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Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory
1Environmental

Engineering Department – UNESP – Campus Experimental de Sorocaba Altos da Boa Vista, Sorocaba – SP 2Forestry Science and Research Institute – Monte Alegre, Piracicaba – SP Brazil

Alexandre Marco da Silva1, Clayton Alcarde Alvares2 and Claudia Hitomi Watanabe1

1. Introduction
Erosion and sedimentation refer to the motion of solid particles, called sediment (Julien, 2010). Erosion is a natural process and causes a breakdown of soil aggregates and accelerates the removal of organic and mineral materials (Gilley, 2005). Soil erosion risk can be assessed by means of equations empirically derived from the superposition principle of this phenomenon. Using such models, during the last decade, several initiatives have assessed the risk of soil erosion at the national, continental, and global levels (Terranova et al., 2009). The use of geographic information system (GIS) enables the determination of the spatial distribution of the parameters of some soil loss predicting models, as the Universal Soil Loss Equation - USLE (Dabral et al., 2008). Every factor within the USLE is calculated by GIS, which is obtained from meteorological stations, topographic maps, land use maps, soil maps and results of other relevant studies. The spatial distribution of the soil loss of a certain region is given by multiplying factor map layers in the GIS. The spatial resolution of the data is an option of researcher, and should be considered the resolution of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM), soil map, satellite images, among other sources of information (Yue-Qing et al., 2008). Land use is the only factor affecting erosion that can be modified to reduce soil loss potential (Gilley, 2005). However, if we do not consider the land cover and soil management, i.e., if we consider the interaction of rainfall, topography and soil, assuming that the soil is totally uncovered along wholly study area, we may predict the total soil loss amount or the Natural Potential for Erosion (NPE) for a considered area (Castro & Valério Filho, 1997). NPE might be used as a tool to show cartographically areas highly pre-disposed to erosion and the mathematic relation among PNE value and soil loss tolerance value. It might indicate the ideal CP factor to be used in determined region. Brazil is largest South American country and the land use is far from to be conformable with land use capability. Hence, soil loss studies and researches are highly needed. On the other hand, a lot of studies have been developed in order to predict soil loss rates along Brazilian

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Soil Erosion Studies

territory. Some of them use GIS technology (Beskow et al., 2009), some use hydrosedimentologic database, or others approaches (Tornquist et al., 2009). But such studies involve only a part of territory (a river basin, for example). Considering the scarcity of database of a map that presents the Natural Potential for Soil Erosion through a specific mathematical model, this study aims elaborate the NPE map for entire Brazilian Territory considering the USLE approach.

2. Soil degradation
Soil erosion is a process inherent in landscape evolution. The intensity of soil erosion is governed by numerous natural and anthropogenic factors. Natural factors include soil, climate, vegetation, relief and other ecoregional characteristics (Lal, 2001). Soils are more exposed to erosion for different reasons: inappropriate agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing, forest fires, and construction activities (Terranova et al., 2009). Erosion process has both on-site and off-site consequences. On-site consequences results in the loss of productive topsoil and other physical and chemical consequences. Furthermore, off-site problems, such as downstream sediment deposition in fields, floodplains and water bodies, are also very serious, with significant costs to society (Verspecht et al., 2011). Land degradation may be defined as long-term adverse changes in soil properties and processes, leading to a loss of ecosystem function and productivity caused by disturbances from which land cannot recover unaided (Bai et al., 2008; Palm et al., 2007). Through such changes in soil properties and processes, soil degradation undermines the sustainability of many of the ecosystem services (Palm et al., 2007). Among the kinds of degradation, Bai et al. (2008) list water erosion, wind erosion, nutrient depletion, salinity, contamination, physical as the principal ones. Among them, water erosion is responsible by more than a half of the degraded land along world and also in South America. South American continent is a region with particular and expressive areas presenting high or very high vulnerability for water erosion (Figure 1). It presents average soil loss rates of 16.7 t ha−1 y−1 that is significantly higher if compared to the world average of 11.5 t ha−1 y−1 (Nam et al., 2003).

3. Soil loss modelling
Assessment of risk of erosion has traditionally been carried out by application of one of the many available mathematical models (Boardman et al., 2009). Considering that any model is a simplification of reality (Morgan & Nearing, 2011) and, for some users, this creates an immediate theoretical issue, the approach here employed considers three elementary natural features involved in erosion process: climate, relief and soil. This approach is the Natural Potential for Soil Erosion (NPE). NPE, or Potential Erosion Risk, is defined here as the inherent risk of erosion irrespective of current land use or vegetation cover (Grimm et al., 2002; Vrieling et al., 2002). The NPE map can be generated using a part of the USLE model. The USLE is: A=R K L S C P ha-1 y-1), (1)

R is a factor for annual rainfall erosivity (MJ mm Where: A is the rate of soil loss (t ha-1 h-1 y-1), K is a factor for soil erodibility (t h MJ-1 mm-1), L is a factor for slope length (m),

the NPE model is: NPE = R K LS Where: NPE – Natural Potential for Erosion. when managed jointly. (2) 4. Water erosion vulnerability map. Brazilian environmental characteristics Brazil extends from the equatorial to the subtropical belt.. The country is characterized by a large diversity of soil types.y-1. are also dimensionless. 1. Fig. LS – same of equation (1). resulting from the interaction of the different . The two last factors are dimensionless and LS. are not considered. So. C is the cropping management factor and P is conservation practices factor (Wischmeier and Smith. and topographic factor). related to human influence (cover management and soil management).ha-1. 2009). R. 1978. Environmental characteristics are highly changeable along Brazilian territory due to large territorial size. K. Beskow et al. in t. Source: USDA (2003). Factors C and P.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 5 S is a factor for slope steepness (%). soil erodibility. The NPE map is generated using the factors related to physical environment (rainfall erosivity.

taking place in 20. Fig. climates. There are nineteen major soil orders occurring along territory (Figure 2).6 Soil Erosion Studies relieves. such two soil major classes represents more than a half of the Brazilian soils (FAO. . according to Brazilian classification system (EMBRAPA. according to Soil Survey Staff. as Latossolos. and as Ultisols. and as Oxisols. So. according to Soil Survey Staff. This diversity and the consequent potential uses are reflected in the regional differences. The complex formed by the FAO System Rhodic and Haplic Acrisols and some Lixisols (named. according to Brazilian classification system (EMBRAPA. 2. 2006). Source: FAO (2004). 1999) is the predominant category and takes place in 38. Soil Classes occurring along Brazilian territory. The complex formed by the FAO System Xanthic. Rhodic and Haplic Ferralsols (named. parent material.0% of the Brazilian territory. vegetation and associated organisms. 2004). 2006). 1999). as Argissolos. is the second predominant category.7% of the Brazilian territory.

(ii) overland and sub-surface flow. with convex upslope and rectilinear lower slopes. in the south. Such natural processes vary according to geographic position. 3. 2000). which limits the Atlantic plateau (Cruz. 2000).d. and the Serra Geral. sometimes with benches or shoulders. forming thick weathered mantles reworked by. showing predominance of plain regions along Amazon region and predominance of plateaus mainly along southeastern and southern regions (IBGE. In all cases.d. and river flow.). . n. Maximum temperature (annual average values) ranges from 15 to 35oC. declivity. while southern region presents the lowest ones (INMET.).Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 7 The largest part of its eastern front is characterized by a morphoclimatic domain called “sea of hills”. such as those of Serra do Mar and Serra da Mantiqueira.) with legend translated according to map shown in Sayre et al (n. Three main groups of natural processes take place on the slopes of these humid tropical areas: (i) weathering-pedogenesis. hills are preceded by the scarps of the Serra do Mar. the minimal temperature (annual average values) ranges from 4 to 24oC. Average temperature (annual average values) ranges from 8 to 30oC.d. Climatologically. n. and (iii) mass movements. Relief compartments map for Brazilian territory.d. range and length of the scarps. Source: IBGE (n. especially on scarped slopes. sometimes concave by the colluvial accumulation. Figure 3 depicts the relief compartments. northern / northeastern regions present highest values. Fig. the thickness of alteration beds and climatic conditions (Cruz. In southeastern and partly in the south.). as well as their geological nature. in the southeast.

500 mm). Fig. as described below. for example Amazon region (Silva. 2004).600 weather stations with continuous database of at least twenty consecutive years. 2001 and 2007) was considered. The natural potential for soil erosion map For each one NPE factor a single.y-1). a specific database was elaborated.000 to 2. 5. one adapted equation was applied using pluviometric records obtained from 1.1 R factor For R factor layer. Annual rainfall amount map of Brazilian territory (in mm. 4. the author considered eight majors Brazilian regions covering the whole of the territory of Brazil. Northern region encompasses areas whose annual rainfall amount and erosivity are expressive (annual rainfall amount is usually over 2. called clay-ratio method (Equation 3). In most of Brazilian territory.MJ-1. 5. 2005). 2004).kg-1. For determining the value of erodibility we used a soil profile database provided for whole Brazilian territory (Cooper et al. we used the digital map of rainfall erosivity (Silva. Source: Silva (2004). In this study.2 K factor For K factor layer.mm-1 and the textural attributes expressed in (3) g. ..8 Soil Erosion Studies Driest areas occur in northeastern region. The erodibility was calculated indirectly through the method proposed by Boyoucos (1935).h.000 mm (Figure 4). and for each region. Erodibility = [(sand + silt) / (clay)] / 100 Where: erodibility expressed in t. where annual rainfall amount is approximately 600 mm. 5. separated layer was elaborated (Figure 5) and for each factor. a digital soil map (IBGE. annual rainfall depth ranges from 1.

Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 9 Fig.020 0. Soil loss prediction through USLE approach and using GIS. modified from Mongkolsawat et al. 5. K Factor (t.030 ≤ K < 0. it is still largely used (Waswa et al. Soil erodibility values were classified into five classes. Due this simplicity and feasibility of obtaining. Degrees of limitation null weak moderate strong very strong Source: Giboshi (1999). 2001) was crossed with the soil erodibility map.h. Values and interpretation classes for soil erodibility.040 K ≥ 0. We also used a complementary database regarding soil erodibility that occurs specifically along São Paulo State (Silva & Alvares. . 2002.040 Table 1. 2009). as shown in Table 1 (Giboshi. and thus we obtained average values of the K factor as large groups of Brazilian soils. This equation is based only in textural characteristics of the soil.. 2007). (1994). Official Brazilian soil map (IBGE.mm-1) K ≤ 0.010 ≤ K < 0. 2005). For this.MJ-1. 1999).020 ≤ K < 0.030 0. Lopes-Assad et al. we used the tool “Zonal statistics as table” in GIS ArcMAP 10 (Theobald.010 0.

version 9. 2008). Hence. 2006). the NPE layer was created. ESRI. and m = 0. the Digital Elevation Model for Brazilian territory was obtained from SRTM project (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) (Farr & Kobrik. . The spatial dependence index (SDI) was used according to Zimback (2001).065 + 0.e.0065 θ2) (4) Where λ = slope length (m).2 on uniform gradients of less than 1 percent. The final map was reclassified into interpretative classes. SDI comprises the following interpretation break: weak SDI ≤ 25%. moderate SDI between 25% and 75% and strong SDI ≥ 75%. 1998.4 on slopes of 3. Only this theoretical semivariogram group was considered because it usually covers the general dispersion situation of soil science spatial events (Burrough & McDonnell.1)m * (0. Correlation coefficient of selected models were obtained through Cross Validation routine of the geostatistical software GS+. Gaussian and linear. which measures a sample’s structural variance effect on total variance (sill).5 percent.045 θ + 0. and 0. Soares. For determination of λ value we used the method proposed by Moore & Burch (1986). A punctual ordinary kriging estimator was used for geostatistic interpolation. λ = (Flow Accumulation * Cell Size) (5) Where: Flow Accumulation is a grid theme of flow accumulation expressed as number of grid cells (readily derived from watershed delineation processing steps) and Cell Size is the length of a cell side (m). Through structural parameters obtained from experimental semivariograms.3 on slopes of 1 to 3 percent. 1988). The LS map was generated through the algorithm available in Wischmeier and Smith (1978): LS = (λ/22. 2010). Theoretical models considered.. exponential. as these lags are the estimators of the experimental semivariograms (Deutsch & Journel. We analyzed which feature(s) influence(s) more expressively the spatial variability of the values of NPE along the study area.. Flow Accumulation was derived from the DEM.10 Soil Erosion Studies Experimental semivariograms were determined until approximately 50% of the geometric camp.10 (ESRI. its accuracy was reduced due to a smaller number of possible pairs to calculate the semivariance at this distance. 5. we interpreted the map considering the possibilities of aggravation of erosive process by present land use patterns which can be changed. A geometric camp of 16 degrees (geographic coordinates) with partition groups (lags) of 1 degree was considered. The values of λ and θ were derived from DEM (ESRI. 0. that it is in the fourth version (Jarvis et al.5 to 4. This index is a complement of the traditional method recommended by Cambardella et al.5 if the percent of slope is 5 or more. 0. after conducting Fill and Flow Direction processes in ArcGIS 10 (Theobald. 1998). i. maps of some properties were created using GIS ArcMap v. were described by Guerra (1988) and Andriotti (2003). 2010). (1994) in which the nugget weight effect (randomness) on total variance is evaluated. since after this value the semivariogram did not seem correct (Guerra. such as spherical.4 NPE map Using Equation 2 and approach shown at Figure 5. 2000). θ = slope gradient (%).3 Topographic factor For LS layer (computed jointly). 2010). 5. 2007.

0 22.000 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 y-1” with 37.1 R factor The annual rainfall erosivity ranges from 3.500 4.0 13.116 to 20.500 9. Highest values are found in the northern region. Maps elaborated by Rao et al. Spatial distribution of the rainfall amount and erosivity are irregular (Figures 4 and 6). mostly in the Amazon region (Figure 6).000 7. Erosivity (MJ mm ha-1 h-1 y-1) < 4.0 25. Predominant class was “> 12. Annual erosivity map (MJ mm ha-1 h-1 y-1). 2004). % 3.0 37.000-9.0% of occurrence (Table 2). Fig.000 Table 2. Such maps show that the trimester with major or minor contribution over seasonal distribution of amount of rain along Brazilian territory is also changeable. Percentage of occurrence of each class of the R factor along Brazilian territory.0 . Results and discussion 6. In some regions the annual erosivity normally is incipient and others are extremely high (almost ten times more erosive than the areas with lowest erosivity).500-7.035 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 year-1 (Silva.000 > 12. (1996) and showed in Figure 7 confirm this information. 6.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 11 6. The region with the lowest values is represented by the northeastern region and an occurrence in southeastern region.500-12. Source: Silva (2004) – reclassified.

July. independently of climate and relief.2 K factor and semivariograms of soil texture Most of the Brazilian soils are highly erodibles. Percentage contribution of trimester to the annual rainfall amount (A – December. Source: Rao et al. August) (D – September. the predominant occurrence is soils with low erodibility (green stain located in lower portion of the map). For more details.12 Soil Erosion Studies Fig. 7. April. This is supported by data of Figure 8 and Table 3. Classes with high erodibility (strong and very strong) occupy 53% of Brazilian territory. 6. Soils classified as “very strong” occur mainly along northeastern and center-western Brazilian regions. November).March. see Rao et al. Santa Catarina). . October. (1996). May) (C – June. January. (1996). February) (B . For two states of the southern region (Paraná.

The second biggest stain of clay soils occurs on “Brazilian highlands” (see Figure 10 – left). The soil data were well fitted to an exponential theoretical model (Figure 9).0 20. . (2005). According to database provided by Cooper et al. Ferralsols and Histosols had the lowest average erodibility across their areas of occurrence.0 18. The soils with high percentages of clay are concentrated mainly in southeastern and southern Brazilian regions. The Nitisols. Regosols. Percentage of occurrence of each class of the K factor. 2002). Sandy soils occur mainly on the central region (nor in the northern or the southern region). It seems that soils with higher erodibility are related with high sand percentage than low clay percentage.0 23.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 13 Fig.. considered low erodibility. soils with high percentages of silt are concentrated mainly in northern Brazilian region. Podzols. % 6. The estimated average values of erodibility of major groups of Brazilian soils are presented in Table 4. They showed moderate SDI and the quality of cross-validation were considered normal for soil attributes (Vieira. On the other hand. Brazilian soils are predominantly loam. Vieira et al. Soil erodibility classes. On the other hand. 2000.0 33.0 Erodibility classes null weak moderate strong very strong Table 3. 8.

Luvisols. Arenosols.0374 Brazilian System of Soil Classification (EMBRAPA. are the highest average soil erodibility.0353 0. 1999).0478 0. in State of Sao Paulo and Lino (2010).14 Soil Erosion Studies Planosols. Computed K values for Brazilian soils in different classifications systems 6. was especially separated because locals presenting LS < 1 mathematically represent diminution of the rates of soil loss and a possible opportunity for sediment deposition.3 DEM and topographic factor More than a half of Brazilian territory presented LS factor values lower than 1 (Table 5).0429 0. These results are similar to those obtained by Silva & Alvares (2005). 2006).0534 0. in State of Rio Grande do Sul.0132 0. For locals where the LS > 1 topography accelerates the erosion process.0374 0. World reference base for soil resources Table 4.0351 0.0650 0.0344 0.0197 0.0287 0. Class “< 1”.0450 0. (FAO. According to Table 1 they are interpreted as soils of high erodibility. Embrapa1 Argissolos Cambissolos Chernossolos Espodossolos Gleissolos Latossolos Luvissolos Neossolos Flúvicos Neossolos Litólicos Neossolos Quartzarênicos Neossolos Regolítcos Nitossolos Organossolos Planossolos Plintossolos Vertissolos 1 FAO2 Acrisols Cambisols Chernozems Podzols Gleysols Ferrasols Luvisols Fluvisols Leptosols Arenosols Regosols Nitisols Histosols Planosols Plinthosols Vertisols Soil Survey Staff3 Ultisols Inceptisols Molisols Spodosols Entisols Oxisols Aridisols Fluvents Lithic Quartzipsamments Psamments Oxisols Kandic Histosols Alfisols Plintic Vertisols 2 K (t h MJ-1 mm-1) 0. For cells with LS values = 1 there is no influence of the topography over soil loss.0246 0. that occurs in 53. 3 Soil taxonomy (Soil Survey Staff.0736 0. at least mathematically.6% (Figure 10).0791 0. 1998). .

9.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 15 Fig. silt and clay) and maps of amount of sand (b). . Omnidirectional experimental semivariograms (sand. silt (d) and clay (f).

6 13.ha-1. (b) no occurrence of modern geological folding. Right: map of LS factor values (dimensionless). the geographical distribution of high values of NPE has two notable distinct influences. The first one is an evident influence of very high erosivity values (R factor). with 14% (Table 6). shown in Figure 11. K and LS) outcomes the NPE map. n.y-1”.16 Soil Erosion Studies Fig. the predominant class was “< 200 t.4 .ha1.8 1. The three classes that represent most severe topographic condition occur in 9. with 61%. and (c) due to be situated in the core area of a tectonic plate called South America Plate (IBGE. Possibly due to relief influences. the second major class was “> 1600 t. 6. Surprisingly.5 23.4 NPE map The integration of the three factors early described (R. DEM presented in Figure 10 suggests that higher LS values are associated with high altimetric values.y-1”. Such high LS values are more concentrated along mountainous regions (see Figure 3 – relief).6 7.1 0. The second one is major % 53.).d. due: (a) antique lithology. as cities of Santos and Rio de Janeiro. Along Brazilian territory occur predominantly regions with low altimetry.3%. Left: Digital elevation map for Brazilian territory (m). Some of hilly or scarped regions are located near the shoreline and in regions with high population concentration. Besides of the occurrence of soils highly erodibles along Brazilian territory. Percentage of occurrence of each class of the LS factor. LS intervals <1 1 1-10 10-50 50-100 > 100 Table 5. 10.

11. Minas Gerais. Rio de Janeiro. many crops have been cultivated in hilly areas and favoring the erosion process. and Paraná states) regions of the country. the sector employs mainly the technique of “minimum cultivation”. The pressure of population. where the land use is more intensive. generally defined as land with slope exceeding 20% (Presbitero et al.. 2005). especially for southeastern Brazilian region. areas currently used for grain production. Coffee.. NPE map for Brazilian territory. Fig. They are predominantly related to the occurrence of rainfall. However.. there are a significant number of people living in sloped areas. especially soy—located in western region of the gaucho countryside. and sometimes happen after rainy periods of long duration (Coelho-Netto et al. On the other hand. 2000). which provides the least impact on soil (Gonçalves et al.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 17 influence of relief (LS factors) in eastern portion. 2010). In forestry. . In rural context. and the Central Plateau from Goias to Tocantins. Catastrophic mass movements recorded in Brazil are concentrated in the southeastern (São Paulo. 2010). as rural or urban. orchards (orange) and sugar-cane sometimes cultivated in steep lands in São Paulo State are examples. is leading to increased cultivation of tropical steeplands. Brazil has adopted over the last two decades the use no-tillage in agriculture. In urban context. in metropolitan regions like São Paulo. characterizing risk areas. Brazil is a typical case of this problem. This information takes an important role on the establishment of land use politics in order to promote a sustainable land use. that is of great intensity and short duration. Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso. 2010). Santa Catarina. generally correspond to those areas with a high potential for sediment production (Castro & Queiroz Neto. and Espirito Santo states) and southern (Rio Grande do Sul. mainly soybeans and corn (Lino. Belo Horizonte and Recife. Rio de Janeiro. among other factors.

12. some areas surrounding the Amazon basin has high potential for sediment production (Castro & Queiroz Neto.18 NPE < 200 200-400 400-800 800-1600 > 1600 Table 6. Cartogram of Brazilian population density. Source: IBGE (n. Percentage of occurrence of each class of the NPE.d. 2004). Fig. the NPE map. Ganges and Amazon (Goddéris.0 9. as well as the hilly areas located on southeastern Brazilian region (Figure 13).0 Table 7 shows a summary of the main types of land degradation found in Brazil (Zuquete et al. . Associating the human interferences (consequences according to activity).). alter the hydrologic balance. and present some (hydro)geomorphologic consequences according to kind of human interference. 2010). because there is high concentration with high NPE values and simultaneously high population density.0 8. Today. it is possible perceive that the zone of 300 km from shoreline to west is probably the most “problematic” region of Brazilian territory. Soil Erosion Studies % 61.0 14. carried by three rivers: the Brahmaputra. As early informed. with many kinds of interferences. 2010). Many of them are strictly related to erosion process.. more than 20% of the total dissolved and suspended mass delivered to the oceans comes from the Himalaya and the Andes.0 8. and the population density map (Figure 12).

. Table 7.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 19 Natural process Human interference Agriculture Urban Mining Air. Main types of land degradation found in Brazil. water Air.modified. soil and soil and water pollution pollution Soil compactation Soil compactation Morphometric Decline of changes biodiversity Channel changes Infestation Erosion rate Erosion rate Runoff changes Deforestation Runoff changes Flooding Channel Channel density density changes changes Biomass changes Crusting Runoff Deforestation changes Sediment load Channel density changes Morphometric Forest changes fragmentation Salinization Flooding Water balance Leaching Deforestation Sediment Geomorphoload logic changes Mass movement Decrease in Channel biomass. soil and water pollution Acid rain Soil / Rock Decline of biodiversity Cementation Desertification Geomorphology Morphometric changes Channel changes Water Vegetation Air. density carbon and changes biodiversity Desertification Silting Deforestation Morphometric changes Relief changes ├───Land cover change ───┤ ├──────── Climatic change ───────┤ Source: Zuquette et al. (2004) . soil and water pollution Erosion rate Industrial Air.

000.4 t. 17 out of 26 states and the Federal District. Tolerable CP = tolerable soil loss / NPE value (6) 7. at present.y-1 to t.0002 m y-1 (Sparovek & Schnug. This confirms a necessity for further studies in intermediate scales or preferably.y-1. soil surveys are still necessary. If we adopt the soil density value 1. As stated by Mendonça-Santos & Santos (2007).000 and 1:5.y-1. in detailed scales. 2007). Map of sediment yield in Brazil. Source: Castro & Queiroz Neto (2010).km-2. In Brazil. is covered with soil maps at several intermediate scales (1:100.000). the annual soil loss rate is smaller or equivalent to average rate of soil formation..e. i. both for NPE as for actual soil loss.200 kg m-3. Using equation 6 (Valerio Filho. . Detailed and semi detailed soil surveys are now available in small areas.000– 1:600. Legend modified from t.20 Soil Erosion Studies Fig. to support localspecific agricultural and environmental projects (Mendonça-Santos & Santos. Final considerations We reported here the NPE for Brazilian territory in a broad scale. to support evaluation of soil resources for planning. approximately 35% of Brazil.ha-1. and average rate of soil formation -0. 13. mainly at larger scales.ha-1.000) and total coverage of the country is available at exploratory and schematic levels (scales 1:1. we infer the maximum tolerable soil loss is 2. especially for pedological cartographic database. 1994) it is possible estimating the recommended CP value(s) that is in accordance with sustainable principles of soil conservation. and management of agricultural and also for environmental projects. 2001).000.

(1935). L. we identified major socio-environmental risk areas of NPE. M. L. Cambardella. Queiroz Neto. comparing the NPE map with population density. Shepheard. Editora UNISINOS. M. Vol. pages 223 – 243. 510 pages. Vol 13. G. E. Valério Filho. 333 p. (2010).. Soil Erosion in Brazil from Coffee to the Present-day Soy Bean Production. Soil Science Society of America Journal. A. Lacerda. C. J.. Burrough. Coelho-Netto. São Leopoldo. (2009).. (2008). S. T. L. Mcdonnell. the study in such broad scale here presented permitted we found the major influences over the NPE values according to region of the Brazilian territory. D.. N. Norton. for financial support. pp. Foster. Brazil. RS. Parkin. 1501-1511. Karlen. A. A. (2003). S.. E. Vol. Olsonn. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy. Fundamentos de Estatística e Geoestatística. Vol. Soil erosion and riskassessment for on. 2578-2588. Acknowledgments To Fapesp and Pró-reitoria de Pós-Graduação . Simulação da expectativa de perdas de solo em microbacia sob diferentes manejos florestais. A. R. B.90. A. J. S. Avelar. Bouyoucos. D.. Curi. References Andriotti.. Elsevier. G. L. Elsevier. Natural Hazards and Human-Exacerbated Disasters in Latin America. Soil Use and Management.27. . E. West Sussex. A. vol 13. Viola..21. (2009). 49–59.M. L. J. The great challenge is establish regional and local land use politics conformable with the average rate of soil formation. Vol. Brazil using distributed modeling. Vol. But they should be managed (both the cultivar and the soil) in order to reduce the soil loss to acceptable rates. The clay ratio as a criterion of susceptibility of soils to erosion. UK.. 223 – 234. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo. 8. L. pp. Dent. pp. . There are hundreds of cultivars that can be cultivated along the Brazilian territory according to local edaphoclimatic conditions.. Developments in Earth Surface Processes. Field-scale variability of soil properties in central Iowa soils. M. In: Latrubesse. Bai. Principles of Geographical Information Systems. Walter. New York: Oxford University Press. Catena. Z.. Castro.24. In: Latrubesse. Mello. J. S. 419 – 426. G.. Soil erosion prediction in the Grande River Basin. A.58. Avanzi. pp. Proxy global assessment of land degradation. Castro.Natural Potential for Erosion for Brazilian Territory 21 However. R. I. E. L. T. D.. R. The NPE is a tool that helps achieving this aim. 510 pages. Moorman. Pages 195 – 221. Boardman.. 738-741.. pp. Vol. Journal of Environmental Management. D. B. Developments in Earth Surface Processes. 9. M. with specific sediment yield and with complementary bibliographic data. C. C. Also... pp. J. P.and off-farm impacts: A test case using the Midhurst area. Landslides and Disasters in Southeastern and Southern Brazil. (2010). (1994). W. S. M. (1998).Unesp. P. (1997).. Natural Hazards and Human-Exacerbated Disasters in Latin America.79. Chapter 12. Beskow.

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