Spatial Distribution and Morphology of Sediments in Texas Southern High Plains Wetlands

Carlos Villareal, Richard Zartman, Wayne Hudnall, Dennis Gitz, Kenneth Rainwater, Loren Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Playas are depressional geomorphic features on the U.S. High Plains. About 20,000 Southern High Plains playa wetlands serve as runoff catchment basins, which are thought to be focal points of Ogallala aquifer recharge. Sediments in playas can alter biodiversity services, impede aquifer recharge, and increase evaporative water losses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of watershed cultivation systems on post-cultural sediment deposition in 3 pairs of cropland/native grassland playas in Briscoe, Floyd, and Swisher counties of Texas. A hydraulic probe was used to collect soil cores to 2 m or to refusal depth at 25 possible locations in each playa. Particle size distribution and soil color effectively identified sediment additions to the playas. Soil color transitions with depth from very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) to very dark gray (10YR 3/1) were always found in cropland playas but not in grassland playas. Particle size distribution was more useful in identifying
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalTexas Water Journal
StatePublished - May 2012


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