Coy W. Doty

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agricultural Engineering


Since the beginning of time man has been concerned with floods and surface runoff. Several floods are recorded in the Bible, including one flood so large that it would have destroyed the world if special provisions had not been made. Runoff can affect man's food, clothing, and shelter and can even take his life. The storage of water on the field in order to prevent runoff has been practiced for many years. The concept of storing water where it falls is not new. Contouring practices store some water in place. Gradient terraces also provide a limited amount of storage of water, but the storage is concentrated and for a short duration of time. Channel-type level terraces store a considerable quantity of water; and if it would he practical to place these terraces close together, theoretically, they would tend to store water over the entire surface of the field. This study is a basic study to determine the various geometric shapes obtained when bedding: conventional tillage - plowing, disking and surface planting - and listing are used on the contour and their effect on surface water storage, soil, terrace spacing and crop yield. The potential surface water storage capacities of six different geometric shapes are studied in this investigation. The results of these water holding capacities of these geometric shapes are then related to their ability to reduce runoff and soil erosion.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Water conservation




South Dakota State University