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ANTECEDENT SOIL WATER FOR MANAGED LANDSCAPES IN CENTRAL ALBERTA

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE.  VOL. 43(6): 1467-1475 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.3045) @2000
Authors:   A. R. Burk, D. S. Chanasyk, E. Mapfumo
Keywords:   Total soil water, Forage, Pasture, Reclamation, Water retention

Land management practices are known to influence runoff through alteration of the antecedent soil water. For accurate estimation of runoff, direct measurement of antecedent soil water would be necessary. This study investigated antecedent soil water and the potential for summer storm runoff under different land management practices. The two-year study was conducted on five sites: three sites under forage (one on reclaimed mine lands), and two sites under pasture. Treatments included haying, mowing, fallow, and moderate and heavy livestock grazing. Soil water was measured with a neutron probe and was generally less than 50% of water holding capacity (dry conditions). During recharge periods, water increased to near field capacity, but soil water was close to wilting point for some measurement dates. Pasture sites were generally wetter than forage sites, with the difference being most pronounced on fallow treatments. The reclaimed site had generally lower total soil water than the unmined ones.

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