Date of Award:

1-1-1998

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Watershed Sciences

Advisor/Chair:

Helga Van Miegroet

Abstract

Soil erosion was assessed at Camp Williams National Guard Base by creating an erosion risk classification map and comparing the erosion impact of disturbance regimes on different hillslopes. Soil erosion does not appear to be a problem for most of Camp Williams.

The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation was applied using GIS to create a soil erosion risk map for the entire Camp Williams facility. The map indicated where problem areas occurred and showed relative erosion risk, but its lack of quantitative accuracy should be noted. Areas of concern included landscapes with little or no protective vegetation such as roads, abandoned agricultural fields, and sensitive riparian areas where gullies tend to form and expand.

The Water Erosion Prediction Project model was used to evaluate the erosion impacts of various disturbances on five study hillslopes. The model did not appear to function well on the Camp Williams study hillslopes because the distribution of infiltration rates could not be satisfactorily represented. However, hydraulic conductivity measurements collected for this task were useful in providing insight into some of the physical processes of erosion. The hydraulic conductivity measurements showed some of the impacts of military activities, grazing, and wildfire on soil properties.

Erosion bridges were also used on the five study hillslopes in an attempt to measure soil Joss and deposition. However, the bridges Jacked the capability of measuring the low rates of erosion during the time period set for this experiment. The bridges showed potential for measuring erosion in rills, gullies, highly disturbed areas, or in longer duration experiments.

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