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Title: Improvement to the prediction of the USLE 'K' factor
Contributor(s): Shabani, Farzin  (author); Kumar, Lalit  (author)orcid ; Esmaeili, Atefeh  (author)
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.08.008
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Abstract: In the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), the soil erodibility factor ('K') corresponds to the collective effects of the detachment susceptibility of soil and the sediment transportability as well as the amount and rate of runoff under a given rainfall erosivity. Based on the USLE equation, 'K' is sensitive to the particle size distribution ('M'), the percentage of organic matter (%'OM'), soil structure ('Z'), and soil permeability ('perm'). This study evaluated the sensitivity of 'K' to lime content (%'lime') in the soil and slope (%'slope') of the site. Although the effects of the slope factor ('S') on the amount of soil loss ('A') have been independently taken into account in the USLE, our results and other studies showed that 'K' is highly sensitive to other factors including %'lime' and %'slope'. To evaluate the appropriateness of the USLE nomograph and other methods for estimating 'K' and to develop a 'K' estimation method for limy soils, a set of 'K' values were measured in northern Iran using standard plots and natural precipitation events, for four different land uses (forest, rangeland, irrigated farming, and dry farming) and three slope categories (3-8%, 8-18% and 18-40%). Results indicated that there was considerable association between 'K' and soil properties including the contents of sand, silt, very fine sand, organic matter and particularly lime, as well as slope inclination. A strong linear relationship was observed between the 'K' values estimated from our model and the measured 'K' was observed (adjusted 'R'² = 0.89), indicating that considering lime and slope gives a better estimate of 'K'.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Geomorphology, v.204, p. 229-234
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1872-695X
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
070101 Agricultural Land Management
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 410601 Land capability and soil productivity
300205 Agricultural production systems simulation
300202 Agricultural land management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 961499 Soils not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 180699 Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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