DDD Conference

Dr. Tamir Caras

Study of the Dynamics of Soil Erosion in Response to Climate Prediction Model Rusle2 and WRF Modelling in a Semi-Arid Watershed

Volcani Institute, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel 

Soil erosion is one of the key identifying characteristics of desertification, causing deleterious impacts at all levels – from soil loss to food security. Monitoring these effects and predicting them is central to any long-term plan for soil preservation and desertification counter measure. One of the leading models for erosion risk assessment is the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2 (RUSLE2), which estimates the risk for soil loss and ultimately leads to guidelines for erosion control. The model combines the effects of several physical inputs parameters, including soil erodability (K), slope length (L), steepness (S), land cover (C), and support management soil practices (S) that were based on high-resolution DEM, satellite data and GIS data. However, the dominant factor affecting erosion risk is the climatic parameter (R) derived from precipitation data and calculated into the energetic impacts of major rain events. Rain events are threshold and summed to give the overall/total periodic force precipitation had on the soil in a specified period (from years to single events). In this paper, RUSLE2 model based on current and future predictions of R was tested in the semi-arid HaBsor watershed, Israel. R parameter predictions were provided by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model output for future precipitation from 2020 (present) to 2036 at a 6-kilometer grid. The resulting RUSLE map for the predicted soil erosion for the HaBsor river catchment area is presented, showing an area with a higher erosion risk, mainly in the lowlands. Integrating both models, the RUSLE2 and WRF enable testing of the effect of future climate conditions on the risk for erosion in desertified areas.


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