The impact of wildland fire on runoff and erosion using the automated geospatial watershed assessment tool
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): D. Phillip Guertin; David C. Goodrich; I. Shea Burns; B. Scott Sheppard; Jane Barlow Patel; T. J. Clifford; Carl L. Unkrich; William G. Kepner; Lainie Levick
Editor(s): James S. Latimer; Carl C. Trettin; David D. Bosch; Charles R. Lane
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

  • AGWA - Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool
  • erosion
  • post-fire assessment
  • runoff
  • soil
  • watershed management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 2, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 59101


Functionality has been incorporated into the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool (AGWA) to assess the impacts of wildland fire on runoff and erosion. AGWA ( or is a GIS interface jointly developed by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Arizona, and the University of Wyoming to automate the parameterization and execution of the hydrologic and erosion models RHEM, KINEROS2, and SWAT. Through an intuitive interface, the user selects an outlet from which AGWA delineates and discretizes the watershed using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The watershed model elements are then intersected with terrain, soils, and land cover data layers to derive the model input parameters. Based on a small sample of pre- and post-fire rainfall-runoff data, a method was developed to adjust model parameters for vegetation cover and burn severity maps. AGWA was used on over 50 wildland fires by the U.S. DOI Interagency Burned Area Emergency Response teams to assess fire impacts on runoff and erosion and support development of Burned Area Assessment Reports, and to assess runoff and erosion impacts of wildland fire before and after forest health treatments.

Online Link(s):
Guertin, D. Phillip; Goodrich, David C.; Burns, I. Shea; Sheppard, B. Scott; Patel, Jane Barlow; Clifford, T. J.; Unkrich, Carl; Kepner, William G.; Levick, Lainie. 2019. The impact of wildland fire on runoff and erosion using the automated geospatial watershed assessment tool. Pages 38-45. In: Latimer, James S; Trettin, Carl C.; Bosch, David D.; Lane, Charles R. (editors). Working watersheds and coastal systems: research and management for a changing future - Proceedings of the Sixth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds. e-General Technical Report SRS-GTR-243. Asheville, NC: USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station.