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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit

2006 Annual Report

4d.Progress report.
This report serves to document research conducted under an interagency reimbursable agreement between ARS and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additional details of research can be found in the report for the parent ARS Project 5430-11120-007-00D, Particulate Emissions From Wind Erosion: Processes, Assessment, and Control.

Specific accomplishments are:

a) To allow NRCS to more easily print and store results from WEPS simulation runs, WEPS now generates reports in "PDF format". Having reports in a standard file format also allows NRCS to view and access the reports outside of the WEPS program.

b) Feedback from NRCS testers/reviewers located in the Great Plains led to numerous interface improvements and bug fixes in the WEPS science code and the user interface.

c) The WEPS on-line help and User's Guide have been updated to reflect changes made to WEPS and in response to NRCS review comments regarding this user documentation.

d) To better maintain and service the WEPS user interface code, the java source code documentation has been updated and expanded using the "javadoc" facilities.

e) To comply with NRCS requests to significantly reduce WEPS simulation run-times, an alternative WEPP-based hydrology/infiltration/evaporation" submodel was incorporated into WEPS. This change reduced run-times from 25% to 90% over run-times made with the original WEPP hydrology submodel code.

f) NRCS testers asked for a way to "view" the characteristics of the historical wind data for a selected location to allow them to better develop and fine tune management practices for reducing a site's susceptibility to wind erosion events. In response, WERU incorporated a "wind intensity" table into WEPS, which will display any user-selected wind-gen station. The selected location's propensity to experience "erosive" winds for each month of the year and the direction they are most likely to come from is presented along with other wind data statistics such as the prevailing wind direction and preponderance.

g) NRCS asked for the WEPS interface to handle more field shapes than just "rectangular". The WEPS interface can now display circular, half circle and quarter circle field shapes along with rectangular and square fields.

h) NRCS requested a simpler method of entering/specifying irrigation into WEPS management/rotation files. WEPS now has enhanced irrigation monitoring/scheduling capabilities which only require the user to select desired type of irrigation and the "start date" and "end date" over which the automated watering events can occur.

i) NRCS needed a more convenient and compact means to display and review results from multiple WEPS runs. WEPS now contains a "Multiple WEPS Run Manager", which maintains a tabular display of selected WEPS runs showing the erosion results, field size, soil type and management/rotation practices applied in a single window.

j) To better facilitate the conversion of RUSLE2 management rotation files into a WEPS compatible format, several modifications were made to the translation tools. They included: a) development of a "translation table" file that could contain WEPS and RUSLE2 operation and crop names and the "conversion process" to apply, and b)a means to "save" manual conversion selection options into a log file, which could then later be imported into the "translation table" file.

k) To better meet the needs of "non-agriculture" related users of WEPS technology, a "Single-event Wind Erosion Evaluation Program" (SWEEP) has been developed. A user-friendly interface has been created for it which has the ability to visually display erosion results in 3-D plots of the soil loss over the simulation site by time. WERU scientists assisted in a workshop at the International Erosion Control Association meeting which highlighted the applicability of WEPS technology for use in construction site situations.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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