Assessing Risks of Impaired Hydrologic Function

by J. R. Maxwell, USDA, Forest Service, Chattahoochee-Oconee Natl Forests, Gainesville, GA, USA,
R. M. Solomon, USDA, Forest Service, Chattahoochee-Oconee Natl Forests, Gainesville, GA, USA,
L. J. Schmidt, USDA, Forest Service, Chattahoochee-Oconee Natl Forests, Gainesville, GA, USA,
R. A. LaFayette, USDA, Forest Service, Chattahoochee-Oconee Natl Forests, Gainesville, GA, USA,
W. T. Hanes, USDA, Forest Service, Chattahoochee-Oconee Natl Forests, Gainesville, GA, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Management in the Eighties

Abstract: This paper describes the rationale and use of a 'resource tolerance' to evaluate hydrologic function and presents a method to establish a relative tolerance threshold value. This tolerance threshold limit reflects unacceptable risks of sheet, rill, and gully erosion and increased runoff caused by decreased vegetal ground cover. These limits define the minium percent ground cover needed to maintain the hydrologic stability of watersheds and their component land units. This method has greatest application in arid and semiarid landscapes where land management strongly influences ground cover and where intense rainstorms, surface runoff and, gully erosion dominate fluvial processes.

Subject Headings: Vegetation | Arid lands | Land use | Risk management | Erosion | Runoff | Watersheds

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