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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF ENHANCED FEATURES, IMPROVED DOCUMENTATION AND EXPANDED DATABASES FOR WEPS

Location: Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The overall objective of this cooperative research project is to: develop WEPS into a user friendly model capable of being easily learned and correctly applied by farmers, land managers, field technicians, etc., for use in determining susceptibility of managed land to wind erosion. Specific objectives are to: .
1)incorporate WEPS into regional air quality models;.
2)extend WEPS for better usage in non-cropland environments;.
3)enhance WEPS functionality by improving the plant growth model component, correctly representing organic soils, handling multiple subregions, and representing air flow over variable terrain elevations;.
4)assist in combining WEPS and WEPP models into a single wind/water erosion model; and.
5)improving the standalone erosion submodel component of the WEPS model to better address research and non-agricultural specific issues with wind erosion.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1. Modify WEPS to allow it to be incorporated into regional air quality models. This requires the model to be modified to allow the current state to be saved to a file and the model restarted from that state in the future. Additionally, the model will require specialized output for the controlling regional dispersion model being used. 2. WEPS is currently cropland oriented. It needs to be extended to improve applicability in other, non-cropland environments. This requires modification of user interface terminology for non-agriculture environments and representation of management, land and vegetation features not typical in cropland management rotations. 3. Improvements in the plant growth and soil/water interaction science components are necessary to more fully represent all cropland conditions, especially multiple crop species growing simultaneously and organic soils being farmed. In addition, handling multiple subregions will allow for variability of soil/cropping conditions on a site. Representing the change in wind flow over variable elevation of a site’s terrain will also improve the model’s range of applicability. 4. Address the database and science issues as required to allow WEPP and WEPS to share as many science modules and databases as possible, improving the ability to combine the models into a single model. 5. Address user interface issues, agriculture terminology, etc., of SWEEP to better meet non-agriculture user needs.


3.Progress Report

Several issues with CLIGEN, a stochastic weather generator, are being addressed to improve the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) simulations, e.g. better runoff predictions and crop growth modeling. Issues addressed were:.
1)Identifying the specific CLIGEN deficiencies that directly impact WEPS simulations;.
2)Quality checking and updating the CLIGEN data; and.
3)Obtaining current climatic data for eventual replacement of the original CLIGEN input data files and creation of new database records. The code related tasks addressed were: .
1)Re-coding of the CLIGEN generator in Java; and.
2)Revising a “monthly” interpolation procedure to ensure generated output matches the input data monthly statistical means.

The current “time to peak”, “duration” and “intensity” parameters used for describing precipitation events in CLIGEN are not well correlated with measured data. This is now being actively reviewed. Once this final issue has been addressed, a completely revised CLIGEN generator will be released with updated databases for use in WEPS and other models.

Methods used to monitor this project included, discussing project plans, reviewing program goals and accomplishments with the Cooperator’s PI at ARS and NRCS facilities; by teleconference, e-mail or other types of written correspondence; providing technical advice to Cooperator’s personnel; and, conducting site visits at Cooperator’s facilities.


Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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