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Soil Mixing and Delivery System for a Storm Runoff Simulator

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009044.(doi:10.13031/2013.29790)
Authors:   Thomas G Franti, David P Shelton, William C Alms
Keywords:   Hydrograph simulator, runoff, sediment, erosion, conservation buffers.

A storm runoff simulator to test conservation buffers created in earlier phases of this project, reproduced target hydrographs and sedi-graphs using uniform, fine sand; however, it was unable to uniformly mix and deliver native sediment. The objectives of the work reported here were to create a method to process native agricultural sediment, mix a uniform sediment slurry at a target concentration, and create a control system that will deliver the slurry in varying flow rates corresponding to a target sedi-graph. Eroded silty clay (6% sand) was scraped, dried, and processed with a hammer mill. A sand (97% sand) and loam (44% sand) were scrapped, dried, and screened for organic debris and large clods. Each soil type was mixed by an axial flow impeller in a 1890-L cone-bottom tank. Recirculation through a trash pump was used to further break down aggregates, and develop and maintain a uniform sediment concentration in the tank. Outflow control was with pressurized flow through a V-Port ball valve. The sediment mixing system was capable of producing concentrations within 3.3% of the target concentration with a maximum test concentration of 0.294 kg L-1 with the silty clay soil. Simulated hydrographs had a NSE of 0.998 and a RMSE of 0.06 L s-1, and a peak flow rate within 1% of the target flow. Simulated sedigraphs with silty clay had similar performance. Neither the sandy soil, nor the loam were successfully delivered through the system to match target sedi-graphs. The sand could not be uniformly mixed in the tank, but the loam was uniformly mixed to the target concentration.

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