This layer shows the risk of erosion around the world, from low to high. Erosion and sedimentation by water involves the process of detachment, transport, and deposition of soil particles, driven by forces from raindrops and water flowing over the land surface. Because soil erosion is difficult to measure at large scales, soil erosion models are crucial estimation tools to extrapolate limited data to other localities and conditions. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), which predicts annual soil loss from rainfall and runoff, is the most common model used at large spatial scales due to its relatively simple structure and empirical basis. The model takes into account rainfall erosivity, topography, soil erodibility, land cover and management, and conservation practices. Because the RUSLE model was developed based on agricultural plot scale and parameterized for environmental conditions in the USA, modifications of the methods and data inputs are necessary to make the equation applicable to the globe. We estimated erosion potential based on the RUSLE model, adjusted to extend its applicability to a global scale. Conservation practices and topography information were not included in this model to calculate global erosion potential, due to data limitation and their relatively minor contribution to the variation in soil erosion at the continental to global scale compared to other factors. The result of the global model was categorized into five quantiles, corresponding to low to high erosion risks.

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  • By on January 26, 2016
  • Updated 5 months ago

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