Mississippi State University
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Forest Resources
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Low grade rip rap weirs installed in agricultural surface drainage ditches manage downstream eutrophication by slowing water flow, allowing sediments time to settle out of the water column and phosphorus (P) to sorb to soil. A laboratory experiment was conducted in microcosm chambers to simulate increased hydraulic residence time caused by weirs and two field studies were conducted to compare experimental data with field data and determine sediment deposition rates. One field study monitored weirs monthly after installation and the other measured weirs of varying ages. Weirs retained significantly more water and sediment than controls. Longer inundation times led to abiotic factors known to release P during hydrologic flux, but did not translate to reduced P storage. By converting intermittently inundated sediments into more consistently saturated sediments, weirs function as a viable conservation practice for about a year until temporary P retention mechanisms and sediment retention capacities are reached.
Usborne, Elizabeth Louise, "Sediment and phosphorus dynamics behind weirs in agricultural drainage ditches" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 5637.