Predicting Watershed Sediment Yields After Wildland Fire with the Invest Sediment Retention Model at Large Geographic Extent in the Western USA: Accuracy and UncertaintiesAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, [San Francisco, CA] (2014)
Wildland fire is a primary threat to watersheds that can impact water supply through increased sedimentation, water quality decline, and change the timing and amount of runoff leading to increased risk from flood and sediment natural hazards. It is of great societal importance in the western USA and throughout the world to improve understanding of how changing fire frequency, extent, and location, in conjunction with fuel treatments will affect watersheds and the ecosystem services they supply to communities. In this work we assess the utility of the InVEST Sediment Retention Model to accurately characterize vulnerability of burned watersheds to erosion and sedimentation. The InVEST tools are GIS-based implementations of common process models, engineered for high-end computing to allow the faster simulation of larger landscapes and incorporation into decision-making. The InVEST Sediment Retention Model is based on common soil erosion models (e.g., RUSLE –Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) and determines which areas of the landscape contribute the greatest sediment loads to a hydrological network and conversely evaluate the ecosystem service of sediment retention on a watershed basis. We evaluate the accuracy and uncertainties for InVEST predictions of increased sedimentation after fire, using measured post-fire sedimentation rates available for many watersheds in different rainfall regimes throughout the western USA from an existing, large USGS database of post-fire sediment yield [synthesized in Moody J, Martin D (2009) Synthesis of sediment yields after wildland fire in different rainfall regimes in the western United States. International Journal of Wildland Fire 18: 96‐115]. The ultimate goal of this work is to calibrate and implement the model to accurately predict variability in post-fire sediment yield as a function of future landscape heterogeneity predicted by wildfire simulations, and future landscape fuel treatment scenarios, within watersheds.
Publication DateDecember 19, 2014
Citation InformationJoel Sankey, Jason Kreitler, Jason McVay, Todd Hawbaker, et al.. "Predicting Watershed Sediment Yields After Wildland Fire with the Invest Sediment Retention Model at Large Geographic Extent in the Western USA: Accuracy and Uncertainties" American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, [San Francisco, CA] (2014)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/scott_lowe/19/