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UARC - The Upper Alento River Catchment

The study area consists mostly of arenaceous-clayey deposits (Pollica Formation) and secondarily of arenaceous-marly-clayey (San Mauro Formation) and calcareous-clayey deposits. These formations are quite homogeneous from the hydrogeological point of view and therefore merged into a single hydrogeological complex of arenaceous-marly-clayey formation, which has a relatively low permeability. The study area comprises 102 km2 with annual precipitation of 1261 mm and average annual temperature of 14.5 degree C.

The Alento River Basin belongs to the Province of Salerno (Campania Region - Southern Italy) and is located in the renowned “Cilento” area. The Alento River originates from water flowing off the slopes of Mount “Le Corne” (894 m a.s.l.) in the municipality of the Stio village, has a length of about 37.4 km, runs mainly along the north-west to south-east direction, and flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea between the Casal Velino and Ascea villages.

The entire Alento River Basin has a drainage area of approximately 414.1 km2 and a perimeter of approximately 141 km. The main tributary streams located in the right hydraulic side include: the Manete Deep Valley, the Corbella Deep Valley, the Prignano Deep Valley, the Fiumicello and Fiumara Deep Valleys, whereas in the left hydraulic side there are the following: Lauri Deep Valley, the Orria Deep Valley, the Selva dei Santi Deep Valley, the Badolato Creek, and the Palistro Creek.

Instrumentations include 20 weather stations, more than 100 mechanical rain gauges (formerly 300 operated by the Italian Hydrographic Service), eight river discharge stations and an extensive network of soil moisture sensors. Other hydrologic data monitored in UARC include water levels, isotopic composition of H and O, soil matric potentials, ground water heads, cosmic ray soil moisture.

For more details see e.g.

Nasta et al. (2017) Assessing long-term impact of land-use change on hydrological ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean upland agro-forestry catchment. Sci Total Environ. 2017 Dec 15;605-606:1070-1082. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.008. Epub 2017 Jul 11.

Romano, N., P. Nasta, H. Bogena, P. De Vita, L. Stellato and H. Vereecken (2018): An observatory to plan adaptation strategies for water resources management in a Mediterranean ecosystem: The case of the Alento River Catchment. Vadose Zone J., doi:10.2136/vzj2018.03.0042.

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