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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE PROCESSES THAT IMPACT THE QUALITY AND MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

Title: Universal soil loss equation and revised universal soil loss equation

Authors
item Renard, Kennth - ARS, RETIRED
item Yoder, Daniel - UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
item Lightle, David - USDA-NRCS
item Dabney, Seth

Submitted to: Handbook of Erosion Modeling
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2010
Publication Date: February 24, 2011
Citation: Renard, K.G., Yoder, D.C., Lightle, D.T., Dabney, S.M. 2011. Universal soil loss equation and revised universal soil loss equation. In: Handbook of Erosion Modeling. R. Morgan and M. Nearing, editors. Part 2; Chapter 8:137-167.

Interpretive Summary: Soil erosion has long been recognized as a serious problem. Considerable efforts have been expended to address this problem. Thousands of plot years of data were summarized by ARS researchers in producing the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). This technology has been used for conservation planning since the 1960’s within the U.S. and internationally. The computer based RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) model was published in 1997. RUSLE incorporated significant advances over the USLE and permitted application of soil erosion estimation for a greater variety of crops and management practices beyond those in the original USLE data base. RUSLE was subsequently revised to include advanced scientific and interface technology and subsequently delivered as RUSLE2, along with an expanded databases and more control over the parameters specific users could see and change. The USDA-NRCS has accepted responsibility for the underlying databases within the U.S., which include descriptions of climates, vegetations, and soils, along with extensive files describing common management practices. RUSLE2 is widely recognized as a major advance in erosion prediction and conservation technology, and provides a very flexible tool allowing resource conservationists, managers, and developers to compare a broad range of management alternatives in deciding on an optimum resource use.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion has long been recognized as a serious problem. Considerable efforts have been expended to address this problem. Thousands of plot years of data were summarized by ARS researchers in producing the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). This technology has been used for conservation planning since the 1960’s within the U.S. and internationally. The computer based RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) model was published in 1997. RUSLE incorporated significant advances over the USLE and permitted application of soil erosion estimation for a greater variety of crops and management practices beyond those in the original USLE data base. RUSLE was subsequently revised to include advanced scientific and interface technology and subsequently delivered as RUSLE2, along with an expanded databases and more control over the parameters specific users could see and change. The USDA-NRCS has accepted responsibility for the underlying databases within the U.S., which include descriptions of climates, vegetations, and soils, along with extensive files describing common management practices. RUSLE2 is widely recognized as a major advance in erosion prediction and conservation technology, and provides a very flexible tool allowing resource conservationists, managers, and developers to compare a broad range of management alternatives in deciding on an optimum resource use.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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