Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Complexity and uncertainty are key issues relative to the development, understanding, and use of erosion models for conservation purposes. They are inevitable considerations because of the many complex interactions inherent in the erosional system as well as the enormous inherent variability in measured erosion data. These issues do not, however, prevent us from using models effectively for conservation planning. In fact, the scientific evidence indicates that choice of models, which implies choice of model complexity, is more a matter of the type of information desired and the quality and amount of data available for the specific application. If our goal is to know to a high level of accuracy the erosion rate on a particular area of ungauged land, we cannot rely upon the models. Natural variability is too great, and uncertainty in predictions is too high. For appropriate and common uses, which are discussed in this chapter, models can be effective conservation tools.