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Extensive land-use changes in Iowa have increased erosional processes and the amount of fines deposited on stream beds. Large amounts of fines cover the other bed substrate that are essential habitat for invertebrates and fish. In Iowa and other agricultural Midwestern states, riparian conservation land-uses are being established to minimize sediment inputs to streams. This study compared stream bed substrate composition in reaches adjacent to: riparian forest buffers, grass filters, row-cropped fields, pastures with cattle fenced out of the stream and continuous, rotational and intensively grazed rotational pastures, in three regions of Iowa. The objective was to examine the impacts of the adjacent riparian land-uses...
Quantifying and evaluating effects of best management practices (BMPs) on water quality is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of BMPs for minimizing pollutants. Watershed-scale evaluation of effects of BMP implementation on fecal bacteria and sediment yield can be estimated using a watershed water quality model, and strategies for identifying critical areas in a watershed can be pollutant specific. The soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model was used in the Upper Wakarusa watershed (950 km2) in northeast Kansas to explore effectiveness of vegetative filter strip (VFS) lengths applied at the edge of fields to reduce non-point source pollution. The Upper Wakarusa watershed is a high priority total maximum...
Summary A computational framework is presented for analyzing the uncertainty in model estimates of water quality benefits of best management practices (BMPs) in two small (<10 km2) watersheds in Indiana. The analysis specifically recognizes the significance of the difference between the magnitude of uncertainty associated with absolute hydrologic and water quality predictions, and uncertainty in estimated benefits of BMPs. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is integrated with Monte Carlo-based simulations, aiming at (1) adjusting the suggested range of model parameters to more realistic site-specific ranges based on observed data, and (2) computing a scaled distribution function to assess the effectiveness...
Excess phosphorus (P) in freshwater systems has been associated with eutrophication in agro-ecosystems of the US Midwest and elsewhere. A better understanding of processes regulating both soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and total phosphorus (TP) exports to tile-drains is therefore critical to minimize P losses to streams while maintaining crop yield. This paper investigates SRP and TP dynamics at a high temporal resolution during four spring storms in two tile-drains in the US Midwest. Depending on the storm, median concentrations varied between 0.006–0.025 mg/L for SRP and 0.057–0.176 mg/L for TP. For large storms (>6 cm bulk precipitation), for which macropore flow represented between 43 and 50% of total tile-drain...