Return Period Analyses for Peak Runoff Rates under Climate and Land Use Management Change Grannis Brook, Gowanda, New York
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Soil is the basis for supporting plant growth and animal biodiversity and is the foundation for productive land use management. Erosion is a global and local issue. Erosion-related environmental problems are also present within the United States and have been a major concern throughout the last century. This land continues to be unproductive as a result of eroding soil at a rate of more than 10 million hectares per year. The main potential threats to increasing erosion problems are climate and land use management change. Environmental process models have been widely applied for the assessment and management prediction of the process of runoff generation, transmission and deposition of sediment within small watersheds. GeoWEPP, the Geo-spatial interface for the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model, develops a scientific and functional framework to integrate existing geo-spatial modeling with environmental assessment and analytical tools, which extends the model availability and applicability. This study aims to predict the possible effects of climate and land use management change upon soil erosion by using a soil erosion model, verifying the critical state of the high erosion process when global change causes runoff changes of soils and downstream peak runoff rates. This study can be conceptually divided into three parts: (1) the WEPP model is implemented to simulate the erosion process on individual hillslopes in various global change environments; (2) To characterize the spatially distributed hillslope and soil parameters, the hillslope runoff process is simulated to evaluate the impacts of incorporation of representative hillslopes and soil types, under the key threshold resulting from individual hillslope simulation; and (3) Boundary conditions from the second section are applied to distributed simulation at the watershed scale. Predicted runoff and sediment yields at a different spatial and temporal scale are the consequence of the interplay of climate and land use changes.