Evaluation of modelled spatially distributed predictions of soil erosion by water versus field-based assessments

Article English OPEN
Evans, Robert ; Brazier, Richard (2005)

Policy makers concerned about soil erosion and its impacts need good quality information on which to base their decisions. There is a trend toward using erosion models to aid such decision making. Such models are based on data obtained from experimental plots. The theoretical results need to be compared with information gained from monitoring erosion in the field to assess if theory accords with reality. Data from the Minimum Information Requirement version of the Water Erosion Prediction Project model (MIRSED) are compared to information gained from field monitoring over a 5-year period (1982–1986) in 11 localities widely spread throughout England and Wales. Two of the localities, Gwent and Shropshire, are examined in detail. The model seriously over predicts erosion, both in amount and extent. Also, the statistical distributions of the data values are different. The model predicts erosion will happen where it does not. The reasons why the two assessments of erosion differ greatly are explored. This comparison shows there is an urgent need to develop models which incorporate information gained from field-based observations. Until better models are devised, policy makers and decision takers should treat the results of modelling exercises with great caution.
  • References (8)

    Alstrom, K., Akerman, A.B., 1992. Contemporary soil erosion rates on arable land in southern Sweden. Geografiska Annaler 74A, 101-108.

    Auzet, A.V., Boiffin, J., Ludwig, B., 1995. Concentrated flow erosion in cultivated catchments: influence of soil surface state. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 20, 759-767.

    Boardman, J., 1990. Soil erosion on the South Downs: a review. In: Boardman, J., Foster, I.D.L., Dearing, J.A. (Eds.), Soil Erosion on Agricultural Land. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, pp.

    Boardman, J., 1996. Soil erosion by water: problems and prospects for research. In: Anderson, M.G., Brooks., S.M. (Eds.), Advances in Hillslope Processes, Volume 1. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, pp. 489-505.

    Boardman, J., 1998a. An average soil erosion rate for Europe: myth or reality. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 53, 46-50.

    Boardman, J., 1998b. Modelling soil erosion in real landscapes: a western European perspective.

    In: Boardman, J., Favis-Mortlock, D. (Eds.), Modelling Soil Erosion by Water. Springer-Verlag NATO ASI Series, Berlin, pp. 17-29.

    Boardman, J., 2003. Soil erosion and flooding on the eastern South Downs, southern England, 1976-2001. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS 28, 176-196.

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Anglia Ruskin Research Online - IRUS-UK 0 8
Share - Bookmark