Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

9-1-2021

Journal or Book Title

Agricultural Water Management

Volume

255

First Page

107002

Research Focus Area(s)

Land and Water Resources Engineering

DOI

10.1016/j.agwat.2021.107002

Abstract

Farmed prairie potholes are small, isolated depressions frequently classified as semi-permanent wetlands that make up a significant portion of land area in the Des Moines Lobe (DML) of the larger Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Historically, these depressions have been subjected to significant drainage to improve their agricultural capacity. However, many assessments of the economic return of continuing to farm these depressions suggest that continued attempts to produce conventional row crops is not profitable and has other ecological consequences beyond crop drownout. This study expands the existing discussion of land use and drainage alternatives in a watershed modeling context. This study utilized the Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source (AnnAGNPS) model to individually simulate the long-term hydrology of 6 prairie potholes using a matrix of land use and drainage modifications. Results suggest the presence of artificial drainage is the dominant factor in prairie pothole hydrology, while retirement and no-till practices can provide moderate reductions in flood inundation. Conservation tillage induces minimal change on flood metrics. Results show that average annual maximum inundated surface area is reduced by at most 50% across all simulations and the median annual days flooded could be reduced by 25 days, though this is less consistent when isolating high-precipitation years. Regardless of drainage status, in all scenarios there are, on average, more than two inundations events per year lasting 2–4 days. Longer events occur approximately once per year on average. Area inundation frequency curves suggest up to a 20% reduction in maximum pothole area inundated annually can be achieved at the 2-year return frequency. The availability of this data helps characterize the hydrology of farmed potholes more generally over a wide range of conditions, providing a reference for the prioritization of potholes for conservation or alternative management.

Comments

This is a manuscript of an article published as Nahkala, Brady A., Amy L. Kaleita, and Michelle L. Soupir. "Characterization of prairie pothole inundation using AnnAGNPS under varying management and drainage scenarios." Agricultural Water Management 255 (2021): 107002. DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2021.107002. Posted with permission.

Access

Embargoed

Copyright Owner

Elsevier B.V.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Available for download on Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Published Version

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