Dataset: Woburn Erosion Reference Experiment soil erosion and surface runoff data

Citation:  John Quinton, Margaret Glendining, Kevin Coleman, Richard Ostler (2024). Woburn Erosion Reference Experiment soil erosion and surface runoff data Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research 10.23637/wrn20-sed-01
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Total soil loss from plot 7 on each of the 63 erosion events, 1989-1998

Total soil loss from plot 7 on each of the 63 erosion events, 1989-1998

Summary

The dataset contains details of the soil loss, runoff, sediment chemistry and texture, and water chemistry data for each erosion and runoff event from each plot of the Woburn Erosion Reference Experiment, 1989-1998. The experiment had eight plots, in a 2x2 factorial, with two blocks. Treatments were two directions of cultivation (cultivated and drilled parallel to the contour v up and down the slope) and two types of cultivation (standard cultivation, residue removed v minimal tillage, residues retained).

The total number of erosion events was determined by those occurring on Plot 7, which always produced runoff and erosion when any other plot was eroded, and occasionally when no other plot was. There were a maximum of 63 events, 1989-1998.

Crop yield and plot soil data is published separately.

Methods

The experiment was situated on a sandy soil at Woburn Experimental Farm (Great Hill II/III) on a slope of about five degrees (7-13%), which had been subject to periodic erosion since at least 1950. The eight plots were approximately 24 x 36m (0.086 ha), separated by grassed earth banks 1m wide and 30cm high which prevented runoff and eroded soil leaving the plots. The eroded soil and runoff were collected in tanks at the end of each plot after each erosion event. Four plots were cultivated and drilled parallel to the contour, and four up and down the slope. Four plots received conventional tilage and four minimal tillage. All plots grew the same crops each year, in a rotation typical of the sandy soils of Bedfordshire.

Technical Information

Minimal tillage: cereal straw chopped, potato haulms pulverised and retained and beet tops retained, both partially incorporated by shallow tines or discs to 10cm depth. Between crops soil was left in post-harvest condition, covered with stubble and crop residues until cultivated for the seedbed.

Conventional (standard) tillage: cereal straw baled and removed, potato haulm and beet tops raked up and removed, plots ploughed with a general purpose mouldboard plough to 25cm depth. Between crops soil was in bare fallow after ploughing. The plots can be crossed by farm machinery to allow cultivation.

Particle size distribution in the sediment was determined by the pipette method of Avery and Bascombe (1974).

Sediment and water elements P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Fe, Al, Ti, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mg, Mo, Ni, Pb and Sr concentrations were determined by ICP-OES spectrometry.

Total N and C were measured in the sediment, and NO3-N and NH4-N in the water

The sediment heavy metal data described by Quinton and Catt (2007) is from 1989-1994. Most of the raw data for 1992 has been lost and is not included in this dataset. Data for heavy metals in plot soil is not available. Summaries are reported in Quinton and Catt, 2007.

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Contributors

  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Nathalie Castells: Data manager
  • Richard Ostler: Project leader
  • Kevin Coleman: Project member
  • John Quinton: Data collector
  • Wendy Wilmer: Data collector
  • Adrian Crosland: Data collector
  • Jeanne Day: Data collector
  • Mark Durenkamp: Data collector

Dataset Access and Conditions

Rights Holder

Rothamsted Research

License

Creative Commons License This dataset is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (4.0).

Cite this Dataset

YOU MUST CITE AS: John Quinton, Margaret Glendining, Kevin Coleman, Richard Ostler (2024). Dataset: Woburn Erosion Reference Experiment soil erosion and surface runoff data Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research https://doi.org/10.23637/wrn20-sed-01

Please review our How to Credit Datasets guidance for more information.

Conditions of Use

Rothamsted relies on the integrity of users to ensure that datasets are used appropriately and Rothamsted Research receives suitable acknowledgment as being the originators of these data. Please review the Conditions of Use before downloading.

Table Of Contents

An Excel file, 01-wrn20sed.xlsx, contains the erosion and runoff data, for 1989-1998. Frictionless CSV files are provided for users who prefer CSV over Excel files. A README file contains extensive metadata information.

Sediment and water runoff chemistry data are from data files provided by John Quinton. Background information was also taken from Quinton and Catt, 2001, Quinton et al, 2006, Quinton and Catt 2007.

Once the data were entered into e-RA, they were independently back-checked against the original data sheets.

  • The dataset Woburn Erosion Reference Experiment soil erosion and surface runoff data is a published dataset from the e-RA Database. e-RA is part of the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments - National Bioscience Research Infrastructure (RLTE-NBRI), which also covers maintenance of the Long-Term Experiments, the Rothamsted Sample Archive and Rothamsted's environmental monitoring activities including the weather stations and its role in the UK Environmental Change Network
  • The RLTE-NBRI is funded by UK Research and Innovation - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UKRI-BBSRC) under award BBS/E/RH/23NB0007 (2023-2028). The RLTE-NBRI is also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust. e-RA has been part of a National Capability since 2012, previous awards from the BBSRC were Grants BBS/E/C/00005189 (2012-2017) and BBS/E/C/000J0300 (2017-2022)

Additional Funding sources

This project also received funding from the following sources

  • Rothamsted Research receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom. We acknowledge support from the Resilient Farming Futures Institute Strategic Programme (BB/X010961/1)
    - BBS/E/RH/230004A (WP1), BBS/E/RH/230004C (WP3)
  • AgZero+ : Towards sustainable, climate-neutral farming is an initiative jointly supported by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
    - BBS/E/C/RP1070414 (WP4)
  • Rothamsted Research receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom. We acknowledge support from the Growing Health (BB/X010953/1) Institute Strategic Programme
    - BBS/E/RH/230003C (WP3)
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For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: era@rothamsted.ac.uk