References of "Degre, Aurore"
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See detailÉVOLUTION DE LA TENEUR EN EAU LE LONG D’UNE TOPOSEQUENCE FORESTIERE ARGILO-LIMONEUSE
Deraedt, Deborah ULiege; Colinet, Gilles ULiege; Degré, Aurore ULiege

in Milieux Poreux et Transferts Hydriques (in press)

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and ... [more ▼]

For the hydrological modeling of forested watersheds, the understanding of the forest hydrodynamic is essential. This study focusses on the hydrology of a Belgian forested plot with high stoniness and steep slope. The soil water content is monitored at several positions on the toposequence and at different depth. During rain events, peak in soil water content are observed in different depth depending on the position along the toposequence. [less ▲]

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See detailStudying the effect of desiccation cracking on the hydraulic behaviour of a Luvisol–from an experimental and numerical approach
Tran, Duc Kien ULiege; Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka Andriamanantena ULiege; Charlier, Robert ULiege et al

in Soil and Tillage Research (2019)

Cracking formation due to desiccation of the soil surface is a common phenomenon related to the interaction between soil and the atmosphere. Indeed, during dry seasons, high evaporation of pore water near ... [more ▼]

Cracking formation due to desiccation of the soil surface is a common phenomenon related to the interaction between soil and the atmosphere. Indeed, during dry seasons, high evaporation of pore water near the soil surface leads to a more significant soil suction in this region. The suction results in compressive effective stress on the soil structure and produces shrinkage including cracking. As the crack network forms, the initial soil structure is strongly modified, which provides preferential flow pathways for solute-water and influences the soil hydraulic behaviour in general. The work aims to study the formation of cracks during evaporation process of a Cutanic Luvisol and evaluate how cracking affects the soil hydraulic behaviour. Laboratory experiments were performed on undisturbed soil samples. To do that, a small-scale environmental chamber was designed and equipped with sensors for measuring the ambient temperature and relative humidity, and a digital camera for investigating the initiation and propagation of cracks on the soil surface. By combining with a HYPROP device (UMS GmbH, Munich, Germany), the hydraulic properties and the kinetics of evaporation of soil samples were also determined through the tests. Finally, numerical simulations were carried out by using the finite element code LAGAMINE developed at the University of Liege to emphasize the effect of desiccation cracking on the soil hydraulic conductivity and the moisture transport mechanisms in the soil, as well as exchanges with ambient atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of the evaporation process of a Luvisol–from an experimental and numerical approach
Tran, Duc Kien ULiege; Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka Andriamanantena ULiege; Degré, Aurore ULiege et al

in Geoderma (2019)

As a consequence of global warming and climate change, higher ambient air temperatures during dry seasons lead to a greater soil water evaporation fluxes, therefore, to a more rapid reduction of soil ... [more ▼]

As a consequence of global warming and climate change, higher ambient air temperatures during dry seasons lead to a greater soil water evaporation fluxes, therefore, to a more rapid reduction of soil moisture contents in agricultural land. An assessment of the kinetic of evaporation and the soil behaviour are essential in order to help farmers to identify an appropriate tillage method and management practices to improve the soil structure and the water retention capacity of the soil. This paper presents a study of the evaporation process of a Cutanic Luvisol in Gembloux-Belgium from both experimental analysis and numerical modelling. First, we developed a small-scale environmental chamber and carried out a series of evaporation tests. The chamber dryer is equipped with sensors to monitor the temperature and relative humidity, and a digital camera placed at 0.5 m above the sample to study the evolution of the soil surface. The soil sample is placed on a HYPROP device (UMS GmbH, Munich, Germany) during the test to characterise soil hydraulic properties and drying curve. Three evaporation tests were carried out to provide data for further numerical analysis. Four distinct periods of soil water evaporation were observed in the experiments instead of three as the classical concept. Second, we proposed a thermo-hydro-mechanical framework for modelling the drying behaviour of the Luvisol. Numerical simulations were performed by using the finite element code LAGAMINE developed at the University of Liège to emphasise the moisture transport mechanisms between the soil and the surrounding atmosphere. The results showed that the drying was mainly achieved by the Darcean flow during the whole process. The vapour diffusion took place when the soil surface started to desaturate but only made a minor contribution. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil wet aggregate distribution and pore size distribution under different tillage systems after 16 years in the Loess Plateau of China
Gao, Lili; Wang, Bisheng; Li, Schengping et al

in Catena (2019), 173

In the Loess Plateau of China, conventional tillage is defined as the tillage without crop residues left on the soil surface and ploughed twice a year. The use of alternative practices is a way to reduce ... [more ▼]

In the Loess Plateau of China, conventional tillage is defined as the tillage without crop residues left on the soil surface and ploughed twice a year. The use of alternative practices is a way to reduce soil erosion. Our objectives were to assess the long-term impacts of different soil tillage systems on soil physical and hydraulic characteristics, emphasizing management practices to improve the soil physical qualities (reduce bulk density and increase stability of aggregate) under the conservation tillage system in the Loess Plateau of China. Conventional tillage (CT), no tillage (NT), and sub-soiling (SS) were applied in this experiment. Soil wet aggregates distribution and stability, soil organic carbon (SOC) content, soil water retention curves and pore size distributions were measured. The results showed that in the 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm depth soil layers, NT and SS treatments showed a significantly higher proportion of wet aggregates>250 μm (macroaggregates) compared to CT. In these two layers, the proportion of wet aggregates<53 μm (microaggregates) was significantly higher in CT with respect to NT and SS. SOC content increased as the aggregate fraction size increased, and was higher within wet aggregates>250 μm than within the 250–53 μm and < 53 μm (silt+clay) fractions at both depths. In addition, the conservation tillage (NT and SS) can result in improved total porosity and reduced soil bulk density compared with CT in the surface layer. Pore size distribution in CT soil was unimodal, with the maximum in the 10–30 μm matrix pores of the surface layer. However, in the surface layer the pore size distributions from NT and SS showed a dual porosity curve, with two peaks in the matrix and structural pore areas. The 10–20 cm layer showed similar pore size distributions in each treatment. After scanning the soils by micro-computed tomography, we visualized the pore characteristics. The images showed that CT reduced the long and connected macropores compared with conservation tillage. Overall, soil aggregate stability and soil macropores are most improved under conservation tillage. Conservation tillage with crop residues should be adopted instead of conventional tillage, as an effort to improve crop yield and control soil erosion in the Loess Plateau of China. [less ▲]

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See detailHydroTrend - Rapport final
Grandry, Maud ULiege; Degré, Aurore ULiege; Gailliez, Sébastien

Report (2018)

Le projet HydroTrend a pour but de détecter et analyser des tendances potentielles dans l’amplitude et la fréquence des pics de crue en Wallonie. Les données horaires de 84 stations limnimétriques des ... [more ▼]

Le projet HydroTrend a pour but de détecter et analyser des tendances potentielles dans l’amplitude et la fréquence des pics de crue en Wallonie. Les données horaires de 84 stations limnimétriques des réseaux de mesures Aqualim (DGO3) et Wacondah (DGO2) ont été analysées. Les maximums annuels ainsi que les valeurs excédant un certain seuil (POTs - peaks over threshold) ont été extraits de ces données. Afin d’analyser l’évolution au fil du temps de la relation débit de crue – période de retour, des analyses fréquentielles ont été réalisées sur des périodes de 20 ans. La significativité des tendances a été vérifiée à l’aide de tests statistiques. Des tendances positives et négatives ont été observées pour un peu plus de la moitié des stations. Presque 12% d’entre elles sont significatives pour l’amplitude des maximums annuels et la fréquence, et 6% sont significatives pour l’amplitude des POTs. Parmi ces tendances significatives, on retrouve une proportion plus grande de tendances négatives que positives. Les tendances sont majoritairement positives dans le bassin de l’Escaut, mais aussi bien positives que négatives dans le bassin de la Meuse. En appliquant l’analyse fréquentielle non stationnaire qui tient compte des tendances détectées, on constate que les crues augmentent ou diminuent de 4 à 18% par 10 ans et leur fréquence (nombre de POTs par an) de 14 à 42% par 10 ans. Ces résultats démontrent qu’il faut considérer l’instationnarité des débits de crue lors d’analyses hydrologiques. Ceci pourrait avoir des répercussions dans la gestion des crues en Wallonie étant donné que les résultats des analyses fréquentielles sont utilisés, entre autres, dans les études de dimensionnement d’ouvrages de lutte contre les inondations et pour les cartes des aléas d’inondation. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of desiccation cracking on the fluid transfer process in agricultural soil
Tran, Duc Kien ULiege; Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka; Charlier, Robert ULiege et al

Poster (2018, October)

The natural soil structure can be strongly modified and generate heterogeneities during wetting and drying processes. This significantly affects the transfer of fluids and nutrients between the atmosphere ... [more ▼]

The natural soil structure can be strongly modified and generate heterogeneities during wetting and drying processes. This significantly affects the transfer of fluids and nutrients between the atmosphere, the subsoil, the hydrosphere and the biosphere. Experimental observations on a Cutanic Luvisol from agricultural field in Gembloux, Belgium, by using X-ray microtomography coupled with 3D image analysis have shown the cracking phenomenon occurring and leading to preferential flows in the soil sample during a drainage process. In order to better understand the impact of cracks on the behaviour of this soil type, in this study, we have proposed a numerical modelling of soil evaporation process by using the constitutive models implemented in the finite element code LAGAMINE. Considering that the soil we study is a loamy soil, we have chosen to fit the dual model of Durner (Durner, 1994) for the water retention capacity. The drying kinetics is modelled using the boundary layer model (Gerard et al., 2010), assuming that the vapour and heat transfers take place in a boundary layer at the surface of the porous medium. The embedded fracture model is chosen to represent the development of the fractures in porous medium in which fracture opening is activated by a threshold strain parameter (Olivella et Alonso, 2008). The results obtained have shown that an increase in permeability in the fracture zones makes the permeability tensor anisotropic up to one order and thus strongly modifies the drying kinetics of the soil core (e.g., evaporation rate). The results also have suggested that using a simple concept of cracking development, a continuum model is capable of modelling preferential flows developed in a fractured porous medium such as agricultural soil. [less ▲]

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See detailCan the pore scale geometry explain soil sample scale hydrodynamic properties?
Smet, Sarah ULiege; Beckers, Eléonore ULiege; Plougonven, Erwan ULiege et al

in Frontiers in Environmental Science (2018), 6(20),

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See detailCalibration of soil moisture sensors for a long-term field experiment
D'ortona, Lolita; Duhamel, Jimmy; François, Yohann et al

Poster (2018, April 10)

In the framework of the ICOS RI network, a field site in Lonzée, Belgium, is equipped to provide long-term data on greenhouse gas emissions from an agricultural field and the associated environmental ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the ICOS RI network, a field site in Lonzée, Belgium, is equipped to provide long-term data on greenhouse gas emissions from an agricultural field and the associated environmental variables. Soil moisture is one of the state variables which are monitored with high temporal resolution and with several repetitions in the field to take into account soil heterogeneity. In order to facilitate field installation in combination with agricultural practices, Sentek Enviroscan sensors, a collection of FDR sensors at different depths on a stick, were chosen to measure soil moisture. In this contribution, we will discuss the results of a detailed calibration experiment we performed for this sensor type and compare it to the results we got from a different FDR sensor: the ML3 Thetaprobe. We calibrated the probes for the different soil horizons at 3 different locations in the field using big reconstructed soil columns which were brought to defined soil moisture levels in the lab. The results showed that the universal calibration relationship of the sensors gave quite similar results as the soil-specific calibration up till a moisture content of 40%. We also observed that the higher the soil moisture content becomes, the more difficult it is to obtain a homogeneous distribution of the water in the calibration column which might have an impact on the sensor readings. [less ▲]

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See detailX-ray µCT: how soil pore space description can be altered by image processing
Smet, Sarah ULiege; Plougonven, Erwan ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege et al

in Vadose Zone Journal (2018), 17(1),

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See detailEstimating Soil Water Retention Curve by Inverse Modelling from Combination of In Situ Dynamic Soil Water Content and Soil Potential Data
Ket, Pinnara ULiege; Oeurng, Chantha; Degré, Aurore ULiege

in Soil Systems (2018), 2(55),

Soil water retention curves (SWRCs) are crucial for characterizing soil moisture dynamics, and are particularly relevant in the context of irrigation management. Inverse modelling is one of the methods ... [more ▼]

Soil water retention curves (SWRCs) are crucial for characterizing soil moisture dynamics, and are particularly relevant in the context of irrigation management. Inverse modelling is one of the methods used to parameterize models representing these curves, which are closest to the field reality. The objective of this study is to estimate the soil hydraulic properties through inverse modelling using the HYDRUS-1D code based on soil moisture and potential data acquired in the field. The in situ SWRCs acquired every 30 min are based on simultaneous soil water content and soil water potential measurements with 10HS and MPS-2 sensors, respectively, in five experimental fields. The fields were planted with drip-irrigated lettuces from February to March 2016 in the Chrey Bak catchment located in the Tonlé Sap Lake region, Cambodia. After calibration of the van Genuchten soil water retention model parameters, we used them to evaluate the performance of HYDRUS-1D to predict soil moisture dynamics in the studied fields. Water flow was reasonably well reproduced in all sites covering a range of soil types (loamy sand and loamy soil) with root mean square errors ranging from 0.02 to 0.03 cm3 cm−3. [less ▲]

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See detailHow pixel size affects a sediment connectivity index in central Belgium
Cantreul, Vincent ULiege; Bielders, Charles; Calsamiglia, Aleix et al

in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2018), 43(4), 884-893

Connectivity has become an increasingly used concept in hydrological and sediment research. In order to quantify it, various indices have been proposed since the start of the 21st century including the ... [more ▼]

Connectivity has become an increasingly used concept in hydrological and sediment research. In order to quantify it, various indices have been proposed since the start of the 21st century including the index of connectivity developed by Borselli et al. (2008). This index is based on a limited number of factors, the most important one being topography. Sediment connectivity indices values are likely to depend on the digital elevation model (DEM) resolution. The aim of this study was, first, to compare the effect of DEM pixel size (between 0.25 and 10 m, using an UAV) in the Belgian loess belt, a lowland area. We show that the index values were lower when the pixel size decreased (a difference of about 20 % in value between 0.25 and 10 m). In addition, the impact of linear features in the watershed (e.g., grass strip, bank and road) was lower with the largest pixel sizes, and the connectivity pattern was affected with a pixel size of 5 m or more. At lower pixel sizes (1 m or below), some more disconnected regions appeared. These corresponded to zones where there had been water stagnation during and after rainfalls, and was corroborated by field observations. This confirmed the need for a proper resolution according to the objectives of the study. The second aim of this study was to deduce a minimum pixel size for connectivity study, helping local erosion or sedimentation location and consequent land management decisions. In our context, 1 m stands as the optimum DEM resolution. This pixel size permitted to locate all “key areas” in terms of erosion. Very high resolutions (<0.5 m) did not generate much more information, and their calculation time was far greater. [less ▲]

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See detailSoft Skills: how to make the young engineers aware of their new talents?
Colaux, Catherine ULiege; Beckers, Yves ULiege; Brostaux, Yves ULiege et al

in Stanzione, Joseph; Savelski, Mariane (Eds.) Creating the holistic engineer (2018)

The competency framework attached to the Life science engineering Master at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege (Belgium) is composed of technical and scientific skills but also soft skills which ... [more ▼]

The competency framework attached to the Life science engineering Master at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege (Belgium) is composed of technical and scientific skills but also soft skills which are not connected to academic courses. For the training of these skills, university needs the collaboration of the professional world. Therefore, the role of our teachers evolves towards a guiding or mentoring role. They will help students to analyse their professional experiences in order to shape their professional identity, to bring to light their acquired skills. This article describes how the portfolio, used as internship’s report, will help students to gain the self-confidence about their abilities and how professors can use these reflexive analyses to evaluate the acquisition of these soft skills. [less ▲]

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See detailHow pixel size affects a sediment connectivity index in central Belgium
Cantreul, Vincent ULiege; Bielders, Charles; Calsamiglia, Aleix et al

Conference (2017, December 05)

Connectivity has become an increasingly used concept in hydrological and sediment research. In order to quantify it, various indices have been proposed since the start of the 21st century including the ... [more ▼]

Connectivity has become an increasingly used concept in hydrological and sediment research. In order to quantify it, various indices have been proposed since the start of the 21st century including the index of connectivity developed by Borselli et al. (2008). This index is based on a limited number of factors, the most important one being topography. Sediment connectivity indices values are likely to depend on the digital elevation model (DEM) resolution. The aim of this study was, first, to compare the effect of DEM pixel size (between 0.25 and 10 m, using an UAV) in the Belgian loess belt, a lowland area. We show that the index values were lower when the pixel size decreased (a difference of about 20 % in value between 0.25 and 10 m). In addition, the impact of linear features in the watershed (e.g., grass strip, bank and road) was lower with the largest pixel sizes, and the connectivity pattern was affected with a pixel size of 5 m or more. At lower pixel sizes (1 m or below), some more disconnected regions appeared. These corresponded to zones where there had been water stagnation during and after rainfalls, and was corroborated by field observations. This confirmed the need for a proper resolution according to the objectives of the study. The second aim of this study was to deduce a minimum pixel size for connectivity study, helping local erosion or sedimentation location and consequent land management decisions. In our context, 1 m stands as the optimum DEM resolution. This pixel size permitted to locate all “key areas” in terms of erosion. Very high resolutions (<0.5 m) did not generate much more information, and their calculation time was far greater. [less ▲]

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See detailConstater les dégâts, évaluer les risques, proposer des solutions de lutte contre l'érosion hydrique des sols
Morvan, Xavier; Faucon, Michel-Pierre; Armand, Romain et al

Scientific conference (2017, November 07)

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See detailgraines de savoir - l'enseignement à Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech
Degré, Aurore ULiege

Article for general public (2017)

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See detailDynamic of soil drying close to saturation: What can we learn from a comparison between X-ray computed microtomography and the evaporation method?
Parvin, Nargish ULiege; Beckers, Eléonore ULiege; Plougonven, Erwan ULiege et al

in Geoderma (2017), 302

The soil water retention curve (SWRC) is a unique relationship between water content and soil water potential. SWRC in near saturation gives the dimension of soil macroporosity which plays an important ... [more ▼]

The soil water retention curve (SWRC) is a unique relationship between water content and soil water potential. SWRC in near saturation gives the dimension of soil macroporosity which plays an important role in water translocation into soil. Thus, the accurate measurement of SWRC is crucial. The aim of this study is to compare SWRC obtained through two different methods: X-ray computed microtomography (X-ray CT) and evaporation method by HYPROP device. Three different depths (0–10, 25–30 and 45–60 cm) are considered for soil sampling. The results showed significant differences in SWRC between the techniques. The SWRC from X-ray CT showed more volumetric water content at 25–30 cm (0.044) and 45–60 cm (0.024) than evaporation at saturation (0 kPa) in cases where the macroporosity was higher. Macropores may have connections with neighbouring pores of smaller sizes. Hence we assume that these pores can be observed through X-ray CT but cannot be evaluated by evaporation. As macropores with narrow opening do not evaporate at very low tension. These pores therefore got empty at relatively higher tension. Consequently, SWRC near saturation appeared rather flatter with the evaporation method where the X-ray CT presented deviation. Accordingly, interpretation of macro pores from SWRC through evaporation method would give comparatively smaller volume of macropores than they really are. Pore morphology and other hydraulic functions of soil, for example, mean connection surface of pores, hydraulic conductivity, and the efficiency of water conducting macropores also support the X-ray CT findings. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of different tillage systems on aggregate structure and inner distribution of organic carbon
Gao, Lili ULiege; Beckers, Eléonore ULiege; Liang, Guopeng et al

in Geoderma (2017), 288

Tillage is a common agricultural practice affecting soil structure and biogeochemistry. Pore network geometries are crucial to oxygen concentration, gas diffusivity, water location and water movement ... [more ▼]

Tillage is a common agricultural practice affecting soil structure and biogeochemistry. Pore network geometries are crucial to oxygen concentration, gas diffusivity, water location and water movement. Soil aggregates, 4–6 mm in diameter and collected from silty loam in Belgium and sandy loam in China, were scanned using a micro-computed tomography scanner. Images with a pixel size of 6.9 μm were then processed with ImageJ software for pore network analysis. The treatments were no tillage (C-NT) and conventional tillage (C-CT) in China, and shallow tillage (G-ST) and conventional tillage (G-CT) in Belgium. The results showed that aggregates in conservational tillage (G-ST and C-NT) had numerous connected pores compared with conventional tillage (G-CT and C-CT). The Euler number (Ev) was significantly lower and visible total porosity and surface area (SA) were significantly higher in conservational tillage (G-ST and C-NT) than in conventional tillage (G-CT and C-CT) in both studied locations. The predominant size of pores was significantly higher in conservational tillage (G-ST and C-NT) than in conventional tillage (G-CT and C-CT) (> 150 μm vs 90–120 μm). Pore location within the aggregates also showed differences, with porosity being evenly distributed in the aggregates under conventional tillage (G-CT and C-CT). Under conservational tillage (G-ST and C-NT), the aggregates were heterogeneous, showing higher porosity at the center of the aggregates. There was a higher soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the external layer than in the internal layer in conservational tillage in Belgium (G-ST). In no tillage in China (C-NT), the SOC in the external and internal layers, however, showed similar results. Overall, conventional tillage (G-CT and C-CT) reduced the proportion of the largest pores within soil aggregates, whereas there was no significant relationship between pore morphologies and SOC content. Further investigation is required to measure the active and slow carbon pool distribution in the different layers and under different tillage practices. [less ▲]

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See detailConvention Région wallonne et HGE-ULg Caractérisation complémentaire des masses d’eau dont le bon état dépend d’interactions entre les eaux de surface et les eaux souterraines - Délivrable D1.8 Rapport final
Brouyère, Serge ULiege; Briers, Pierre ULiege; Descy, Jean-Pierre et al

Report (2017)

Mechanisms of interactions between groundwater bodies and rivers whose status and anthropogenic use can be detrimental from a quantitative and qualitative point of view to one or the other of these two ... [more ▼]

Mechanisms of interactions between groundwater bodies and rivers whose status and anthropogenic use can be detrimental from a quantitative and qualitative point of view to one or the other of these two compartments of the water cycle. In addition, contamination of groundwater by nitrate remains relevant. Based on these observations, a study financed by the Public Service of Wallonia was carried out over a period of 39 months to investigate (1) the direction, importance and dynamics of water exchange between groundwater and rivers at the scale of a river section; (2) the impact of these interactions on river baseflows and the river ecological status as a function of groundwater withdrawal and recharge at the catchment scale; (3) mechanisms and timing of transfer and abatement of pollutants (nitrate) between groundwater and surface waters at the watershed scale. The consequences of these mechanisms on the medium- and long-term evolution of groundwater and surface water quality were to be determined. To achieve this, the project relied on the implementation of a series of field investigations essentially focused on the interfaces between surface water and groundwater compartments (soil and unsaturated zone and water-table interface), while acquiring additional information on groundwater. The investigations carried out in the watersheds of the upstream Hoyoux and Triffoy watershed in the Condroz region aimed to provide 6 specific responses to water quantity and quality issued associated with groundwater – surface water interactions in the selected basins and generic responses in the form of new knowledge concerning the mechanisms of recharge and groundwater - river exchanges, concerning the evolution of nitrate concentrations in watersheds, data and measurements for the parameterization of models, and water resources management tools in the form of quantitative and qualitative indicators for groundwater - surface water interactions. [less ▲]

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