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Wind Erosion
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Wind Erosion

Soil erosion by wind is a threat to a sustainable agriculture as well as human health and soil, air, and water quality. The principal goal of this research is to support the science and technology of the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) model. WEPS is the most widely used tool for predicting the effects of management practices and cropping rotations on wind erosion potential for specified field sites. WEPS is a state-of-the-art computer model that simulates daily wind erosion processes based on weather, management, crop rotations, and soil conditions. For WEPS, the major components under study are those that determine the surface state of erodibility and include the surface roughness, crop and residue cover, aggregate size distribution and stability, soil moisture, and soil crusting.

We test WEPS algorithms against measured surface properties and soil loss data over time at various field sites. In addition, we evaluate within-field variability of erosion processes by measuring the spatial changes of surface wind friction velocities and soil loss across field sites. This research will improve the robustness of WEPS and expand its utility to larger areas for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and other users for an enhanced agricultural productivity and improved environmental quality.

Download the WEPS model here

WEPS Technical Documentation – USDA Agricultural Handbook Number 727 (August 2020)




Soil Erosion by Wind and its Control

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Produced by USDA-ARS Wind Erosion Research for NRCS, 2003. 35. min./Color.
Also available in DVD and with closed captioning. Send request to: Wind Erosion Research

A three-part educational video, which describe the physical basis for wind erosion processes and control systems. The video emphasizes farming systems which target a goal of zero soil loss from wind erosion. It is intended to provide managers and other conservation partners with a better understanding of the physical principles of wind erosion and its control.

Soil Erosion by Wind and Its Control
Part I: The Problem of Wind Erosion

Part II: Processes of Wind Erosion

Part III: Control of Wind Erosion