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Volume 6, issue 3 | Copyright
Earth Surf. Dynam., 6, 687-703, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-6-687-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Aug 2018

Research article | 29 Aug 2018

Assessing the large-scale impacts of environmental change using a coupled hydrology and soil erosion model

Joris P. C. Eekhout1, Wilco Terink2, and Joris de Vente1,3 Joris P. C. Eekhout et al.
  • 1Soil Erosion and Conservation Research Group, CEBAS-CSIC, Spanish National Research Council, Campus Universitario Espinardo, 30100, P.O. Box 164, Murcia, Spain
  • 2IQ-Hydrology, Ben van Londenstraat 48, 6709 TM Wageningen, the Netherlands
  • 3FutureWater, Costerweg 1V, 6702 AA, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Abstract. Assessing the impacts of environmental change on soil erosion and sediment yield at the large catchment scale remains one of the main challenges in soil erosion modelling studies. Here, we present a process-based soil erosion model, based on the integration of the Morgan–Morgan–Finney erosion model in a daily based hydrological model. The model overcomes many of the limitations of previous large-scale soil erosion models, as it includes a more complete representation of crucial processes like surface runoff generation, dynamic vegetation development, and sediment deposition, and runs at the catchment scale with a daily time step. This makes the model especially suited for the evaluation of the impacts of environmental change on soil erosion and sediment yield at regional scales and over decadal periods. The model was successfully applied in a large catchment in southeastern Spain. We demonstrate the model's capacity to perform impact assessments of environmental change scenarios, specifically simulating the scenario impacts of intra- and inter-annual variations in climate, land management, and vegetation development on soil erosion and sediment yield.

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Climate change will likely increase soil erosion in many locations worldwide. This increase in erosion will have large-scale impacts, such as the siltation of reservoirs. We developed a new soil erosion model to evaluate these impacts, which has an advantage over existing models in that it includes most relevant processes: rainfall–runoff generation, vegetation development, and soil erosion and deposition. The model is suited to perform scenario studies on climate change and land management.
Climate change will likely increase soil erosion in many locations worldwide. This increase in...
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