Soil piping and catchment response

J. A. A. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the 40 years, since soil piping was first considered to be a potential factor in the hydrological response of catchments, research has revealed a considerable amount about its hydrological role and its geographical, climatic and pedological distribution. Piping has been shown to be a major factor supporting the hypothesis that subsurface flow can be a significant contributor to quickflow by field experiments ranging from the United Kingdom to Canada, India and China. This research has demonstrated that, at least in some areas, soil pipes may contribute up to nearly 50% of stormwater discharge. Piping processes therefore merit inclusion within rainfall-runoff simulation models, but this has yet to be achieved. Some progress has been made in modelling pipeflow itself, but integration within a catchment model presents major problems, not least in quantifying or parameterizing the nature and distribution of pipe networks. The wider environmental implications of soil piping are also only just beginning to be recognized. These range from the effects of changing residence times on water chemistry, especially on the acidification of surface waters, to the effects of hillslope drainage patterns on soil development and vegetation diversity. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1548-1566
Number of pages19
JournalHydrological Processes
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2011


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