Geospheres of the Gina River catchment

Geospheres of the Gina River catchment
Geospheres of the Gina River catchment
Image Credit: Eckhart, E. 2003

The Gina River catchment is located approximately at 6° N of the equator in southern Ethiopia. If you follow the hyperlink you’ll see a map that shows the location of the Gina River catchment and a more detailed description. The Gina River catchment is a landscape ecosystem that - like all ecosystems - consists of different geospheres (see figure):

These spheres are not independent, they interact. For example, the characteristics and interactions of the atmo-, hydro-, litho-, morpho-, bio- and human sphere determine which soil is formed in the watershed. In other watersheds with changed characteristics of geospheres (e.g., changed meteorological parameters) may the interactions of geospheres result in another soil type. Changes within the Gina River catchment (such as intensified resource use) may cause changed soil characteristics.

Thus, the characteristics and interactions of the geospheres shape the nature of a watershed. They thus also determine the availability of natural resources and their quality. A sufficient precipitation rate with moderately intensity may supply an adequate amount of water available for human use. If it really sufficient, is depending of the actual demand of water. On the other hand, inappropriate land use practices may degrade the soil and finally reduce the usable agricultural area. These interactions of geospheres are the reason why Watershed Management takes an integrated approach of natural resource management.

The interactions of geospheres are complex and will be explained briefly by the processes that take place on slopes (slope dynamics) and in rivers (river bed dynamics). But you can gain a fist insight into the processes occurring in the watershed by following the water movement within the Gina River catchment.

The Gina River catchment you can see if you follow the hyperlink.