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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 12 No. 4, p. 493-498
    Received: Jan 26, 1983

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Suspended Solids and Phosphorus Loads from a Clay Soil: I. Plot Studies1

  1. J. L. B. Culley,
  2. E. F. Bolton and
  3. V. Bernyk2



Phosphorus and suspended solids (SS) contents in tile discharge from two southwestern Ontario clay soil drainage experiments were measured over a 2-y period. For continuous corn (Zea mays L.) plots, loads of SS and total P were 407 and 0.88 kg ha−1 y−1, respectively. Suspended solids and total P loads from drains beneath permanent sod were 97 and 1.85 kg ha−1 y−1, respectively. Comparison of these results with limited data on P and SS loads in surface runoff indicated that >50% of the total P load from these nearly level plots may be lost via subsurface tile flow. Overall, 34% of the total P load from subsurface drains was sediment-associated. Furthermore, crop cover, P fertilization rate, and tile drain depth were found to significantly affect dissolved P export. Dissolved P concentrations in effluent from permanent bluegrass sod exceeded those from continuous corn and rotational plots. Subsurface sediment and sediment-associated P loads were highest from continuous corn. Greater soil cover over the tile line decreased both sediment and P concentrations. Sediment-associated P concentrations increased with P fertilization rate at one of the experimental locations.

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