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WEPP Model applications for evaluations of best management practices


Flanagan, D. C.; Elliott, W. J.; Frankenberger, J. R.; Huang, C. 2010. WEPP Model applications for evaluations of best management practices. Paper presented at the 16th Congress of the International Soil Conservation Organization; November 8-12, 2010; Santiago, Chile. 5 p.

The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model is a process-based erosion prediction technology for application to small watersheds and hillslope profiles, under agricultural, forested, rangeland, and other land management conditions. Developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past 25 years, WEPP simulates many of the physical processes that are important when estimating runoff, soil erosion, and sediment delivery at a location having unique climate, topography, soils, and plants/tillage/management. A variety of user interfaces and databases make the model very easy to apply and use, particularly within the United States. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has developed a stand-alone Windows WEPP system, as well as internet web-based hillslope and GIS watershed interfaces. GeoWEPP is an ArcGIS extension for performing model applications with a user's own detailed geospatial topographic, soils, and land management data. The USDA Forest Service (FS) also has a variety of custom online web-based interfaces for WEPP model applications targeted to specific problems, such as forest road design, effects of timber harvest operations, and identification of areas most important for remediation after wildfires. This presentation provides information on the current WEPP model and interfaces, and demonstrates the model's application at a field site. Existing conditions (climate, soils, slope, cropping/management) were used to provide baseline runoff and erosion estimates, and then the impacts of various alternative conservation practices were explored, including modified crop rotations, use of conservation tillage, strip cropping, and buffer strips. For the example in this paper for a 50-m long 6% slope eroding hillslope profile in southern Indiana, use of a system leaving substantial residue and/or vegetative cover on the soil is needed to successfully reduce soil loss below a tolerable level.

Keywords: Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model, erosion prediction


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: WEPP Model applications for evaluations of best management practices
Electronic Publish Date: April 4, 2012
Last Update:
April 4, 2012

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