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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit

2010 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS)is being developed in response to requests for improved erosion prediction technology for use by NRCS, as well as other government agencies and conservation partners. ARS has signed an Agreement with NRCS detailing the delivery and testing of WEPS 1.0 within their agency. Delivery of WEPS 1.0 includes delivery of documented code and working with NRCS in a staged testing process that insures the product meets NRCS requirements to the field office level. The WEPS 1.0 code documentation consists of a) technical documentation for all science modules and b) full JavaDoc for all interface code. The support required for the staged testing process includes programming support for a) all science code changes needed to meet tester identified science issues and b) all interface changes needed to meet tester identified usability issues.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
We are in the second year of a two-year Agreement between ARS and NRCS detailing the testing and delivery of WEPS 1.0 to NRCS. We are now entering the second phase of NRCS testing and review. Issues that are identified during this regional testing phase need to be addressed in a timely manner. Needed interface fixes identified by testers will be addressed before the next testing session. Complete JavaDoc compliant documentation for all interface code elements will also be completed, allowing NRCS to maintain the code as necessary. 05-IA-5430-0324

3.Progress Report

Agreement tasks addressed throughout the duration of this project: 1. Updating of draft copies of the WEPS 1.0 science and interface technical documentation based upon modeling changes to the science code. 2. Updating of the WEPS user interface. 3. Assisted training of NRCS staff on WEPS version 1.0 as needed, including participating in the NRCS led SWCS WEPS training workshop in July 2008. 4. Providing continuous technical support to NRCS, including addressing all bugs or other problems with the WEPS 1.0 model or software. 5. WERU kept the NRCS Responsible Person (Mike Sporcic) informed of all changes to WEPS 1.0.

Specific WEPS issues addressed during this project were: 1. How WEPS deals with the location of “soils” data has been revamped within the WEPS interface. It now includes a directory that can contain specific soil records which can be used within WEPS such as generic soils created by NRCS to represent the organic and other man-made soils. 2. The NRCS Energy Calculator and Soil Conditioning Index (SCI) routines previously incorporated into WEPS have been revised based upon testing feedback and are now included within the WEPS Summary Report and included in the list of individual WEPS reports. 3. Since incorrectly defined crop records are almost always the reason for crops that do not “grow” or “calibrate” correctly within WEPS, additional code has been added to the WEPS science model and the interface to better identify the causes of such failures. Also, additional instruction has been provided to NRCS to assist them in creating and evaluating crop records. 4. The WEPS interface has been modified to allow additional methods of auto-selecting WEPS climate and wind stations. Both proposed methods have now been implemented. a. Use GIS polygon maps generated by NRCS for climate and/or wind station selection based upon the latitude and longitude coordinates entered by the WEPS user. If no polygon has been created for a listed station, the interface will revert to the current “closest station” method. The initial GIS polygon maps for the western U.S. have been incorporated into WEPS. b. Use an “auto-interpolation” method to create a unique windgen station based upon the surrounding stations and the user-specified lat/lon coordinates. An “auto-interpolation” method to create a unique windgen station based upon the surrounding stations and the user-specified latitude and longitude coordinates has been developed, coded and incorporated into WEPS for use in the eastern U.S. 5. The cause of a problem with inconsistent soil loss results based on soil texture has been identified and corrected in the WEPS code.

Reimbursable terminated on September 30, 2010 was replaced with a new Reimbursable 5430-11120-008-08R, with NRCS. Current details on progress relating to implementation of WEPS within NRCS can be found in the 2010 Annual Report.

Methods used to monitor project included discussing project plans, reviewing program goals and accomplishments with Cooperator's PI at ARS and NRCS facilities; by teleconference, email or other written correspondence; providing technical advice to Cooperator's personnel and conducting site visits.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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