Soil erosion modeling and comparison using slope units and grid cells in Shihmen reservoir watershed in Northern Taiwan

Yi Hsin Liu, Dong Huang Li, Walter Chen, Bor Shiun Lin, Uma Seeboonruang, Fuan Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soil erosion is a global problem that will become worse as a result of climate change. While many parts of the world are speculating about the effect of increased rainfall intensity and frequency on soil erosion, Taiwan's mountainous areas are already facing the power of rainfall erosivity more than six times the global average. To improve the modeling ability of extreme rainfall conditions on highly rugged terrains, we use two analysis units to simulate soil erosion at the Shihmen reservoir watershed in northern Taiwan. The first one is the grid cell method, which divides the study area into 10 m by 10 m grid cells. The second one is the slope unit method, which divides the study area using natural breaks in landform. We compared the modeling results with field measurements of erosion pins. To our surprise, the grid cell method is much more accurate in predicting soil erosion than the slope unit method, although the slope unit method resembles the real terrains much better than the grid cell method. The average erosion pin measurement is 6.5 mm in the Shihmen reservoir watershed, which is equivalent to 90.6 t ha-1 yr-1 of soil erosion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1387
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Shihmen reservoir watershed
  • Soil erosion
  • USLE

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