Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346970

Research Project: Assessment, Conservation and Management of Rangelands in Transition

Location: Watershed Management Research

Title: Improved understanding of hydrology and erosion processes and enhanced application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) for disturbed rangelands

Author
item Pierson, Fred
item Williams, Christopher - Jason
item AL-HAMDAN, OSAMA - Texas A&M University
item Nearing, Mark
item Hernandez, Mariano
item Weltz, Mark
item SPAETH, KENNETH - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Goodrich, David - Dave

Submitted to: World Conference Soil and Water Conservation Under Global Change (CONSOWA)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2017
Publication Date: 6/16/2017
Citation: Pierson Jr, F.B., Williams, C.J., Al-Hamdan, O., Nearing, M.A., Hernandez, M., Weltz, M.A., Spaeth, K., Goodrich, D.C. 2017. Improved understanding of hydrology and erosion processes and enhanced application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) for disturbed rangelands. Proceedings of World Conference Soil and Water Conservation Under Global Change (CONSOWA). p. 426-429.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Large-scale disturbances such as fire and woodland encroachment continue to plague the sustainability of semi-arid regions around the world. Land managers are challenged with predicting and mitigating such disturbances to stabilize soil and ecological degradation of vast landscapes. Scientists from the USDA-Agricultural Research Service have collaborated for decades on field research programs supporting the development of hydrology and erosion predictive technologies. These extensive investigations of the impacts of disturbance on vegetation, soil, infiltration, runoff generation, erodibility, and soil erosion processes span diverse topography and landscapes across the western United States. Knowledge gained from field experimentation has contributed to the development and testing of physically-based models for hillslope- to watershed-scale runoff and erosion prediction. Field research and subsequent data synthesis have identified key knowledge gaps and challenges regarding modeling the impacts of disturbance on hydrology and erosion. Our presentation details some consistent trends across a diverse domain and varying landscape conditions based on our field observations. We discuss how field data have advanced our understanding of disturbance on hydrology and erosion for semi-arid landscapes and highlight remaining key knowledge gaps. Lastly, we demonstrate how this improved process understanding has contributed to enhanced application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) for disturbed rangeland conditions.