Tuesday, 14 May 2002: 4:30 PM
Mapping Erosive Potential Across the United States
The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is the primary tool used by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and other agencies and businesses to estimate water erosion at the field scale. RUSLE requires climatic information, including mean monthly precipitation and temperature, and several pieces of information about the erosive potential of rainfall. Until now, handdrawn maps of a couple of key indicators or erosivity were used to make local estimates of erosion. Recently, breakpoint and 15 minute precipitation statistics for thousands of stations across the United States were analyzed and used to calculate the so-called R Factor and 10-Year return period Erosive Index (EI10) at these stations. These station values were then utilized to produce digital, high resolution gridded coverages of R Factor and EI10 using the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM). These digital coverages and subsequent contour maps will be used by the NRCS to derive small-area (i.e. county, etc.) averages of R Factor and EI10 for estimating erosion potential using RUSLE in these areas.