Throughout this user guide, we refer to datasets that we used in conjunction with developing of this software for supporting cartographic research and producing the datasets to conduct research. However, this software can be used with these datasets or with more 'generic' versions of data of the appropriate type. For example, throughout the guide, we refer to national land cover data (NLCD) and digital elevation model (DEM) data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at a 30-m resolution, but any digital terrain model or land cover data at any appropriate resolution will produce results. Another key point to keep in mind is to use a consistent data resolution for all the datasets per model run.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed the Agricultural Nonpoint Source (AGNPS) pollution model of watershed hydrology in response to the complex problem of managing nonpoint sources of pollution. AGNPS simulates the behavior of runoff, sediment, and nutrient transport from watersheds that have agriculture as their prime use. The model operates on a cell basis and is a distributed parameter, event-based model. The model requires 22 input parameters. Output parameters are grouped primarily by hydrology, sediment, and chemical output (Young and others, 1995.)
Elevation, land cover, and soil are the base data from which to extract the 22 input parameters required by the AGNPS. For automatic parameter extraction, follow the general process described in this guide of extraction from the geospatial data through the AGNPS Data Generator to generate input parameters required by the pollution model (Finn and others, 2002.)