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Infiltration Rates on Abandoned Road-Stream Crossings

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  035009,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15043) @2003
Authors:   Randy B. Foltz, Emilie Maillard
Keywords:   Road obliteration, road abandonment, hydraulic conductivity, interrill erosion, raindrop splash

Road obliteration, the process of removing culverts, restoring stream gradient, and recountouring the road to match the hillside, is one of the tools to deal with excess forest roads. After road obliteration former stream crossings are locations where sediment travel distances to the aquatic environment are short. A study to determine the infiltration characteristics and raindrop splash characteristics found that infiltration was approximately 10 mm/h for former roads that had been obliterated for 2 to 3 years. This value was less than typical forest floor values of 80 mm/h, but greater than road ones of 2 mm/h. Raindrop splash coefficients of 2.5 x 106 kg s / m4 were closer to road than to forest floor conditions. Even though the increase in infiltration was modest, an improvement from 2 to 10 mm/hr, results of WEPP model predictions of runoff events from 30-years of simulated climate indicated a large reduction in the number of runoff events from both rainfall as well as snowmelt events.

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