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Modelling Runoff and Sediment Loads in a Developing Coastal Watershed of the US-Mexico Border

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
2
Department of Geography, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA 92182-4493, USA
3
Departamento de Geología, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Carretera Ensenada-Tijuana 3918, Zona Playitas, 22860 Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
4
National Sedimentation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Oxford, MS 38655, USA
5
Department of Rural Engineering, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, 14071, Spain
6
Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, 3535 Harbor Boulevard, Suite 110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
7
USEPA San Diego Border Liaison Office, 610 West Ash St., Suite 905, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
8
USEPA Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051024
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling of Soil Erosion and Sediment Transport)
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Abstract

Urbanization can increase sheet, rill, gully, and channel erosion. We quantified the sediment budget of the Los Laureles Canyon watershed (LLCW), which is a mixed rural-urbanizing catchment in Northwestern Mexico, using the AnnAGNPS model and field measurements of channel geometry. The model was calibrated with five years of observed runoff and sediment loads and used to evaluate sediment reduction under a mitigation scenario involving paving roads in hotspots of erosion. Calibrated runoff and sediment load had a mean-percent-bias of 28.4 and − 8.1, and root-mean-square errors of 85% and 41% of the mean, respectively. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) collected at different locations during one storm-event correlated with modeled SSC at those locations, which suggests that the model represented spatial variation in sediment production. Simulated gully erosion represents 16%–37% of hillslope sediment production, and 50% of the hillslope sediment load is produced by only 23% of the watershed area. The model identifies priority locations for sediment control measures, and can be used to identify tradeoffs between sediment control and runoff production. Paving roads in priority areas would reduce total sediment yield by 30%, but may increase peak discharge moderately (1.6%–21%) at the outlet. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil erosion; rainfall-runoff; sediment yield; AnnAGNPS model; urbanization; scenario analysis soil erosion; rainfall-runoff; sediment yield; AnnAGNPS model; urbanization; scenario analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Gudino-Elizondo, N.; Biggs, T.W.; Bingner, R.L.; Langendoen, E.J.; Kretzschmar, T.; Taguas, E.V.; Taniguchi-Quan, K.T.; Liden, D.; Yuan, Y. Modelling Runoff and Sediment Loads in a Developing Coastal Watershed of the US-Mexico Border. Water 2019, 11, 1024.

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