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Surface runoff

About: Surface runoff is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 45130 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 1106367 citation(s). The topic is also known as: streamflow & runoff. more

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Agriculture and urban activities are major sources of phosphorus and nitrogen to aquatic ecosystems. Atmospheric deposition further contributes as a source of N. These nonpoint inputs of nutrients are difficult to measure and regulate because they derive from activities dispersed over wide areas of land and are variable in time due to effects of weather. In aquatic ecosystems, these nutrients cause diverse problems such as toxic algal blooms, loss of oxygen, fish kills, loss of biodiversity (including species important for commerce and recreation), loss of aquatic plant beds and coral reefs, and other problems. Nutrient enrichment seriously degrades aquatic ecosystems and impairs the use of water for drinking, industry, agriculture, recreation, and other purposes. Based on our review of the scientific literature, we are certain that (1) eutrophication is a widespread problem in rivers, lakes, estuaries, and coastal oceans, caused by overenrichment with P and N; (2) nonpoint pollution, a major source of P and N to surface waters of the United States, results primarily from agriculture and urban activity, including industry; (3) inputs of P and N to agriculture in the form of fertilizers exceed outputs in produce in the United States and many other nations; (4) nutrient flows to aquatic ecosystems are directly related to animal stocking densities, and under high livestock densities, manure production exceeds the needs of crops to which the manure is applied; (5) excess fertilization and manure production cause a P surplus to accumulate in soil, some of which is transported to aquatic ecosystems; and (6) excess fertilization and manure production on agricultural lands create surplus N, which is mobile in many soils and often leaches to downstream aquatic ecosystems, and which can also volatilize to the atmosphere, redepositing elsewhere and eventually reaching aquatic ecosystems. If current practices continue, nonpoint pollution of surface waters is virtually certain to increase in the future. Such an outcome is not inevitable, however, because a number of technologies, land use practices, and conservation measures are capable of decreasing the flow of nonpoint P and N into surface waters. From our review of the available scientific information, we are confident that: (1) nonpoint pollution of surface waters with P and N could be reduced by reducing surplus nutrient flows in agricultural systems and processes, reducing agricultural and urban runoff by diverse methods, and reducing N emissions from fossil fuel burning; and (2) eutrophication can be reversed by decreasing input rates of P and N to aquatic ecosystems, but rates of recovery are highly variable among water bodies. Often, the eutrophic state is persistent, and recovery is slow. more

5,265 citations


01 Mar 1997-
Abstract: Renard, K.G., G.R. Foster, G.A. Weesies, D.K. McCool, and D.C. Yoder, coordinators. Predicting Soil Erosion by Water: A Guide to Conservation Planning With the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook No. 703, 404 pp. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is an erosion model predicting longtime average annual soil loss (A) resulting from raindrop splash and runoff from specific field slopes in specified cropping and management systems and from rangeland. Widespread use has substantiated the RUSLE’s usefulness and validity. RUSLE retains the six factors of Agriculture Handbook No. 537 to calculate A from a hillslope. Technology for evaluating these factor values has been changed and new data added. The technology has been computerized to assist calculation. Thus soil-loss evaluations can be made for conditions not included in the previous handbook using fundamental information available in three data bases: CITY, which includes monthly precipitation and temperature, front-free period, annual rainfall erosivity (R) and twice monthly distributions of storm erosivity (E); CROP, including below-ground biomass, canopy cover, and canopy height at 15-day intervals as well as information on crop characteristics; and OPERATION, reflecting soil and cover disturbances that are associated with typical farming operations. more

4,036 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
17 Nov 2005-Nature
TL;DR: In a warmer world, less winter precipitation falls as snow and the melting of winter snow occurs earlier in spring, which leads to a shift in peak river runoff to winter and early spring, away from summer and autumn when demand is highest. more

Abstract: All currently available climate models predict a near-surface warming trend under the influence of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In addition to the direct effects on climate--for example, on the frequency of heatwaves--this increase in surface temperatures has important consequences for the hydrological cycle, particularly in regions where water supply is currently dominated by melting snow or ice. In a warmer world, less winter precipitation falls as snow and the melting of winter snow occurs earlier in spring. Even without any changes in precipitation intensity, both of these effects lead to a shift in peak river runoff to winter and early spring, away from summer and autumn when demand is highest. Where storage capacities are not sufficient, much of the winter runoff will immediately be lost to the oceans. With more than one-sixth of the Earth's population relying on glaciers and seasonal snow packs for their water supply, the consequences of these hydrological changes for future water availability--predicted with high confidence and already diagnosed in some regions--are likely to be severe. more

3,331 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: A generalization of the single soil layer variable infiltration capacity (VIC) land surface hydrological model previously implemented in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) general circulation model (GCM) is described. The new model is comprised of a two-layer characterization of the soil column, and uses an aerodynamic representation of the latent and sensible heat fluxes at the land surface. The infiltration algorithm for the upper layer is essentially the same as for the single layer VIC model, while the lower layer drainage formulation is of the form previously implemented in the Max-Planck-Institut GCM. The model partitions the area of interest (e.g., grid cell) into multiple land surface cover types; for each land cover type the fraction of roots in the upper and lower zone is specified. Evapotranspiration consists of three components: canopy evaporation, evaporation from bare soils, and transpiration, which is represented using a canopy and architectural resistance formulation. Once the latent heat flux has been computed, the surface energy balance is iterated to solve for the land surface temperature at each time step. The model was tested using long-term hydrologic and climatological data for Kings Creek, Kansas to estimate and validate the hydrological parameters, and surface flux data from three First International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project Field Experiment (FIFE) intensive field campaigns in the summer-fall of 1987 to validate the surface energy fluxes. more

2,926 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The term ''urban stream syndrome'' describes the consistently observed ecological degra- dation of streams draining urban land. This paper reviews recent literature to describe symptoms of the syndrome, explores mechanisms driving the syndrome, and identifies appropriate goals and methods for ecological restoration of urban streams. Symptoms of the urban stream syndrome include a flashier hy- drograph, elevated concentrations of nutrients and contaminants, altered channel morphology, and reduced biotic richness, with increased dominance of tolerant species. More research is needed before generaliza- tions can be made about urban effects on stream ecosystem processes, but reduced nutrient uptake has been consistently reported. The mechanisms driving the syndrome are complex and interactive, but most impacts can be ascribed to a few major large-scale sources, primarily urban stormwater runoff delivered to streams by hydraulically efficient drainage systems. Other stressors, such as combined or sanitary sewer overflows, wastewater treatment plant effluents, and legacy pollutants (long-lived pollutants from earlier land uses) can obscure the effects of stormwater runoff. Most research on urban impacts to streams has concentrated on correlations between instream ecological metrics and total catchment imperviousness. Recent research shows that some of the variance in such relationships can be explained by the distance between the stream reach and urban land, or by the hydraulic efficiency of stormwater drainage. The mech- anisms behind such patterns require experimentation at the catchment scale to identify the best management approaches to conservation and restoration of streams in urban catchments. Remediation of stormwater impacts is most likely to be achieved through widespread application of innovative approaches to drainage design. Because humans dominate urban ecosystems, research on urban stream ecology will require a broadening of stream ecological research to integrate with social, behavioral, and economic research. more

2,210 citations

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No. of papers in the topic in previous years

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Topic's top 5 most impactful authors

Jean Poesen

157 papers, 13.7K citations

Andrew N. Sharpley

94 papers, 16.9K citations

Tammo S. Steenhuis

94 papers, 5.1K citations

Artemi Cerdà

81 papers, 6.1K citations

William F. Hunt

68 papers, 1.8K citations