• Significance of Antecedent Soil Moisture to a Semiarid Watershed Rainfall-Runoff Relation

      Chery, D. L., Jr.; Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1972-05-06)
      Numerous reports from the southwest claim that soil moisture prior to rainfall-runoff event has no influence on the resulting flow volumes and peak rates. Runoff occurs from many storms that would not be expected to produce runoff, and an explanation lies in the occurrence of antecedent rains. This hypothesis is tested by dividing runoff events into 2 subsets--one with no rain within the preceding 120 hours, and the other with some rain within the preceding 24 hours--and to test the null hypothesis. The hypothesis was tested with rainfall and runoff data from a 40-acre agricultural research service watershed west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, using the Wilcoxon's rank sum test. Various levels of statistical significance are discussed, and shown graphically, to conclude conclusively that antecedent rainfall influences runoff from a semiarid watershed.