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Armstrong, A. ., Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom, alona.armstrong@lancaster.ac.uk
Quinton, J. ., Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom, j.quinton@lancaster.ac.uk

SEDIMENT & NUTRIENT TRANSFER FROM AGRICULTURAL LAND: PROCESS INSIGHTS FROM LABORATORY SIMULATIONS AND FIELD EXPERIMENTATION

Sediment and sediment-associated nutrients play a pivotal role in influencing water quality and biodiversity. Agriculture is thought to be responsible for 50% of the sediments found in surface waters, and this, coupled with the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive, has made understanding and predicting the movement of these diffuse inputs from land to water increasingly important. Laboratory rainfall simulation experiments were undertaken in triplicate on 3%, 6%, and 9% slopes. Previous studies, which generally examined steeper slopes, observed an increase in sediment transfer with increasing slope. However, examination of 3%-9% slopes, which are more representative of agricultural landscapes, indicates a slope threshold exists between 3% and 6%, below which sediment transfer is higher. The higher sediment transfer is related to different processes as a consequence of increased water ponding and reduces as the system moves towards steady-state. The particle size distribution and nutrient content of the sediment was also measured. These results provide insights into the dominant sediment and nutrient transfer processes occurring on agricultural land. This process understanding is then applied to samples taken from field plots.

Session #:031
Date: 01-26-09
Time: 17:15

Presentation is given by student: No