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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #227860

Title: Assessment of Watershed and Site-specific Characteristics in Relation to Streambank Erosion

item Kovar, John

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/9/2008
Publication Date: 10/9/2008
Citation: Tufekcioglu, M., Isenhart, T.M., Russell, J.R., Kovar, J.L., Schultz, R.C. 2008. Assessment of Watershed and Site-specific Characteristics in Relation to Streambank Erosion [CD-ROM]. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts, Oct. 5-9, 2008, Houston, TX.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: An emerging challenge in watershed-scale research is to not only quantify the amount of sediment contributed to receiving waters from various erosion processes but also to identify the extent of major source areas, and to develop management strategies to reduce sediment and nutrient inputs. In this on-going study, watershed and site-specific characteristics including basin area, drainage density, stream bed slope, length and sinuosity, land cover by stream order, eroded stream length and area, bank erosion rates and stocking rates (cow-days ha-1 yr-1) were calculated for the assessment of current watershed conditions and stream health. Total surveyed watershed area and stream length in the study were 163 km2 and 317 km, respectively. Our long-term objective for this project is to assess the current riparian land-uses and stream characteristics of the study sites and throughout the watersheds, and identify any interactions between stream bank erosion parameters and watershed and/or site-specific characteristics. Current watershed assessment showed that within the 50 m corridor on both sides of the stream, 46% to 61% of riparian area was devoted to agricultural use and only 6% to 11% was in CRP and with the rest mainly in unmanaged use. Intensive agricultural use in riparian areas can be directly related to excessive amounts of sediment and nutrient load to streams and lakes and their impairment of providing insufficient ecological services.