Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2020
Publication Date: 9/3/2020
Citation: Tatarko, J. and L.E. Wagner. 2020. Introduction to the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS). In: Tatarko, J., editor. The Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS): Technical Documentation. USDA Agriculture Handbook 727. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD. p. 1-12.
Technical Abstract: The Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in collaboration with other agencies and cooperators in response to customer requests, primarily the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), for improved wind erosion prediction technology. WEPS is designed to provide estimates of soil loss by wind from cultivated, agricultural fields and is intended to replace the predominately empirical Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) as a prediction tool for those who plan soil conservation systems, conduct environmental planning, or assess offsite impacts of wind erosion. WEPS also has capabilities for other land management situations in which wind-affected soil movement is a problem. WEPS consists of the computer implementation of the WEPS science model with a graphical user interface designed to provide an easy-to-use way to enter inputs into the model and obtain output reports. WEPS is a process-based, daily time-step wind erosion simulation model; as such, it simulates not only basic wind erosion processes, but also the processes that modify a soil's susceptibility to wind erosion. The structure of WEPS is modular and consists of a user interface, a science model including six submodels, two weather generators, and five databases. The user interface allows users to create input files with information from user inputs and the databases. WEPS supports an overall ARS goal of increasing agricultural productivity while reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture. As such, WEPS has potential to impact a sustainable food and fiber supply for the U.S. and world populations.