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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 4, p. 1166-1173
    Received: Oct 23, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): Cezar.Kongoli@noaa.gov
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Influence of Manure Application on Surface Energy and Snow Cover

  1. C. E. Kongoli *a and
  2. W. L. Blandb
  1. a NOAA/NESDIS/ORA, Atmospheric Research and Applications Division, 5200 Auth Rd., Rm. 601/WWB, Camp Springs, MD 20746-4304
    b Dep. of Soil Science, 1525 Observatory Drive, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706-1299


Application of manure to frozen and/or snow-covered soils of high-latitude, continental climate regions is associated with enhanced P losses to surface water bodies, but the practice is an essential part of most animal farming systems in these regions. Field experiments of the fates of winter-applied manure P are so difficult as to make them essentially impractical, so a mechanistic, modeling approach is required. Central to a mechanistic understanding of manure P snowmelt runoff is knowledge of snowpack disappearance (ablation) as affected by manure application. The objective of this study was to learn how solid manure applied to snow-covered fields modulates the surface energy balance and thereby snow cover ablation. Manure landspreading experiments were conducted in Arlington, WI during the winters of 1998 and 1999. Solid dairy manure was applied on top of snow at a rate of 70 Mg ha−1 in 1998, and at 45 and 100 Mg ha−1 in 1999. Results showed that the manure retarded melt, in proportion to the rate applied. The low-albedo manure increased absorption of shortwave radiation compared with snow, but this extra energy was lost in longwave radiation and turbulent flux of sensible and latent heat. These losses result in significant attenuation of melt peaks, retarding snowmelt. Lower snowmelt rates beneath manure may allow more infiltration of meltwater compared with bare snow. This infiltration and attenuated snowmelt runoff may partially mitigate the enhanced likelihood of P runoff from unincorporated winter-spread manure.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:1166–1173.