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MOSES Will Part the Flood of Watershed Data

By Hank Becker
March 19, 1997


MOSES is coming to make it easier to use four natural resource computer models from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

MOSES stands for Modular Operational Soil Erosion System--a new state-of-the-art graphic interface program. It can graphically depict information on physical characteristics of a watershed, such as slope length, steepness, soil type and management factors such as crop choices and the tillage history of the land. MOSES includes a "Wizard" that guides users through input choices.

When completed, MOSES will link the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, the Water Erosion Prediction Project, the Revised Wind Erosion Equation and the Wind Erosion Prediction System using color graphics and audio feedback. ARS scientists are redesigning the way users generate and organize the information they must provide to get erosion predictions from these programs.

Since graphic information is understood more easily than numbers, the new interface should make it quicker, easier and more efficient for model users to enter information and interpret results. This will be especially helpful to users at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service and at U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management for solving erosion problems that are part of their agency's mission.

Scientific contact: Charles R. Meyer, USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, West Lafayette, Ind., phone (317) 494-8695, e-mail