Calibrating a rainfall erosivity assessment model at regional scale in Mediterranean area

Sergio Grauso, Nazzareno Diodato, Vladimiro Verrubbi

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A simplified regression model is here calibrated on the basis of rainfall data records of Sicily (southern Italy), in order to show the model reliability in assessing the R-factor of the Universal Soil Loss Equation and its revised version (RUSLE) and to provide an estimate of long-term rainfall erosivity at medium-regional scale. The proposed model is a rearrangement of a former simplified model, formulated for the Italian environment, grouping three easily available rainfall variables on various time scales, which has been shown to be more successful than others in reproducing the rainfall erosive power over different locations of Italy. A geostatistical interpolation procedure is then applied for generating the regional long-term erosivity map with associated standard error. Areas with severe erosive rainfalls (from 2,000 up to more than 6,000 MJ mm ha-1h-1) are pointed out which will correspond to areas suffering from severe soil erosion. Solving the problem of calculating the R-factor value in the RUSLE equation by means of such a simplified model here formulated will allow to predict the related soil loss. Moreover, given the availability of long time-series of concerned rainfall data, it will be possible to analyse the variability of rainfall erosivity within the last 50 years, and to investigate the application of RUSLE or similar soil erosion models with forecasting purposes of soil erosion risk. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1597 - 1606
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Pollution
  • Water Science and Technology

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