Creator: Wachal, David J.; Harmel, R. Daren; Banks, Kenneth E. & Hudak, Paul F.
Description: This article discusses the evaluation of WEPP for runoff and sediment yield prediction on natural gas well sites. Abstract: Natural gas exploration and production requires land-disturbing construction activities that have the potential to accelerate soil loss due to land cover modifications, increased slopes, and flow concentration. In the U.S., nearly 30,000 new gas wells are drilled each year. Erosion modeling has been successfully used for decades to predict soil loss and conservation effects on agricultural fields, rangelands, and forests, although much less research has been conducted on the application of erosion models for disturbed construction site conditions. The objective of this research was to evaluate Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) runoff and sediment yield predictions relative to measured data from two natural gas well sites (referred to as GW1 and GW2) in north central Texas. Model parameters were adjusted from WEPP default parameters based on available literature and model observations. A low effective hydraulic conductivity value (0.75 mm h⁻¹) resulted in successful runoff predictions. Agreement between predicted and measured sediment yields was accomplished by increasing rill and interrill erodibility values and decreasing critical shear stress values from default values. WEPP performance was evaluated with the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), root mean ...
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