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Evaluating estimated sediment delivery by Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and Sediment Delivery Distributed (SEDD) in the Talar Watershed, Iran

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Abstract

The performance of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) as the most widely used soil erosion model is a challenging issue. Accordingly, the objective of this study is investigating the estimated sediment delivery by the RUSLE method and Sediment Delivery Distributed (SEDD) model. To this end, the Talar watershed in Iran was selected as the study area. Further, 700 paired sediment-discharge measurements at Valikbon and Shirgah-Talar hydrometric stations between the years 1991 and 2011 were collected and used in sediment rating curves. Nine procedures were investigated to produce the required RUSLE layers. The estimated soil erosion by RUSLE was evaluated using sediment rating curve data by two methods including least squares and quantile regression. The average annual suspended sediment load was calculated for each sub-watershed of the study area using the SEDD model. Afterwards, a sediment rating curve was estimated by least squares and quantile regression methods using paired discharge-sediment data. The average annual suspended sediment load values were calculated for two hydrometric stations and were further evaluated by the SEDD model. The results indicated that the first considered procedure, which utilized 15-min rainfall measurements for the rainfall factor (R), and the classification method of SENTINEL-2 MSI image for the cover management factor (C), offered the best results in producing RUSLE layers. Furthermore, the results revealed the advantages of utilizing satellite images in producing cover management layer, which is required in the RUSLE method.

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Correspondence to Majid Rahimzadegan.

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Mirakhorlo, M.S., Rahimzadegan, M. Evaluating estimated sediment delivery by Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and Sediment Delivery Distributed (SEDD) in the Talar Watershed, Iran. Front. Earth Sci. 14, 50–62 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11707-019-0774-8

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