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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASSESSING CONSERVATION EFFECTS ON WATER QUANTITY AND QUALITY AT FIELD AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Towards new-generation soil erosion modeling: Building a unified omnivorous model

Authors
item Hu, Liang-Jun -
item Flanagan, Dennis

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 31, 2013
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Citation: Hu, L-J., Flanagan, D.C. 2013. Towards new-generation soil erosion modeling: Building a unified omnivorous model. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 68(4):100A-103A.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion is a global threat to agricultural production, and results in off-site sediment and nutrient losses that negatively impact water and air quality. Models are mathematical equations used to estimate the amount of soil lost from a land air, due to the erosive forces of water or wind. Early models to predict erosion were fairly simple single equations with several factors, developed by using statistics analysis of observed field data, with examples being the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) that were published in the 1960’s. With the advent of computer technologies, more complicated computer simulation models were developed beginning in the 1970’s to estimate soil erosion from fields, farms, and watersheds, with some of these being the Areal Nonpoint Source Watershed Environment Response Simulation (ANSWERS) model, the Chemicals, Runoff and Erosion from Agricultural Management Systems (CREAMS) model, and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). More recently, physical process-based models such as the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) and the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) models for water and wind erosion, respectively have been created. However, all of these tools focus on soil erosion from a singular driving force (runoff, wind), whereas in nature it is often a combination of erosive forces that detach and transport sediment. This paper describes some background of erosion modeling, needs for the future, and provides some descriptions on what should be included in a new all-encompassing model, and how this might be accomplished.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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