Articles | Volume 24, issue 9
Research article
15 Sep 2020
Research article |  | 15 Sep 2020

A systematic assessment of uncertainties in large-scale soil loss estimation from different representations of USLE input factors – a case study for Kenya and Uganda

Christoph Schürz, Bano Mehdi, Jens Kiesel, Karsten Schulz, and Mathew Herrnegger

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Cited articles

Alewell, C., Borrelli, P., Meusburger, K., and Panagos, P.: Using the USLE: Chances, challenges and limitations of soil erosion modelling, International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 7, 203–225,, 2019. a, b, c, d
Angima, S. D., Stott, D. E., O'Neill, M. K., Ong, C. K., and Weesies, G. A.: Soil erosion prediction using RUSLE for central Kenyan highland conditions, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 97, 295–308,, 2003. a, b
Arnoldus, H. M. J.: An approximation of the rainfall factor in the USLE, in: Assessment of Erosion, edited by: DeBoodt, M. and Gabriels, D., 127–132, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1980. a
Bai, Z. G., Dent, D. L., Olsson, L., and Schaepman, M. E.: Proxy global assessment of land degradation, Soil Use Manage., 24, 223–234,, 2008. a
Bamutaze, Y.: Patterns of water erosion and sediment loading in Manafwa in catchment on Mt. Elgon, Eastern Uganda, PhD thesis, Department of Geography, Geo-information and Climatic Science, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, 2010. a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Short summary
The USLE is a commonly used model to estimate soil erosion by water. It quantifies soil loss as a product of six inputs representing rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, plant cover, and support practices. Many methods exist to derive these inputs, which can, however, lead to substantial differences in the estimated soil loss. Here, we analyze the effect of different input representations on the estimated soil loss in a large-scale study in Kenya and Uganda.