Changes of erosive rainfall for El Nino and La Nina years in the northern Andean highlands of Peru

C. Romero, G.A. Baigorria, L. Stroosnijder

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Information related to rainfall erosivity in the Andes is scarce. This study was carried out to determine the characteristics of rainfall events at the La Encañada watershed, northern Peru, using daily rainfall data from the 1995 to 2000 period that included all the El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases. Three weather stations were installed within the study area, at the top, middle and bottom of the watershed. We analysed the total amount, duration, intensity, kinetic energy and probability of return of rainfall events. In general, 80% of the rainfall events at watershed level had an average rainfall intensity lower than 2.5 mm h¿1 and only 4% had an average intensity larger than 7.5 mm h¿1. Rainfall erosivity registered at the bottom of the watershed was slightly higher than in the rest of the area. The highest intensities were observed during an El Niño year whereas a La Niña year was characterized by the highest amount of total rainfall compared to the other ENSO phases and by the low intensity rain events. Simulations using the WEPP model estimated higher sediment yield and runoff for the bottom of the watershed during a La Niña year versus El Niño or Neutral years. Even when the analysed rainfall data was too limited to conclude erosion and runoff during any ENSO phase, the simulated results showed us the trend of the behaviour of rainfall erosivity under the ENSO phases at different locations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-356
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • colombian andes
  • erodibility
  • model

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