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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The USDA-ARS North Appalachian Experimental Watershed

Authors
item Owens, Lloyd
item Bonta, James
item Malone, Robert
item Shipitalo, Martin

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) research station was created by Congressional legislation in the mid 1930's to study the effects of agricultural land management on water and erosion on single farms and on entire watersheds. In the 1960's, research was started on the NAEW watersheds to investigate the transport of persistent insecticides from cropland into surface water bodies. Studies of the movement of plant nutrients in surface and subsurface waters were begun soon after this and evaluated with regards to crop rotations, tillage tools, fertilization levels, and pasture grazing systems. Studies at the NAEW also included a comprehensive investigation into the effects of mining and reclamation on surface and groundwater hydrology and water quality. The 424 ha NAEW is in the unglaciated area of east central Ohio with conditions representative of significant portions of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Currently there are 18 small watersheds (0.3 to 3.0 ha) in operation. Each is instrumented with a H-flume for the measurement of surface runoff, which is sampled during each runoff event by a Coshocton wheel that collects flow-proportional samples. There are also 6 larger watersheds in operation, ranging from 30 to 120 ha. Another major feature of the research facility is the 11 monolith lysimeters maintained at 3 different sites. This allows for water-cycle studies under 3 different slopes, aspects, and soil types. Since its creation more than 60 years ago, the NAEW has expanded its mission from studying and developing management practices for reducing runoff and erosion to include surface and subsurface water quality, validation and development of chemical transport models, and the development of weather simulation and storm generator models.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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