Erosion by Water: Empirical Methods

Authored by: John M. Laflen

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Assessment of soil erosion requires models because it is impossible to assess soil erosion in short-term experiments because of the highly variable nature of precipitation and soil erosion. Models described in this entry are empirical models based on understanding of the effect of various factors on soil erosion, with relationships and coefficients based upon data collected in various experiments.There are a number of empirical soil erosion models for predicting erosion by water. Empirical soil erosion models have been applied to nearly every continent. Most models are based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation, with adjustments made based upon local measurements and local conditions. Soil erosion measurements exhibit a high degree of variability, and soil erosion estimates made by empirical models also have a wide error range. Data that should help users understand the error expected in assessment of soil erosion using empirical models are presented.

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