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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The ARS Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed: An Outstanding Environmental Laboratory

Author
item Kuhnle, Roger

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 18, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed (GCEW) was established in north- central Mississippi as a part of the Stream-Bank Erosion Control Evaluation and Demonstration Project authorized by Section 32 of U.S. Public Law 93-251. This 21.3 sq km watershed was chosen for its mixed land use, excessive upland erosion, and steep degrading channels with unstable banks. Eleven years of continuous, analyzed hydrologic and sediment data are currently available for Goodwin Creek. Sediment load measurements have been collected on the watershed since its beginning. Because of the different processes involved in the transport of fine, sand, and gravel sediment, transport for each was measured using different instruments and methods. Current technologies to predict channel responses are hindered by an incomplete understanding of the processes controlling erosion of streambanks, channel meandering and migration, erosion of cohesive sediment, and the links between bed and bank processes. An eroding bendway is being intensely studied to improve knowledge of these processes. Environmental studies on the GCEW have considered stabilization of eroding streambanks using vegetation, and the use of stone structures to improve aquatic habitats at base flows. Data from the GCEW has been used as a prototype for the evaluation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for clean sediment in streams and rivers. Clean sediment has been identified as the single largest pollutant affecting streams in the U.S. Watershed models employing best management practices have been developed using the GCEW database and are a valuable component for guiding management strategies to rectify impaired streams of the U.S.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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