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    Author(s): James H. Patric
    Date: 1981
    Source: Res. Pap. NE-469. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 20p.
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Northeastern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.48 MB)


    On May 24, 1978, heavy rain caused flash flooding on densely forested land near Parsons, in Tucker County, West Virginia. Poststorm evidences of soil and water behavior were examined in detail on soils related to the Dekalb and Leetonia series. Other flash floods struck seven forested sections of the state in August. Less detailed observation after these storms centered on the Weikert-Berks soil complex. Erosion in perennial channels was severe at all of the storm sites. Ephemeral channels had eroded severely in May but not in August, an effect attributed to higher soil moisture in May. Rain infiltrated completely into most of the forest floor during all of the storms; thus, overland flow occurred only when soils became saturated by infiltrated water draining downslope. Erosion of mineral soil was not apparent on the forest floor, regardless of steepness, even on grazed and cutover land. Neither did logging roads erode seriously. Rain was insufficient to cause widespread erosion by debris avalanching. Sediment production during these rare phenomenal storms was estimated to range from 3 to 10 tons per acre, a rate of loss comparable to the annual losses claimed for farmland. Water relations were similar on all of the soils observed, to the extent that each responded as predicted by the concept of variable source area for the origin of streamflow on forest soil.

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    Patric, James H. 1981. Soil-water relations of shallow forested soils during flash floods in West Virginia. Res. Pap. NE-469. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 20p.

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