Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Parola, Arthur C.


Pond sediments; Soil erosion--Kentucky


A potential source of fine grained suspended sediments in a stream system is the upper hillslopes of the drainage. Quantifying the sediment produced and transported to a stream from these hillslopes is challenging because of the complex nature of sediment production and transport. Therefore, a field method utilizing farm ponds as sediment catchments was developed to relate entrapped sediment volume and weight to hillslope erosion yields. The study area was located in the western portion of the Benson Creek watershed in the Bluegrass Region of central Kentucky. The soil is highly erosive because it is residuum from exposed friable shale (Eden Shale). This highly erosive nature creates high concentrations of fine-grained suspended sediments in surface water. The rate of sediment produced from the hillslopes and transported to the stream networks was estimated by dividing the total weight of sediment entrapped by a pond by its age and drainage area. Pond sediment volumes were measured via a bathymetric survey, and the weight was estimated in three different ways. First, the average bulk density from a pond core was multiplied by the estimated volume of the pond sediment. Secondly, a distributed bulk density relationship between core density and core length was developed. From this relationship, new density values were calculated and multiplied by the sediment volume, which resulted in a total weight of sediment. Lastly, after removing all of the unconsolidated material from the samples, a distributed bulk density relationship was developed as above. The various calculated sediment yields then were compared to results from a Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation v.2 model.