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Dealing with Landscape Heterogeneity in Watershed Hydrology: A Review of Recent Progress toward New Hydrological Theory



Predictions of hydrologic system response to natural and anthropogenic forcing are highly uncertain due to the heterogeneity of the land surface and subsurface. Landscape heterogeneity results in spatiotemporal variability of hydrological states and fluxes, scale-dependent flow and transport properties, and incomplete process understanding. Recent community activities, such as Prediction in Ungauged Basins of International Association of Hydrological Sciences, have recognized the impasse current catchment hydrology is facing and have called for a focused research agenda toward new hydrological theory at the watershed scale. This new hydrological theory should recognize the dominant control of landscape heterogeneity on hydrological processes, should explore novel ways to account for its effect at the watershed scale, and should build on an interdisciplinary understanding of how feedback mechanisms between hydrology, biogeochemistry, pedology, geomorphology, and ecology affect catchment evolution and functioning.