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Research Report

ECOHYDROLOGY OF THE MAMBERAMO BASIN: An initial assessment of biophysical processes

Daniel Murdiyarso
Sofyan Kurnianto
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2008
Pages: 52
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    Papua is Indonesia’s largest and least populated province. Three million people live in an area of around 42 million hectares, 80 percent of which is still forested (BAPLAN 2002). This is equal to approximately 35 million hectares of original forest cover intact (FWI 2004).

    The Mamberamo Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Program of Conservation International (CI) in Papua recognizes that large-scale conservation is essential for the long-term survival of rich biodiversity and that networks of conservation management areas are the most effective strategy for preventing species extinctions in the near-term. The long-term persistence of both threatened species and threatened sites will also...

  2. (pp. 3-20)

    Most of the information described below was adopted from Conservation International (2006), a Project Document of the Mamberamo Biodiversity Conservation Corridor.

    The Mamberamo Basin is a unique region. With a total catchment area of about 7.7 million hectares (the largest in Papua province) and over 90 percent still undisturbed, the area comprises a large inland basin with many natural lakes, surrounded on all sides by high and steep hills and mountains. The elevation of the basin ranges from about 0 m asl in the northern parts of the basin to about 5,000 m asl in the southern part (Figure 2)....

  3. (pp. 21-26)

    The boundaries of the Mamberamo Basin are determined by using the digital elevation model (DEM) extracted from the NASA shuttle radar topographic mission (SRTM v.3). The same technique was used to delineate the catchment areas representing the basin for more detailed studies. This way one could generate river network and subsequent river and catchment factors.

    The model was then used to generate spatially explicit information based on tabular data such as rainfall and air temperature. The spatial information of these physical properties is required to calculate the basin and catchment evapotranspiration and water balance.

    Other biophysical processes that demonstrate the...

  4. (pp. 27-38)

    The general water budget estimated by the difference of annual rainfall minus annual potential evapotranspiration is calculated for the whole basin. The difference between atmospheric input and output is usually termed climatological water balance. The spatial expression of the balance is shown in Figure 17. In general, the entire basin experiences excess water as total annual rainfall is higher than total annual potential evapotranspiration. The range of the excess, however, is quite large. In the lower and middle parts of the basin, where altitude is lower and the land is flat to gently sloped, the excess was about 500 mm,...

  5. (pp. 39-39)

    Based on long-term (1950–1995) records of climatological elements, the entire Mamberamo Basin receives more water from rainfall than it can release as evapotranspiration. As a result the basin experiences excess of water throughout the year. Since we do not have monthly data, the monthly discharge cannot be estimated.

    When detailed studies were carried out in smaller scale by means of representative catchments, there was no indication whether the geologic formations on which the catchments are located affect river and catchment primary factors, including number of stream segments of a particular order and the ratio of lower-order stream segments to...

  6. (pp. 40-40)

    Knowing the huge variability of the weather across the region it is appropriate to suggest improvements in terms of quality and quantity of weather stations. A few complete sets of weather stations need to be added and distributed evenly within the Lakes-Plains region. This measure would eventually improve the estimation of water balance components.

    River gauging stations, which are now lacking, need to be installed in a number of places. The main rivers, Tariku, Taritatu and Mamberamo,badly need to be instrumented as do several tributaries. In addition, observation of sediment load may be included to monitor the impacts of human...