Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » SWRC » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #86585

Title: PREDICTING SOIL EROSION BY WATER: A GUIDE TO CONSERVATION PLANNING WITH THE REVISED SOIL LOSS EQUATION (RUSLE)

Author
item Renard, Kenneth
item Foster, George
item WEESIES, G.
item McCool, Donald
item YODER, D.

Submitted to: Predicting Soil Erosion by Water A Guide to Conservation Planning
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Soil erosion prediction has been widely used by government agencies and other organizations in conservation planning to inventory erosion rates over large areas and to develop and implement public policy. the Universal Soil Loss Equation has proven to be an especially useful tool for dealing with sheet and rill erosion caused by rainfall and runoff. This equation, which has been used since the early 1960s, recently underwent a major revision that produced the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). This revision included recent research findings and is implemented in a computer program that can be run on personal computers. Complete technical details on how RUSLE computes sheet and rill erosion are given.

Technical Abstract: The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is an erosion model predicting longtime average annual soil loss (A) resulting from raindrop splash and runoff from specific field slopes in specified cropping and management systems and from rangeland. Widespread use has substantiated the RUSLE's usefulness and validity. RUSLE retains the six factors of Agriculture Handbook No. 537 to calculate A from a hillslope. Technology for evaluating these factor values has been changed and new data added. The technology has been computerized to assist calculation. Thus soil-loss handbook using fundamental information available in three data bases: CITY, which includes monthly precipitation and temperature, front-free period, annual rainfall erosivity (R) and twice monthly distributions of storm erosivity (E); CROP, including below-ground biomass, canopy cover, and canopy height at 15-day intervals as well as information on crop characteristics; and OPERATION, reflecting soil and cover disturbances tha are associated with typical farming operations.