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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Daily Estimates of Rainfall, Water Runoff, and Soil Erosion in Iowa

Authors
item Cruse, R - AGRONOMY DEPARTMENT
item Flanagan, Dennis
item Frankenberger, James
item Gelder, B - AGRONOMY DEPARTMENT
item Herzmann, D - AGRONOMY DEPARTMENT
item James, David
item Krajewski, W - UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
item Kraszewski, M - UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
item Laflen, J - RETIRED USDA-ARS
item Opsomer, J - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2006
Publication Date: August 21, 2006
Citation: Cruse, R.M., Flanagan, D.C., Frankenberger, J.R., Gelder, B.K., Herzmann, D., James, D.E., Krajewski, W., Kraszewski, M., Laflen, J.M., Opsomer, J. and Todey, D. 2006. Daily estimates of rainfall, water runoff, and soil erosion in iowa. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 61(4):191-199.

Interpretive Summary: Runoff and soil erosion that results from rain storms can cause a lot of problems, both on farmers’ fields as well as in streams and lakes where the runoff water and eroded sediment can travel to. It is difficult or impossible to measure the amount of erosion that happens on every field; however, we can use computer simulation models to estimate how much soil is lost. Also, with new weather tools, such as radar that can predict the amounts and rates of rainfall, near real-time runoff and soil erosion can now be much more easily predicted. This paper reports on the development of an internet-based erosion modeling tool for the state of Iowa, that uses the most modern radar rainfall estimates as well as the most current erosion prediction science model (WEPP). Daily, monthly and annual reports and graphs can be rapidly created to show anyone where the highest rainfall has occurred, and what the runoff and soil erosion from that is estimated to be. This work impacts many people – from farmers and soil conservationists, to government officials and other decision-makers, to the general public. Rapid, accurate information on rainfall, runoff and soil loss can be used to quickly identify locations where special conservation and/or emergency practices may be necessary. Easily accessible information on the internet allows the general public to gain understanding of the relationships between the weather occurring and the resulting runoff and soil erosion processes.

Technical Abstract: Runoff and soil erosion that results from rain storms can cause a lot of problems, both on farmers’ fields as well as in streams and lakes where the runoff water and eroded sediment can travel to. It is difficult or impossible to measure the amount of erosion that happens on every field; however, we can use computer simulation models to estimate how much soil is lost. Also, with new weather tools, such as radar that can predict the amounts and rates of rainfall, near real-time runoff and soil erosion can now be much more easily predicted. This paper reports on the development of an internet-based erosion modeling tool for the state of Iowa, that uses the most modern radar rainfall estimates as well as the most current erosion prediction science model (WEPP). Daily, monthly and annual reports and graphs can be rapidly created to show anyone where the highest rainfall has occurred, and what the runoff and soil erosion from that is estimated to be. This work impacts many people – from farmers and soil conservationists, to government officials and other decision-makers, to the general public. Rapid, accurate information on rainfall, runoff and soil loss can be used to quickly identify locations where special conservation and/or emergency practices may be necessary. Easily accessible information on the internet allows the general public to gain understanding of the relationships between the weather occurring and the resulting runoff and soil erosion processes.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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