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Research Project: Risk of Soil Erosion by Water Estimated with Remotely-Sensed Rainfall Data, Models, and Weather Generators

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Project Number: 2022-13610-012-040-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 22, 2019
End Date: Apr 21, 2021

1) To provide spatially and temporally detailed estimates of erosion rates accounting for storm rainfall space-time distribution (obtained from radar data) and surface conditions; 2) To map long-term erosion risks and erosion hazards utilizing stochastic weather generators; 3) To improve implemented soil management programs by simulating different scenarios, such as different crop rotations, tillage practices, or soil conservation methods, and examining their effects on runoff and erosion; and, 4) To extend erosion prediction to agricultural regions with no radar coverage by using satellite-based rainfall to benefit large agricultural regions in developing countries.

Integrate high resolution radar rainfall data with process-based erosion models and apply the models to study erosion processes in instrumented watersheds in U.S. (Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed) and Israel (Ramot Menashe Watersheds). Assess erosion risk, i.e., erosion rates for different recurrence intervals, using a stochastic framework that links high resolution rainfall weather generators with the erosion models. This will allow examination of potential solutions for high erosion risk areas in the studied watersheds. Characterize the conditions inducing high erosion rates in terms of storm properties and soil surface conditions. Examine the utility of satellite-based rainfall data of relatively high resolution for erosion estimation and risk assessment.