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Numerical Approach to the Overland Flow Process in Vegetative Filter Strips

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE. 36(3): 761-770. (doi: 10.13031/2013.28395) @1993
Authors:   R. Muñoz-Carpena, J. E. Parsons, J. W. Gilliam
Keywords:   Vegetative filter strips, Flow, Modeling

Agricultural and other disturbed lands contribute to non-point source pollution of water bodies (streams and lakes). Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are often recommended to reduce off-site impacts. Design guidelines to optimize the performance of VFS are not readily available. A process-based model is presented to simulate the hydrology of a Vegetative Filter Strip for a given event. The model consists of a quadratic finite element overland flow submodel, based on the kinematic wave approximation, coupled with an infiltration submodel based on a modification of the Green-Ampt equation for unsteady rainfall. The model is used to study the effect of soil type, slope, surface roughness, buffer length, storm pattern and field inflow on the VFS performance. Filter performance, i.e., reduction of the runoff volume, velocity and peak, is higher for denser grass cover, smaller slopes and soils with higher infiltration capacity. Time to peak(s) depended mainly on the roughness-slope combination.

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