Discussion: Misrepresentation of the USLE in 'Is sediment delivery a fallacy?'

Peter Kinnell

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    The assertion that the application of the USLE to predicting soil losses within a catchment or watershed is not sound because the USLE provides an estimate of erosion that would be measured if the entire area were divided up into 22.1 m long plots, and the output from them all added together, is incorrect. The slope length factor was derived from data obtained using a wide range of plot lengths and included the 22.1 m length simply to force it to take on a value of 1.0 when the slope length is 22.1 m. The 22.1 to length has no physical significance but the USLE slope length factor has a physical basis when applied to planar and convex hillslopes. The use of sediment delivery ratios when the USLE is applied to concave areas attempts to correct for applying the USLE beyond its design criteria. It fails because, in using the sediment delivery ratios in the prediction sediment delivery, it is incorrectly assumed that sediment delivery ratios de not vary with the amount of sediment entering a zone of deposition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1627-1629
    Number of pages3
    JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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