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Erosion from Four Rural Unpaved Road Segments in the Stillwater Creek Watershed

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

Citation:  Watershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and Emerging TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the Third Conference 5-9 March 2005 (Atlanta, Georgia USA) Publication Date 5 March 2005  701P0105.(doi:10.13031/2013.18124)
Authors:   C. M. Peranich, D.J. Turton and M.D. Smolen
Keywords:   Erosion, sediment, roads, road erosion, low volume roads, unpaved roads

Four rural unpaved road segments in the Stillwater Creek, Oklahoma watershed were selected for erosion measurements. The 4 road segments ranged from 160250 m in length, were crowned, and had bar ditches on both sides that drained directly into streams. Sediment traps were connected to each bar ditch and consisted of a settling trough, an H-flume to measure discharge and a pumping sampler. A data logger controlled data retrieval and storage. Each sediment trap collected erosion from one half of the road area and the associated bar ditch and cut slope. Data from 26 storms was collected during June-November, 2004. Storm precipitation and maximum intensities ranged from 3 to 56 mm and 3 to 100 mm/hr respectively. Total erosion from the four segments produced by individual storms ranged from 16 to 53,100 kg/ha. Cumulative erosion from each segment through the study period was 89,800;112,000; 122,000; and 246,000 kg/ha. Mean erosion across the segments was 140,000 kg/ha (294,600 kg/ha/yr) or 85 Mg/km (180 Mg/km/yr). If we assume that all of the 479 km of rural unpaved roads in the Stillwater Creek watershed eroded at our mean rate of 140,000 kg/ha, the total estimated quantity of sediment eroded for the 26 storms from rural unpaved roads in the watershed is 86,200 Mg.

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