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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Physical Properties of Partially Frozen Soils Affecting Spring Runoff

Authors
item Sharratt, Brenton
item Lindstrom, Michael
item Benoit, George - RETIRED ARS
item Young, Robert - RETIRED ARS
item Wilts, Alan

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 17, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Soil physical properties and the state of soil water at the time of snowmelt or rainfall event in the spring can affect infiltration into and runoff from soils in cold regions. This study assessed runoff during spring thaw from soils that varied in surface physical properties as a result of being subject to autumn moldboard plow or no-tillage in the northern U.S. Corn Belt. Runoff diminished as the soil profile thawed and dried in the spring. In addition, autumn tillage practices that promoted greater surface roughness, porosity, and retention of surface residue in the spring aided in minimizing runoff. Our study suggests that runoff is accentuated by the occurrence of ice in soil pores (frozen soil) and that tillage practices aimed at drying, thawing, roughening the surface, or enhancing residue cover will minimize runoff from northern Corn Belt soils in the spring.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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