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UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION
(USLE)
Lecture-6
Dr. Ajay Singh Lodhi
Assistant Professor
College of Agriculture, Balaghat (M.P.)
Jawahar Lal Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur (M.P.)
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
 The most widely accepted method for estimating the average annual soil loss,
which is referred to as the Universal Soil Loss Equation, which is very popularly
known as USLE.
 It also helps in determining the adequacy of conservation measures.
 USLE was initially proposed by Wischmeier and Smith in 1958.
 Modified to its present form by Wischmeier and Smith in 1978.
 The definition of USLE–
“The USLE is an erosion prediction model for estimating long term
averages of soil erosion from sheet and rill erosions from a specified land
under a specified condition.”
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
 Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE):
Erosion = f (Climate, Topography, Land use, Soil)
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
Rainfall Erosivity Factor/ Index (R)
 Rainfall erosivity refers to the intrinsic capacity of rainfall to cause soil erosion.
 It is the function of kinetic energy and intensity of rainstorm.
 It is expressed as a product of the kinetic energy of the storm and maximum 30
minute intensity of the storm.
R= 𝐸𝐼30= 𝐾𝐸 × 𝐼30
 Rainfall Erosivity Index R is also referred to as EI30, where E is the kinetic
energy, and I30 is the maximum 30-minute rainfall intensity during the storm. I30
value is estimated from rain gauge charts.
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
Rainfall Erodibility Factor/ Index (K)
 Erodibility is the resistance of the soil to both detachment and transportation.
 It can be determined through the measurement of soil loss from a standard
runoff plot.
 A unit plot having 9% slope, or in degrees, it is 5.16o, and the length of the plot is
22.13 meters or 72.6 feet.
 This plot is kept fallow with periodic tillage up and downslope.
 In this case LS=C=P=1, hence soil loss f(R,K).
Note: Erosivity is the characteristic of rainfall, and Erodibility is related to soil.
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
 Based on the runoff plot studies, certain values of erodibility factor (K) have been
recommended for different soils of India (Subramanya, 2008).
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
Topographic Factor (LS)
 Slope length (L) and slope steepness (S) are taken together and written as LS.
 It represents a soil loss ratio under given conditions to that at a site with standard
slope steepness of 9 per cent and slope length of 22.13 m.
 The Steeper and longer the slope, the higher risk of erosion.
 Topographic factor LS is given by
Where L is the slope length in meters, θ is the angle of slope,
m is the exponent depending on the slope.
 The exponent, m, is taken as 0.5 for slope 5 per cent or more, 0.4 for slope
range 3.5 to 4.5 per cent, 0.3 for 1 to 3 per cent, and 0.2 for less than 1 per cent.
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
Crop Management Factor (C)
 It is the soil loss ratio from a land
cropped under specified
conditions to corresponding loss
from clean tilled continuous
fallow land.
 It includes the effects of various
crops factors like crop cover,
crop sequence, tillage practices
and residue management.
 The value of C can also be
obtained from standard tables.
Table based on reports from different ICAR
research centres
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
Conservation Practice Factor (P)
 This represents the ratio of soil loss from a land where conservation practices
like contouring, strip cropping and terracing, etc., are adopted to that where they
are not.
 The value of P is taken is 1 for no conservation practice.
 The value of P can also be obtained from standard tables.
Example Table
APPLICATION OF UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
 Predict average soil loss from a field with specific land use condition.
 Guide the selection of cropping and management system and conservation
practices for specific soils and slopes.
 Predict the change in soil loss that would result from a change in cropping or
conservation practices on a specific field.
 Estimate soil losses from land use area other than agricultural land.
 Provide soil loss estimates for conservationists to use for determining
conservation needs.
UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
 In India, soil loss rates have been classified into six categories.
 Based on 21 observations, 64 estimated erosion values by USLE at different
locations spread across the country
LIMITATIONS OF UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)
 It is empirical in nature that means all coefficients are empirical. The values of R
or K or LS or C or P are applicable only for the areas for which we have
estimated those values.
 Prediction of average annual soil loss: It only predicts average annual soil
loss. If you want to determine the soil loss from a particular event, then USLE
cannot be used.
 USLE is only limited to sheet and rill erosion.
 Non-consideration of sediment deposition: it only talks about sediment loss.
There is no consideration of soil deposition in USLE.
Thank You

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Universal Soil Loss Equation.pptx

  • 1. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE) Lecture-6 Dr. Ajay Singh Lodhi Assistant Professor College of Agriculture, Balaghat (M.P.) Jawahar Lal Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur (M.P.)
  • 2. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)  The most widely accepted method for estimating the average annual soil loss, which is referred to as the Universal Soil Loss Equation, which is very popularly known as USLE.  It also helps in determining the adequacy of conservation measures.  USLE was initially proposed by Wischmeier and Smith in 1958.  Modified to its present form by Wischmeier and Smith in 1978.  The definition of USLE– “The USLE is an erosion prediction model for estimating long term averages of soil erosion from sheet and rill erosions from a specified land under a specified condition.”
  • 3. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)  Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE): Erosion = f (Climate, Topography, Land use, Soil)
  • 4. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE) Rainfall Erosivity Factor/ Index (R)  Rainfall erosivity refers to the intrinsic capacity of rainfall to cause soil erosion.  It is the function of kinetic energy and intensity of rainstorm.  It is expressed as a product of the kinetic energy of the storm and maximum 30 minute intensity of the storm. R= 𝐸𝐼30= 𝐾𝐸 × 𝐼30  Rainfall Erosivity Index R is also referred to as EI30, where E is the kinetic energy, and I30 is the maximum 30-minute rainfall intensity during the storm. I30 value is estimated from rain gauge charts.
  • 5. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE) Rainfall Erodibility Factor/ Index (K)  Erodibility is the resistance of the soil to both detachment and transportation.  It can be determined through the measurement of soil loss from a standard runoff plot.  A unit plot having 9% slope, or in degrees, it is 5.16o, and the length of the plot is 22.13 meters or 72.6 feet.  This plot is kept fallow with periodic tillage up and downslope.  In this case LS=C=P=1, hence soil loss f(R,K). Note: Erosivity is the characteristic of rainfall, and Erodibility is related to soil.
  • 6. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)  Based on the runoff plot studies, certain values of erodibility factor (K) have been recommended for different soils of India (Subramanya, 2008).
  • 7. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE) Topographic Factor (LS)  Slope length (L) and slope steepness (S) are taken together and written as LS.  It represents a soil loss ratio under given conditions to that at a site with standard slope steepness of 9 per cent and slope length of 22.13 m.  The Steeper and longer the slope, the higher risk of erosion.  Topographic factor LS is given by Where L is the slope length in meters, θ is the angle of slope, m is the exponent depending on the slope.  The exponent, m, is taken as 0.5 for slope 5 per cent or more, 0.4 for slope range 3.5 to 4.5 per cent, 0.3 for 1 to 3 per cent, and 0.2 for less than 1 per cent.
  • 8.
  • 9. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE) Crop Management Factor (C)  It is the soil loss ratio from a land cropped under specified conditions to corresponding loss from clean tilled continuous fallow land.  It includes the effects of various crops factors like crop cover, crop sequence, tillage practices and residue management.  The value of C can also be obtained from standard tables. Table based on reports from different ICAR research centres
  • 10. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE) Conservation Practice Factor (P)  This represents the ratio of soil loss from a land where conservation practices like contouring, strip cropping and terracing, etc., are adopted to that where they are not.  The value of P is taken is 1 for no conservation practice.  The value of P can also be obtained from standard tables. Example Table
  • 11. APPLICATION OF UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)  Predict average soil loss from a field with specific land use condition.  Guide the selection of cropping and management system and conservation practices for specific soils and slopes.  Predict the change in soil loss that would result from a change in cropping or conservation practices on a specific field.  Estimate soil losses from land use area other than agricultural land.  Provide soil loss estimates for conservationists to use for determining conservation needs.
  • 12. UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)  In India, soil loss rates have been classified into six categories.  Based on 21 observations, 64 estimated erosion values by USLE at different locations spread across the country
  • 13. LIMITATIONS OF UNIVERSAL SOIL LOSS EQUATION (USLE)  It is empirical in nature that means all coefficients are empirical. The values of R or K or LS or C or P are applicable only for the areas for which we have estimated those values.  Prediction of average annual soil loss: It only predicts average annual soil loss. If you want to determine the soil loss from a particular event, then USLE cannot be used.  USLE is only limited to sheet and rill erosion.  Non-consideration of sediment deposition: it only talks about sediment loss. There is no consideration of soil deposition in USLE.