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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #283564

Title: The role of cold season processes on soil erosion in the Great Lakes Region

item WANG, LILI - Purdue University
item CHERKAUER, KEITH - Purdue University
item Flanagan, Dennis

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2012
Publication Date: 10/21/2012
Citation: Wang, L., Cherkauer, K.A., Flanagan, D.C. 2012. The role of cold season processes on soil erosion in the Great Lakes Region. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. October 21-24, 2012, Cincinnati, Ohio. 2012. CD ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The effect of cold season processes on soil erosion is becoming increasingly important for sustainable management of soil resources, especially in regions where agricultural land use is dominant. Few tools exist that can help quantify this effect at scales relevant for resource management and environmental conservation policy development. The recent development of the VIC-WEPP coupled model integrates the macro scale Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrological model with the process-based Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model. The coupled model can estimate soil loss for multi-state regions and river basins. This paper quantifies the impact of cold season processes including snow melt and soil freeze-thaw on soil erosion in three states in the Great Lakes region: Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The coupled model was calibrated and evaluated for cold season erosion processes using data from the Palouse Conservation Field Station near Pullman, Washington, collected between 1984 and 1990. Cold season processes for the Midwestern states were calibrated and evaluated using two sites with observed soil temperatures. The small watersheds containing these sites were simulated with the VIC-WEPP model with and without the representation of soil frost to quantify the effects of soil frost on runoff, soil moisture and erosion. Simulations were also conducted with the full WEPP model to compare erosion estimates between the models before scaling up to the full three state domain with the coupled model. Finally the coupled VIC-WEPP model was applied to the three state domains. Simulations were conducted over a 95 year period from 1915-2010 using static land use based on modern conditions. Analysis focused on the overall impact of soil freeze-thaw processes on erosion by looking at climatic variations (warmer vs. cooler winters, winters with more or less snow, etc.) and on trends in soil erosion related to cold season processes over the 75 year simulation period.