Hydrologic and Water Quality Functions of a Disturbed Wetland in an Agricultural Setting1

Authors

  • Justin S. Rogers,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Students (Rogers, Hoffmann), Professors (Potter, Hoopes), Associate Professor (Wu), Emeritus Professor (Armstrong), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 [Rogers now at HDR Engineering, Inc., San Diego, California 92123].
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  • Kenneth W. Potter,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Students (Rogers, Hoffmann), Professors (Potter, Hoopes), Associate Professor (Wu), Emeritus Professor (Armstrong), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 [Rogers now at HDR Engineering, Inc., San Diego, California 92123].
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  • Adam R. Hoffman,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Students (Rogers, Hoffmann), Professors (Potter, Hoopes), Associate Professor (Wu), Emeritus Professor (Armstrong), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 [Rogers now at HDR Engineering, Inc., San Diego, California 92123].
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  • John A. Hoopes,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Students (Rogers, Hoffmann), Professors (Potter, Hoopes), Associate Professor (Wu), Emeritus Professor (Armstrong), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 [Rogers now at HDR Engineering, Inc., San Diego, California 92123].
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  • Chin H. Wu,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Students (Rogers, Hoffmann), Professors (Potter, Hoopes), Associate Professor (Wu), Emeritus Professor (Armstrong), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 [Rogers now at HDR Engineering, Inc., San Diego, California 92123].
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  • David E. Armstrong

    1. Respectively, Graduate Students (Rogers, Hoffmann), Professors (Potter, Hoopes), Associate Professor (Wu), Emeritus Professor (Armstrong), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 [Rogers now at HDR Engineering, Inc., San Diego, California 92123].
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  • 1

    Paper No. JAWRA-08-0082-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until December 1, 2009.

(E-Mail/Potter: kwpotter@engr.wisc.edu)

Abstract

Abstract:  In 2006, we collected flow, sediment, and phosphorus (P) data at stream locations upstream and downstream of a small degraded wetland in south-central Wisconsin traversed by a stream draining a predominantly agricultural watershed. The amount of sediment that left the wetland in the two largest storms, which accounted for 96% of the exported sediment during the observation period, was twice the amount that entered the wetland, even though only 50% of the wetland had been inundated. This apparently anomalous result is due to erosion of sediment that had accumulated in the low-gradient channel and to the role of drainage ditches, which trapped sediment during the wetland-filling phase. In the case of total P, the inflow to the wetland approximately equaled the outflow, although the wetland sequestered 30% of the incoming dissolved reactive P. The discrepancy is almost certainly due to net export of sediment. Many wetlands in the glaciated midwestern United States are ditched and traversed by low-gradient channels draining predominantly agricultural areas, so the processes observed in this wetland are likely to be common in that region. Knowledge of this behavior presents opportunities to improve water quality in this and similar regions.

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