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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASSESSING CONSERVATION EFFECTS ON WATER QUANTITY AND QUALITY AT FIELD AND WATERSHED SCALES

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Advances in soil erosion research: processes, measurement, and modeling

Authors
item Flanagan, Dennis
item Ascough, James
item Nieber, J -
item Misra, D -
item Douglas-Mankin, K -

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2013
Publication Date: April 26, 2013
Citation: Flanagan, D.C., Ascough II, J.C., Nieber, J.L., Misra, D., Douglas-Mankin, K.R. 2013. Advances in soil erosion research: processes, measurement, and modeling. Transactions of the ASABE. 56(2):455-463.

Interpretive Summary: Water can detach soil when raindrops strike bare, unprotected surfaces, as well as when runoff concentrates into rills and channels with the flow scouring soil away. Wind can detach and lift soil particles, and move them rolling or jumping near the soil surface, or carrying them higher into the atmosphere in suspension. These basic natural processes can act to remove layers of productive topsoil and the risk of soil erosion increases when human activities such as farming, logging, or construction loosen the soil structure and remove protective plant and residue covers. Research on erosion processes by wind and water, erosion control methods, and computer simulation modeling are all important to better understand, assess, and control soil losses. This paper discusses symposia by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) on soil erosion research, and introduces 22 papers from the most recent symposium in 2011 covering state-of-the-art erosion research activities. Work described in these papers impacts scientists, action agency personnel, university faculty, students, and others involved in erosion research or soil conservation efforts.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion by the environmental agents of water and wind is a continuing global menace that threatens the agricultural base that sustains our civilization. Members of ASABE have been at the forefront of research to understand erosion processes, measure erosion and related processes, and model very complex sediment detachment, transport and deposition for over 70 years. The ASABE Erosion Control Group (SW-22) and Erosion Control Research (SW-223) com-mittees periodically sponsor international symposia to provide an avenue for exchange of ideas and information by engineers, scientists and students from around the world. The two most recent symposia were the Soil Erosion Research for the 21st Century Symposium held in January 2001 in Honolulu, HI, and the International Symposium on Erosion and Landscape Evolution (ISELE) held in September 2011 in Anchorage, AK. This article describes these two most recent events, provides a description of major outcomes, and introduces a collection of papers that were presented as part of the 2011 ISELE meeting in Alaska. The ISELE sessions were focused on 7 themes: Water Erosion Process Research; Aeolian Erosion and Fugitive Dust Emission; Highly Disturbed, Urban, and Arid Lands; Erosion Measurement and Assessment; Prevention and Control of Upland and In-Stream Erosion; Soil Erosion Modeling; and Impacts of Global Change on Erosion and Landscape Evolution. More than 120 people from 16 countries attended the ISELE, and gave 112 oral and poster presentations. From those, 22 papers were accepted for publication in Transactions of the ASABE (21 papers, this issue) and Applied Engineering in Agriculture (1 paper, next issue). Results from these symposia and in these papers show active and vibrant research to address soil erosion problems, particularly in the face of global environmental changes.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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