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Revista Ciência Agronômica

On-line version ISSN 1806-6690


SANTOS, Julio Cesar Neves dos et al. Runoff and soil and nutrient losses in semiarid uncultivated fields. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2011, vol.42, n.3, pp.813-820. ISSN 1806-6690.

Although water erosion is the principle agent responsible for soil degradation, field data on the impacts of erosion, due to high operational costs and measurement difficulties, are scarce, especially in semiarid regions. In this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate runoff and soil and nutrient losses in uncultivated areas in the semiarid region of the state of Ceará in Brazil. The experiment was conducted in a 20 m2 erosion plot that was uncultivated and populated with herbaceous plants. Data were collected during the rainy season from January to May 2009. Monthly water losses from overland flow ranged from 3.4 to 168.9 mm, representing 1.8 to 42.3% of the total monthly rainfall for January and April, respectively. Soil loss from erosion totaled 2,166.6 kg ha-1. In February, soil losses were 834.3 kg ha-1, corresponding to 38.5% of the total value. The rainfall erosivity index (EI30) was 5,716.4 MJ mm ha-1 h-1. The observed high variability of soil losses in individual events was influenced mainly by the antecedent soil water content. Although this study used only one year of observations, the findings are important for land use planning, especially in the semiarid region of Brazil, where datasets are scarce.

Keywords : Soil-erosion; Sediments (Geology); Arid regions.

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