Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds

Andrew N. Sharpley, Peter J A Kleinman, A. Louise Heathwaite, William J. Gburek, Jennifer Weld, Gordon J. Folmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most states in the USA have adopted P Indexing to guide P-based management of agricultural fields by identifying the relative risk of P loss at farm and watershed scales. To a large extent, this risk is based on hydrologic principles that frequently occurring storms can initiate surface runoff from fields. Once initiated, this hydrological pathway has a high potential to transport P to the stream. In regions where hydrologically active areas of watersheds vary in time and space, surface runoff generation by "saturation excess" has been linked to distance from stream, with larger events resulting in larger contributing distances. Thus, storm-return period and P loss from a 39.5-ha mixed-land-use watershed in Pennsylvania was evaluated to relate return-period thresholds and distances contributing P to streams. Of 248 storm flows between 1997 and 2006, 93% had a return period of 1 yr, contributing 47% of total P (TP) export, while the largest two storms (10-yr return period) accounted for 23% of TP export. Contributing distance thresholds for the watetshed were determined (50-150 m) for a range of storm-return periods (1-10 yr) from hydrograph analysis. By modifying storm-return period thresholds in the P Index and thereby contributing distance, it is possible to account for greater risk of P loss during large storms. For instance, increasing return period threshold from 1 (current P indices) to 5 yr, which accounted for 67% of TP export, increased the P-management restricted area from 20 to 58% of the watershed. An increase in impacted area relative to a decreased risk of P loss creates a management-policy dilemma that cannot be ignored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1488-1496
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Fingerprint

return period
Watersheds
Phosphorus
watershed
phosphorus
Runoff
runoff
loss
hydrograph
Land use
Farms
farm
saturation
land use

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Sharpley, A. N., Kleinman, P. J. A., Heathwaite, A. L., Gburek, W. J., Weld, J., & Folmar, G. J. (2008). Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds. Journal of Environmental Quality, 37(4), 1488-1496. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2007.0381
Sharpley, Andrew N. ; Kleinman, Peter J A ; Heathwaite, A. Louise ; Gburek, William J. ; Weld, Jennifer ; Folmar, Gordon J. / Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds. In: Journal of Environmental Quality. 2008 ; Vol. 37, No. 4. pp. 1488-1496.
@article{1a7ad4faec4c48dc856475ef42d28aa0,
title = "Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds",
abstract = "Most states in the USA have adopted P Indexing to guide P-based management of agricultural fields by identifying the relative risk of P loss at farm and watershed scales. To a large extent, this risk is based on hydrologic principles that frequently occurring storms can initiate surface runoff from fields. Once initiated, this hydrological pathway has a high potential to transport P to the stream. In regions where hydrologically active areas of watersheds vary in time and space, surface runoff generation by {"}saturation excess{"} has been linked to distance from stream, with larger events resulting in larger contributing distances. Thus, storm-return period and P loss from a 39.5-ha mixed-land-use watershed in Pennsylvania was evaluated to relate return-period thresholds and distances contributing P to streams. Of 248 storm flows between 1997 and 2006, 93{\%} had a return period of 1 yr, contributing 47{\%} of total P (TP) export, while the largest two storms (10-yr return period) accounted for 23{\%} of TP export. Contributing distance thresholds for the watetshed were determined (50-150 m) for a range of storm-return periods (1-10 yr) from hydrograph analysis. By modifying storm-return period thresholds in the P Index and thereby contributing distance, it is possible to account for greater risk of P loss during large storms. For instance, increasing return period threshold from 1 (current P indices) to 5 yr, which accounted for 67{\%} of TP export, increased the P-management restricted area from 20 to 58{\%} of the watershed. An increase in impacted area relative to a decreased risk of P loss creates a management-policy dilemma that cannot be ignored.",
author = "Sharpley, {Andrew N.} and Kleinman, {Peter J A} and Heathwaite, {A. Louise} and Gburek, {William J.} and Jennifer Weld and Folmar, {Gordon J.}",
year = "2008",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2134/jeq2007.0381",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "37",
pages = "1488--1496",
journal = "Journal of Environmental Quality",
issn = "0047-2425",
publisher = "ASA/CSSA/SSSA",
number = "4",

}

Sharpley, AN, Kleinman, PJA, Heathwaite, AL, Gburek, WJ, Weld, J & Folmar, GJ 2008, 'Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds', Journal of Environmental Quality, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 1488-1496. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2007.0381

Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds. / Sharpley, Andrew N.; Kleinman, Peter J A; Heathwaite, A. Louise; Gburek, William J.; Weld, Jennifer; Folmar, Gordon J.

In: Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 37, No. 4, 01.07.2008, p. 1488-1496.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Integrating contributing areas and indexing phosphorus loss from agricultural watersheds

AU - Sharpley, Andrew N.

AU - Kleinman, Peter J A

AU - Heathwaite, A. Louise

AU - Gburek, William J.

AU - Weld, Jennifer

AU - Folmar, Gordon J.

PY - 2008/7/1

Y1 - 2008/7/1

N2 - Most states in the USA have adopted P Indexing to guide P-based management of agricultural fields by identifying the relative risk of P loss at farm and watershed scales. To a large extent, this risk is based on hydrologic principles that frequently occurring storms can initiate surface runoff from fields. Once initiated, this hydrological pathway has a high potential to transport P to the stream. In regions where hydrologically active areas of watersheds vary in time and space, surface runoff generation by "saturation excess" has been linked to distance from stream, with larger events resulting in larger contributing distances. Thus, storm-return period and P loss from a 39.5-ha mixed-land-use watershed in Pennsylvania was evaluated to relate return-period thresholds and distances contributing P to streams. Of 248 storm flows between 1997 and 2006, 93% had a return period of 1 yr, contributing 47% of total P (TP) export, while the largest two storms (10-yr return period) accounted for 23% of TP export. Contributing distance thresholds for the watetshed were determined (50-150 m) for a range of storm-return periods (1-10 yr) from hydrograph analysis. By modifying storm-return period thresholds in the P Index and thereby contributing distance, it is possible to account for greater risk of P loss during large storms. For instance, increasing return period threshold from 1 (current P indices) to 5 yr, which accounted for 67% of TP export, increased the P-management restricted area from 20 to 58% of the watershed. An increase in impacted area relative to a decreased risk of P loss creates a management-policy dilemma that cannot be ignored.

AB - Most states in the USA have adopted P Indexing to guide P-based management of agricultural fields by identifying the relative risk of P loss at farm and watershed scales. To a large extent, this risk is based on hydrologic principles that frequently occurring storms can initiate surface runoff from fields. Once initiated, this hydrological pathway has a high potential to transport P to the stream. In regions where hydrologically active areas of watersheds vary in time and space, surface runoff generation by "saturation excess" has been linked to distance from stream, with larger events resulting in larger contributing distances. Thus, storm-return period and P loss from a 39.5-ha mixed-land-use watershed in Pennsylvania was evaluated to relate return-period thresholds and distances contributing P to streams. Of 248 storm flows between 1997 and 2006, 93% had a return period of 1 yr, contributing 47% of total P (TP) export, while the largest two storms (10-yr return period) accounted for 23% of TP export. Contributing distance thresholds for the watetshed were determined (50-150 m) for a range of storm-return periods (1-10 yr) from hydrograph analysis. By modifying storm-return period thresholds in the P Index and thereby contributing distance, it is possible to account for greater risk of P loss during large storms. For instance, increasing return period threshold from 1 (current P indices) to 5 yr, which accounted for 67% of TP export, increased the P-management restricted area from 20 to 58% of the watershed. An increase in impacted area relative to a decreased risk of P loss creates a management-policy dilemma that cannot be ignored.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=47249128554&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=47249128554&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2134/jeq2007.0381

DO - 10.2134/jeq2007.0381

M3 - Article

C2 - 18574180

AN - SCOPUS:47249128554

VL - 37

SP - 1488

EP - 1496

JO - Journal of Environmental Quality

JF - Journal of Environmental Quality

SN - 0047-2425

IS - 4

ER -