Spatially explicit quantification of total soil erosion by RTK GPS in wind and water eroded croplands.


State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Xinjiekouwai Str. 19, 100875 Beijing, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Quantification of total soil erosion in wind and water eroded croplands is essential for assessing their contributions and the interaction between them. However, it is difficult to quantify total soil erosion amounts by the traditional monitoring and modelling approaches of wind erosion and water erosion. To address this problem, a Real Time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK GPS) was applied for a series of wind and water eroded croplands in the Bashang area in North China to quantify the total soil erosion amount over a period of 44 years. By comparing the elevation of the croplands with a reference surface without erosion, the total soil erosion modulus and its spatial variation were determined. Results showed that the erosion moduli of the six croplands ranged from 1.09 to 45.34 Mg ha-1 y-1 with an average modulus of 17.02 Mg ha-1 y-1. The croplands in the west suffered from more intense wind erosion compared to the middle and eastern areas; this was due to the presence of forest-grasslands, which served as wind breaks for the croplands in the middle and eastern regions. However, the croplands in the east showed the highest total erosion modulus, which was due to the influences of a gully. Within the croplands, the slope areas suffered from intense soil erosion which was mainly owing to water erosion. The reliability and uncertainty of this approach were discussed in terms of the equipment precision, results accuracy, and possible deposition on the reference surface. This study shows that when a suitable reference surface is identified and the erosion amount is considerable, RTK GPS survey can be used as a reliable and effective method to assess the spatially explicit total soil erosion in croplands influenced by both wind and water erosion.


Bashang area,Digital elevation model,Morphological survey,Spatial variation,Total soil erosion,

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