Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

7-2015

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Soil and Water Conservation

Volume

70

Issue

4

First Page

209

Last Page

217

DOI

10.2489/jswc.70.4.209

Abstract

Spatially nonuniform runoff reduces the water quality performance of constant-width filter strips. A geographic information system (GIS)-based tool was developed and tested that employs terrain analysis to account for spatially nonuniform runoff and produce more effective filter strip designs. The computer program, AgBufferBuilder, runs with ArcGIS versions 10.0 and 10.1 (Esri, Redlands, California) and uses digital elevation models to identify detailed spatial patterns of overland runoff to field margins. The tool then sizes filter dimensions according to those patterns using buffer area ratio relationships. The resulting design is larger along segments where more runoff flows and smaller along segments where runoff is less and delivers a constant level of trapping efficiency around the field margin for sediment and sediment-bound pollutants. The tool also can estimate trapping efficiency of existing filter strips or hypothetical configurations. In a validation test, estimates of sediment trapping efficiency using the tool's assessment function compared closely to measurements taken on large field plots in central Iowa. Using AgBufferBuilder, designs developed for a sample of fields in the midwestern United States were estimated to trap nearly double the sediment, on average, during a design storm than constant-width configurations having equivalent total filter area. AgBufferBuilder can be used to bolster environmental performance of filter strips where runoff is spatially nonuniform. The AgBufferBuilder tool is publicly available on the websites http://www2.ca.uky.edu/BufferBuilder and http://nac.unl.edu/tools/AgBufferBuilder.

Comments

This article is from Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 70 (2015): 209–217, doi:10.2489/jswc.70.4.209.

Access

Open

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf