Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
Citation: VAN LIEW, M.W., STARKS, P.J., DANIEL, J.A., STEINER, J.L. THE LITTLE WASHITA RIVER EXPERIMENTAL WATERSHED. AVAILABLE FROM: http://www.swcs.org/t_what_2002conffollowup.htm SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY . Technical Abstract: The Little Washita River Experimental Watershed (LWREW) located in the Red River Basin of the Southern Great Plains near Chickasha, OK is one of USDA Agricultural Research Service's largest and best-instrumented watersheds. The LWREW drains an area of 610 square kilometers and is characterized by variations in topography, soils, and land use. The watershed is located within a steep precipitation gradient of the Southern Great Plains, making it ideal for conducting research on regional mass and energy fluxes at the earth's surface. The LWREW has been operated by ARS since the 1960s and provides a wealth of field and remotely sensed data. An automated meteorological network, consisting of 42 stations, spaced at 5 km intervals, provides 5-minute measurements of rainfall, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, and soil temperature. These variables as well as wind speed, wind direction, and air pressure are also monitored at three of the University of Oklahoma/Oklahoma State University Mesonet sites. Hourly measurements of soil matric potential, heat flux, and soil temperature are made at 12 soil heat and water measurement stations. Ten stream gages are located in the watershed, with three on the main stem of the river. Current research on the LWREW is designed to address problems that relate to the integrated effects of agricultural land use, land management and climate variability on surface and ground water resources and the use of remote sensing techniques to monitor and predict root zone water content and availability at regional scales. Research from these programs is expected to promote the sustainable use of water resources and to help reduce the risk associated with fluctuations in climate. Current research on the LWREW also serves in facilitating multi-stakeholder discussions for UNESCO's HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) in the Red-Arkansas River Basin.