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Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas (MDMSEA)

Project Chief: Richard A. Rebich
Partners:
Period of Project: 1995-1999

Introduction

The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas (MDMSEA) Project began in 1995 with two purposes: 1) to assess how agricultural activities affect water quality; and 2) to evaluate Best Management Practices (BMPs) that mitigate agricultural nonpoint source pollution. The project is located in the northwestern portion of Mississippi, an area of intense agriculture referred to as the Mississippi Delta. The project is administered by a Technical Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Mississippi State University (MSU), Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency, Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District, and the Pyrethroid Working Group. The primary research agencies in the MDMSEA project are the USGS, ARS, and MSU.

The USGS began operating a streamflow and water-quality sampling network in the fall of 1995 as part of the MDMSEA project. The USGS network was funded cooperatively with MDEQ, Office of Pollution Control. The primary objective of the USGS network was to assess the effects of conventional and alternative agricultural management practices on runoff water quality.

Mississippi Delta MSEA study area image.

Figure 1. Mississippi Delta MSEA study watersheds and runoff monitoring site locations: A) Thighman Lake watershed (TL2 and TL3); B) Beasley Lake watershed (BL1, BL3, BL4, BL4a, and BL4b); C) Deep Hollow Lake watershed (UL1 and UL2).



Figure 2. Thighman Lake watershed and sub-watershed boundaries for USGS sites TL2 and TL3.

Figure 2. Thighman Lake watershed and sub-watershed boundaries for USGS sites TL2 and TL3.



Beasley Lake watershed and sub-watershed boundaries image.

Figure 3. Beasley Lake watershed and sub-watershed boundaries for USGS sites BL1, BL3, BL4, BL4a, and BL4b.



Deep Hollow Lake watershed and sub-watershed boundaries image.

Figure 4. Deep Hollow Lake watershed and sub-watershed boundaries for USGS sites UL1 and UL2.

USGS Site Locations

The MDMSEA project was focused on oxbow lake watersheds. These watersheds were considered closed systems because all of the runoff from the agricultural fields drained into the oxbow lakes. These lakes were, therefore, biological endpoints for upstream improvements. The three MDMSEA oxbow lake watersheds are located in Sunflower and Leflore Counties, Mississippi (fig. 1). The streamflow and water-quality sampling network of the USGS was established to characterize the runoff in each of the three watersheds and to evaluate as many BMPs or BMP combinations as possible. The sites were distributed among the three watersheds as follows:

1. Thighman Lake (TL) watershed (fig. 2, Thighman Lake is named on the USGS topographic map; however, Thighman Lake flows into Browns Bayou) -

    - 0728862211 Browns Bayou near Inverness, MS (TL2) is located on an inlet tributary of Thighman Lake. Data collected from this site were used to compute chemical and sediment loads entering the lake during runoff events from a large area of mixed crops to the north. The drainage area for TL2 is 1,470 acres.

    - 0728862210 Browns Bayou Tributary Number 3 near Inverness, MS (TL3) is an edge-of-field site located downstream of a conventional tillage cotton field, which has no BMPs. Runoff data collected at this site were compared to data collected from sites that have BMPs. The drainage area for TL3 is 14.4 acres.

2. Beasley Lake (BL) watershed (fig. 3) -

    - 0728862108 Beasley Lake Tributary number 1 near Indianola, MS (BL1) is an edge-of-field site used to evaluate the combination of filter strips and slotted-board risers as BMPs. BL1 is located in an open-channel ditch that is grassed and drains a large area of conventional tillage cotton. The drainage area for BL1 is 100 acres.

    - 0728862104 Beasley Lake Tributary number 3 near Indianola, MS (BL3) is an edge-of-field site used to evaluate the performance of a slotted-board riser pipe, by itself, as a BMP. Cotton was grown at this site every year except for 1998, in which corn was grown. The drainage area for BL3 is 17.8 acres.

    - 0728862107 Beasley Lake Tributary number 4 near Indianola, MS (BL4), 0728862105 Beasley Lake Tributary number 4a near Indianola, MS (BL4a), and 0728862106 Beasley Lake Tributary number 4b near Indianola, MS (BL4b) were used to assess the effects of a natural riparian zone on the quality of runoff. BL4 is located at the outlet of the riparian zone upstream of the lake entrance. BL4a and BL4b are located in the riparian zone downstream of the entrance. Most of the eastern part of Beasley Lake watershed, which has mixed crops of conventional cotton, soybeans, rice, and corn, drains through BL4a and BL4b and eventually through BL4. The drainage areas for BL4, BL4a, and BL4b are 809, 461, and 245 acres, respectively.

3. Deep Hollow Lake watershed (fig. 4, this lake is locally referred to as Deep Hollow, but it is unnamed on USGS topographic maps, hence the site names and the abbreviation, UL) -

    - 0728711610 Unknown Lake Tributary number 1 near Sidon, MS (UL1) drained both soybean and cotton fields that had a combination of conservation tillage and winter cover crops for BMPs. In addition, the culvert entrance at UL1 had a slotted-board riser. The drainage area for UL1 is 42.1 acres.

    - 0728711620 Unknown Lake Tributary number 2 near Sidon, MS (UL2) also drained fields planted in both soybean and cotton and had a combination of conservation tillage and winter cover crops as BMPs. The drainage area for UL2 is 25.4 acres.

USGS DATA AND SCIENTIFIC RESULTS

All of the data collected at the nine MDMSEA sites by the USGS were published in the annual data report series, "Water Resources Data - Mississippi." All of the data were also populated and archived in the databases of the USGS Mississippi District. The MDMSEA water-quality data through 2003 are available through the Internet as part of the National Water Information System web server (NWISweb) and can be accessed as follows (the station numbers listed below are hyperlinked to the web page for that particular site; the site locations in figures 2 to 4 are also hyperlinked to the same web pages):

Thighman Lake watershed:
0728862211 (TL2)
0728862210 (TL3)

Beasley Lake watershed:
0728862108 (BL1)
0728862104 (BL3)
0728862107 (BL4)
0728862105 (BL4a)
0728862106 (BL4b)

Deep Hollow Lake watershed:
0728711610 (UL1)
0728711620 (UL2)

With regard to flow data, NWISweb only serves mean daily values of flow for gage locations throughout Mississippi. Flow data from the USGS MDMSEA sites were from small drainage areas and were based on 1-minute or 5-minute recording intervals. Mean daily values of flow were considered meaningless and were not computed. For this reason, NWISweb is not configured to supply flow data from the MDMSEA project on the Internet. Flow data are available, upon request, from the project chief. The Mississippi District is currently developing a project that, if funded, will provide all of the USGS MDMSEA data, including flow, in a consolidated database. Once finished, the consolidated database will be available as a CD or through the Internet.

Statistical comparisons of the data from the different USGS sites were completed for several technical publications (see references): Rebich and Knight (2001), Rebich (2001a and 2001b), Rebich (2002), and Rebich (2004). Copies of these reports are available upon request unless under the proprietary ownership of individual journals. The primary research findings of the entire MDMSEA project (including the USGS findings) are summarized in Rebich and Knight (2001), which is available on this web page.



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THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS EVALUATION AREAS PROJECT, 1995-99 (File size - 8Mb)

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Publications

Suggested Publications:

Electronic or hard copies for any of the following reports are available upon request. For journals with proprietary copyrights, a link is available in the listing directing users to that particular journal's web site where a requested copy can be purchased.

  • Bastian, K.C., Thurman, E.M., and Rebich, R.A., 1998, Comparison of enzyme-linked immunoassay with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry for analysis of the cotton herbicide fluometuron, in Proceedings of the 28th Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 1998: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 45-55.

  • Pote, J.W., Rebich, R.A., and Schreiber, J.D., 1996, Assessment of agricultural nonpoint source pollution in the Mississippi Delta - Management Systems Evaluation Areas, in Proceedings of The Delta: Connecting Points of View for Sustainable Natural Resources Conference, August 13-16, 1996, Memphis, Tenn.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, p. 215-218.

  • Rebich, R.A. and Knight, S.S., eds., 2001, Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas Project, 1995-99: Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Information Bulletin 377, Mississippi State, Miss., 222 p.

  • Rebich, R.A., 1997, Streamflow and water-quality sampling network for the Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas (MSEA) project, in Proceedings of the 27th Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 1997: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 19-28.

  • Rebich, R.A., 2001a, Quality of runoff in the Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas Project, 1996-99, in Rebich, R.A. and Knight, S.S., eds., Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas Project, 1995-99: Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Information Bulletin 377, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 154-168.

  • Rebich, R.A., 2001b, Suspended sediment in runoff from Mississippi Delta MSEA project watersheds, 1996-99, in Proceedings of the 31st Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 2001: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 34-42.

  • Rebich, R.A., 2002, The effects of best management practices on agricultural runoff in the Mississippi Delta, 1996-2000, in Proceedings of the 32nd Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 2002: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., poster, p. 117.

  • Rebich, R.A., 2004, Suspended sediment and agrochemicals in runoff from agricultural systems in the Mississippi Delta - 1996-2000, in Nett, M.T., Locke, M.A., and Pennington, D.A, eds., Water Quality Assessments in the Mississippi Delta - Regional Solutions National Scope, American Chemical Society Symposium Series 877: American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, p. 104-118.

  • Rebich, R.A., Dabney, S.M., and Pote, J.W., 1999, The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas Project - current status and preliminary trends, in Proceedings of the 29th Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 1999: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 139-146.

  • Rebich, R.A., Schreiber, J.D., and Pote, J.W., 1995, Deterministic assessment of agricultural nonpoint source pollution in Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas, in Proceedings of the 25th Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 1995: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 16-23.

  • Rebich, R.A., Schreiber, J.D., and Pote, J.W., 1996, Partnerships within the Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area project, in Proceedings of The Delta: Connecting Points of View for Sustainable Natural Resources Conference, August 13-16, 1996, Memphis, Tenn.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, p. 219-231.

  • Rebich, R.A., Southwick, L.M., and Fouss, J.L., 2001, Insecticides in runoff in the Mississippi Delta MSEA Project - summary of data for 1996-99, in Rebich, R.A. and Knight, S.S., eds., Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Areas Project, 1995-99: Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Information Bulletin 377, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 169-175.

  • Schreiber, J.D., Rebich, R.A, and Cooper, C.M., 1999, Dynamics of diffuse pollution for US southern watersheds, in Barber, C., Humphries, R., and Dixon, J., eds., Proceedings of the International Conference on Diffuse Pollution - Solutions, Innovations, Western Australia, May 16-20, 1999: International Association on Water Quality, p.118-130.

  • Schreiber, J.D., Rebich, R.A., and Cooper, C.M., 2001, Comparison of sediment and nutrient transport and best management practices within the Yazoo River Basin, Mississippi, in Proceedings of the Seventh Federal Interagency Conference, March 25-29, 2001, Reno, Nev.: Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project, p.VIII36-VIII43.

  • Schreiber, J.D., Rebich, R.A., and Cooper, C.M., 2001, Dynamics of diffuse pollution from US southern watersheds: Water Research, v. 35, no. 10, p. 2534-2542.

  • Schreiber, J.D., Rebich, R.A., and Pote, J.W., 1996, The Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area (MSEA) Project, in Proceedings of the Sixth Federal Interagency Conference, March 10-14, 1996, Las Vegas, Nev.: Federal Interagency Sediment Project, p.VIII91-VIII95.

  • Southwick, L.M., Rebich, R.A., and Fouss, J.L., 2000, Mississippi Delta Management Systems Evaluation Area - insecticides in runoff, 1996-99, in Proceedings of the 30th Mississippi Water Resources Conference, 2000: Water Resources Research Institute, Mississippi State, Miss., p. 15-28.

  • Yuan, Y., Bingner, R.L., and Rebich, R.A., 2001, Evaluation of AnnAGNPS on Mississippi Delta MSEA watersheds: Transactions of the ASAE, v. 44(5), p. 1183-1190.

  • Yuan, Y., Bingner, R.L., and Rebich, R.A., 2003, Evaluation of AnnAGNPS nitrogen loading in an agricultural watershed: Journal of the American Water Resources Association, v. 39, no. 2, p. 457-466.



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