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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316635

Research Project: Invasive Species Assessment and Control to Enhance Sustainability of Great Basin Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Vegetation canopy cover effects on sediment and salt loading in the upper Colorado River Basin Mancos shale, Price and Ferron, Utah

Author
item CADARET, ERIK - Desert Research Institute
item Blank, Robert - Bob
item MCGWIRE, KEN - Desert Research Institute
item NOUWAKPO, SAYJRO - University Of Nevada
item ROSSI, COLLEEN - Bureau Of Land Management
item Weltz, Mark
item ADAMS, TODD - University Of Nevada
item BOIZET, ALICE - University Of Nevada
item Li, Sandra
item Morgan, Tye

Submitted to: Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2015
Publication Date: 4/19/2015
Citation: Cadaret, E., Blank, R.R., Mcgwire, K., Nouwakpo, S.K., Rossi, C., Weltz, M.A., Adams, T., Boizet, A., Li, S.Y., Morgan, T.A. 2015. Vegetation canopy cover effects on sediment and salt loading in the upper Colorado River Basin Mancos shale, Price and Ferron, Utah . Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference Proceedings. 1621-1629.

Interpretive Summary: The Price River contributes only 1 percent of the water but 3 percent of the total dissolved solids in the Colorado River. To investigate mechanisms driving salinity loads in the Price river basin we are focusing on the saline and sodic soils associated with the Mancos Shale formation. Rainfall simulations have been performed at study areas across a variety of slope angle and rainfall intensity to evaluate the effects vegetation has on salinity and sediment concentration in runoff. A 6x2 meter, computer-controlled Walnut Gulch rainfall simulator was ran with rainfall event intensities derived from the NOAA ATLAS 14 precipitation database: 2 year (5.08 cm/hour), 10 year (8.89 cm//hour), 25 year (11.43 cm/hour), and 50 year (13.97 cm/hour) and each intensity was replicated three times at each site. For each simulated rainfall event, we measured the time-varying concentration of major cations (Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and Ammonium) and anions (Chlorine, Sulfate, Nitrite, and Nitrate) in runoff. We are also comparing depth-varying soil chemistry in soil cores at vegetated and un-vegetated areas to identify the effects of plants on soil chemistry distribution. Results of these simulations will be used to parameterize the dynamic Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) for saline and sodic soils of the Price rangeland areas and to assess the feasibility of mitigation strategies for reducing salinity loads to the Colorado River.

Technical Abstract: The Price River contributes only 1 percent of the water but 3 percent of the total dissolved solids in the Colorado River. To investigate mechanisms driving salinity loads in the Price river basin we are focusing on the saline and sodic soils associated with the Mancos Shale formation. Rainfall simulations have been performed at study areas across a variety of slope angle and rainfall intensity to evaluate the effects vegetation has on salinity and sediment concentration in runoff. A 6x2 meter, computer-controlled Walnut Gulch rainfall simulator was ran with rainfall event intensities derived from the NOAA ATLAS 14 precipitation database: 2 year (5.08 cm/hour), 10 year (8.89 cm//hour), 25 year (11.43 cm/hour), and 50 year (13.97 cm/hour) and each intensity was replicated three times at each site. For each simulated rainfall event, we measured the time-varying concentration of major cations (Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and Ammonium) and anions (Chlorine, Sulfate, Nitrite, and Nitrate) in runoff. We are also comparing depth-varying soil chemistry in soil cores at vegetated and un-vegetated areas to identify the effects of plants on soil chemistry distribution. Results of these simulations will be used to parameterize the dynamic Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) for saline and sodic soils of the Price rangeland areas and to assess the feasibility of mitigation strategies for reducing salinity loads to the Colorado River.