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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

2011 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

A multi-day meeting in Manhattan was held at the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR) with scientists from Fort Collins, Colorado. This meeting developed a multi-step path laid out to accomplish the task of incorporating the Universal Plant Growth Model (UPGM) into WEPS and providing a testbed environment for the plant growth model. Tasks identified were to: a) develop the XML description for UPGM plant growth/decomposition records defining the necessary parameters; b) write code to read and write the XML records; c) modify WEPS science code to allow the UPGM model to be incorporated as an alternative plant growth submodel; d) make necessary changes to the interface to handle the UPGM plant records and expose the required crop parameter data to the user; and e) provide a means to quickly and easily plot the parameter data versus time.

As part of the UPGM project, a Fortran XML parsing package has been obtained and is being incorporated into the WEPS science code. An “inverse distance” weighting method was added as an option to the CLIGEN station interpolation code for evaluation by NRCS. Also, a new “cook” build environment was created for compiling the WEPS and SWEEP science code. This was done to better handle multiple Fortran compilers and the different operating system environments the code is run under more easily. In addition, Windows installations have been changed back to MSI builds to better deal with the variety of Windows environments that WEPS is used on. Changes were also made to the interface code and database locations to allow WEPS to correctly function under Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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: 7/28/2014
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