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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil erosion predictions from upland areas – a discussion of selected RUSLE2 advances and needs

Authors
item Foster, George R. - USDA ARS (RET)
item Romkens, Mathias
item Dabney, Seth

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Sino-American Workshop on Advanced Computational Modeling in Hydroscience and Engineering
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 5, 2006
Publication Date: November 26, 2006
Citation: Foster, G., Romkens, M.J., Dabney, S.M. 2006. Soil erosion predictions from upland areas – a discussion of selected RUSLE2 advances and needs. Beijing, China, Nov. 25-26, 2006. Proceedings of the Sino-American Workshop on Advanced Computational Modeling in Hydroscience and Engineering.

Interpretive Summary: RUSLE2 is the most important soil conservation management tool for upland areas available to USDA. All USDA offices use this tool for farm planning purposes. It is proscribed in the 2002 Security Farm Bill to be used in administering conservation farm programs. In this article we discuss recently developed algorithms to improve soil loss predictions, such as an improved technique for erosivity determinations that vary smoothly over space and in time, and evaluations of the effect of soil deposition and land use. Also, an approach is discussed to include ephemeral gully erosion in RUSLE2 technology.

Technical Abstract: Obtaining more accurate soil loss estimates from upland areas is important for improving management practices on agricultural fields. Much of the soil erosion prediction research of the last 25 years has been concerned with this goal. The most widely used predictive relationships have been the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its successor, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Recently, significant improvements were made in the factor relationships that are constituents of the RUSLE2 equation. This article discusses, in global terms, some of the most important improvements that were made in RUSLE2: erosivity determination, soil deposition, and land use effects. Also issues related to the development of a concentrated flow component for RUSLE2 are discussed in depth.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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