Ecological - Second Order
The decision of where, when, and how to apply the most effective postfire erosion mitigation treatments requires land managers to assess the risk of damaging runoff and erosion events occurring after a fire. To meet this challenge, the Erosion Risk Management Tool (ERMiT) was developed. ERMiT is a web-based application that uses the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) technology to estimate erosion, in probabilistic terms, on burned and recovering forest, range, and chaparral lands with and without the application of mitigation treatments. User inputs are processed by ERMiT to combine rain event variability with spatial and temporal variabilities of hillslope burn severity and soil properties, which are then used as WEPP input parameter values. Based on 20 to 40 individual WEPP runs, ERMiT produces a distribution of rain event erosion rates with a probability of occurrence for each of five postfire years. In addition, rain event erosion rate distributions are generated for postfire hillslopes that have been treated with seeding, straw mulch, and erosion barriers such as contour-felled logs or straw wattles.