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Climate Change and the Physical Environment

Online Web Tool for Soil Erosion Prediction

The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP), in the Soil and Water Engineering group at the Moscow Forest Sciences Laboratory, uses a number of specialized tools for roads, managed forests, and forests following wildfire to predict soil erosion. The daily climate parameter inputs into these predictive tools can be readily altered to reflect warmer or colder, and wetter or drier climates, by month. Our erosion model is physically-based. WEPP includes vegetation growth algorithms which are dependent on soil water availability and daily temperatures. Our predictive tools can thus show the interactions among climate, plant growth, and erosion. This means a drier and/or hotter climate may result in less vegetation, leading to either increased erosion because of reduced ground cover, or reduced erosion because of reduced precipitation. Because WEPP is driven by both temperature and precipitation, it can show the effects of changing climate on snow accumulation, melt, and runoff.

Contact Bill Elliott for additional information.