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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Ranieri, S
item De Jang Van Lier, Q
item Sparovek, G
item Flanagan, Dennis

Submitted to: Computers and Geosciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The loss of soil through erosion by rainfall and runoff is a serious problem throughout the world. Measurement of runoff and soil loss to determine the amounts and potential harmful impacts on the environment is difficult, expensive, and impractical for anything but small research plots and watersheds. Another way to estimate the amount of soil erosion and sediment that can get into streams and lakes is through the use of computer simulation models. This paper describes how a computer program was written to take information for a field or farm and use it to build the necessary model inputs and display the model output results of estimated soil loss. Some new approaches have been used to apply two common soil erosion models. An example of using the tool is provided fro a small agricultural watershed in Brazil. The impact of this work is that it provides a new tool to use in estimating soil loss, which can assist people who work with landowners and farmers to conserve the soil and water resources. The tool described here can be used to determine soil loss for a watershed, evaluate different land management practices and their impact on soil loss, and identify areas of high erosion that may need targeted control efforts.

Technical Abstract: Soil erosion may reduce crop productivity and is related to several agricultural off-site impacts. Thus, erosion rates are usually considered in studies involving food security and the influence of agricultural production on environmental safety. The multidisciplinary approach of this kind of research often requires erosion to be treated as spatial georeferenced information, and it is essential to be compatible with other information usually analyzed via Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Traditional and widely utilized soil erosion prediction models such as the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) do not operate on a georeferenced basis. The Erosion Vector Interface (EVI) is a computer program for georeferenced application of erosion prediction models (USLE and WEPP). The georeferenced vector-based design, its action as a pure interface and the flexibility to fit to different scales are features that distinguish EVI from most other spatial erosion prediction tools. An example, representative of Southeast Brazil, was used to illustrate the theoretical description of the interface, and demonstrated that EVI can successfully estimate erosion rates on a georeferenced basis. The presentation of erosion rates as georeferenced information provides a new dimension to the erosion process description as compared to overall mean rates, which is more useful for land use planning and more comprehensive for basic research.

Last Modified: 06/21/2017
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