BAER Tools ->
Post-Fire Road Treatment Tools ->
Post-Fire Peak Flow and Erosion Estimation ->
Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT)
(Robichaud and others 2006,
an FS WEPP Interface,
has been used by the BAER team members (5%),
primarily from Region 4 (Foltz and others 2008).
ERMiT is an
FS WEPP Interface,
based on the
developed by an interagency group of scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research
Service, Forest Service, and Soil Conservation Service (currently Natural Resources Conservation Service); U.S. Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Geological Survey; and several university cooperators. The WEPP model predicts soil erosion and sediment delivery
water using stochastic weather generation, infiltration theory, hydrology, soil physis, plant sciences, hydraulics, and erosion mechanics (Flanagan and Livingston, 1995).
The Forest Service WEPP (FS WEPP) Interfaces were developed by the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research
Station, Soil and Water Engineering, Moscow, Idaho. They are user-friendly, online tools for various forest applications.
To use ERMiT, you need to visit the
FS WEPP website
To use the ERMiT, the following information is required:
- soil texture, chosen among clay loam, silt loam, sandy loam, and loam;
- rock content(%);
- vegetation type, chosen among forest, range, and chaparral;
- range/chaparral pre-fire community description;
- hillslope horizontal length; and
- soil burn severity, chosen among high, moderate, and low.
- Visit the FS WEPP web site
- Select ERMiT.
- Choose and type input information.
- Run ERMiT.
The following were advantages to applying the ERMiT for post-fire runoff and erosion estimation. ERMiT:
- is applicable for estimating post-fire erosion up to 5 years after the fire;
- identifies the damaging storm;
- provides various
outputs, such as the exceedance probability;
- is suitable for evaluating the effectiveness of
various hillslope treatments;
- is user-friendly, easy to use, and on-line accessible;
- is process-based (i.e., applicable to any part of the United States and to other countries as long as the required
climate information is available); and
- uses both English and metric units.
The following wer disadvantages to apply the ERMiT for post-fire runoff and erosion estimation. ERMiT does not:
- estimate post-fire peak flow, so it is not adequate for prescribing post-fire road treatments;
- provide pre-fire runoff and erosion information, so it cannot compare pre- and post-fire changes;
- consider post-fire debris flow/torrent; and
- consider watershed shapes.
The 2006 Red Eagle Fire, Montana.
Foltz, Randy B.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Rhee, Hakjun. 2008.
A synthesis of post-fire road treatments for BAER teams:
methods, treatment effectiveness, and decision-making tools for rehabilitation.
Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station (in preparation).
Robichaud, Peter R.; Elliot, William J.; Pierson, Fredrick B.; Hall, David E.; Moffet, Corey A. (2006 January 18-last update).
Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT) Ver. 2006.01.18.
[Homepage of ERMiT Erosion Risk Management Tool], [Online]. Available:
[2008 March 3].
Robichaud, Peter R.; Elliot, William J.; Pierson, Fredrick B.; Hall, David E.; Moffet, Corey A.; Ashmum, Louise E. 2007.
Risk Management Tool (ERMiT) user manual (version 2006.01.18). Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-188.
Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 24 p.