Cape Fear: monitoring basic hydrological processes in an outdoor hillslope plot

  • Andrea PetroselliEmail author
  • Flavia Tauro


Cape Fear is an outdoor 7 × 7 m2 hillslope laboratory located at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy, and is equipped with real-time monitoring sensors used to analyse runoff generation. In this paper, hydrological phenomena that occurred during Cape Fear’s first 2 years of operation are reported to provide insight into the basic dynamics underlying the hydrological response at the hillslope scale. Based on our findings, surface and subsurface runoff are likely driven by rainfall-threshold phenomena, and evapotranspiration phenomena account for more than 70% of rainfall water input. Future studies will investigate the threshold relationship between rainfall and runoff.


Cape Fear Experimental plot Runoff Soil water content Hydrological balance 



The University of Tuscia technicians Paolo Ciorba, Giuliano Cipollari, Roberto Rapiti, and Massimo Edoardo Vollaro are acknowledged for their roles in creating Cape Fear and continuous assistance in monitoring the hillslope plot. Dr. Tauro acknowledges support from the UNESCO Chair in Water Resources Management and Culture. The authors thank Dr. Salvatore Grimaldi for insightful discussion of the results.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economy and Enterprise (DEIM)Tuscia UniversityViterboItaly
  2. 2.Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems (DIBAF)Tuscia UniversityViterboItaly

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