Chickasha, Oklahoma, USA 1966-1974

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The Chickasha R5 catchment from Heppner and Loague (2008)

Location and Scale[edit]

The 9.6 ha R-5 catchment is located near Chickasha, Oklahoma, in the Washita River Experimental Watershed, R-5 was monitored by the Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), along with 3 other catchments subject to different rangeland land management methods.


1966 - 1974


Data for periods 1962-1974

  • Catchment Treatment Rainfall (mm) Runoff (mm) Sediment Yield (kg/ha)
  • R-5 9.6 grazed 760 42 68
  • R-6 11.0 ha grazed 753 46 346
  • R-7 7.8 ha overgrazed 738 136 5791
  • R-8 11.2 ha overgrazed 742 100 8600

For R5 surface runoff was of the order of 5% of rainfall, evapotranspiration 65% and subsurface outflows 30%


The R-5 catchment is underlain by the Permian-aged Chickasha formation that dips slightly to the southwest and is composed of a heterogeneous mix of shale, siltstone, and sandstone, with some soluble strata near the top of the formation. Hydraulic conductivity of the Chickasha Formation, measured on saturated core samples using a constant-head permeameter, range from 2.8 × 10−11 to 1.8 × 10−8 m s−1. Th e R-5 soils are silt loam Mollisols belonging to the Renfrow (51%), Grant (43%), and Kingfisher (6%) series.


Low slope rangeland watershed

Vegetation / Land Use[edit]

Th e land use and vegetative cover in Fig. 1b are gleaned from a single survey conducted in 1983 (Loague and Gander, 1990) and from 1968, 1981, and 2004 aerial photographs. Th e 1983 vegetation distribution (Fig. 1b) is dominated by native blue stem (Andropogon gerardii), blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), and buff alo (Buchloe dactyloides) grasses. During the study period, land use at R-5 consisted of carefully managed livestock grazing.


Data are available for the catchment as follows (see Heppner and Loague, 2008):

  • Precipitation 1966–1974
  • Temperature 1966–1974
  • Solar radiation 1966–1974
  • Land cover Nov. 1983
  • Topography initial survey plus 454 points 1966, 1983, 1987
  • Soil texture Nov. 1983
  • Infiltration rate Sept.–Nov. 1983
  • Stream discharge 1966–1974
  • Soil-water content 1968–1974
  • Sediment discharge 1966–1974

The long-term R-5 precipitation dataset comes from a tipping-bucket type gauge located in the southwest corner of the catchment. Surface runoff and sediment discharge were measured at the v-notch weir at the southern end of the catchment. Like precipitation, runoff , and sediment were recorded in the breakpoint format. Th e volumetric surface runoff rate from R-5 was calculated using a rating curve in conjunction with a stage recorder that measured the level of water in the weir pond.

Extensive infiltration measurements were made in the catchment, starting with the study of Sharma et al. (1980). Later steady-state infi ltration rates were measured at 247 R-5 locations (157 grid points and two 50-point transects) over a 3-mo period from September through November in 1983 (Loague and Gander, 1990).

Hydrological Knowledge Gained[edit]

These data have been used in a number of modelling studies starting with League and Freeze (1985). The story is recounted in Loague et al., 2005. Initial impression of the catchment as dominated by infiltration excess (Hortonian) overland flow was replaced by a concept in which deeper subsurface flow pathways were important to reproduce the hydrograph.


Reference Material[edit]

  • Heppner, C.S., Q. Ran, J.E. VanderKwaak, and K. Loague. 2006. Adding sediment transport to the Integrated Hydrology Model (InHM): Development and testing. Adv. Water Resour. 9:930–943.
  • Heppner, C.S., K. Loague, and J.E. VanderKwaak. 2007. Long-term InHM simulations of hydrologic response and sediment transport for the R-5 catchment. Earth Surf. Proc. Land. 32:1273–1292.
  • Heppner, C S and Loague, K. 2008, Characterizing Long-Term Hydrologic-Response and Sediment-Transport for the R-5 Catchment, J. Environ. Qual. 37:2181–2191. doi:10.2134/jeq2007.0548
  • Loague, K. 1990. R-5 revisited: II. Re-evaluation of a quasi-physically based rainfall-runoff model with supplemental information. Water Resour. Res. 26:973–987.
  • Loague, K. 1992a. Soil water content at R-5: Part 1. Spatial and temporal variability. J. Hydrol. 139:233–251.
  • Loague, K. 1992b. Using soil texture to estimate saturated hydraulic conductivity and the impact on rainfall-runoff simulations. Water Resour. Bull. 28:687–693.
  • Loague, K.M., and R.A. Freeze. 1985. A comparison of rainfall-runoff modeling techniques on small upland catchments. Water Resour. Res. 21:229–248.
  • Loague, K., and G.A. Gander. 1990. R-5 revisited: I. Spatial variability of infiltration on a small rangeland catchment. Water Resour. Res. 26:957–971.
  • Loague, K., G.A. Gander, J.E. VanderKwaak, R.H. Abrams, and P.C. Kyriakidis. 2000. Simulating hydrologic response for the R-5 catchment: A never ending story. J. Floodplain Manage. 1:57–83.
  • Loague, K., C.S. Heppner, R.H. Abrams, A.E. Carr, J.E. VanderKwaak, and B.A. Ebel. 2005. Further testing of the Integrated Hydrology Model (InHM): Event-based simulations for a small rangeland catchment located near Chickasha, Oklahoma. Hydrol. Processes 19:1375–1395.
  • Loague, K., C.S. Heppner, B.B. Mirus, B.A. Ebel, Q. Ran, A.E. Carr, S.H. BeVille, and J.E. VanderKwaak. 2006. Physics-based hydrologic-response simulation: Foundation for hydroecology and hydrogeomorphology. Hydrol. Process. 20:1231–1237.
  • Loague, K., and P.C. Kyriakidis. 1997. Spatial and temporal variability in the R-5 infiltration data set: Deja vu and rainfall-runoff simulations. Water Resourc.. Res. 33:2883–2895.
  • Loague, K., and J.E. VanderKwaak. 2002. Simulating hydrological response for the R-5 catchment: Comparison of two models and the impact of the roads. Hydrol. Processes 16:1015–1032.
  • Loague, K., and J.E. VanderKwaak. 2004. Physics-based hydrologic response simulation: Platinum bridge, 1958 Edsel, or useful tool. Hydrol. Processes 18:2949–2956.
  • Luxmoore, R.J., and M.L. Sharma. 1980. Runoff responses to soil heterogeneity: Experimental and simulation comparisons for two contrasting watersheds. Water Resour. Res. 16:675–684.
  • Luxmoore, R.J., 1983. Infiltration and runoff predictions for a grassland watershed. Journal of Hydrology, 65(4), pp.271-278.
  • Mirus, B.B., Ebel, B.A., Heppner, C.S. and Loague, K., 2011. Assessing the detail needed to capture rainfall‐runoff dynamics with physics‐based hydrologic response simulation. Water Resources Research, 47(3).
  • Pebesma, E.J., Switzer, P. and Loague, K., 2007. Error analysis for the evaluation of model performance: rainfall–runoff event summary variables. Hydrological processes, 21(22), pp.3009-3024.
  • Ran, Q., C.H. Heppner, J.E. VanderKwaak, and K. Loague. 2007. Further testing of the Integrated Hydrology Model (InHM): Multiple-species sediment transport. Hydrol. Processes 21:1522–1531.
  • Sharma, M.L. and Luxmoore, R.J., 1979. Soil spatial variability and its consequences on simulated water balance. Water Resources Research, 15(6), pp.1567-1573.
  • VanderKwaak, J.E., and K. Loague. 2001. Hydrologic-response simulations for the R-5 catchment with a comprehensive physics-based model. Water Resour. Res. 37:999–1013.
  • Wilcox, B.P., Rawls, W.J., Brakensiek, D.L. and Wight, J.R., 1990. Predicting runoff from rangeland catchments: a comparison of two models. Water Resources Research, 26(10), pp.2401-2410.