Terraces

Title

Terraces

Series Title

The Iowa Watershed Approach

Number

WQ 0028

Files

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Publication Date:

4-2018

Status

Current

Description

What are terraces?

A terrace is an earthen embankment constructed across a field slope, typically following the contour, and can be designed to temporarily store runoff or convey runoff to waterways. Terraces break up the slope length of the field into multiple shorter slope sections, slowing the flow rate of runoff, reducing sheet and rill erosion and preventing the formation of ephemeral gullies. As terraces temporarily store and slowly infiltrate or discharge runoff, they conserve soil moisture, reduce streamflow by 5%, allow sediment to settle out, and reduce phosphorus loads by 77%. Terraces improve the ability to farm slopes and are designed based on equipment needs. Additionally, terrace vegetation can provide cover for wildlife. Terraces should be used in conjunction with other soil conservation practices on the landscape to prevent sedimentation.

Language

en

Disclaimer

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publications in the Iowa State University Digital Repository are made available for historical purposes only. The information contained in these publications may be out of date. For current publications and information from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, please visit

Terraces

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