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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The ARS Little Washita River Experimental Watershed

Authors
item Van Liew, Michael
item Starks, Patrick

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2000
Publication Date: October 1, 2000

Technical Abstract: The Little Washita River Experimental Watershed (LWREW) located near Chickasha, OK is one of ARS' largest and best-instrumented watersheds. Operated by the USDA ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory, the LWREW drains an area of 610 square kilometers and is characterized by marked variability in topographic, soils, and land use conditions. The watershed is located within a steep precipitation gradient of the Southern Great Plains, making it ideal for conducting research on regional mass and energy fluxes at the earth's surface. The LWREW has been operated by ARS since the 1960s and provides a wealth of available field and remotely sensed data. An automated meteorological network, consisting of 42 stations, spaced at 5 km intervals, provides 5-minute measurements of precipitation, air temperature, relative humidity, and soil temperature. Hourly measurements of soil matric potential, heat flux, and soil temperature are made at 13 soil, heat, and water measurement stations. Ten stream gages are located in the watershed, with three on the main stem of the river. Current research on the LWREW is designed to address problems of national concern that relate to the exchange of water and energy to, within, and from managed agricultural ecosystems; how these processes are affected by changes in land cover and land use; the effect of scale on hydrologic response; and the interactions of climate, land surface hydrology and agriculture. Research from these programs is expected to provide better linkages between general circulation models, terrestrial climate, hydrologic processes and agricultural activities.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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