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Research Project: WEPS Technology Transfer Agreement


Project Number: 3012-61660-007-06-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2015

The purpose of this agreement is to support the critical needs of NRCS to validate and refine process-based modeling of Wind Erosion and other resource concerns to improve the value and efficiency of conservation planning. This agreement accelerates efforts aimed at addressing NRCS soil quality and erosion priorities by continuing to improve the science to support NRCS use of the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and other process based approaches to modeling crop systems and the environment. This improvement will enable NRCS to better predict conservation system effects on natural resources and improve quality and efficiency of resource assessment and conservation planning.

a. Organic soils modeling for use in WEPS: Quantify the soil profile characteristics that affect wind erosion science for organic and muck soils that are currently mapped and classified. Complete the temporal change study based on completed organic and muck soil sampling and sample results to analyze and report the results. Initiate a rainfall simulation study on organic soils to document soil crusting and erodibility properties, review hydrology literature for simulating organic soils in WEPS. b. Update the technical documentation and the user manual for Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS): Update the technical research documentation and training materials for the current NRCS release of WEPS. Update the WEPS user manual and training exercises to accurately reflect the current science and management of wind erosion. This will improve the understanding of simulating wind erosion processes including crop growth, climate, soil, erosion and soil profile hydrology. This improved understanding of WEPS simulation outputs will include: confidence intervals, plotting of results, crop growth and residue patterns, and soil hydrology model results for crop systems and site conditions. c. Improve barrier simulation. Conduct a field study to simulate seasonal variation in barrier porosity and their effect on wind speed profile and develop algorithms for inclusion into WEPS. In addition, incorporate into the WEPS interface the capability to simulate wind barriers within the field boundaries to include not only traditional windbreaks (trees and shrubs) but also herbaceous barriers, trap strips, and strip cropping. d. Evaluate and test sub-region capabilities for modeling multiple soils, barriers, crop management systems and erosion/soil quality estimates within individual field boundaries. Testing, interpretation, reporting, and user input mechanisms and programming the science will accelerate the adoption and use of this functionality in the NRCS release of Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS). This capability will allow NRCS and the client land user to begin the understanding and interpreting within field variability of natural resources and resource concerns.