Submitted to: Water Resources Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2007
Publication Date: September 7, 2007
Citation: Bosch, D.D., Sheridan, J.M., Marshall, L.K. 2007. Precipitation, Soil Moisture, and Climate Database, Little River Experimental Watershed, Georgia, United States. Water Resources Research. 43, W09472, doi:10.1029/2006WR005834. Interpretive Summary: Long-term high quality climatic data are critical for many environmental programs in the United States and throughout the world. These data are critical for building an understanding of hydrologic and environmental processes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory established a rainfall data collection network to complement hydrologic research on the Little River Experimental Watershed in the Southern portion of Georgia in 1967. The Laboratory has maintained this network for 37 years, establishing one of the most comprehensive precipitation networks in the region. The database documents mean and extreme precipitation trends for the area. The Laboratory has now set up a ftp site for sharing of these data. This will enhance the value of the dataset by enabling other scientists to examine and review regional climatic characteristics and hydrologic and water quality responses to these characteristics.
Technical Abstract: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeast Watershed Research Laboratory initiated a watershed research program at the Little River Experimental Watershed in 1967. Continuous rainfall measurement across the watershed began at that time. Soil moisture measurements were added to twenty-nine of the rainfall sites from 2001 to 2005. Additional climatic instrumentation was added to three sites in 2004. The research quantifies critical information related to long-term and seasonal climatic relationships, hydrologic budgets for the region, water quality studies, and natural resource planning. Rainfall data from the network have been used to evaluate storm characteristics, climatic patterns, and long-term averages for the region. Soil moisture data have been used to examine large scale patterns across the region and for comparison to remotely sensed data. The average annual watershed weighted precipitation for the 334 km2 Little River Experimental Watershed for the period from 1972 to 2005 was 1223 mm with a coefficient of variation of 13.8%. The maximum annual precipitation observed during the same period was 1555 mm, which occurred in 1994, while the minimum was 884 mm, occurring in 1999. The maximum watershed weighted daily precipitation that has been observed was135 mm. The maximum daily precipitation that has been recorded on any individual gauge was 197 mm. The maximum five-minute precipitation recorded within the watershed was 22.9 mm, or an intensity of 274 mm hr-1, observed on August 9, 1981. All data are available on the SEWRL anonymous ftp site (ftp://www.tiftonars.org/).