Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2010
Publication Date: 11/8/2010
Citation: Flanagan, D.C., Elliot, W.J., Frankenberger, J.R., Huang, C. 2010. WEPP model applications for evaluation of best management practices [abstract]. In: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings, November 7-13, 2010, Santiago, Chile. CD ROM.
Technical Abstract: The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model is a process-based erosion prediction technology for application to small watersheds and hillslope profiles, under agricultural, forested, rangeland, and other land management conditions. Developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past 25 years, WEPP simulates many of the physical processes that are important when estimating runoff, soil erosion, and sediment delivery at a location having unique climate, topography, soils, and plants/tillage/management. A variety of user interfaces and databases make the model very easy to apply and use, particularly within the United States. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has developed a stand-alone Windows WEPP system, as well as internet web-based hillslope and GIS watershed interfaces. GeoWEPP is an ArcGIS extension for performing model applications with a user’s own detailed geospatial topographic, soils, and land management data. The USDA Forest Service (FS) also has a variety of custom online web-based interfaces for WEPP model applications targeted to specific problems, such as forest road design, effects of timber harvest operations, and identification of areas most important for remediation after wildfires. This presentation will provide information on the current WEPP model and interfaces, and also provide demonstrations of the model’s application at real-world field sites. Existing conditions (climate, soils, slope, cropping/management) will be used to provide baseline runoff and erosion estimates, and then the impacts of various alternative conservation practices will be explored. A number of options to reduce soil loss will be examined, including modified crop rotations, use of conservation tillage, strip cropping, contouring, and buffer strips. Additionally, new modeling efforts at the National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (NSERL) will be described in which both water erosion using WEPP technology, and wind erosion using Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) technology can be estimated utilizing a single model executable, and common databases and interfaces.