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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #183838


item Flanagan, Dennis
item Ascough Ii, James

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/17/2005
Publication Date: 7/17/2005
Citation: Flanagan, D.C., Ascough II, J.C., Geter, W.F., David, O. 2005. Development of a hillslope erosion module for the object modeling system. ASAE Annual International Meeting. Paper No. 05-2012. 1-11 pp.

Interpretive Summary: Predicting how soil erosion happens is very important when trying to protect our nation’s soil, water, and air resources. It is just too expensive and impractical to even consider taking field measurements of sediment loss in every possible location at every possible time. An alternative is to use computer simulation tools that can mimic the natural processes of rainfall, runoff, wind and soil detachment by wind or water. Models can be used to find out how well different soil conservation practices (wind breaks, residue cover, crop rotations, etc.) act to protect the soil from erosion. In the past, different prediction models have been built by scientists specifically looking at erosion by wind or at erosion by water. This led to duplication of efforts, as well as multiple models, each of which calculates the amount of water in the soil, plant growth, or residue cover in somewhat different ways. This paper describes first work on an effort to build a single combined erosion prediction system to compute soil erosion by wind and water. The model would have a common way to calculate plant growth and soil moisture, so that the only different parts would be in the estimation of soil erosion by water or wind detachment. Here, a modular soil erosion by water component and a surface hydrology component were built in a modeling system, with planned future work to add more components for wind erosion, plant growth, etc. Ultimate development of the common wind-water erosion model will greatly impact federal agencies that use soil erosion prediction models, as well as landowners/farmers that manage the land on which the model will be applied.

Technical Abstract: A recent high priority need item of the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was development by the USDA - Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of a combined water and wind process erosion model. This new model would ultimately replace individual erosion prediction software tools (e.g. RUSLE, WEPS, WEPP, etc.), and would provide consistent results in estimating soil moisture, runoff, plant biomass development, and residue cover, decomposition and burial by tillage. The new tool would take the best science available from existing models, and when necessary or appropriate new scientific relationships would be utilized. As a possible platform for development of the combined erosion model, the Object Modeling System (OMS) currently being developed by USDA-ARS GPSRU and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO was utilized. This presentation describes the process of creating a stand-alone hillslope erosion program (originally based upon the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model code), testing of that program, then incorporation of the stand-alone erosion program within the OMS system. Evaluation of the new modular component, and work on creation of additional components and a complete functional erosion model within OMS will also be discussed.