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Automated GIS Watershed Analysis Tools for RUSLE/SEDMOD Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Modeling

Rick D. Van Remortel 1 , Robert W. Maichle 1 , Daniel T. Heggem 2 , and Ann M. Pitchford 2

1 Lockheed Martin Environmental Services, Las Vegas, NV 89119
2 USEPA ORD Environmental Sciences Division, Landscape Ecology Branch, Las Vegas, NV 89193

A comprehensive procedure for computing soil erosion and sediment delivery metrics has been developed using a suite of automated Arc Macro Language (AML) scripts and a pair of processing-intensive ANSI C++ executable programs operating on an ESRI ArcGIS 8.x Workstation platform. The computing algorithms are rooted in the technical literature of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) soil erosion modeling framework and the Spatially Explicit Delivery Model (SEDMOD) sediment delivery framework. This suite of software programs can be used to compute estimates of the RUSLE-based soil erosion rate and its component factors, the SEDMOD-based sediment delivery rate and its contributing parameters, and other ancillary soil and landform characteristics reported at multiple spatial scales. Iterative batch processing is available for computing the soil metrics on as many as 16,000 watersheds in a single run. Beta versions of the programs are currently available for testing and evaluation.

Keywords: soil erosion, sediment delivery, landscape modeling, watershed analysis, geographic information systems

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