Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Conference on Grazing Lands
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2006
Publication Date: 12/13/2006
Citation: Spaeth, K.E., Pierson, F.B., and Moffet, C.A. 2006. Rangeland hydrology and erosion model (RHEM) for ESD development. In: Proceedings of the 3rd National Conference on Grazing Lands, December 13-16, 2006, St. Louis, Missouri.
Technical Abstract: The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently engaged in updating and writing new ecological Site Descriptions (ESD’s). New and updated information about physiographic, soil, climate, and water features; plant communities—including “state and transition models”; and hydrology and erosion is to be included. The NRCS is entering data in the Ecological Site Information System (ESIS) and the information is available via the web. NRCS defines an ecological site as a distinctive kind of land with specific physical characteristics that differs from other kinds of land in its ability to produce a distinctive kind and amount of vegetation. An ecological site also has unique hydrologic and erosion characteristics that have developed over time. The hydrologic dynamics of an ecological site is the result of complex interaction between soil, plant, climate, and management. Hydrologic data from rangeland watersheds and rainfall simulation experiments is limited: therefore, a model is needed to simulate hydrology and erosion dynamics for ecological site development. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) is capable of simulating hydrology and erosion from climate, soils, and vegetation information. The RHEM model is based on enhanced technology from the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) which contains process-based hydrology and erosion components.