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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

  This Research Unit is one of two organizational management units that integrate the National Sedimentation Laboratory.  One of the fundamental goals of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is to assist landowners to produce food and fiber in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. The effective utilization of the Nation's natural resources requires appropriate application of conservation management practices by land managers and action agencies. Achieving these goals requires an integrated approach of good land management practices, stream protection and stabilization measures, and measures to enhance local terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These resources are continuously subjected to soil erosion, flooding, and permanent losses caused by soil, gully and channel erosion, and siltation of impounded waters.

  Our Research Unit contributes to those goals by developing and testing land use practices that are based on a scientific understanding of all hydrologic, erosion, and sedimentation processes at the test-plot, farm, watershed, and river-basin scales. We also conduct interdisciplinary research and transfer technology that farmers, and federal and state action agencies can use to control severe soil erosion, stabilize degrading channels, and rehabilitate flood control and irrigation structures.  Our Unit generates prediction technology needed to evaluate the long-term effects of weather variability, soil conservation measures, and stream and watershed rehabilitation practices on downstream sediment impacts.  We invite you to look at our website and inquire about our research program and products.

Research Projects

AGNPSAgricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Model
BSTEMBank Stability and Toe Erosion Model
CONCEPTSConservational Channel Evolution and Pollutant Transport System
Goodwin CreekGoodwin Creek Experimental Watershed
RISTRainfall Intensity Summarization Tool
RUSLERevised Universal Soil Loss Equation

Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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