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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 355;

Improvement of the K-Factor of USLE and Soil Erosion Estimation in Shihmen Reservoir Watershed

Disaster Prevention Technology Research Center, Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Taipei 11494, Taiwan
Department of Civil Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 11494, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion and the Sustainable Management of the Landscape)
PDF [5510 KB, uploaded 11 January 2019]


The estimation of soil erosion in Taiwan and many countries of the world is based on the widely used universal soil loss equation (USLE), which includes the factor of soil erodibility (K-factor). In Taiwan, K-factor values are referenced from past research compiled in the Taiwan Soil and Water Conservation Manual, but there is limited data for the downstream area of the Shihmen reservoir watershed. The designated K-factor from the manual cannot be directly applied to large-scale regional levels and also cannot distinguish and clarify the difference of soil erosion between small field plots or subdivisions. In view of the above, this study establishes additional values of K-factor by utilizing the double rings infiltration test and measures of soil physical–chemical properties and increases the spatial resolution of K-factor map for Shihmen reservoir watershed. Furthermore, the established values of K-factors were validated with the designated value set at Fuxing Sanmin from the manual for verifying the correctness of estimates. It is found that the comparative results agree well with established estimates within an allowable error range. Thus, the K-factors established by this study update the previous K-factor system and can be spatially estimated for any area of interest within the Shihmen reservoir watershed and improving upon past limitations. View Full-Text
Keywords: USLE; soil erodibility; double rings infiltration test USLE; soil erodibility; double rings infiltration test

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Lin, B.-S.; Chen, C.-K.; Thomas, K.; Hsu, C.-K.; Ho, H.-C. Improvement of the K-Factor of USLE and Soil Erosion Estimation in Shihmen Reservoir Watershed. Sustainability 2019, 11, 355.

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