Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Water Science
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 2004
Publication Date: July 18, 2005
Citation: Nearing, M.A., Renard, K.G., Nichols, M.H., Stone, J.J. 2005. Erosion prediction. In: Stan Trimble (editor). Encyclopedia of Water Science. p. 145-152. Interpretive Summary: This chapter provides a brief overview of soil erosion models for the general reader who might be relatively unfamiliar with soil erosion or with computer models. It is intended to provide initial direction to anyone who has an interest in the topic. The intended reader may be a student or someone in private consulting practice who needs a brief overview of the subject. Erosion models can be used for either engineering design or conservation purposes, and hence the chapter is intended for both audiences.
Technical Abstract: Soil erosion prediction models play an important role both in meeting practical needs of soil conservation goals and in advancing the scientific understanding of soil erosion processes. They are used to help land managers choose practices to reduce erosion rates. Erosion prediction models are used for erosion assessment and inventory work to track temporal changes in erosion rates over large areas. Erosion models are also used for engineering purposes, such as predicting rates of sediment loading to reservoirs. Increasingly, governments are using erosion models and their results as a basis for regulating conservation programs. Models are used wherever the costs or time involved in making soil erosion measurements are prohibitive.