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Quantifying the impact of no‐till on runoff in southern Brazil at hillslope and catchment scales

Abstract : No-till (NT) is a conservation system that improves the hydrological regime of agricultural slopes by providing greater surface protection and benefits to the physical and hydrological properties of soils. However, the isolated use of NT is not enough to control runoff and its associated degradation processes. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the runoff of agricultural slopes under NT under different runoff control conditions by monitoring 63 rainfall events in two 2.4-ha zero-order catchments and 27 rainfall events in four 0.6-ha macroplots. The catchments are paired and similar in terms of the type of soil and relief, but different regarding the presence of terraces. The macroplots have different soil and crop management systems. By using monitoring techniques, the hyetographs and hydrographs revealed the influence of the different types of management on the catchments and macroplots and allowed rainfall characteristics, runoff volume, runoff coefficients, water infiltration, peak runoff, response times, and curve number to be analyzed. The terraces positively affected the NT and controlled runoff and related variables, in addition to infiltration significantly increasing and runoff reducing in the terraced catchment. All the hydrological information assessed pointed to the positive effects provided by the presence of the terraces. The results in the macroplots showed that high amounts of phytomass and/or chiseling do not control runoff and its correlated variables in medium and high magnitude events. The study concludes by underlining the need for additional measures to control runoff (terraces), even in areas under NT and with high phytomass production. Additionally, the study emphasizes the importance of monitoring at the catchment scale to better understand the hydrological behavior of agricultural areas and provide the necessary parameters to effectively control runoff.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 9:32:13 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 4:31:48 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 6:23:14 PM


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A. L Londero, J. Minella, F. Schneider, D. Deuschle, D. Menezes, et al.. Quantifying the impact of no‐till on runoff in southern Brazil at hillslope and catchment scales. Hydrological Processes, Wiley, 2021, 35, pp.e14094. ⟨10.1002/hyp.14094⟩. ⟨cea-03143819⟩



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