Details about the Houay Pano catchment can be found here.

Houay Pano catchment

The 60-ha Houay Pano catchment is located in northern Lao PDR, in the mountainous region of Luang Prabang.

The landscape of the Luang Prabang region mostly consists of hills with very steep slopes (8% of the land with slope gradient exceeding 55%). The flat and gently slope (0 to 2%) represents less than 1% of the area and is located in the valleys. Elevation ranges from 290 to 2,257 m above sea level.

Houay Pano stands near the village named ‘Lak Sip’, about 10 km south-east of Luang Prabang city, along the National Road 13 and 400 km North from Vientiane. Elevation in Houay Pano catchment ranges from 435 to 716 m above sea level.

The coordinates of the Houay Pano catchment are between 102°09’50’’E and 102°10’20’’E, 19°51’00’’N and 19°51’45’’N.

Houay Pano catchment: (a) Location in northern Lao PDR, (b) Altitudes (m a.s.l.) and monitoring stations, (c) Land use in 2012, and (d) Soil types.


The climate is sub-tropical humid and is characterized by a monsoon regime with a dry season from November to May, and a rainy season from June to October. The mean annual temperature is 23.4 °C. The mean annual rainfall is 1,366 mm (CV=0.23), about 71 % (CV=0.09) of which falls during the rainy season (Boithias et al., 2021).


The stream flow is permanent. Currently, 3 sub-catchments are monitored (S4, S7 and S8).


The most common rock types are gabbro, diorite, and basic rocks, such as schist, gneiss, and sandstone (Department of Geology and Mines, 1990-1991).


A detailed soil survey conducted by the Soil Survey and Land Classification Center (SSLCC) in 1996 showed that the most widespread soil groups are Acrisols, namely Alisol (FAO UNESCO system) or Ultisols (US taxonomy). They are mainly found on the slopes ranking from 8% to 50%, i.e. on most of the surveyed area.

Vegetation and land use

The land use gradually shifted from annual crop associated to fallow periods, to teak tree plantations.

Areal percentages of the catchment covered by the main land uses (i.e. annual crops; annual crops associated with one or two years old teak trees; teak plantations; fallow; secondary forest and other land uses including gardens and banana) (Ribolzi et al., 2017)