Hydrological impacts of cropping systems and degradation of soil physical condition

Simon Ricard


Contact Simon Ricard
Marc-Olivier Gasser, researcher

Marc-Olivier Gasser

Researcher, agr., Ph.D.

418 643-2380
ext 650

Contact Marc-Olivier Gasser


Two study components are proposed to assess the effects of soil degradation and cropping systems on agricultural watercourses. A first part of a study in instrumented micro-basins carried out at the IRDA experimental station in Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon measures the effects of soil degradation and the type of crop on crop productivity, hydrology surface and underground, as well as on the quality of the water, according to a controlled system. A second part of the study at the scale of the sub-watershed (3-30 km2) takes advantage of historical data from the IRDA study network in twin agricultural basins (1997-2019) in order to project, under different conditions of land use and topography, the effects of cropping systems and soil conservation practices on floods, sediment flows and nutrient loads in rivers, following an approach coupling analysis and hydrological modeling.


The main objective of the project is to describe the impact of cropping systems and the phenomenon of soil compaction on hydrological responses at the field scale, and to project these effects on stream flows, at the watershed scale.

The specific objectives are to:

  • Measure in experimental plots the effects of soil degradation on crop productivity, hydrology and water quality;
  • Analyze the effects of cropping systems and soil degradation on the hydrological responses of agricultural watercourses using hydrological analysis and modeling approaches.

From 2020 to 2023

Project duration

Soil health, Water protection



Université Laval

This may interest you


Using isotopic techniques to investigate soil erosion processes

Quantification of the scale of soil displacement and net sediment production in the past 50 years for various soil textures and compare these results with those generated by modeling the watershed with SWAT.

Researcher: Claude Bernard

Read more about the project

Claude Bernard

Watershed monitoring in Saint-Zotique, Québec

The IRDA team is monitoring the hydrology of the three main watersheds in Saint-Zotique.

Read more about the project

Aubert Michaud, retraité