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Soil erosion assessment—Mind the gap

Authors: Donghui Xu · Jongho Kim
Owners: Donghui Xu
Resource type:Composite Resource
Created:Jul 12, 2017 at 4:37 p.m.
Last updated: Jul 12, 2017 at 4:54 p.m. by Donghui Xu


Accurate assessment of erosion rates remains an elusive problem because soil loss is strongly nonunique with respect to the main drivers. In addressing the mechanistic causes of erosion responses, we discriminate between macroscale effects of external factors—long studied and referred to as “geomorphic external variability”, and microscale effects, introduced as “geomorphic internal variability.” The latter source of erosion variations represents the knowledge gap, an overlooked but vital element of geomorphic response, significantly impacting the low predictability skill of deterministic models at field-catchment scales. This is corroborated with experiments using a comprehensive physical model that dynamically updates the soil mass and particle composition. As complete knowledge of microscale conditions for arbitrary location and time is infeasible, we propose that new predictive frameworks of soil erosion should embed stochastic components in deterministic assessments of external and internal types of geomorphic variability.

Subject Keywords

rainfall detachment,antecedent conditions,catchment scale,climate change,land use,water erosion,model,sediment yield,overland flow,interrill erosion

How to cite

Xu, D., J. Kim (2017). Soil erosion assessment—Mind the gap, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/73fcdd8862b3481487c4ed9964d2d4f6

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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The people or organizations that created the intellectual content of the resource.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Donghui Xu University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 7347308326
Jongho Kim Sejong University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


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