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CULSED: Information and Download

An overview of CULSED

Forest roads are at the core of modern forestry, and are also responsible for generating and delivering sediment to stream networks. Sediment production is a function of a multitude of factors, among which: road grade, road length, road age, surface material and condition, cut slopes, local climate, soil and parent material all contribute. The current most used solution for reducing sediment delivery is the cross drain systems. CULSED is a GIS decision support tool that works by taking all the factors that lead to sediment delivery into streams, and using those parameters to optimize culvert placement to lessen the impact of roads.

Here is a comparative study done on the Reese Creek Watershed, a central part of the North Tahoma State Forest. This site was chosen for our cross drain design experiment due to its fragmented terrain with many streams and road-stream crossings. A sufficient amount of site descriptive information was available. Digital datasets of existing cross drains, roads and high resolution digital elevation models were obtained from WA DNR.

In the CULSED model, a number of culverts were relocated to key locations in order to achieve sediment reduction for the entire North Tahoma project area. Comparing the relative size of the proportional symbols with the original configuration (in both sets of images below), the sediment reduction becomes obvious.

Click for larger image of sediment delivery comparisons
Initial sedimentation from East North Tahoma road network - 42.10 tons/yr
Sediment delivery from East North Tahoma road network after redesigning the cross drain system - 13.12 tons/ year

For both images: blue dots represent stream crossings; red dots represent cross drains at natural draws and wet spots; green dots represent other cross drains; red arrows indicate direction of sediment flow along roadside ditch; the numbers represent road grade.

*Yellow circles are proportional with sedimentation at the respective location; 69% sedimentation reduction from the original design.

 

Click for larger image of sediment delivery comparisons
Initial sedimentation from West North Tahoma road network - 25.18 tons/yr Sediment delivery from West North Tahoma road network after redesigning the cross drain system - 7.83 tons/yr

For both images: blue dots represent stream crossings; red dots represent cross drains at natural draws and wet spots; green dots represent other cross drains; red arrows indicate direction of sediment flow along roadside ditch; the numbers represent road grade.

*Yellow circles are proportional to the sediment delivered at the respective locations; 68 % sedimentation reduction from the original design.

A major sediment model improvement that CULSED has made is its instantaneous feedback. It makes an immediate evaluation of a user action (adding, moving or removing culverts), and returns that evaluation to the user in a easily comprehensible form. The instantaneous feedback is important because it gives users the ability to quickly judge their own design decisions and improve them.

We do not currently have funding to maintain or support CULSED software. However we are always looking for opportunities to upgrade and maintain currency with the ArcGIS platform. If you have a project that could benefit from a newer version of CULSED please feel free to contact Luke (lwrogersatu.washington.edu).

Download CULSED for ArcGIS

Version 9.1 (April 20, 2007) Installation Instructions and Manual
  Windows 2000/XP (3,119 KB)
  Example Data (9,204 KB)
   
Version 8.2 (September 16, 2003) Installation Instructions

 

Windows NT/2000/XP (203 KB)
 
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Last Updated 2/2/2012 6:37:31 PM