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IMPACT OF PRECIPITATION CHARACTERISTICS IN NUTRIENT AND CARBON DELIVERY TO STREAMS IN ARTIFICIALLY DRAINED LANDSCAPES OF THE MIDWEST

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Title: IMPACT OF PRECIPITATION CHARACTERISTICS IN NUTRIENT AND CARBON DELIVERY TO STREAMS IN ARTIFICIALLY DRAINED LANDSCAPES OF THE MIDWEST
Author: Cuadra, Pilar E.
Advisor: Vidon, Philippe G.
Jacinthe, Pierre-Andre
Royer, Todd V.
Degree: M.S.
Degree Year: 2009
Department: Department of Earth Science
Grantor: Indiana University
Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/1805/2060
Abstract: Although many studies have investigated the impact of tile drainage on nitrate and pesticide export from cropland to streams, little information is known about the primary hydrological controls of tile flow response to precipitation events and its impact on N, P and C transport in artificially drained landscapes of the US Midwest. This study investigated 1) the relationship between precipitation characteristics and tile flow response at a high temporal resolution during storms; 2) the relative importance of macropore and matrix flow in tile flow and in N, P and C transport to tile drains; and 3) the impact of storm characteristics in N, P and C fluxes/export rates. The study was conducted between April and June 2008, in an agricultural tile drained soybean field, representative of agro-ecosystems of the US Midwest near Indianapolis, IN. For the 8 storms analyzed, results showed that bulk precipitation amount was the best predictor of mean and maximum tile flow, time to peak and runoff ratio. The contribution of macropore flow to total flow increased with precipitation amount, representing between 11% and 50% of total drain flow, with peak contributions between 15% and 74% of flow. For large storms (> 6 cm rainfall), cations data indicated a dilution of groundwater with new water as discharge peaked. Although no clear indication of dilution was observed for smaller storms (< 4 cm rainfall), macropore flow still contributed between 11% and 17% of total flow. For large storms, the transport of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total phosphorous (TP) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) was found to be regulated mainly by macropore flow while nitrate transport was regulated mainly by matrix flow. For smaller storms, macropore flow dominated DOC and TP transport while SRP and nitrate transport was dominated by matrix flow. These results significantly increase our understanding of the hydrological functioning of tile drained fields and its interaction with N, P and C transport in spring, which is the time of the year during which most water and N losses from tile drains occur in the Midwest.
Keywords: Artificial Drainage, Nutrient Transport, Macropores
LC Subject: Precipitation (Meteorology)
Drainage
Agricultural engineering
Environmental impact analysis
Date: 2010-02-02
Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Appears in Collections: Earth Sciences Department Theses and Dissertations


 

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