Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky


  • Matija Zorn
  • Blaž Komac
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_121


Erosivity is a measure of the potential ability of soil, regolith, or other weathered material to be eroded by rain, wind, or surface runoff.


Historically, the term erosivity was first associated with an R-factor (rainfall-runoff erosivity factor) in the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). R-factor as used in the USLE and the revised USLE (RUSLE) relates to the mean annual sum of EI30 values. EI30 is the most commonly used rainfall erosivity index, where E is the total kinetic energy per unit area during a precipitation event (MJ·ha–1) and I30 is its peak 30-min intensity (mm·ha−1). Thus, erosivity of precipitation events is a function of their intensity and duration, and of the mass, diameter, and velocity of the raindrops. In principle, each detachment-transport system can be represented by an equation that has an erosivity term.

Wind erosivity has often been determined using indices based on wind velocities and durations above certain threshold velocities,...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsAnton Melik Geographical InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia