Possibilities of including surface runoff barriers in the slope-length factor calculation in the GIS environment and its integration in the user-friendly LS-RUSLE tool


Brychta J., Brychtová M. (2020): Possibilities of including surface runoff barriers in the slope-length factor calculation in the GIS environment and its integration in the user-friendly LS-RUSLE tool. Soil & Water Res., 15: 246−257.

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The effect of the morphology is key aspect of erosion modelling. In Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) type methods, this effect is expressed by the topographic factor (LS). The LS calculation in GIS is performed by a unit contributing area (UCA) method and can mainly be influenced by the pixel resolution, by the flow direction algorithm and by the inclusion of a hydrologically closed unit (HCU) principle, the cutoff slope angle (CSA) principle and the ephemeral gullies extraction (EG) principle. This research presents a new LS-RUSLE tool created with the inclusion of these principles in the automatic user-friendly GIS tool. The HCU principle using a specific surface runoff interruption algorithm, based on pixels with NoData values at the interruption points (pixels), appears to be key. With this procedure, the occurrence of overestimation results by flow conversion was rapidly reduced. Additionally, the reduction of extreme L and LS values calculated in the GIS environment was reached by the application of the CSA and EG principles. The results of the LS-RUSLE model show the prospective use of this tool in practice.

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