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Wind Erosion:
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Hydrology Submodel in a Wind Erosion Prediction System

Edward L. Skidmore


Water affects wind erosion. Wet surfaces are essentially non-erodible. Frequency, amount, and intensity of precipitation affect plant growth, residue decomposition, soil aggregate status, and surface configuration which all modify rate of wind erosion. The purpose of HYDROLOGY submodel is to predict soil water status and how it changes in time and space as a function of soil hydraulic properties, potential evaporation, and precipitation. Special emphases in given to predicting wetness of the soil particles at the soil-atmosphere interface because of its large influence on detachment of soil particles. Soil hydraulic properties are either measured or estimated from basic soil properties. Potential evaporation is calculated from solar radiation, wind speed, temperature, and humidity furnished by WEATHER. Rainfall information is also obtained from WEATHER. Whether precipitation is snow and not rain is determined as a function of mean daily temperature at specified probability. Rain and snow are partitioned between infiltration and runoff for each simulation run. HYDROLOGY uses a finite-difference technique to redistribute soil water with the Darcy equation for water flow. It predicts soil wetness at the soil-atmosphere interface. Results from model simulations of evaporation, water content profiles, soil water status at the soil-atmosphere interface agreed well with measured values. The model simulates soil water dynamics as needed for wind erosion modeling.