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Long-Term Agroecosystem Research in the Central Mississippi River Basin: Goodwater Creek Experimental Watershed and Regional Herbicide Water Quality Data

R. N. Lerch, C. Baffaut, E. J. Sadler, R. J. Kremer
Journal of environmental quality 2015 v.44 no.1 pp. 28-36
agroecosystems, analytical methods, argillic horizons, caves, clay fraction, claypan soils, data collection, groundwater, herbicides, infiltration (hydrology), mass transfer, mineralogy, rivers, streams, water quality, watersheds, Corn Belt region, Iowa, Mississippi River, Missouri
Goodwater Creek Experimental Watershed (GCEW) has been the focus area of a long-term effort to document the extent of and to understand the factors controlling herbicide transport. We document the datasets generated in the 20-yr-long research effort to study the transport of herbicides to surface and groundwater in the GCEW. This long-term effort was augmented with a spatially broad effort within the Central Mississippi River Basin encompassing 12 related claypan watersheds in the Salt River Basin, two cave streams on the fringe of the Central Claypan Areas in the Bonne Femme watershed, and 95 streams in northern Missouri and southern Iowa. Details of the analytical methods, periods of record, number of samples, study locations, and means of accessing these data are provided. In addition, a brief overview of significant findings is presented. A key finding was that near-surface restrictive soil layers, such as argillic horizons of smectitic mineralogy, result in greater herbicide transport than soils with high percolation and low clay content. Because of this, streams in the claypan soil watersheds of northeastern Missouri have exceptionally high herbicide concentrations and relative loads compared with other areas of the Corn Belt.