Skip

Changes in Erosion, 1982 - 1997

Description

This chart shows total erosion in billion tons per year on cropland and CRP land for each of the following years: 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997. Total erosion is also divided into wind erosion and water (sheet and rill) erosion.

Cautions for this Product:
Water erosion total does not include gully erosion. Totals do not include Alaska, but do include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Does not include erosion on land uses other than cropland and CRP.



Sources

Source: National Resources Inventory, 1997
Distributor: USDA-NRCS-RIAD
Reliability:
NRI sample data are generally reliable at the 95% confidence interval for state and certain broad substate area analyses. Generally, analyses that aggregate data points by smaller geographic areas and/or more specific criteria result in fewer data points for each aggregation and therefore less reliable estimates. NRI maps reflect national patterns rather than site- specific information.


Definitions

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP):
A Federal program established under the Food Security Act of 1985 to assist private landowners to convert highly erodible cropland to vegetative cover for 10 years. [NMCSP]

Cropland:
A Land cover/use category that includes areas used for the production of adapted crops for harvest. Two subcategories of cropland are recognized: cultivated and noncultivated. Cultivated cropland comprises land in row crops or close-grown crops and also other cultivated cropland, for example, hayland or pastureland that is in a rotation with row or close-grown crops. Noncultivated cropland includes permanent hayland and horticultural cropland. [NRI-97]

Erosion:
The wearing away of the land surface by running water, waves, or moving ice and wind, or by such processes as mass wasting and corrosion (solution and other chemical processes). The term "geologic erosion" refers to natural erosion processes occurring over long (geologic) time spans. "Accelerated erosion" generically refers to erosion that exceeds what is presumed or estimated to be naturally occurring levels, and which is a direct result of human activities (e.g., cultivation and logging). [NSSH-96]

Gully erosion:
The erosion process whereby water concentrates in narrow channels and, over short periods, removes the soil from this narrow area to considerable depths, ranging from 1 to 2 feet to as much as 75 to 100 feet. [NRI-97]

Sheet and rill erosion:
Removal by runoff water of a fairly uniform, usually imperceptible, thin layer of soil often accompanied by formation of many small eroding channels. Rills are only a few inches deep and do not hinder farm machinery. Tillage erases them, but they tend to recur after heavy rain during the growing season, especially where cover is limited. [SSM]

Universal soil loss equation (USLE):
This equation estimates average annual soil loss from sheet and rill erosion. Location specific data for the field in which the NRI point falls or that portion of the field surrounding the point that would be considered in conservation planning are used in the NRI calculations. The equation is: A = RKLSCP, where A is the computed soil loss per unit area, R is a rainfall factor, K is a soil erodibility factor, L is a slope length factor, S is a slope- steepness factor, C is a cover and management factor, and P is a conservation practice factor. [NAM]

Water Erosion:
The process of detachment, transport and deposition of soil in which the primary agent is water. This may include sheet, rill and gully erosion; however, for the purposes of this analysis, unless otherwise stated, water erosion refers only to sheet and rill erosion and excludes gully erosion.

Wind erosion:
The process of detachment, transport, and deposition of soil by wind. [NAM]

Wind erosion equation (WEQ):
An erosion model designed to predict long-term average annual soil losses from a field having specific characteristics (NAM). E= f(IKCLV) where E is the estimated average annual soil loss expressed in tons per acre per year; I is the soil erodibility; K is the soil ridge roughness factor; C is the climatic factor; L is the equivalent unsheltered distance across the field along the prevailing wind erosion direction; and V is the equivalent vegetative cover. [NAM]


Product Information

Product ID: 5852
Production Date: 1/4/01
Product Type: Chart


For additional information contact the Resources Inventory and Assessment Division. Please include the Product ID you are inquiring about. nri@wdc.usda.gov or 1400 Independence Avenue SW - P.O. Box 2890 - Washington D.C. 20013. If you use our analysis products, please be aware of our disclaimer.