Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 51, Issue 12, pp 1533–1546 | Cite as

Dynamic Assessment of Soil Water Erosion in the Three-North Shelter Forest Region of China from 1980 to 2015

  • C. JiEmail author
  • X. Li
  • Y. Jia
  • L. Wang


To evaluate the risk and dynamic change trends of water erosion status and intensity spatial distribution in the Three-North Shelter Forest Project (TNSFP) region from 1980 to 2015, the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE), after integrating precipitation, soil characteristics, vegetative cover, topography, land use, and a cover management factor weighted with rainfall during flood seasons, was employed. The results illustrated that soil conservation improved and the average water erosion rate decreased from 530 to 230 t/ (km2 a) following vegetation restoration and land use changes. The water erosion area decreased by 17% in the study area, and 78% of the area tended to be stable. However, a deteriorated region of 14.87 million km2 area was determined to be an erosional risk region, mainly distributed on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau region and the southwestern Sandstorm region, which should be a priority for conservation measures. The new approach to calculate C-factor values, fully considering rainfall intensity as an appropriate weight, provided a rational and reliable estimate of the C-factor on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Further, it was found that the effectiveness of forest land use in reducing water erosion is a significant priority. These results will be useful for soil conservation management and the planning of TNSFP in the future.


remote sensing RUSLE soil erosion by water spatial analysis 



This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFC0500806) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571421, 51809250).


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Environment and Disaster Monitoring and Evaluation, Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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