Applicability of an empirical runoff estimation method in central Greece
In order to assess the water runoff on the sloping cultivated fields of Central Greece, an experiment was carried out from 1997 to 2000. The following treatments were used: three tillage methods, viz. conventional tillage, reduced tillage with heavy cultivator and disk-harrow: two with or without winter cover crop, two parallel and perpendicular to the contour tillage and planting directions. An existing methodology for predicting runoff was evaluated and improved, which is based on the estimation of pending time for the different tillage systems in the study area under rainfall. An equation predicting the time to ponding was used obtaining data from infiltration experiments using double-cylinder infiltrometers in the field. The surface runoff of each rain storm was estimated by combining the appropriate infiltration equation with the rain intensity data, taking into consideration not only the excess rainfall rate over the infiltration rate, but also the surface detention. Measured runoff was used to test the validity of the USDA-Soil Conservation Service (SCS) curve number method in the region. The results from this test indicated that this prediction runoff method may not be used in the region without the proper modifications to suit the rainfall in the region. The developed model could be used to successfully estimate runoff and erosion in the area. It was found that the combination of equations of time to incipient ponding and the maximum surface storage capacity of topsoil, could explain about 85% of the existing runoff variation. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.