Water-Balance Techniques for Determining Available Soil-Water Storage for Selected Sandy and Clay Soil Study Sites in Cass County, North Dakota, 2016–17

Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5141
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
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Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, collected field and remotely sensed data on precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil-water content to determine available soil-water storage (AWS) at six study sites on sandy and clay soils in Cass County, North Dakota. Data were collected at all the study sites from May 1–October 31, 2016, and from May 1–October 24, 2017. Estimated daily AWS was determined using daily meteorological and potential evapotranspiration (PET) data obtained from various climate stations, and estimated monthly AWS was determined using monthly meteorological and PET data and monthly ET data determined using the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance model. AWS during 2016 and 2017 was determined at daily and monthly time steps because of data availability and to assess results using varying time steps. Comparisons of measured and estimated daily values of AWS at the Brewer Lake site indicated poor agreement during May–October 2016 and May–October 2017. Comparisons of measured and estimated daily values of AWS at the Embden East and Embden West sites indicated poor and fair agreement respectively. At the Lynchburg Crop and Lynchburg Grass sites, comparisons of measured and estimated daily values of AWS indicated fair and good relations, respectively, even with the possible effects of soil cracks. Mean estimated values of daily runoff plus soil percolation for the four sandy soil sites indicated that a maximum of about 19 percent of the estimated runoff plus soil percolation could be considered runoff and that the remaining 81 percent could be considered soil percolation, and for the two clay soil sites about 13 percent of the runoff plus soil percolation could have been considered runoff and about 87 percent could have been considered soil percolation. Results indicated little difference between using monthly PET or monthly ET in water-balance equations to estimate monthly AWS for the grouped sandy soil sites, and only slightly better results were obtained using monthly PET than monthly ET to estimate monthly AWS for the grouped clay soil study sites. Overall, the monthly water-balance models did not perform as well as the daily water-balance models for determining AWS at the six study sites. Additional data collection from a longer-period study and adjustments to the models may improve results from the monthly water-balance techniques.

Suggested Citation

Vining, K.C., 2020, Water-balance techniques for determining available soil-water storage for selected sandy and clay soil study sites in Cass County, North Dakota, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5141, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195141.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

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Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results of Water-Balance Techniques and Available Soil-Water Storage Analyses
  • Limitations
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water-balance techniques for determining available soil-water storage for selected sandy and clay soil study sites in Cass County, North Dakota, 2016–17
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2019-5141
DOI 10.3133/sir20195141
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Dakota Water Science Center
Description Report: vii, 39 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State North Dakota
County Cass County
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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