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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Watershed Physical Processes Research » Research » Research Project #443003

Research Project: Assessment of Conservation Practice Impacts on Water and Sediment Loads Using Enhanced USDA Field and Watershed Management Planning Technology

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research

Project Number: 6060-13000-029-026-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Apr 30, 2026

Assess water and soil erosion sources and contributions from agricultural watersheds and evaluate the impact that conservation practices have on improving water sustainability and reducing soil loss from these sources.

In order to better assess and predict watershed runoff, soil erosion, surface water - groundwater interactions, innovative remote sensing technology applications and decision support systems for watershed management are needed to describe soil and water transport processes. Hence, existing technology must be upgraded to assess and improve predictions for more realistic conditions, in particular those that are encountered within agricultural production areas. ARS and Middle Tennessee State University will work to analyze new or existing databases of agricultural practices, climatic records, remotely sensed data, and runoff and sediment observations to determine the past record of sheet and rill and ephemeral gully formation. New unmanned aerial vehicle topographic surveys and/or other multispectral surveys will be performed in agricultural fields in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Maryland, Vermont and Iowa to identify current gullies and distinguish between soil loss from sheet or rill and ephemeral gully sources. Water management and erosion prediction technology will be enhanced using the information obtained from the studies. This objective is related to NP 211, Component 1: Effective Water Management in Agriculture; and, Component 4: Watershed Management to Improve Agroecosystem Services.