|PI, HUAWEI - Xinjiang Research Institute
Submitted to: Soil and Tillage Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2017
Publication Date: 4/10/2017
Citation: Pi, H., Sharratt, B.S. 2017. Evaluation of the RWEQ and SWEEP in simulating soil and PM10 loss from a portable wind tunnel. Soil and Tillage Research. 170:94-103.
Interpretive Summary: Wind erosion models such as the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) have been developed as tools for predicting soil erosion. However, their performance lacks testing that is necessary to accurately quantify wind erosion and identify highly erodible agricultural lands across the USA. ARS scientists at Pullman, Washington, found both models did not adequately simulate wind erosion or PM10 emissions under a range of management practices. Federal and state agencies, such as the USEPA, USDA-NRCS and the Washington Department of Ecology, should be cautious in using WEPS and RWEQ to assess wind erosion and PM10 emissions from agricultural lands in the Pacific Northwest.
Technical Abstract: Wind erosion threatens sustainable agriculture and environmental quality in the Columbia Plateau region of the US Pacific Northwest. Wind erosion models such as Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) and the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) have been developed as tools for identifying practices that control dust emission and windblown soil loss. The objective of this study was to test the performance of the WEPS erosion submodel (the Single-event Wind Erosion Evaluation Program or SWEEP) in simulating soil and PM10 (particulate matter =10µm in diameter) loss from a portable wind tunnel. The wind tunnel was used to assess wind erosion from four tillage treatments imposed during the fallow phase of a winter wheat – summer fallow rotation. There was good agreement between the measured and simulated soil loss for conventional and reduced tillage. However, the SWEEP model inadequately simulated loss for the minimum and no tillage treatment and also inadequately simulated PM10 loss from the four tillage treatments. The SWEEP was modified by replacing the SWEEP threshold friction velocity algorithm with the Lu and Shao algorithm. As a result, the performance of the model was improved by adequately simulating soil loss from three tillage treatments using the modified SWEEP. The modified SWEEP, however, did not simulate erosion even though soil loss was observed to occur from the no tillage treatment and did not simulate PM10 loss from any tillage treatment. After consolidating the results for the four tillage treatments during summer fallow, both the SWEEP and RWEQ appear to adequately simulate erosion based on the d>0.6 and R2>0.35.