Soil Erosion from Agricultural Land in the Lake Semcoe Couchiching Basin, 18001981

Wilson, J.P.

Canadian Journal of Soil Science 69(1): 137-151


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4271
DOI: 10.4141/cjss89-013
Accession: 068495210

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Soil losses from agricultural land in the Lake Simcoe–Couchiching Basin between 1800 and 1981 are estimated with the universal soil loss equation (USLE). Existing methods and data are used to estimate and combine the six USLE factors with one exception. A new method that is consistent with the USLE slope definitions was developed and used to estimate the topographic factor. The results of the present study add to earlier erosion assessments because they describe the erosion hazard throughout the basin from the first days of forest clearance and agricultural settlement to the present. In particular, they indicate that soil loss rates on agricultural land have gone almost full circle from high to low and back to high rates in the past 130 yr. This result indicates the need to continue our search for permanent and more viable systems of land use. Key words: Soil erosion, potential soil loss, regional assessment