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Winter Runoff Prediction by WEPP with an Energy Budget Approach to Simulating Snow and Soil Frost
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: Paper number 032068, 2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13769) @2003
Authors: Chun-hsu Lin, Donald K. McCool, Dennis C. Flanagan
Keywords: winter hydrology, energy budget, snow melt, soil frost, hydraulic conductivity, WEPP
In cold regions, the occurrence of snow and soil frost influences hydrology and, in turn, the
mechanisms of soil erosion processes. For these regions, modeling the dynamics of snow and soil
frost is necessary prior to predicting runoff and erosion accurately under different management
practices. With better winter hydrology simulation, the schemes for predicting the rates and amounts
of soil erosion by water can be established on a firm hydrological footing. This project examined the
potential of an energy budget approach to simulating the magnitude and variations of snow and soil
frost depths. It is assumed that the net sum of all energy components in the environment is
consumed or compensated by water phase changes that occur near or under the ground surface,
such as snow melting or soil freezing-thawing. After being tested, this energy budget approach
shows promising potential to simulate winter hydrology and can be adapted to erosion prediction models. It was then incorporated into an operational erosion prediction model, the Water Erosion
Prediction Project (WEPP) of USDA-ARS.