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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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2012 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:
The intent is to improve the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and the Single-event Wind Erosion Evaluation Program (SWEEP) by addressing specific deficiencies identified by users and researchers in how the models simulate wind erosion. The following specific features or deficiencies have been added to or addressed within the models: a) adding a wind station interpolation option to the WEPS user interface; b) created a new build environment for the WEPS and SWEEP science code to make it easier for developers to compile the code on different operating systems with different compilers; c) made Windows installations of WEPS more robust for users by changing back to MSI builds for Windows installations of WEPS; d) held meetings with ASRU personnel to discuss the changes necessary to incorporate a new plant growth model into WEPS; e) continued work on a revision of the CLIGEN weather generator, which a 90% completed version has been written in Java. This was done to address several deficiencies in the original code and to make it easier for developers to maintain and update; and f) several interface issues were addressed within the SWEEP interface affecting its use by international users.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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