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      Construction of a Process-Based Physical Model for Soil Erosion on Slopeland, including follow up project funded by Soil and Water Conservation Bureau


      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Existing methods for measuring soil erosion in Taiwan have, for the most part, been developed based on empirical parameters, meaning they may not compatible to Taiwan's particular environmental characteristics under climate change impact. To help offer alternative erosion modelling tools, Dr Yung-Chieh Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Soil and Water Conservation at National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan, is working on a number of projects. Firstly, she commenced on a project funded by Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) called 'Construction of a processed-based physical model for soil erosion on slopeland'. This study is seeking to enable extreme rainfall events in the context of the various slopes in Taiwan's mountain areas to be managed. A follow-up project funded by the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau called 'Dynamic Assessment of Soil Erosion in Watersheds' attempts to evaluate the erosion surface topography for different rainfall duration using stripe laser scanning technique. The purpose of this follow-up work is to further revise the model created in the earlier research using additional experimental data and to perform a case study, which uses a field-scale plot to further examine erosion modelling. Building and revising Taiwan's database for empirical soil loss estimating parameters in Taiwan is time- and labour- intensive. To address this, Wang's team of researchers decided that in order to cope with the extreme rainfall events and the steep slopes in mountain areas in Taiwan, a method to simulate the erosion process during rainfall events, especially in typhoons, that can give promptly estimations of soil loss and sediment yields is required. Essentially, they were aware of the challenges associated with existing physical soil erosion models and wanted to develop an improved model. 'In seeing the current sates and constraints of soil erosion estimation and its applications in Taiwan, and considering the research trends internationally, I found that the discussion of erosion process from a physical mechanics point of view is widely accepted in many other countries,' states Wang. 'Therefore, I proposed projects that focus on analysing and simulating the surface erosion process from the physical-based point of view.' The process-based model being developed by Wang and her team considers the physical mechanics of erosion in order to assess slopeland erosion during rainfall events. 'In Taiwan, soil erosion estimation and its applications usually use empirical models, Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and its modified forms, such as Revised USLE (RUSLE) and Modified USLE (MUSLE), to estimate soil loss for evaluating the environmental impacts of a development behaviour on slopeland,' explains Wang. 'The application of USLE, RUSLE, and MUSLE is convenient with a database that provides the parameters for various situations. However, the development of USLE and its database was originally from the erosion plot experiments in the US, where the topographical, geological, and climate conditions are different from those in Taiwan.'

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          Author and article information

          Science Impact, Ltd.
          November 26 2018
          November 26 2018
          : 2018
          : 8
          : 72-74
          © 2018

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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