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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versão On-line ISSN 1806-9657


TIECHER, Tales et al. The contribution of sediment sources in a rural catchment under no-tillage. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2014, vol.38, n.2, pp.639-649. ISSN 1806-9657.

Knowledge of the main diffuse sources of sediment production can enhance efficiency in use of public resources invested in management strategies that seek to mitigate sediment transfer to waterways from catchment areas. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the sediment sources in a rural catchment with predominance of annual crops under a no-tillage system and with intense and inappropriate exploitation of natural resources (soil and water) by quantifying the relative contribution of roads and croplands in the overall production of sediments. Inappropriate exploitation is a result of a lack of planning of crop production areas and access pathways, both from the point of view of their location in the landscape, and of management practices which are incompatible with the conditions of soil fragility and relief. The catchment is located in the municipality of Julio de Castilhos, State of Rio Grande do Sul. The period under study was from May 2009 to April 2011. For identification of the sources we used the fingerprinting method, which compares the soils from different sources and the sediments in suspension in the drainage canal using tracer elements. Inadequate soil management in croplands, the lack of planning of access roads, and the absence of control practices for surface runoff compatible with the fragility brought about by the soil and topography of the watershed have caused the emergence of accelerated erosion with negative effects for the farmer and society. Roads represent a high percentage of contribution to sediment transfer, but the contribution of cropland increases with rainfall of high magnitude. This shows that the magnitude of rainfall events affects the proportion of contribution among sources throughout the year in the catchment area, affecting the process of mobilization of sediments and nutrients towards the drainage system.

Palavras-chave : fingerprinting approach; natural tracer elements; water erosion.

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