Soil Erosion Calculator

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The average annual rate of erosion on a field can be predicted with the use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). This equation integrates the local rainfall pattern, soil type, topography, crop system and management practices. The following Soil Erosion Calculator is a Tool to calculate the average annual rate of erosion. It is based on the USLE equation and can be applied globally.

Nevertheless, the USLE equation and thus the Soil Erosion Calculator has two main limitations that need to be considered. Firstly, the calculator is an estimate based on ample and variable factors. These factors may vary with changing climate conditions, alternating usage of the soil, etc. Therefore, the resulting soil loss must be viewed as a long-term average. Secondly, the calculator only accounts for soil losses due to sheet or rill erosion on a single slope. Soil losses associated with gully erosion, wind erosion or from tillage are not included.

Soil Erosion Calculator

1. Erosivity Factor (Rainfall Factor) [(MJ mm) / (ha h yr)] – Slide 2-3:

2. Soil Erodibility [(t / ha)] – Slide 4-5:

3.1. Slope [%] – Slide 6:

3.2. Slope Length [m] – Slide 6:

4. Crop Type Factor[-] – Slide 7-8:

5. Tillage Factor [-] – Slide 7-8:

6. Support Factor [-] – Slide 9-10:

Annual Average Soil Erosion Rate (t/h/yr):

After calculating your Soil Erosion Rate, you can use the following table to find out about your Soil Erosion Class. Depending on your class, you may consider to implement Soil Erosion Strategies on your field. Play around with the factors you inserted priorly, to see if there is a particular factor that influences your Soil Erosion Rate strongly.

There is a computerized version of the USLE equation, named Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). RUSLE is an improved formula, that can handle more complex combinations of tillage and cropping practices and a greater variety of slopes. A further-enhanced version the software is RUSLE2, which can do event-based erosion prediction. RUSLE2 requires a comprehensive set of input information, which may not be available in all jurisdictions.

The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) is a physically-based soil erosion prediction technology. It integrates hydrology, plant science, hydraulics and erosion mechanisms to predict erosion at the hillslope and watershed scale. It is capable of modelling and assessing a variety of land uses, climate and hydrologic conditions. It can be run offline on personal computers supporting Windows.

Soil Erosion Calculator by Antonio Seoane Dominguez and Ruth Schaldach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.