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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) - Welcome to RUSLE 1 and RUSLE 2
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Welcome to the “official” U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) site for both RUSLE1.06 and RUSLE2 (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation). These erosion prediction technologies, which are referred to as erosion models, are widely used to estimate rates of soil erosion caused by rainfall and associated overland flow. RUSLE1 and RUSLE2 are used by government agencies around the world to assess and inventory erosion to assist public policy development. Government agencies use RUSLE1 and RUSLE2 as regulatory and conservation planning tools. Private consultants use RUSLE1 and RUSLE2 to select erosion control plans to ensure cost effective, environmental protection. Both RUSLE1 and RUSLE2 are land use independent and can be used on cropland, disturbed forestland, rangeland, construction sites, mined land, reclaimed land, military training grounds, landfills, waste disposal sites, and other lands where rainfall and its associated overland flow cause soil erosion.

Information on Internet Site

This Internet site provides general information on RUSLE1.06 and RUSLE2. The computer programs for these models, databases needed to apply the models, and user information on how to use the programs can be downloaded from this site. The site also describes how you can obtain additional information and special assistance on RUSLE1 and RUSLE2.

RUSLE2

RUSLE2is new, advanced erosion prediction technology that uses the familiar USLE empirical structure proven by more than five decades of use in the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and RUSLE1. Modern erosion and computer science is used in RUSLE2 to greatly extend the basic USLE structure. A modern computer interface makes RUSLE2 easily used and adaptable to special conditions. RUSLE2 uses physically meaningful input values that are widely available in existing databases or can be easily obtained. RUSLE2 is, we believe, the best available practical erosion prediction technology that can be easily applied at the local office level. We recommend that all users of RUSLE1.06, other versions of RUSLE1, and the USLE upgrade to RUSLE2. RUSLE2 (Jan 19, 2005) available on this Internet site, is the latest release of RUSLE2 by ARS.

RUSLE1.06c

RUSLE1.06c, which is the most recent version of RUSLE1.06, uses the USLE R K LS C P factors for those users who like the simplicity and hands-on nature of those factors. Although RUSLE1.06c is not as powerful as RUSLE2, RUSLE1.06c and its factor values are much improved over the USLE and its factor values. If you need to use a USLE-type erosion prediction technology because of regulation, legal, or other requirements or simply because of preference, by all means upgrade from the USLE to RUSLE1.06c.

The USDA-ARS first released RUSLE1 (version 1.02) for public use in late 1992. RUSLE1 was periodically upgraded resulting in the last major release as RUSLE1.06 in 1998. RUSLE1.06c, available on this Internet site, is the most recent RUSLE1 version. It has been modified from previous versions to give results that are generally consistent with those from RUSLE2. If you are using prior versions of RUSLE1 (such as RUSLE1.05), including RUSLE1.06, you should upgrade to RUSLE1.06c.

RUSLE1.06 and its RUSLE1.05 predecessor have been used by numerous government agencies and private consultants to assess the degree of rill and interrill erosion, identify situations where soil erosion is serious, and guide conservation planning. The primary user of RUSLE1 has been the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in its field offices.

NRCS Implementation of RUSLE2

The NRCS is currently implementing RUSLE2 as a replacement for RUSLE1. Already RUSLE2 is used throughout the world by consultants, scientists, and academicians. A major advantage of either RUSLE1.06c or RUSLE2 is the ready availability of input databases and the expertise and experience of a major USDA agency in applying erosion prediction technology in conservation planning since the 1940’s.

Developers and Cooperators

Both RUSLE1.06c and RUSLE2 were developed and are maintained principally by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the University of Tennessee. Cooperators include the U.S. Department of Interior (USDI) Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Regulation; USDI-Bureau of Land Management; Soil and Water Conservation Society; Purdue University; University of Denver; and University of Minnesota. Other users include the Department of Defense; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Energy; USDA Forest Service; state and local agencies regulating reclaimed land, construction sites, and land fills; surface mine companies; commercial firms that develop and retail erosion control products; private consultants that develop erosion control plans and teach erosion control technology; and university faculty who teach RUSLE in the classroom. RUSLE is also used in numerous foreign countries.


Last Modified: 4/22/2010