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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #351391

Research Project: Conservation Practice Impacts on Water Quality at Field and Watershed Scales

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory

Title: Design and development of a web-based interface for the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model

item FENG, QINGYU - Purdue University
item ENGEL, BERNARD - Purdue University
item Flanagan, Dennis
item Huang, Chi Hua
item YEN, HAW - Texas A&M University
item YANG, LEI - Chinese Academy Of Sciences

Submitted to: Environmental Modelling & Software
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2018
Publication Date: 9/18/2018
Citation: Feng, Q., Engel, B.A., Flanagan, D.C., Huang, C., Yen, H., Yang, L. 2018. Design and development of a web-based interface for the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. Environmental Modelling & Software. 111:368-374.

Interpretive Summary: Runoff and soil erosion from crop fields can result in movement of chemical pollutants into off-site water bodies. Problems in the Great Lakes region include losses of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) and soluble nitrogen in surface runoff and from subsurface tile drainage water flow. It is impractical, expensive, and time-consuming to attempt to directly measure nutrient losses in water leaving farm fields, so a normal approach is to apply some type of natural resource computer simulation model. In this research, a web-based interface and databases were developed for a complex water quality model (APEX), making it much easier to apply at any location in the lower 48 states of the US, and visualize and compare output results. These results impact conservation agency personnel, extension agents, farmers, and others involved in natural resource conservation efforts to reduce losses of agricultural chemicals to off-site water bodies.

Technical Abstract: The diffuse nature of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution as well as that of the effectiveness of best management practices (BMP) to control NPS pollution necessitates BMP evaluation at the field scale. In this study, a user-friendly web interface was developed for application of the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model at the field scale. The interface contains background databases for field location, soil, agricultural management and climate across the contiguous United States. Users can specify properties to run the model for an individual field and compare the results under various land management and conservation practice choices. A case study was conducted to demonstrate the capability of the web interface for simulating various land management scenarios. This tool can help provide on-site information for NPS pollution management related policies and serve as a communication tool among scientists, engineers, and stakeholders.