Submitted to: Catena
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2004
Publication Date: 3/8/2005
Citation: Muttiah, R.S., Harmel, R.D., Richardson, C.W. 2005. Discharge and sedimentation periodicities in small sized watersheds. Catena. 61(2-3):241-255. Interpretive Summary: Improved agricultural management practices have resulted in substantial reductions in soil erosion from cultivated agriculture. Although the impacts of excessive soil erosion are diminished, sediment loss still does contribute to problems such as potential crop productivity decreases and accelerated reservoir sedimentation. Therefore, innovative methods are needed to research and understand erosion processes. In this study, we used the wavelet method to analyze sediment movement in a small agricultural watershed. Our results illustrated the influence of terraces in the timing and behavior of sediment movement in relation to runoff patterns and timing. The study also provided an innovative method to evaluate runoff and sediment movement in larger watersheds.
Technical Abstract: We used wavelets to analyze the measured discharge and sedimentation during 2001 from the nested Agricultural Research Service watershed in Riesel Texas. Periodicities from wavelet spectra were interpreted in terms of experiments conducted on granular particle systems. Our time series analysis suggested 1): terracing in small watersheds can change nature of turbulence to an extent that sedimentation bears no relationship to flows, 2): fragmentation and shifting of sedimentation periodicities relative to discharge is common in upland erosion, and 3): sedimentation in transport flows displayed additional complex behavior involving recombination of discharge periodicities.