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Rocky Mountain Research Station
Forestry Sciences Laboratory - Moscow, Idaho
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Soil & Water
Research Areas:

Road Erosion
Fire Effects
Disturbed Forests
Upland Watersheds
Slope Stability
Erosion Modeling
Climate Modeling

Project Leader:
William J. Elliot
email Bill

Last Revised:

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Soil and Water Engineering  >  Information  >  Erosion Modeling (FS WEPP)


FS WEPP is a set of interfaces designed to allow users to quickly evaluate erosion and sediment delivery potential from forest roads. The erosion rates and sediment delivery are predicted by the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model, using input values for forest conditions developed by scientists at the Rocky Mountain Research Station.


The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) soil erosion model is being developed by an interagency group of scientists including the USDA's Forest Service, Agricultural Research Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management and Geological Survey. Scientists from these agencies throughout the United States have been working since 1985 to develop WEPP to replace the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE).

The WEPP model is a complex computer program that describes the processes that lead to erosion. These processes include infiltration and runoff; soil detachment, transport, and deposition; and plant growth, senescence, and residue decomposition. For each day of simulation, WEPP calculates the soil water content in multiple layers and plant growth/decomposition. The effects of tillage processes and soil consolidation are also modeled.

WEPP can be run from an MS DOS set of input screens or from a Windows interface currently under development. In both versions, a set of file builders assists the user in building or altering input files which can include more than 400 input variables for a single run.


William J. Elliot, Project Leader
Randy B. Foltz, Research Engineer
David E. Hall, Computer Specialist
Peter R. Robichaud, Research Engineer
Paul G. Swetik, Computer Specialist