Science Inventory

Evaluation of Soil Erosion and Sediment Yield from Ridge Watersheds Leading to Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico, Using SWAT Model

Citation:

Yuan, Y. AND W. Hu. Evaluation of Soil Erosion and Sediment Yield from Ridge Watersheds Leading to Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico, Using SWAT Model. 2017 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, WA, Spokane, July 16 - 19, 2017.

Impact/Purpose:

Presentaion at the 2017 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Description:

Increased sediment loading to reservoirs and, ultimately, to Guánica Bay and reef areas is a significant concern in Puerto Rico. Sediment deposition has significantly reduced storage capacity of reservoirs, and sediment-attached contaminants can stress corals and negatively impact reef health. In this study, we examined sediment yield from an upper mountainous watershed, Yahuecas, contributing sediment to Lago Yahuecas reservoir and eventually Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico to gain a better understanding on sediment loss. This watershed was chosen because it was the only watershed where runoff was monitored in Guánica Bay basin. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was calibrated and validated using four and half years of flow data (07/1980 to 01/1985) from the Yahuecas Watershed. Five and half years of suspended sediment (SS) concentration data (04/2000 to 09/2005) from the adjacent Adjuntas watershed was used to calibrate sediment simulation of the model since no sediment data were available for Yahuecas. After calibration and validation, SWAT was used to evaluate temporal-spatial soil erosion and sediment yield, and assess factors that impact sediment yield. From 1975 to 2011, about 80% of annual sediment yield occurred during the two rainy seasons (February to May and August to November). Heavy rainfall, erodible soils and steep mountain slopes were the primary causes of sediment yield in the Yahuecas watershed. Land use which reduces the protective forest canopy (like sun-grown coffee farming) can exacerbate soil loss. More sediment per hectare was lost from areas producing coffee than forested or grass-covered areas. Conversion of coffee farming practices from sun-grown to shade-grown will reduce soil erosion and sediment yield.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Product Published Date: 07/19/2017
Record Last Revised: 07/19/2017
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 336983

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION