Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2006
Publication Date: 12/11/2006
Citation: Flanagan, D.C., Ascough II, J.C., Wagner, L.E., Geter, W.F. 2006. Development of an integrated water and wind erosion model. American Geophysical Union. December 11-15, 2006, San Francisco, CA. 2006 CDROM.
Technical Abstract: Prediction technologies for soil erosion by the forces of wind or water have largely been developed independently from one another, especially within the United States. Much of this has been due to the initial creation of equations and models which were empirical in nature (i.e., Universal Soil Loss Equation, Wind Erosion Equation) and based upon separate water erosion or wind erosion plot and field measurements. Additionally, institutional organizations in place typically divided research efforts and funding to unique wind or water erosion research and modeling projects. However, during the past 20 years computer technologies and erosion modeling have progressed to the point where it is now possible to merge physical process-based computer simulation models into an integrated water and wind erosion prediction system. In a physically- based model, many of the processes which must be simulated for wind and water erosion computations are the same, e.g., climate, water balance, runoff, plant growth, etc. Model components which specifically deal with the wind or water detachment, transport and deposition processes are those that must differ, as well as any necessary parameterization of input variables (e.g., adjusted soil erodibilities, critical shear stresses, etc.) for those components. This presentation describes current efforts towards development of a combined wind and water erosion model, based in part upon technologies present in the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) and the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) models. Initial efforts during the past two years have resulted in modular modeling components that allow for prediction of infiltration, surface runoff, and water erosion at a hillslope scale within an Object Modeling System. Additional components currently in development include wind detachment at a single field point, continuous water balance, and unified plant growth. Challenges in this project are many, and include adequate field representation and spatial routing and proper accounting of sediment detachment/deposition from cumulative wind or water events. Future planned model additions will include the ability to also account for tillage erosion effects and ephemeral gully erosion. Modules from this project may also be utilized in larger watershed models that would be applied at progressively larger scales. One of the advantages of the model integration is that it will allow future erosion process descriptions, such as combined effects of wind and water forces on soil detachment (i.e., wind-driven rain detachment).