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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANURE MANAGEMENT FOR REDUCTION OF HEALTH-RELATED MICROORGANISMS AND ODOR

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Runoff, erosion, and size distribution of sediment from beef cattle feedlots

Authors
item Gilley, John
item Berry, Elaine
item Eigenberg, Roger
item Marx, David -
item Woodbury, Bryan

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2011
Publication Date: April 21, 2011
Citation: Gilley, J.E., Berry, E.D., Eigenberg, R.A., Marx, D.B., Woodbury, B.L. 2011. Runoff, erosion, and size distribution of sediment from beef cattle feedlots. Transactions of the ASABE. 54(2): 435-440.

Interpretive Summary: The size distribution of sediment affects erosion rates, settling velocity, and the transport of chemical constituents. Little information is currently available concerning the size distribution of materials transported in runoff from beef cattle feedlots. The objectives of this study were to: a) measure the size distribution of materials transported in runoff from feedlot surfaces containing varying amounts of unconsolidated surface material (USM), and b) determine the effects of varying runoff rate on sediment size distribution. Simulated rainfall was applied to experimental plots located within feedlot pens. Sieve and pipette analyses were used to measure the diameter of the eroded materials. For each of the treatments with varying amounts of USM, D50 values, the size for which 50% of the sediment is smaller, were less than 63 µm. significant differences in D50 values were found among the feedlot surfaces containing varying amounts of USM. The proportion of larger size sediment fractions transported in runoff generally increased as runoff rate became greater. The size distribution of sediment from feedlots is influenced by both the amount of unconsolidated surface material and runoff rate.

Technical Abstract: The size distribution of sediment affects erosion rates, settling velocity, and the transport of chemical constituents. Little information is currently available concerning the size distribution of materials transported in runoff from beef cattle feedlots. The objectives of this study were to: a) measure the size distribution of materials transported in runoff from feedlot surfaces containing varying amounts of unconsolidated surface material (USM), and b) determine the effects of varying runoff rate on sediment size distribution. Simulated rainfall was applied to 0.75-m wide by 2-m long plots located within feedlot pens. Sieve and pipette analyses were used to measure the diameter of the eroded materials. For each of the treatments with varying amounts of USM, D50 values, the size for which 50% of the sediment is smaller, were less than 63 µm. Significant differences in D50 values were found between the feedlot surfaces containing 0 or 6.7 kg ha-1 of USM and those with 13.5 or 26.9 kg ha-1 of USM. The proportion of larger size sediment fractions transported in runoff generally increased as runoff rate became greater. No significant differences in D50 values were found for runoff rates varying from 0.5 to 9.7 kg min-1. The D50 value of 310 µm obtained at a flow rate of 15.3 kg min-1 was significantly greater than measurements for the other runoff rates. The size distribution of sediment from feedlots is influenced by both the amount of unconsolidated surface material and runoff rate.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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