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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251410

Title: Evaluation and Application of a Soil Erosion Model on the Columbia Plateau, USA

item FENG, GUANGLONG - Washington State University
item Sharratt, Brenton

Submitted to: International Conference on Aeolian Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2010
Publication Date: 7/9/2010
Citation: Feng, G., Sharratt, B.S. 2010. Evaluation and Application of a Soil Erosion Model on the Columbia Plateau, USA. International Conference on Aeolian Research.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) was developed for soil conservation and environmental planning and is a process-based model that predicts soil erosion and PM10 (particle matter less than or equal to 10µm in diameter) emission. WEPS is comprised of seven submodels; all submodels serve to dynamically provide and update parameters for the erosion submodel. The erosion submodel was later named the Single-event Wind Erosion Evaluation Program (SWEEP). The purpose of this presentation is to report results in evaluating the performance of SWEEP/WEPS in the western US. A sensitivity analysis was first conducted on SWEEP. The 28 crop and soil parameters in SWEEP were ranked and the most sensitive parameters were identified based on loss of total sediment, saltation/creep, suspension, and PM10. Overall, SWEEP was most sensitive to changes in biomass flat cover, near-surface soil water content, ridge height, wind speed, rock volume, soil wilting-point water content, field length and width, crust cover, aggregates and crust stability. Secondly, SWEEP was validated by measuring all parameters and soil erosion components on agricultural fields during high wind events over four years. The model appeared to over-predict total soil loss and PM10 emission for major events and under-predict erosion for minor events. However, statistical indices suggest that the performance of the model is acceptable. WEPS was then used to estimate annual soil loss and PM10 emission from wind erosion across Adams County, Washington. On a countywide basis, spatial annual soil loss and PM10 emission inventories were developed and compared with soil wind erodibility groups established by USDA-NRCS. Some variations exist between soil erodibility assessed by WEPS and erodibility groups of the USDA-NRCS.