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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #200202

Title: Continual Evaluation of Ditch Sediment and Phosphorus Dynamics in tile fed Drainage Ditches in the St. Joseph Watershed

item Smith, Douglas

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2006
Publication Date: 11/12/2006
Citation: Armstrong, S., Smith, D.R. 2006. Continual Evaluation of Ditch Sediment and Phosphorus Dynamics in tile fed Drainage Ditches in the St. Joseph Watershed. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. November 12-16, 2006. Indianapolis, IN. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Persistent phosphorus (P) amendments to agricultural land continue to be the leading cause of eutrophication and surface water degradation. Therefore, understanding P transport and interaction with agricultural drainage ditch sediments is vital for the development of effective predictive models and best management practices to reduce further P contamination. Our objective was to evaluate the P concentrations and equilibrium P concentration (EPC0) of tile drainage ditch sediments. Surface sediments were collected from a total of 7 sites within 3 tile-fed drainage ditches (A, B, and C) that drain approximately 300 to 4,300 ha. The sediments were sieved, analyzed for labile P and % organic matter (O.M.). The EPC0 was determined after performing a P isotherm. The average exchangeable P was the greatest in sediments from the smallest watersheds within ditches C (2.85 mg kg –1) and B (1.87 mg kg –1), which also had the highest clay and % O.M. Furthermore, the EPC0 values for sediments from the small watersheds within ditches B and C demonstrated the potential to act as a P source two out of five sampling dates. Sediments from the large watershed within ditches A and B that had a lower clay content also demonstrated the potential to act as a source, likely due to the % O.M. The results from this study have indicated that sediment characteristics such as particle size and % O.M. are vital influences on the sink and source relationship between ditch sediments and water, buffering capacity, and P behavior with in agricultural catchments.