Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab
Project Number: 5020-12130-001-00
Start Date: Dec 21, 2011
End Date: Dec 20, 2016
Laboratory studies will be used to gain process-level understanding on the effects of topographic driven surface water convergence and soil hydraulic gradient driven subsurface flow on sediment and chemical loadings. Landscape attributes affecting convergence of surface and subsurface flows will be used to validate the lab findings on conditions for channel initiation and chemical transport. To identify practices that optimize the benefits of no-till while minimizing risk of P losses, laboratory experiments will be used to test a large array of fertilizers and production practices. Plot scale experiments will be used to evaluate practices over a 5 to 10 yr period as they relate to soil and water quality. To identify practices that optimize drainage while maximizing nutrient removal, lab and streamside fluvaria will be utilized. Treatments of various materials including gravel and woodchips below stream sediment will be tested, as will use of various heights of sediment dams, to reduce nutrient losses in stream water. Controlled drainage on tile drained fields to optimize soil moisture status to reduce excess loss of nutrients, in combination with a soil amendment of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum will be evaluated. This project will continue to monitor runoff and water quality in subwatersheds of the St. Joseph River (SJR) in northeastern Indiana, and also conduct ecological studies through an SCA with Indiana-Purdue University Ft. Wayne and a cooperative project with ARS-Columbus. Detailed flow and pollutant data in the SJR subwatersheds are available from 2003-present, allowing for both uncalibrated, calibration, and validation studies with a number of watershed hydrology, sediment, and water quality models. The models can also be applied in a forecasting mode, to examine impacts of widespread or targeted placement and implementation of various land management practices (e.g. conservation tillage, different crop rotations, buffer strips, etc.) on predicted runoff and pollutant losses. Use of information from Global Environment Models will be downscaled to develop modified climate inputs to the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model. In-house and cooperative erosion model development, testing, and validation efforts will be conducted. Work will include maintenance of WEPP, including model scientific code, user interfaces, model databases, and user support. Cooperative efforts on development of a combined wind and water erosion model will be continued. A new WEPP-Water Quality model will be developed which will also allow examination of the impacts of projected future climate change on runoff, sediment, and chemical losses and how management practices to reduce these losses may change. Geostatistical scaling techniques will be applied and evaluated to allow linkage of various soil parameters (i.e., hydraulic conductivity, porosity) across scales ranging from a few hectares to subbasins of 10,000+ ha. Loading of endocrine disruptors and selected metabolites to the SJR will be examined for significant relationships between analytes. Through statistical correlation analysis, potential surrogate analytes will be identified.