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Spatially varied soil erosion under different climates

Spatially varied soil erosion under different climates

Hydrological Sciences Journal 36(6): 511-524

The spatial variability of the factors of the universal soil loss equation is examined on the Mediterranean basin of Conca de Tremp covering 43.1 km2 in Spain. Evaluation of the rainfall erosivity R and the soil erodibility K is relatively straightforward and spatially-averaged values of these parameters can be applied to the entire basin. Conversely the spatial variability of annual soil erosion losses on large basins depends primarily on the factors L, S, and C describing topographic, vegetation and land use parameters. A grid size analysis of soil erosion losses from the Conca de Tremp basin under Mediterranean climatic conditions in Spain shows excellent agreement with the earlier results on the Chaudiere basin in Canada. It is concluded for both basins that unbiased estimates of soil erosion losses are obtained for grid sizes less than about 0.125 km2. The analysis of the Conca de Tremp basin validates the use of the grid size factor proposed by Julien and Frenette (1987). It is also found that the grid size factor primarily depends on the average slope gradient which decreases with increasing grid size or drainage area. On the other hand, the grid size factor does not depend on the spatial variability of the factors R, K, L, and C.

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Accession: 002226377

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DOI: 10.1080/02626669109492541

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