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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASSESSMENT OF EPHEMERAL GULLY EROSION PROCESSES

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

Project Number: 6408-13000-023-05
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 01, 2008
End Date: Nov 30, 2013

Objective:
The objective of this effort is to assess the processes associated with ephemeral gully development through the study of: ephemeral gully evolution pertaining to ephemeral gully widths and networks; soil resistance to gully erosion; and the effect of agricultural practices on gully erosion across a range of temporal and spatial scales including the influence of above and below ground biomass. These studies will lead to new or enhanced algorithms for use in ephemeral gully erosion models. Ephemeral gully erosion represents an important and often dominant sediment source within watersheds in the U.S. and worldwide that is often overlooked when evaluating the effect of conservation practices in controlling erosion.

Approach:
Develop and execute novel experimental programs to understand the processes leading to the initial growth and development of gullies under varying hydrologic and topographic conditions. Define the key pedologic, hydrologic, and hydrodynamic parameters that control the magnitude, morphology, and rate of soil loss, gully erosion, and landscape degradation due to gully development. Develop theory and equations to predict soil loss and gully erosion on hillslopes and agricultural fields under different management practices and integrate these into USDA watershed and soil erosion models.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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