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Upland Area Sediment Assessment Resources

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Upland Areas

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Training Courses:

Agents of Watershed Change.
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module provides an overview of natural and human-made change processes and the ways in which they affect the structure and function of watersheds. The module explains how natural and human-caused erosion and sediment deposition in and along waterways affect watershed change.

Agricultural Management Practices for Water Quality Protection.
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module introduces eight basic types of agricultural practices, including several dealing directly with sediment and erosion control on agricultural land. These practices are suitable for reducing or minimizing water quality impacts as part of an overall watershed approach.

Design and Implementation of Erosion and Sediment Control. [BROKEN] Exit EPA Disclaimer
A joint effort between the Federal Highway Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this course reflects the agencies' commitment to providing education and training on planning, design, implementation, enforcement, inspection and maintenance strategies to control erosion and sediment on highway construction projects, as well as to ensure that regulatory issues are addressed accurately and uniformly.

Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Watersheds.
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module discusses the steps commonly involved in planning and carrying out timber harvest and reforestation, and describes several ways to reduce or avoid impacts - particularly from sediment - on water resources during these activities.

Geotechnical Training Courses. [BROKEN]Exit EPA Disclaimer
The Federal Highway Administration offers several geotechnical training courses that address various aspects of soil stabilization. Course titles include: Soils and Foundations Workshop, Soil Slope and Embankment Design and Construction, Ground Improvement Techniques, Rock Slopes, Earth Retaining Structures, and Design/Construction/Inspection of Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls and Reinforced Soil Slopes.

IECA Digital Education Sediment Training Courses. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The International Erosion Control Association offers a series of digital training courses that can run on personal computers. Some of the courses available for purchase include:
  • The Dynamics of Soil: New Practices and Methods for the 21st Century
  • Low Impact Development: Saving Soil by Design
  • How to Perform an Analysis of a Streambank Erosion Problem
  • Select, Design, Install and Inspect Rolled Erosion Control Products (RECPs)
  • Keys to Understanding How to use Compost and Organic Matter for Erosion and Sediment Control
  • Monitoring is a Dirty Word
  • The ABCs of Silt Fence Installation and Maintenance

IECA Sediment Training Courses. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The International Erosion Control Association offers a series of upland sediment process training courses that they can bring to your organization on demand. Some of the courses they offer include
  • Designing for Sediment & Erosion Control on Construction Sites
  • Environmentally Sensitive Streambank Stabilization
  • How to Select, Establish and Use Plants for Erosion Control
  • Inspection Ground Rules: How to Evaluate a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and Inspect a Construction Site
  • Low Impact Development: Saving Soil by Design
  • Phase II: How to Select, Install and Inspect Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control BMPs for NPDES Storm Water Permit Compliance
  • Soil-Loss Estimation for Construction Lands Using RUSLE 2.0
  • Storm Water Management and Sediment Control Site Inspection Training
  • The Erosion and Sediment Control Business: Strategies for Sustainable Contracting

Stream Corridor Structure.
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module is about the physical structure of one of the most ecologically and hydrologically important parts of the watershed and the environment in general -- the stream corridor (defined as the stream, its floodplains, and a transitional upland fringe). The module explains role of sediment and erosion in stream corridor structure.

USACE HEC Training. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hydrologic Engineering Center offers several training courses using its computer software. Courses are open to the public if not filled by USACE employees. Courses include, but are not limited to
  • Sediment Transport in Rivers and Reservoirs. Teaches principles of open channel hydraulics, channel aggradation and degradation, sediment transport, and the application of Scour and Deposition in rivers and Reservoirs computer program (HEC-6) to predict stream behavior.
  • Hydrologic Analysis for River and Wetland Restoration. Provides an understanding of the role of hydrology in river and wetland restoration and equips participants with the tools for the various hydrologic analyses necessary in planning and design of these features.
The Web site has a complete course list.


Software, Models and Databases:

USDA ARS Software. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has participated in the development of a series of software tools to assess sediment- and channel-related processes. The following tools are available from the ARS:
  • AGNPS. AGricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Model (AGNPS) is a joint USDA Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service system of computer models developed to predict nonpoint source pollutant loadings within agricultural watersheds. It contains a continuous simulation, surface runoff model designed to assist with determining BMPs, the setting of TMDLs, and for risk & cost/benefit analyses.
  • Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model. The Bank Stability Model is an spreadsheet-based model that calculates bank Factor of Safety for new or existing channel banks. The model will help to assess the stability of existing channel banks, predicting the effect that changes in riparian land use will have, or designing new channels.
  • CONCEPTS. The National Sedimentation Laboratory has developed the CONservational Channel Evolution and Pollutant Transport System (CONCEPTS) computer model to simulate the evolution of incised streams and to evaluate the long-term impact of rehabilitation measures to stabilize stream systems and reduce sediment yield.
  • RIST. The Rainfall Intensity Summarization Tool (RIST) is a Windows-based program designed to facilitate analysis of time-and-date stamp tipping-bucket precipitation records.
  • RUSLE 1.06 and 2.0. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equations (RUSLE) are erosion prediction technologies, also referred to as erosion models, that are widely used to estimate rates of soil erosion caused by rainfall and associated overland flow. RUSLE1 and RUSLE2 are used by government agencies around the world to assess and inventory erosion to assist public policy development.

USGS Surface Water Software. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed numerous software packages for assessing surface water and sedimentation. Some might be applicable for streambank sediment assessment, including
  • CAP. Culvert Analysis Program
  • CGAP. Channel Geometry Analysis Program
  • DAFLOW. Streamflow routing in upland channels or channel networks
  • MODEIN. Computation of total sediment discharge by the modified Einstein procedure
  • NCALC. Manning's n value calculation program
Go to the Web site for these or other USGS surface water software packages
Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Model. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The WEPP model is a process-based, distributed parameter, continuous simulation, erosion prediction model for use on personal computers running Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP. The current model version (v2004.600) available for download is applicable to hillslope erosion processes (sheet and rill erosion), as well as simulation of the hydrologic and erosion processes on small watersheds.


Publications, Web Sites & Other Resources:

Applied River Morphology (Rosgen, 1996). Exit EPA Disclaimer
This book outlines the fundamental principles of river behavior and the classification of natural rivers, depicting major stream types. It offers field techniques and forms for stream classification reference reach, bank erosion prediction, fish habitat structure evaluation, sediment relations, hydraulics, and channel stability evaluations. The book offer information useful for watershed management, ecosystem assessment, habitat evaluation for fish, river restoration, and reduction of non-point source pollution.

The First Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds (ICRW): In-Stream Sediment Assessment Papers. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The ICRW was held in Benson, Arizona, in October 2003. The conference proceedings are available online and include a number of number of streambank sediment assessment-related documents, such as
  • Combined Geomorphic and Numerical-Modeling Analyses of Sediment Loads for Developing Water-Quality Targets for Sediment
  • Effect of Peak Flow Increases on Sediment Transport Regimes Following Timber Harvest, Western Cascades, Oregon
  • Incorporating Bank-Toe Erosion by Hydraulic Shear into a Bank-Stability Model: Missouri River, Eastern Montana
  • An Interregional Comparison of Channel Structure and Transient Storage in Streams Draining Harvested
  • Modeling Hydrologic Variables and Terrain Features for Strategically Locating Riparian Buffers
  • Sediment Yield from Semiarid Watersheds
  • Simulating Channel Geomorphic Change in Semi-Arid Watersheds
  • Soil Contributions to Sediment Properties in Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed: Influence of Slope Factors
See the Web site for a complete list.

Instructional Manual for USGS Sediment Observers (Johnson, 1997). (PDF) 
This instruction manual provides an overview of the U.S. Geological Survey Sediment Program, presents basic theory on sediment transport, and provides step-by-step instructions on when and how to sample for sediment.

Measures to Control Erosion and Turbidity in Construction Site Runoff. [BROKEN](McLaughlin, 2003). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
North Carolina State University Associate Professor Richard McLaughlin evaluated the use of polyacrylamides (PAM) for both erosion and turbidity control on construction sites. The final report indicates that there is no one PAM that is effective for turbidity reduction on all sediment sources, but several are promising for many soils.


National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Agriculture (2003).
This technical guidance and reference document is designed to help State, local, and tribal managers implement nonpoint source pollution management programs. It contains information on the best available, economically achievable means of reducing nonpoint source pollution (including sediment) from agricultural activities.


National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Forestry (2001).
This draft technical guidance and reference document is designed to help State, local, and tribal managers implement nonpoint source pollution management programs. It contains information on the best available, economically achievable means of reducing nonpoint source pollution (including sediment) that can result from forestry activities.

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