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82 Erosion Prediction and Modeling

Part 7. Erosion and Sedimentation

  1. Mark Nearing,
  2. Ken Renard,
  3. Mary Nichols

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa084

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Nearing, M., Renard, K. and Nichols, M. 2006. Erosion Prediction and Modeling. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 7:82.

Author Information

  1. Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, AZ, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Models of soil erosion by water historically have been primarily either empirically-based or process-based (sometime referred to as physically-based). The first models of soil erosion were empirically-based. The prime example of the empirically-based model is the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). More recent models have been based on equations that describe the physical, biological, and/or chemical processes that cause or affect soil erosion. It is important to understand that both the process-based and the empirically-based model possess a major empirical component, in the sense that the constitutive equations use parameters based on experimental data. This chapter details some of the important elements of soil erosion models and factors that influence their use.


  • soil erosion;
  • sediment;
  • non-point source pollution;
  • models