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A coupled upland-erosion and instream hydrodynamic-sediment transport model for evaluating sediment transport in forested watersheds


Conroy, W. J.; Hotchkiss, R. H.; Elliot, W. J. 2006. A coupled upland-erosion and instream hydrodynamic-sediment transport model for evaluating sediment transport in forested watersheds. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. 49(6): 1-10.

This article describes a prototype modeling system for assessing forest management-related erosion at its source and predicting sediment transport from hillslopes to stream channels and through channel networks to a watershed outlet. We demonstrate that it is possible to develop a land management tool capable of accurately assessing the primary impacts of spatiotemporally varied forest management practices on sediment yield and delivery at hillslope to watershed scales in a single simulation. The modeling system consists of four components: (1) the TOpographic ParameteriZation (TOPAZ) model for discretizing hillslope and channel elements, (2) the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model for evaluating hillslope-scale surface erosion processes, (3) the National Center for Computational Hydrodynamics and Engineering's one-dimensional (CCHE1D) hydrodynamic-sediment transport model, and (4) an interface program to manage relational databases and data transfer between modules. The coupled models were calibrated and validated with observed flow and sediment load data from the North Fork Caspar Creek Experimental Watershed in coastal northern California. The coupled models' predictions of peak flow rate and total flow volume were not significantly different from observed values. Predicted sediment concentrations were significantly different from observed values, but within typical ranges for sediment transport equations. We recommend that the WEPP model be improved to allow access to sub-daily time scale results so that it can be better integrated with other watershed models.

Keywords: erosion modeling, hydrodynamic modeling, watershed models, TMDLs, CCHE1D, WEPP.


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: A coupled upland-erosion and instream hydrodynamic-sediment transport model for evaluating sediment transport in forested watersheds
Electronic Publish Date: March 30, 2007
Last Update:
March 30, 2007

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