Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2000
Publication Date: October 20, 2000
Citation: SHERIDAN, J.M., BOSCH, D.D., HUBBARD, R.K., LOWRANCE, R.R., POTTER, T.L. THE USDA-ARS SOUTHEAST WATERSHED RESEARCH LABORATORY (SEWRL) AND THE LITTLERIVER EXPERIMENTAL WATERSHEDS. AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION. Abstract #56. 2000. Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory (SEWRL) is one of six watershed hydrology research centers created by Congress as a result of Senate Document 59 to address critical hydrology and erosion research needs within major physiographic regions of the US. The SEWRL, funded in 1965, had a primary focus within the Gulf-Atlantic Coastal Plain an important agricultural region that makes about 10% of the US land area. A priority identified for the SEWRL was establishing a hydrologic monitoring program within the Coastal Plain. Reliable, long-term hydrologic data bases were not previously available because of difficulties and costs associated with measurement of flows in heavily-vegetated, low-gradient stream systems. The Little River Watershed (LRW) located in south Georgia was selected as representative of mixed-use, agricultural watersheds in the region. In 1967, the SEWRL instrumented a 129 sq.mi. headwater portion of Little River rto establish a watershed-scale hydrologic data collection program. The original network provided measurement of rainfall at 52 locations, stream stage at eight sites and ground water stage at three locations within the stream channel alluvial aquifer. Currently over 30 years of hydrologic data are available from up to eight watersheds ranging in area from 2.6 to 334 km2. The LRW has provided hydrologic data for characterizing Coastal Plain hydrologic processes and for development and testing of hydrologic modeling concepts for applications on ungaged watersheds in humid regions with low topographic relief. These data bases have been used to support research aimed at developing agricultural management practices that conserve natural resources while maintaining or enhancing the quality of our environment.