A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff

Leonard C. Kibet, Louis S. Saporito, Arthur L. Allen, Eric B. May, Peter J.A. Kleinman, Fawzy M. Hashem, Ray B. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rainfall is a driving force for the transport of environmental contaminants from agricultural soils to surficial water bodies via surface runoff. The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of antecedent soil moisture content on the fate and transport of surface applied commercial urea, a common form of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, following a rainfall event that occurs within 24 hr after fertilizer application. Although urea is assumed to be readily hydrolyzed to ammonium and therefore not often available for transport, recent studies suggest that urea can be transported from agricultural soils to coastal waters where it is implicated in harmful algal blooms. A rainfall simulator was used to apply a consistent rate of uniform rainfall across packed soil boxes that had been prewetted to different soil moisture contents. By controlling rainfall and soil physical characteristics, the effects of antecedent soil moisture on urea loss were isolated. Wetter soils exhibited shorter time from rainfall initiation to runoff initiation, greater total volume of runoff, higher urea concentrations in runoff, and greater mass loadings of urea in runoff. These results also demonstrate the importance of controlling for antecedent soil moisture content in studies designed to isolate other variables, such as soil physical or chemical characteristics, slope, soil cover, management, or rainfall characteristics. Because rainfall simulators are designed to deliver raindrops of similar size and velocity as natural rainfall, studies conducted under a standardized protocol can yield valuable data that, in turn, can be used to develop models for predicting the fate and transport of pollutants in runoff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51664
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number86
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2014

Fingerprint

Runoff
Rain
Soil
Soils
Urea
Soil moisture
Moisture
Fertilizers
Simulators
Harmful Algal Bloom
Water
Ammonium Compounds
Body Water
Nitrogen
Impurities

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this

Kibet, L. C., Saporito, L. S., Allen, A. L., May, E. B., Kleinman, P. J. A., Hashem, F. M., & Bryant, R. B. (2014). A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (86), [e51664]. https://doi.org/10.3791/51664
Kibet, Leonard C. ; Saporito, Louis S. ; Allen, Arthur L. ; May, Eric B. ; Kleinman, Peter J.A. ; Hashem, Fawzy M. ; Bryant, Ray B. / A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff. In: Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2014 ; No. 86.
@article{217a5ec6cb054851b8d704ddeea20635,
title = "A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff",
abstract = "Rainfall is a driving force for the transport of environmental contaminants from agricultural soils to surficial water bodies via surface runoff. The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of antecedent soil moisture content on the fate and transport of surface applied commercial urea, a common form of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, following a rainfall event that occurs within 24 hr after fertilizer application. Although urea is assumed to be readily hydrolyzed to ammonium and therefore not often available for transport, recent studies suggest that urea can be transported from agricultural soils to coastal waters where it is implicated in harmful algal blooms. A rainfall simulator was used to apply a consistent rate of uniform rainfall across packed soil boxes that had been prewetted to different soil moisture contents. By controlling rainfall and soil physical characteristics, the effects of antecedent soil moisture on urea loss were isolated. Wetter soils exhibited shorter time from rainfall initiation to runoff initiation, greater total volume of runoff, higher urea concentrations in runoff, and greater mass loadings of urea in runoff. These results also demonstrate the importance of controlling for antecedent soil moisture content in studies designed to isolate other variables, such as soil physical or chemical characteristics, slope, soil cover, management, or rainfall characteristics. Because rainfall simulators are designed to deliver raindrops of similar size and velocity as natural rainfall, studies conducted under a standardized protocol can yield valuable data that, in turn, can be used to develop models for predicting the fate and transport of pollutants in runoff.",
author = "Kibet, {Leonard C.} and Saporito, {Louis S.} and Allen, {Arthur L.} and May, {Eric B.} and Kleinman, {Peter J.A.} and Hashem, {Fawzy M.} and Bryant, {Ray B.}",
year = "2014",
month = "4",
day = "3",
doi = "10.3791/51664",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Visualized Experiments",
issn = "1940-087X",
publisher = "MYJoVE Corporation",
number = "86",

}

Kibet, LC, Saporito, LS, Allen, AL, May, EB, Kleinman, PJA, Hashem, FM & Bryant, RB 2014, 'A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff', Journal of Visualized Experiments, no. 86, e51664. https://doi.org/10.3791/51664

A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff. / Kibet, Leonard C.; Saporito, Louis S.; Allen, Arthur L.; May, Eric B.; Kleinman, Peter J.A.; Hashem, Fawzy M.; Bryant, Ray B.

In: Journal of Visualized Experiments, No. 86, e51664, 03.04.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff

AU - Kibet, Leonard C.

AU - Saporito, Louis S.

AU - Allen, Arthur L.

AU - May, Eric B.

AU - Kleinman, Peter J.A.

AU - Hashem, Fawzy M.

AU - Bryant, Ray B.

PY - 2014/4/3

Y1 - 2014/4/3

N2 - Rainfall is a driving force for the transport of environmental contaminants from agricultural soils to surficial water bodies via surface runoff. The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of antecedent soil moisture content on the fate and transport of surface applied commercial urea, a common form of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, following a rainfall event that occurs within 24 hr after fertilizer application. Although urea is assumed to be readily hydrolyzed to ammonium and therefore not often available for transport, recent studies suggest that urea can be transported from agricultural soils to coastal waters where it is implicated in harmful algal blooms. A rainfall simulator was used to apply a consistent rate of uniform rainfall across packed soil boxes that had been prewetted to different soil moisture contents. By controlling rainfall and soil physical characteristics, the effects of antecedent soil moisture on urea loss were isolated. Wetter soils exhibited shorter time from rainfall initiation to runoff initiation, greater total volume of runoff, higher urea concentrations in runoff, and greater mass loadings of urea in runoff. These results also demonstrate the importance of controlling for antecedent soil moisture content in studies designed to isolate other variables, such as soil physical or chemical characteristics, slope, soil cover, management, or rainfall characteristics. Because rainfall simulators are designed to deliver raindrops of similar size and velocity as natural rainfall, studies conducted under a standardized protocol can yield valuable data that, in turn, can be used to develop models for predicting the fate and transport of pollutants in runoff.

AB - Rainfall is a driving force for the transport of environmental contaminants from agricultural soils to surficial water bodies via surface runoff. The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of antecedent soil moisture content on the fate and transport of surface applied commercial urea, a common form of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, following a rainfall event that occurs within 24 hr after fertilizer application. Although urea is assumed to be readily hydrolyzed to ammonium and therefore not often available for transport, recent studies suggest that urea can be transported from agricultural soils to coastal waters where it is implicated in harmful algal blooms. A rainfall simulator was used to apply a consistent rate of uniform rainfall across packed soil boxes that had been prewetted to different soil moisture contents. By controlling rainfall and soil physical characteristics, the effects of antecedent soil moisture on urea loss were isolated. Wetter soils exhibited shorter time from rainfall initiation to runoff initiation, greater total volume of runoff, higher urea concentrations in runoff, and greater mass loadings of urea in runoff. These results also demonstrate the importance of controlling for antecedent soil moisture content in studies designed to isolate other variables, such as soil physical or chemical characteristics, slope, soil cover, management, or rainfall characteristics. Because rainfall simulators are designed to deliver raindrops of similar size and velocity as natural rainfall, studies conducted under a standardized protocol can yield valuable data that, in turn, can be used to develop models for predicting the fate and transport of pollutants in runoff.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84937982293&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84937982293&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3791/51664

DO - 10.3791/51664

M3 - Article

C2 - 24748061

AN - SCOPUS:84937982293

JO - Journal of Visualized Experiments

JF - Journal of Visualized Experiments

SN - 1940-087X

IS - 86

M1 - e51664

ER -

Kibet LC, Saporito LS, Allen AL, May EB, Kleinman PJA, Hashem FM et al. A protocol for conducting rainfall simulation to study soil runoff. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2014 Apr 3;(86). e51664. https://doi.org/10.3791/51664