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Keywords:

  • rainfall erosion;
  • rainfall erosivity;
  • runoff;
  • rainstorms

Abstract

Recently, a USDA Curve Number-based method for obtaining estimates of event runoff has been developed for use in enhancing the capacity of Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2) to deal with runoff-driven phenomena. However, RUSLE2 still uses the EI30 index as the basis for determining the erosivity of the rainfall for sets of runoff producing storms at a location even though the product of the runoff ratio (QR) and EI30 index is better at prediction event erosion when runoff is known or predicted well. This paper reports the results of applying the QREI30 index using data available from tables within RUSLE2 to predict storm event soil losses from bare fallow areas and areas with continuous corn at Holly Springs, MS, and Morris, MN.

In RUSLE2, all rainfall during a calendar year is considered to detach soil material that is flushed from the area if and when runoff occurs. However, the QREI30 index is calculated using the EI30 value for the amount of rain in the storm that produces runoff. Consequently, changes were made to the timing of events during the calendar year in order to meet the criteria for using the QREI30 index. As a general rule, the peak event soil loss produced using the QREI30 index were higher than produced by RUSLE2, and the peak event soil loss for the bare fallow occurred later than for the continuous corn. The results of the work reported here show that the QREI30 index may be used to model event erosion produced by a set of storms within RUSLE2 provided that the appropriate mathematical rules upon which the USLE was developed are adhered to. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.