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Using plot soil loss distribution for soil conservation design

  • Autori: Bagarello, V.; DI STEFANO, C.; Ferro, V.; Pampalone, V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2011
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Soil erosion, USLE, probability distributions, soil conservation practices design
  • OA Link:


Soil conservation design is generally based on the estimation of average annual soil loss but it should be developed taking into account storms of a given return period. However, use of frequency analysis in soil erosion studies is relatively limited. In this paper, an investigation on statistical distribution of soil loss measurements was firstly carried out using a relatively high number of simultaneously operating plots of different length,  (11, 22, 33 and 44 m) at the experimental station of Sparacia (southern Italy). Using a simple normalization technique, the analysis showed that the probability distribution of the normalized soil loss is independent of both the scale length  and the temporal scale, which are completely represented by the mean soil loss calculated for a given event using all replicated data collected in plots having the same length. Then, a comparison between the frequency distribution of soil loss and rainfall erosivity index of the USLE was carried out. An estimating criterion of the annual soil loss of a given return period was also developed. By this criterion, the frequency distribution of the rainfall erosivity factor can be used to design soil conservation practices