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Ciência e Agrotecnologia

versão impressa ISSN 1413-7054versão On-line ISSN 1981-1829


STEINMETZ, Alice Alonzo et al. Assessment of soil loss vulnerability in data-scarce watersheds in southern Brazil. Ciênc. agrotec. [online]. 2018, vol.42, n.6, pp.575-587. ISSN 1413-7054.

Soil erosion is currently one of the main concerns in agriculture, water resources, soil management and natural hazards studies, mainly due to its economic, environmental and human impacts. This concern is accentuated in developing countries where the hydrological monitoring and proper soil surveys are scarce. Therefore, the use of indirect estimates of soil loss by means of empirical equations stands out. In this context, the present study proposed the assessment of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with the aid of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing for two agricultural watersheds in southern Rio Grande do Sul - Brazil. Among all RUSLE factors, LS showed the closest patterns to the local when compared to the total annual soil loss, thus being a good indicator t of risk areas. The total annual soil loss varied from 0 to more than 100 t ha-1 yr-1, with the vast majority (about 65% of the total area) classified from slight to moderate rates of soil loss. The results estimated according to RUSLE indicated that over 10% of the study area presented very high to extremely high soil loss rates, thus requiring immediate soil conservation practices. The present study stands out as an important scientific and technical support for practitioners and decision-makers, being probably the first of its nature applied to extreme southern Brazil.

Palavras-chave : Soil erosion; revised universal soil loss equation; geographical information systems; remote sensing.

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