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"MIRSED" towards a MIR approach to modelling hillslope soil erosion at the national scale

"MIRSED" towards a MIR approach to modelling hillslope soil erosion at the national scale

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Original languageEnglish
Pages59-79
Number of pages21
JournalCATENA
Journal publication dateJan 2001
Volume42
Issue1
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

This paper reports a new methodology for assessing regional and national patterns of hillslope scale soil erosion rates in the UK using a MIR (minimum information requirement) version of WEPP (Water Erosion Prediction Project) known as MIRSED. WEPP is parameterised using a national coverage, environmental database containing topographic, soil, land management and climate variables for all hillslopes within each grid cell to be modelled. The MIRSED matrix summarises the behaviour of WEPP in a multi-dimensional parameter space, allowing results to be queried using a subset of key, spatially variable parameters to produce an averaged hillslope soil erosion response from each 1 km² grid cell. The approach is demonstrated for the Great Ouse catchment, Cambridgeshire, UK and highlights highest hillslope erosion rates of 2.2 t ha?¹ year?¹ associated with steepest slopes, erodible soils and management practices that leave the soil exposed for critical times of the year. A mean soil erosion rate of 0.4 t ha?¹ year?¹ is predicted from hillslopes across the catchment which compares well with observed data collated at different scales, using contrasting measurement techniques.

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