Combined use of radioisotope tracer, flow rate, specific conductance and suspended-sediment measurements on a large field plot near Stanford, California, has provided more detailed information on surface and subsurface storm runoff processes than would be possible from any single approach used in isolation. Although the plot was surficially uniform, the runoff processes were shown to be grossly nonuniform, both spatially over the plot, and laterally and vertically within the soil. The three types of processes that have been suggested as sources of storm runoff (Horton-type surface runoff, saturated overland flow, and rapid subsurface throughflow) all occurred on the plot. The nonuniformity of the processes supports the partial- and variable-source area concepts. Subsurface storm runoff occurred in a saturated layer above the subsoil horizon, and short travel times resulted from flow through macropores rather than the soil matrix. Consideration of these observations would be necessary for physically realistic modeling of the storm runoff process. ?? 1978.
Additional publication details
A field evaluation of subsurface and surface runoff. II. Runoff processes