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Dynamique hydroclimatique de l’Oubangui amont à Mobaye, République Centrafricaine : étude comparée du rôle de la savane et de la forêt équatoriale
  • Didier Orange
Didier Orange

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The rainfall reduction in the 1970s, less marked in Central Africa than in West Africa, still had a major impact on the hydrological regimes of the region’s large rivers. The study of the hydropluviometric behavior of the Ubangi at Mobaye has the advantage of studying a basin excluding anthropogenic impact. Forest cover and population density have not changed since at least 1970. Statistical analysis of the breaks in the long rainfall time series from Ubangi at Mobaye (1935-2015) confirms a long period of drought from 1969 to 2006 corresponding to a reduction of -8% in rainfall. And the study of the corresponding hydrological series indicates a second downward break in 1981, few years after the rainfall increase. This period points an exceptional hydrological drought period until 2013, which is the first year with an increase of flows. The statistical study of the annual rainfall/flow series of the upstream basins over the period 1951-1995 (the Kotto at Kembé and Bria, the Mbomu at Bangassou and Zémio, the Uélé + Bili hydrographic system) highlights different hydrological behaviors related to the vegetation cover. The savanna basins show a continuous hydrological deficit marked by a runoff coefficient (CE) that fell to 5% only from the 1990s. On the other hand, the basins under forest show a runoff increase since 1990 marked by CE above 10%. Under savannah, the part of the flow infiltrating to recharge the aquifer would have decreased faster than under forest, which results in a runoff coefficient CE very significantly negatively correlated with the savanna area present in the studied watershed.
25 Feb 2022Published in Hydrologie, Climat et Biogéochimie du Bassin du Congo on pages 87-101. 10.1002/9781119842125.ch6