Predicting sheetwash and rill erosion over the Australian continent

Lu, H., Prosser, I. P., Moran, C. J., Gallant, J. C., Priestley, G. and Stevenson, J. G. (2003) Predicting sheetwash and rill erosion over the Australian continent. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 41 6: 1037-1062. doi:10.1071/SR02157

Author Lu, H.
Prosser, I. P.
Moran, C. J.
Gallant, J. C.
Priestley, G.
Stevenson, J. G.
Title Predicting sheetwash and rill erosion over the Australian continent
Journal name Australian Journal of Soil Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-9573
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/SR02157
Open Access Status
Volume 41
Issue 6
Start page 1037
End page 1062
Total pages 26
Place of publication Collingwood
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Soil erosion is a major environmental issue in Australia. It reduces land productivity and has off-site effects of decreased water quality. Broad-scale spatially distributed soil erosion estimation is essential for prioritising erosion control programs and as a component of broader assessments of natural resource condition. This paper describes spatial modelling methods and results that predict sheetwash and rill erosion over the Australian continent using the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) and spatial data layers for each of the contributing environmental factors. The RUSLE has been used before in this way but here we advance the quality of estimation. We use time series of remote sensing imagery and daily rainfall to incorporate the effects of seasonally varying cover and rainfall intensity, and use new digital maps of soil and terrain properties. The results are compared with a compilation of Australian erosion plot data, revealing an acceptable consistency between predictions and observations. The modelling results show that: (1) the northern part of Australia has greater erosion potential than the south; (2) erosion potential differs significantly between summer and winter; (3) the average erosion rate is 4.1 t/ha. year over the continent and about 2.9 x 10(9) tonnes of soil is moved annually which represents 3.9% of global soil erosion from 5% of world land area; and (4) the erosion rate has increased from 4 to 33 times on average for agricultural lands compared with most natural vegetated lands.
Keyword Agriculture, Soil Science
Soil Erosion
Soil Loss Rates
Sediment Yields
Soil Science
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 74 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 80 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 23:52:47 EST