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Runoff and water erosion modelling using WEPP on a Mediterranean cultivated catchment

Abstract : Soil erosion due to water is a major environmental problem in many parts of the world. Most of Mediterranean countries are concerned because of their specific climate and soils sensitivity, but also because of the recent intensification of human activities and agricultural practices. Accurate estimation of soil water erosion for various land-use and climate scenarios is so an important key to define sustainable management policies. In the last decades, several studies have been carried out to build models suitable for quantifying soil erosion. Among these models, the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP, Flanagan, D.C., Nearing, M.A., 1995. USDA-Water Erosion Prediction Project: Hillslope profile and watershed model documentation. NSERL Report 10, USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, West Lafayette, IN, USA.) is a physically based, distributed-parameter model that has been developed and mainly validated in USA. Only few studies have investigated its applicability to environmental conditions that differs from those where the model was developed. The aim of this work is to test the efficiency of WEPP model to predict soil erosion at catchment scale in a Mediterranean semi-arid area. Continuous simulations have been conducted between 1995 and 2002 on an cultivated experimental catchment located upstream from a hill reservoir (Kamech catchment, 2.45 km(2), Cap Bon, Tunisia) where runoff and soil erosion measurements are available at the outlet. Comparison between predictions and measurements shows significant differences. Processes related to seasonal effects (as cracking soils) are pointed out as a weakness of WEPP model for Mediterranean conditions
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Damien Raclot, Jean Albergel. Runoff and water erosion modelling using WEPP on a Mediterranean cultivated catchment. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Elsevier, 2006, 31 (17), pp.1038-1047. ⟨10.1016/j.pce.2006.07.002⟩. ⟨hal-02666455⟩

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