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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL RESPONSE TO CONSERVATION TILLAGE IN A COTTON-PEANUT ROTATION Title: Quantifying variable rainfall intensity events on runoff and sediment losses

Authors
item Truman, Clinton
item Potter, Thomas
item Nuti, Russell

Submitted to: Water Resources Management
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 14, 2011
Publication Date: May 23, 2011
Citation: Truman, C.C., Potter, T.L., Nuti, R.C. 2011. Quantifying variable rainfall intensity events on runoff and sediment losses. In: Brebbio, C.A., Popov, V. editors. Water Resources Management VI. WIT Press, Southampton, UK. p 275-283.

Interpretive Summary: We quantified runoff and sediment losses from a Tifton loamy sand managed under conventional- (CT) and strip- (ST) tillage and planted to peanuts. Simulated rainfall was applied at planting, 30 days after planting, and after harvest during the peanut growing season with rainfall events comprised of variable intensity (Iv) patterns representative of each time or season (spring=IvSPR, summer=IvSUM, fall=IvFALL). Runoff ranged from 9-22% of the rainfall applied for the three events. The most runoff occurred from CT-IvFALL plots; the least occurred from ST-IvSUM plots. Maximum runoff rates were 7-20% of the maximum intensity and occurred 3-8 min after maximum intensity peaks. Sediment yields ranged from 93-1268 lb/A. The most sediment occurred from CT-IvSPR plots; the least occurred from ST-IvSUM plots. As for tillage, CT plots had 38% more runoff and 2.7-fold more sediment than ST plots over the three events. The largest difference in runoff (2.4-fold) and sediment (3.8-fold) among CT and ST plots occurred in the fall (IvFALL). Results improve our understanding of when runoff and sediment losses are highest at critical times during a peanut growing season, and show how ST is effective in limiting those losses.

Technical Abstract: Coastal Plain soils in Georgia are susceptible to runoff, sediment, and chemical losses from short duration-high intensity, runoff producing storms at critical times during the growing season. We quantified runoff and sediment losses from a Tifton loamy sand managed under conventional- (CT) and strip- (ST) tillage and planted to peanuts. Simulated rainfall was applied at planting, 30 days after planting, and after harvest during the peanut growing season with rainfall events comprised of variable intensity (Iv) patterns representative of each time or season (spring=IvSPR, summer=IvSUM, fall=IvFALL). Simulated rainfall was applied to 2x3-m plots (n=3) for each treatment. Runoff and sediment were measured from each 2x3-m plot. Runoff ranged from 9-22% of the rainfall applied for the three events. The most runoff occurred from CT-IvFALL plots; the least occurred from ST-IvSUM plots. Maximum runoff rates were 7-20% of the maximum intensity and occurred 3-8 min after maximum intensity peaks. Sediment yields ranged from 105-1420 kg/ha. The most sediment occurred from CT-IvSPR plots; the least occurred from ST-IvSUM plots. Runoff and sediment curves had similar shapes as their corresponding rainfall intensity pattern. As for tillage, CT plots had 38% more runoff and 2.7-fold more sediment than ST plots over the three events. The largest difference in runoff (2.4-fold) and sediment (3.8-fold) among CT and ST plots occurred in the fall (IvFALL). Results improve our understanding of when runoff, sediment, and chemical losses are highest at critical times during a peanut growing season, and show how ST is effective in limiting those losses.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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