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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed - Assessment of Conservation and Environmental Effects

Authors
item Kuhnle, Roger
item Bingner, Ronald
item Langendoen, Eddy
item Simon, Andrew
item Wilson, Christopher
item Alonso, Carlos
item Shields Jr, Fletcher

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2005
Publication Date: July 17, 2005
Citation: Kuhnle, R.A., Bingner, R.L., Langendoen, E.J., Simon, A., Wilson, C.G., Alonso, C.V., Shields Jr, F.D. 2005. Goodwin creek experimental watershed - assessment of conservation and environmental effects. Proceedings ASAE Annual International Meeting, July 17-20, 2005, Tampa, Florida. Paper No. 052130, 9 pp.

Interpretive Summary: Erosion of valuable soil and contamination of surface waters associated with agricultural activities are problems of major proportions in the U. S. and other countries. To assess the benefits and effectiveness of its management practices designed to combat soil loss and water contamination, the Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP) was established by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed (GCEW) has been designated as a benchmark watershed in CEAP to provide more detail on the effects/benefits of management programs in the south central part of the U. S. Research evaluating the effect of management programs on the GCEW has been ongoing since 1982. The rates and processes involved with the erosion and movement of soil by the channels of the GCEW has been studied extensively and simulated using computer models that consider the channels and watershed. This multidisciplinary research allows the effectiveness and benefits of the management programs applied to GCEW to be evaluated and optimized scenarios of practices to be developed for GCEW and similar lands. This information is needed by farmers and others in other agricultural watersheds to manage their lands in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable manner.

Technical Abstract: Goodwin Creek, a benchmark watershed of the Conservation Effects and Assessment Project (CEAP), drains 2132 ha in the north central part of the state of Mississippi. Drainage is westerly as part of the Yazoo River Basin, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Sediment yield rates (14.5 t/ha/yr) in the region are among the highest in the nation. Phosphorus and fecal coliform levels also exceed water quality standards. The effect of land use and management practices on erosion and transport of sediment and contaminantstransport has been the major thrust of research conducted on Goodwin Creek and is an important component of the CEAP project. Analyses are in progress to identify evaluate the effects of how conservation practices associated with channel and watershed management onwill affect sediment loadings throughout the watershed. Specific management practices which will be evaluated include channel bank vegetation, stream habitat improvement and management, grade and channel stabilization structures, and drop pipes. Studies to identify sediment sources are also in progress and will be coupled with measured flow and sediment data for comparison to simulations using a combination of the AnnAGNPS watershed model and the CONCEPTS channel-evolution model. Several management/climatic scenarios will be assessed using these two models to identify the most cost-effective suite of management practices to safeguard downstream water quality.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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