U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version



Written for presentation at the 2001 ASAE Annual International Meeting. Sponsored by ASAE. Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, California, USA. July 30-August 1, 2001.


Riparian buffers are a promising tool in efforts to reduce sediment contribution to streams. Models that predict the capacity of buffers to trap sediment have recently been developed. A number of parameters that are required to conduct such modeling efforts are derived from the topography of the site. In this study, three topographic data sources were used to generate the model input for an agricultural field with a riparian buffer. The runoff and sediment transport in the system was then simulated for three years. As a result, the area that contributed runoff and sediment to the buffer was substantially different for each of the topographic data sources. In addition, the predicted runoff and sediment loss from the field was different for each case. Finally, the predicted sediment delivered to the stream was substantially affected by the accuracy of the topographic data source.