ha drainage basin situated in an area with cuesta relief in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The objectives were: 1) to map the maximum potential soil water retention capacity, and 2) simulate the depth of surface runoff in each geographical position of the area based on a typical rainfall event. The database required for the development of this research was generated in the environment of the geographical information system ArcInfo v.10.1. Undeformed soil samples were collected at 69 points. The ordinary kriging method was used in the interpolation of the values of soil density and maximum potential soil water retention capacity. The spherical model allowed for better adjustment of the semivariograms corresponding to the two soil attributes for the depth of 0 to 20 cm, while the Gaussian model enabled a better fit of the spatial behavior of the two variables for the depth of 20 to 40 cm. The simulation of the spatial distribution revealed a gradual increase in the depth of surface runoff for the rainfall event taken as example (25 mm) from the reverse to the peripheral depression of the cuesta (from west to east). There is a positive aspect observed in the gradient, since the sites of highest declivity, especially those at the front of the cuesta, are closer to the western boundary of the watershed where the lowest depths of runoff occur. This behavior, in conjunction with certain values of erodibility and depending on the land use and cover, can help mitigate the soil erosion processes in these areas.

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Jorge, L. , Moraes, M. and Lima, S. (2014) Spatial Distribution of Runoff Depth from a Watershed Located in a Cuesta Relief Area of São Paulo State, Brazil. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 137-145. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.52015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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