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ENVR/WR Seminar: Understanding the Co-play of Soil Water Content with ET and Erosion for Sustaining the FEW Nexus in Intensively Managed Landscapes, Mohammad Ghanneizad

Date: Thursday, October 12

Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: 410 John D. Tickle Building


The ever-increasing population throughout the world and the resulting needs for each person has prompted sustainability concerns at the nexus of our food, energy, water (FEW) systems. Complicating matters are the possible effects of climate change on water availability, food production, and energy supply within the next decades.  However, one neglected aspect of FEW nexus is soil, which is critical for FEW security.  Through a case study in west Tennessee, the water budget of a representative intensively managed agroecosystem was investigated for past and projected climate scenarios.  Results show that changing weather conditions will lead to higher evapotranspiration (ET) and lower soil moisture.  The ET changes indicate that the region is shifting toward warmer and drier climatic conditions, which will dramatically affect soil strength.  Despite this shift to overall drier conditions, extreme precipitation events and floods are expected to be more frequent in future.  These will exacerbate soil erosion and land loss.  Current assessment techniques for soil strength and erodibility such as the Jet Erosion Test (JET) require improvements to address reported inconsistencies in the JET methodologies and provide confidence for large scale prediction of soil loss.  Furthermore, the dependency of soil erodibility on water content and sediment age must also be considered for better understanding of soil sustainability.

Seyed Mohammad Ghaneeizad is currently a postdoctoral research associate with the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) at University of Tennessee.  He received his B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran.  He holds a PhD in civil engineering with a focus on water resources from University at Buffalo.  During his PhD, he has worked on environmental fluid mechanics problems such as soil erosion, stream restoration, and Great Lakes water quality. His research interests include a wide variety of surface water problems such as soil erosion, channel stabilization and stream restoration, hydrodynamics of stratified lakes and effects on water quality and biological processes, turbulent jets and applications in water resources engineering, and hydrological processes.  Prior to his PhD, he launched a startup construction company in Iran.  He has also served as the advisor to Mashhad mayor, the second largest city in Iran, for two years.

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