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Wildfires impact on hydrological response – the case of Lykorrema experimental watershed, Greece

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Pages :
303 - 310

Soulis K.X., Dercas N. and Valiantzas J.D.
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One of the issues that have recently attracted increased attention from the hydrologic community is
the impact of forest fires on the hydrological response of the once vegetated areas. This study
presents the investigation of wildfires impact on the hydrological response of the small scale
experimental watershed of Lykorrema stream, which is located in the east side of Penteli Mountain,
Attica, Greece. In the recent years, the watershed was affected by two wildfires in August 1995 and
in August 2009. The effect of the August 1995 wildfire on the peak runoff was investigated in a
previous study, in which an increment of 10 times in peak runoff was observed. This paper presents
the results of an analysis concerning the impact of the second wildfire on the watershed’s
hydrological response based on the available detailed spatial physical and hydro-meteorological
data. The results obtained highlight the considerable impact of forest fire on the watersheds
hydrological response. An increment in the direct runoff depths and the peak flow rates as much as
230% and 850% respectively was observed during the first two years of the post-fire period.

forest fires, peak runoff, direct runoff, post-fire recovery