The water balance in Graminha Basin

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Luft-, vatten- och landskapslära; Uppsala universitet/Luft-, vatten- och landskapslära

Abstract: Today, only 7 % of the Atlantic Rainforest, that once covered Brazil, remains scattered across the southern parts of the country. As the forest is rapidly disappearing, the government of Brazil has emerging interest of preservation. Thus more and more areas are turned into national parks and reserves. At the outskirts of one of these reserves, the Iracambi research station is situated. The center makes an effort to carry out applied research to find methods of preserving and learning about the forest. It is within that context the project described in this report has been performed. The project aimed to establish a water balance over Graminha Basin, the main river in the Iracambi research area. By doing this the understanding of the fluctuations of the amount of water in the ecosystem could increase. An important part of the objective was also to assess which methods can be used practically at Iracambi.The project was carried out during the rainy season from February 13th to April 12, 2012. During this time the water flow was measured at five stations along the river, using a current meter and instant slug-injection. Between six and fifteen flow measurements were made at each station. Slug- injection was generally the most suitable gauging method to use in the area. Precipitation was measured at two points. Evaporation was measured using an evaporation pan, and also calculated using the Penman-Monteith equation. Even though, the parameterization of the Penman-Monteith needs to be improved it was deemed to be the more suitable method for the area.The results give a rough estimate of the water balance during the period. It was concluded that the storage decreased during the project period. Based on the flow measurements and observations it was concluded that the areas covered by forest were less affected by the floods that occurred during heavy rainfalls than the areas covered by grass. Further on, the result of this report indicates that the Iracambi research station can continue to carry out assessments for changes in water flow, rainfall and evaporation with the simple equipment used in this project. However, more expensive and advanced equipment would be beneficial to establish a more accurate water balance.

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)