A Method for Observing Soil Re-Deposition and Soil Loss Rates in Large Field Experiments

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Yuch-Ping Hsieh, Glynnis C Bugna and Djanan Nemours, Florida A&M University, Center for Water and Air Quality, Tallahassee, FL, United States
The lack of quality soil erosion field data, which is required for the verification and calibration of soil erosion models, has been one of the serious problems in the soil conservation modeling today. Observing soil erosion of a relatively large field under truly unobstructed runoff conditions has rarely been done and doccumented. Report here is the results of our observation of soil erosion in a 7.3 ha peanut-cotton cropping system in the Mears Farm of Grand Ridge, FL. We used the mesh-pad method to quantify soil loss from the field and soil re-deposition in the field over the cropping season of 2010. The main slope (1-3 %) of the field is about 210 m long. We show that the amount of soil re-deposition was 50-150 times of the soil loss from the slope. The corresponding organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorous and silt and clay contents of the lost soil, however, were 20.9%, 21%, 17.6% and 14.2%, respectively, of the total amounts re-deposited on the slope. The amounts of soil loss predicted by a SWAT model was 10-20 times greater than our observed values. Soil erosion process was quite heterogeneous, as shown by the mesh-pad method, even on a seemingly uniform cultivated field. Soil erosion models need to be verified and calibrated by extensive quality field data in order to improve their performance.