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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sediment Transport Processes in Agricultural Watersheds

Authors
item Kuhnle, Roger
item Bennett, Sean
item Alonso, Carlos
item Bingner, Ronald
item Langendoen, Eddy

Submitted to: International Journal of Sediment Resources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Accurate measurement and prediction of the rates of erosion and movement of sediments (soils, sands, gravels) by rivers and streams from agricultural lands is an important task. Erosion of the land reduces fertility of the soil, pollutes surface waters, and may reduce the storage capacity of reservoirs and the capacity of channels to convey flood waters. Any long term management program must take into account the movement of sediment through a watershed. Studies at the National Sedimentation Laboratory (NSL) of the processes involved in the erosion and movement of sediment by streams and rivers have been conducted in the laboratory and in experimental watersheds. New approaches to more accurately measure flow and sediment transport rates are being developed and tested at the NSL. This research has yielded information which has improved our understanding of the sources of sediment in a watershed and improved our capability to predict the rates of sediment transport from watersheds. Continuing research at the laboratory will increase our knowledge of the movement of sediment in streams and rivers and improve our ability to predict and manage the sediments in agricultural watersheds.

Technical Abstract: Determination of the total sediment load at selected points in agricultural watersheds is important for evaluating the status of a land area. Total sediment load data allows the identification of trouble spots where the land surface is eroding at rates too high to allow sustainable agriculture and/or is producing sediment at rates such that aquatic organisms in nearby streams will be adversely affected. The development of effective sampling strategies and accurate computational models requires accurate information on the processes by which sediment is transported. Researchers at the National Sedimentation laboratory are developing and testing new methods to measure and predict sediment transport. Through the use of new methods and techniques, important advancements in the measurement and prediction of sediment transport are being made by researchers of the NSL.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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