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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGING EFFECTS OF AGRONOMIC SYSTEMS ON PLAYA WETLAND HYRODOLOGY & ECOLOGY

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To facilitate and conduct coordinated research into effects of agronomic land use on playa hydrology and ecology through collaborative efforts with Texas Tech University students and faculty.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Modeling and direct measurement approaches will be used to conduct applied and fundamental research into plant ecology geomorphology and hydrology of playa wetlands and surronding watersheds.


3.Progress Report:

Thirty playas in ten counties have been selected and are instrumented or are partially instrumented (Of the complete stations 5 of the 20 planned await deployment into locations already identified). Two playas within each county, playas within rangeland and cropland, will contain full instrumentation packages. The third playa in each county is a CRP playa and is instrumented with a minimal set of instruments, currently a raingauge and a depth sensor. A collaborative relationship with the Texas Water Development Board has been established so that another 15 playas are instrumented. The high resolution topographic maps of each playa basin has been made. The complete instrumentation packages placed within the playa basins track precipitation and water level, and provide variables for calculation of free water evaporation. These variables include air speed, temperature and humidity, precipitation, global down-welling solar radiation, net solar radiation, water surface temperature and water depth. A digital cellular modem provides internet connectivity to each datalogger so that data can be downloaded weekly for cursory inspection and plotted monthly for visual inspection and comparison in an attempt to ensure data integrity. We will continue to download, plot, inspect, and archive data weekly from all stations to ensure data integrity. Stations across the Texas Panhandle are visited and maintained quarterly or when data inspection indicates potential sensor failure. A novel mesoscale double ring infiltrometer was developed that allows direct measurement of steady state infiltration values.


Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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