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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISTURBANCE ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION OF GREAT BASIN RANGELAND

Location: Northwest Watershed Management Research

Title: Use of rainfall simulation and concentrated flow experiments to characterize rangeland hydrologic and erosional processes in the Great Basin, USA

Authors
item Pierson, Frederick
item Robichaud, Pete -
item Williams, Christopher
item Kormos, Patrick -
item Al-Hamdan, Osama -
item Boll, Jan -

Submitted to: European Geophysical Society Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2010
Publication Date: May 2, 2010
Citation: Pierson Jr, F.B., Robichaud, P.R., Williams, C.J., Kormos, P.R., Al-Hamdan, O.Z., Boll, J. 2010. Use of Rainfall Simulation and Concentrated Flow Experiments to Characterize Rangeland Hydrologic and Erosional Processes in the Great Basin, USA. In: Proceedings of European Geosciences General Assembly, May 2-7, 2010, Vienna, Austria, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Volume 12, EGU2010-7674.

Interpretive Summary: Much of what is known about rangeland hydrology comes from short-term, poorly replicated studies of small (0.25 - 1 m2) field plots and personal observations of hydrologic behavior on gently sloping semi-arid shrub and grassland sites. Historical rangeland models have been largely based on these limited datasets and inferences from crop land studies. In recent years, we have sought to expand the inference space through the use of rainfall simulations and concentrated flow experiments from the small to large (13.5 – 32.5 m2) plot scales on steeply sloping, disturbed and undisturbed rangeland ecosystems. We present an overview of one such multi-year rainfall simulation study and highlight how the methodology and results specifically address current voids in the understanding of hydrology and erosion processes from steeply sloping, semi-arid rangeland landscapes. We further demonstrate how the methodologies and aggregated results from studies across a range of plant communities and degrees of disturbance reveal consistent trends in runoff and erosional behavior. The aggregated results advance the understanding of rangeland hydrology and erosion processes and present a well replicated dataset from which hydrologic model parameters can be derived.

Technical Abstract: Much of what is known about rangeland hydrology comes from short-term, poorly replicated studies of small (0.25 - 1 m2) field plots and personal observations of hydrologic behavior on gently sloping semi-arid shrub and grassland sites. Historical rangeland models have been largely based on these limited datasets and inferences from crop land studies. In recent years, we have sought to expand the inference space through the use of rainfall simulations and concentrated flow experiments from the small to large (13.5 – 32.5 m2) plot scales on steeply sloping, disturbed and undisturbed rangeland ecosystems. We present an overview of one such multi-year rainfall simulation study and highlight how the methodology and results specifically address current voids in the understanding of hydrology and erosion processes from steeply sloping, semi-arid rangeland landscapes. We further demonstrate how the methodologies and aggregated results from studies across a range of plant communities and degrees of disturbance reveal consistent trends in runoff and erosional behavior. The aggregated results advance the understanding of rangeland hydrology and erosion processes and present a well replicated dataset from which hydrologic model parameters can be derived.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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