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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recent Progresses in Soil Erosion Process Research and Their Impacts on Erosion Prediction Model Development

item Huang, Chi Hua
item Norton, Lloyd

Submitted to: International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 23, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion process research produces knowledge and science used in the development of current process-based erosion prediction models. The USDA-ARS water erosion research program at West Lafayette, IN has been the focal center in soil erosion process research and erosion prediction model development. Recent progresses in soil erosion process research include: 1) quantification of the near-surface hydraulic gradient effects, i.e., seepage vs. drainage condition, on erosion; 2) development of a multi-box system that can simulate hillslope hydrologic conditions and evaluate sediment mass balance relationships; and 3) identification of dominant erosion processes and controlling sediment regimes as the surface hydrologic condition is changed. Our data show that the dominant erosion process depended on slope gradient, rainfall intensity and soil erodibility. An increase in soil erodibility under the seepage condition triggered a transport-dominated regime while a decrease in soil erodibility from profile drainage limited sediment detachment and enhanced sediment deposition. These data provide challenges to some current erosion process model concepts, such as: rill and interrill separation, sediment feedback or detachment-transport coupling, and the uniqueness of the sediment transport capacity. These findings improved the erosion science and provided new erosion control strategies that may have additional environmental benefits from the traditional erosion control practices. Impacts and future directions of the soil erosion process research and model development will be discussed.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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