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SOIL ERODIBILITY ESTIMATION METHODS

1. Introduction

The intensification of soil erosion consequences in depletion of the top fertile soil
from agricultural land and the sedimentation in rivers and reservoirs. The rate of
erosion from the land surface depends mainly on the erosive power of the rainfall
event and the erodibility of the The susceptibility of surface soil to different
erosive agents (water and wind) is highly dependent on the physical
characteristics of the parent soil and the erosive power of the agents. The
strength of the raindrop splashes and depth of the surface runoff occurring from
precipitation determines the detachability of the individual soil aggregate and
bulk transport of the detached soil particles. The detachability of the soil
aggregate from the parent soil depends on the strength of how the individual soil
particles are bound together. The stronger the particles are bound together, the
less will be the susceptibility to erosion. The soil susceptibility to erosion is
expressed in terms of soil erodibility factor which can be defined as the rate of
soil loss per rainfall erosion index (MJ/mm)-1. Soil erodibility can be assessed by
any of the three established methods namely, the direct measurement on a
natural runoff plot, the rainfall simulation studies, and the predictive
relationships.
The direct measurement on a natural plot method and the rainfall simulation
methods need standardized field experimental plots. The method gives a reliable
erodibility factor, however it is costly and time consuming. The predictive
relationship approach is relatively the easier method to use, but the result is less
accurate as compared to the runoff plot and the rainfall simulation methods
(Römkens 1985).The predictive approaches are based on the soil physical,
chemical and mineralogical properties. Wischmeier et al. (1971) soil erodibility
nomograph is the most commonly used predictive method.
Different attempts were being made to establish the erodiblity factor
relationships with different soil properties. Oslon 1963, Ei_Swaify 1976, Young
1977, Williams 1984, Shiriza 1984, Sharpley 1990, Fryrear 1994, Chen 1995,
Zhang 2002 are among the common investigations conducted on the soil
erodibility estimation equations. The investigations suggested certain empirical
relations which can give soil erodibility value using certain data sets. However
adaptation of the research results of the investigations to other places still
remain a big challenge due to the area specific nature of empirical models or the

S Griffiths et al. It was from the 1998 world soil data base that. Hence. The limitation of the availability of the appropriate soil erodibility factor estimation method is the main bottleneck for prediction of a reliable sediment yield.540km2 with 80% agriculture. the FAO/UNESCO-1998 world soil maps database and the soil map of Upper Awash River basin in Ethiopia had been considered as source of available soil data. Digital soil map of the area had been obtained from Federal Ministry of Water Resources of Ethiopia. The Digital Soil and Terrain Database of North East Africa (SEA) that includes Ethiopia was prepared separately and it has been available on purchase of the CD-ROM containing all soil and terrain information of the area. 2002.000. Therefore there is a need to asses the existing soil erodibility estimation methods with respect to data availability. 2. 2003). Moreover. The study area has 10.1. In 1990. 2. In this research.Likewise. and the remaining 17. Awash River basin in Ethiopia had been selected as a study area to analyze the soil erodibility factor. and suggested as a reference for the derivation of the alternative soil erodibility factor estimation formula. The derived alternative soil erodibility estimation method had been evaluated for the scope of it’s applicability for the different soil characteristics. devising an alternative approach for the erodibility estimation with a more simplified input parameter is helpful to save money and time that could be expend on the intensive field data collection. The FAO soil map of the Upper Awash basin is shown on figure 4. The reliability on prediction of the erodibility factor depends on the quality of the available input data. Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) had been preparing and updating the world soil data base at different spatial scales.000 (FAO/EC/ISRIC. 1989).75% covered by different forests . very few investigations were done so far for the specific situation of the soils in Ethiopia (Daba et al.In 1998 the update version of the soil map was adopted as world soil database.25% Urban.insufficiency of input data to make necessary adjustment for the specific situations of the area under consideration. J. a map of world soil resource was completed at a scale of 1:25. in this research the most commonly used soil erodibility equation had been assessed. the soil and terrain map of the different parts of the content had been made available. Materials and methods Data availability and reliability are the primary issue that should be considered for the analysis of soil erodibility factor.

The corresponding soil properties for each soil type are indicated on table 4.1 Soil map of the Upper Awash River basin and sampling locations The physical properties of the soils in Upper Awash River basin had been extracted from FAO/UNESCO world soil database.and pasture land.1. Different soil types exist in the Upper Awash River basin. Table 4. The land slope varies from 0.1 Soil properties extracted from FAO/UNESCO soil database . The major soil types of Awash is indicated on the following figure 4. The area experiences heavy rainy seasons in months of July and August with mean total annual rainfall of 1000mm.1 Figure 4.7% to 16.5% with an undulating topography at the far upstream part and uniform lowland in middle and downstream parts.

The following are description of equations used for the analysis of samples. The temperature correction.0 10.0 22.0 To verify the reliability of the FAO soil world data base characteristics.0 5 Chromic Vertisols 0.68 61.0 19.0 16.0 40. 60cm 100cm 60cm Figure 2.07 27.4 Soil sampling pit under excavation The soil samples from each pit had been collected at two depth profiles.0 22.0 76.0 10.No FAO Soil OC% %clay %silt %sand 1 Chromic Cambisols 1.0 25.69 61.0 4 Dystric Gleysols 2.0 6 Calcic Fluvisols 0.0 14.0 3 Calcic Xerosols 0.0 11 Haplic Xerosols 0.0 40.0 14.0 64. 0-30cm and 30-100cm. 1997 laboratory guideline procedures.0 18.0 25.0 12 Chromic Luvisols 0.0 43.5).0 12.0 14 Orthic Solonchaks 0.0 68.0 40.0 40.64 22.41 14.0 15 Orthic Luvisols 0.0 7 Dystric Nitisols 1. The major and dominant soils are five soil types and for each soil type sampling had been done from 60cmx60cm pit with 100cm depth (figure 1.0 8 Eutric Cambisols 1.63 24.53 14.60 21.12 52.97 25.65 20. .0 10 Eutric Vertisols 0.0 13 Mollic Andosols 3.0 2 Leptosols 0.0 49.0 40.95 29.Five sampling pits had been dug on the dominant soil types.0 59. S.0 76.0 9 Eutric Nitisols 0.0 36.0 11.0 37.92 59.40 32.0 25. percent sand.44 38. field data on soil physical properties had been collected for major soils of the study area.0 31. The samples from each pit were analyzed in laboratory by hydrometer method. percent silt and percent clay computation had been done based on the Milford.0 30.

silt and clay Corrected 2 hour hydrometer reading * 100 % clay = Oven dry weight of soil Corrected 40 second hydrometer reading * 100 % silt plus clay = ............. 4................ ...........2 Hydrometer method of soil texture analysis data table Sample ID PT1 Pt2 PT3 PT4 PT5 Weight of dry sample (g) 50 50 50 50 50 40-sec hydrometer reading (g/1) 16 19 18 16 16 Temperature 14 13 16 24 15 .... 4........2....... .........4.............36 gram/liter for every 1 degree Cent grade above 20 degree cent grade temperature....... silt and clay had been determined. HR is hydrometer reading For the temperature below 20 degrees Cent grade HR = measured reading(g/ l) − [(measured temperature − 20) * 0...4 where ...........36g/l)].36g/l) ].. .. The computation result is shown on table 4.....4..5 Oven dry weight of soil % sand = 100 − % silt plus clay Based on the laboratory analysis procedure and the application of the above mentioned equations. For temperature above 20 degree C HR = measured reading(g/ l) + [(measured temperature − 20) * 0.. HR is hydrometer reading  Determination of percent sand. . 1 AD = Air Dry weight OD = Oven dry weight  Determination of weight of dry soil The weight of the dry soil is determined by multiplying the air dry weight by the moisture correction factor (MCF) Weight of Dry Soil = Air drySoil * MCF.. ....... . add 0.. ... .......36gram/liter for every 1 degree C below 20 degrees cent grade temperature... .. .. ..  Soil moisture correction MCF =1 −[( AD − OD ) /AD ] where : MCF = Moisture Correction Factor. ......2  Correcting hydrometer reading To correct the hydrometer reading for the temperature......3 where ... subtract 0..2 and figure 4. Table 4. the percent sand. 4. .... ..

88 %Sand 63.88 64.68 56.88 26.44 14.16 21.72 16. SCL=Sandy clay loam SL=Sandy loam The analysis result from the field data and the FAO soil database characteristics had been compared and the result is indicated on the following figure (figure 4.32 22.2 Comparison of the FAO/UNESCO soil properties with on field measured .16 11.4 Textural class name SCL SCL SCL SL SL Haplic Vitric Chromic Dystric Soil type Leptosols Xerosols Cambisol luvisols Nitosols *** Remark:The temperature for sample analysis of PT4 is high because the laboratory analysis was conducted in afternoon time when the water from the pipeline was hot.44 13.36 8.92 12.16 11.72 17.28 10.2) 70 60 60 Leptosols Haplic xerosols 50 fraction % fraction % 50 FAO soil(texture SCL) 40 FAO soil(texture SCL) 40 cal soil(texture SCL) cal soil(texture SCL) 30 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 %Sand %Silt %Clay %Sand %Silt %Clay soil texture soil texture 80 80 Chromic luvisols Vitric cambisols 60 fraction % 60 FAO soil(texture SL) FAO soil(texture C) 40 cal soil(texture SL) 40 cal soil(texture SCL) 20 20 0 0 %Sand %Silt %Clay %Sand %Silt %Clay soil texture soil texture 70 60 Dystric Nitosols fraction % 50 FAO soil(texture C) 40 cal soil(texture SL) 30 20 10 0 %Sand %Silt %Clay soil texture Figure 4.12 70.44 16.36 Percent clay 20. Corrected 40-sec reading (g/1) 18.8 2-hour hydrometer reading (g/1) 9 11 11 10 12 Temperature 16 14 19 23 19 Corrected 2-hour reading (g/1) 10.72 Percent silt 15.84 24.56 17.96 61.52 19.

there is more chance of deposition and as a result the soil properties remain variable from time to time. there is significant variability in sand proportion which is the main reason for the variability of the soil texture class as well. as it was proved during field data collection and analysis. 1971 developed the most widely used soil erodibility nomograph (figure 3. 1.1-2mm). a representative sampling should be made from a deeper depths and more sampling pits. for the Chromic Luvisols. The significant variation in sand proportion could be due to the location of the soil at low land area. The soil parameters required to read the nomograph are the percent modified silt(0. it can be observed that for the most dominant soils (Leptosols. Nevertheless.1m m).Since that time different empirical relations had been established. Different investigators suggested different approaches for the estimation of soil erodibility factor.the percent organic carbon matter(OM) and classes for structure(S) and permeability(P).1). The nomograph was developed from the 20 years field data observed on 22. 2. In overall conclusion on the reliability of the FAO/UNESCO soil properties. The similarity and variation of the soil texture class had been compared between the FAO/UNESCO soil properties and the on field measured soil properties. Similarly. In low land areas.1m length. Wischmeier et al.Haplic Xerosols and Chromic Luvisols).83m width and 9% field plot in USA.From figure 4. For the applicability of the nomograph.An algebraic relation was proposed to represent the nomograph for the cases where silt fraction doesn’t exceed 70%. the available soil characteristics data can be confidently applied. the soil texture is sandy loam (SL) in both cases..002- 0.the percent modified sand(0. for Vitric cambisols and Dystric Nitisols. .the properties of the soils extracted from FAO/UNESCO soil database is similar to the properties of the soils analyzed from field data. The soil texture class was found to be sandy clay loam (SCL) for Leptosols and Haplic Xerosols for both FAO soil characteristics and the on field measured soil characteristics. five soil parameters are required. In such a situation. Result and discussion Review of existing soil erodibility estimation method The attempt to establish equations for the determination of soil erodibility factor started as early as the 1950’s.2.

.1 Wischmeier et al.10mm) mc = Percent of clay(less than 0.25(C soilstr − 2) + 2.very fine granular 2 – Fine granular 3 – Coarse granular 4 – blocky.very slow 5 .05mm) mvfs = Percent of fine sand(0.slow to medium 3 .. 1 ..72 * OrgC msilt =Percent silt content (0.1 100 M = (msilt + mvfs )(100 − mc ) OM = 1.. soils with less . Soil erodibility estimation nomograph 0.platey or massive 6 .5(C perm − 3) K USLE = .slow 4 .05mm-0.med to rapid 1 .00021M1...medium 2 ..14 (12 − OM) + 3. ..002mm) OrgC = Percent Organic carbon content Csoilstr = Soil structure Code used in soil classification Cperm = Soil Permeability class Shirazi and Boersma. In the analysis....3... 1984 developed an empirical equation based on a natural plot and simulated rainfall data from global data.002mm-0.rapid Figure 3..

William’s 1984 proposed general erodibility equation using soil texture and organic carbon content as an input variable..... .. fhisand = Factor that reduces erodibility for soils with high sand content... The K. and the Shirazi et al...0494exp−  g  2 0.... .....f cl−si .. K = fcsand . There had been few researches conducted to evaluate the applicability of the different erodibility equation under different conditions.2 + 0....3.5940....Wawer et al.. The erodibility equation was related to the mean geometric particle diameter.. erodibility equations over estimated the erodibility values...3 mc + msilt 0...95..orgC ) ms 0....6986   .. .9(1 − )) 100 100 Where fcsand = Factor that gives low soil erodibility factor for soils with high coarse sand contents..51 + 22. The Zhang et al..7(1 − ) f hisand = (1 − 100 ) ms ms (1 − ) + exp( −5.....3.... . 2008 and R. it was observed that the three methods had shown different range of errors.5        Dg (mm) = exp(0..than 10% of rock fragments were considered. From the result..   1  log(D + 1.3 * exp( −0. forg = Factor that reduces soil erodibility for soils with high organic carbonic content.... the William’s et al. 2005 had evaluated the degree of applicability of the most popular equation with respect to the on field measured erosion data.f hisand .......25orgC f org = (1 − Org + exp( 3.01 ∑filnmi ) Where fi is the primary particle size fraction in percent and mi is the arithmetic mean of the particle size limits of that size. fcl-si = Factor that gives low soil erodibility factor for soils with high clay to silt ratio...0017+ 0. revealed Shirazi and Boarsma equation had shown least error and William’s equation had ... ........ .....72 − 2..6 msilt f csnad = (0. Selection and application of the equations should be done wisely so that a reasonable erodibility value can be predicted........675 2      K = 7.0256 * ms (1 − ))) 100 msilt f cl −si = ( ) 0. ..... The investigation revealed that the Wischmeier et al.L Zhang et al.............f org ....

Moreover. 2008). The over estimation of the methods could probably due to the many soil parameters incorporated in the equation. the FAO data base parameters are the possible alternative sources of obtaining the soil properties that are required in William’s equation. To avoid such discrepancies a detailed investigation on the particle size information is required which needs many representative soil sample data and accurate laboratory analysis. The better performance of the shirazi and Boarsma equation which is independent of the organic carbon content can justify this comment. although both method overestimated the result. In soils having significant clay composition. the result is expected to be too erroneous.erodibility estimation equation. The most popular soil organic measurement is by the soil burning method. The burning method is a very approximate method which varies in accuracy depending on the clay content of the soil (Eleanor et al. The Wischmeier et al.shown intermediate error. The formulation of an alternative soil erodibility estimation approach is described in the proceeding chapter.Wawer also indicated the better performance of the William’s method as compared to the Wischmeier et al. In the absence of the on field measured soil properties. However. equation had shown largest error as compared to the two methods. the investigation by R.2). the geometric grain size which is a function of particle size fraction and particle size limit may be too sensitive to small discrepancies as it was represented by an exponential function (equation 3. The method assumes that the loss due to the burning is the organic carbon content. the demand for the more soil input parameters remain major challenge for erodibility estimation. The William’s erodibility equation input requirements can be extracted from FAO/UNESCO soil data base. Similarly. In Shirazi and Boarsma equation. soil parameters like the organic carbon content is difficult to accurately measure and as a result large error can be introduced in to the equations. assessing the possibility of alternative approach to minimize the number of input data set requirement and easily measurable soil parameters is mandatory. The more the parameters are considered.Therefore.. The small discrepancies in the data on particle size fraction and particle size limit can lead to large error term. . the more the error duplicates during data collection and analysis.2. The review of the two research result indicates the direct application of the erodibility estimation methods provides an over estimated values which can significantly influence the soil loss rate or the sediment out flow from a watershed.

00 silt/sand 1.4. percent silt to percent clay ratio.The x-axis represents the different FAO soil numbering as denoted on table 4.78 %silt to % sand and % 0. partial correlation had been done with respect to Kwl.The right hand side y-axis describes the different soil texture fractions (silt/sand.20 Kwl 1.30 silt/clay 1. The texture of soils can be expressed in terms of the percent sand.88 0. case for Awash River basin soil and the case for FOA/UNESCO world soil data.6) for the Upper Awash basin. Table 4.10 0. On the basis of the discussion made under section 3.54 %silt to % sand 0.3. silt and clay proportion.1.00 0. percent silt to percent sand ratio. The computed K values and the major soil texture ratios are indicated on figure 4.80 0. percent silt to total percent of sand and clay.35 Kw l 2.77 0.82 clay .05 0. two cases were considered. the respective soil erodibility(K) factors had been computed from the William’s equation(equation 3.40 0.An alternative soil erodibility estimation approach The texture of a soil plays a fundamental role in susceptibility of soil to erosion.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 FAO soil Figure 4.60 Ratio of soil textures 0.3 William’s erodibility(KWL) result for Awash River Basin To investigate the possibility of formulating alternative soil erodibility estimation equation using the soil textures.3 Correlation coefficient(r) of soil erodibility factor with respect particle size Ratio of soil distribution Awash Basin data FAO/UNESCO soil data %Silt to % clay 0. 0.15 0. For the correlation analysis.80 0.25 silt/(clay+sand) 1.60 0.00 0.20 0.72 0. silt/clay and silt/ (sand and clay)) while the left hand side y-axis describes the soil erodibility factor value computed from William’s equation (Kwl).40 0.20 1.

.. Clay soils are similarly less susceptible to erodibility due to their strong binding effect of individual aggregates... . .7 %sand + %clay  where ERFAC is proposed alternativ e soil erodibilit y factor %sand is the percentage of sand proportion in the soil %silt is the percentage of silt proportion in the soil %clay is the percentage of clay proportion in the soil a and b are factors obtained from regression coffecient s as 0. the presence of high silt proportion in the soil increases the susceptibility of the soil to erosive agent. A non linear regression equation had been fitted to the data of the study area.. The x-axis represents the dominant soil types in the study area while the Y-axis is the value of the erodibility factor calculated by William´s method and the newly proposed equation.. .... b  %silt  ERFAC = a *   .. .. The secondary Y-axis indicates the absolute relative errors.........2686 respective ly Evaluation of the ERFAC equation on Awash Basin soil data The derived ERFAC equation had been applied for computation of the soil erodibility values for the different soils in the study area.. ... .........4 as shown below....3.. Thus....318 and 0....... . . In contrary....... Percent silt to total percent sand and percent clay ratio had been considered as explanatory variable. percent silt to total percent clay and percent sand ratio had been considered for the formulation of the alternative soil erodibility estimation method.. Sand dominated soils are less susceptible to erodibility. The result of the computation was plotted on figure 4. because they have low runoff potential....... The model fitted to a non linear power function with a form of...4. Nevertheless.. Based on the correlation result of the different soils considered and the result summarized on table 4..5.Percent silt to total percent clay and percent sand ratio reflects highest correlation as compared to the remaining elements for both the cases.. the correlation for the remaining two elements are still significant since r value is greater than 0.. it can be concluded that soil erodibilty is inversely proportional to the percentage sand and percentage clay...

The total range of the erodibility values are divided in to four equal parts .00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 FAO soil Figure 4.00 K 0.20 Error % 15.68 PBIAS -0.10 -5. the R2 and NSE are not as such significant.5 Comparison of erodibility factor estimated by ERFAC and William´s method The statistical indicators described above shows a good model performance.75 NSE 0.The erodibility maps had been produced in such away that the total erodibility factor values were divided in to four equal parts.05 0.4 Statistical indicators of the newly proposed erodibility equation Indicator description Indicator values R 0.25 Error 25. the relative errors between the Kwl and the newly proposed equation (ERFAC) is very low. Beside the statistical indicators used for the empirical model evaluation.88 R2 0.35 KWL 35.0046 Individual relative errors -10% to 15% Figure 4. Nevertheless.15 5.00 0. medium. Soil erodibility map from the William´s equation and the newly proposed ERFAC equation had been produced in GIS (figure 4.14% RMSE 0. Relative mean square error (RMSE) and individual absolute relative errors (RE). 0. the spatial pattern of the soil erodibility map by the both methods had been analyzed.00 -15.00 0.6). low.4 Comparative analysis relative and relative errors for individual soil types The fitted model had been evaluated for its performance based on the statistical indicators such as Pearson’s correlation coefficient(r). The errors had been estimated to be less than 10% for most soils. high and very high erodiblity factors. Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE). Percent bias (PBIAS). The following table indicates the summary of the model performance evaluation indicators Table 4.30 ERFAC 0. coefficient of determination (R2).00 0.00 0.

0.15 0.0.0.203 0.6) & (Eqn . The ERFAC equation was applied to calculate the soil erodibility factor and compare the results with erodibility factor calculated using William’s equation. The result of the ERFAC and William’s equation had been compared based on the computation results from the respective equations (Eqn 3. the two maps are able to depict almost similar information on the spatial variability of the soil erodibility. soils which were used to establish the ERFAC equation had been excluded.0.6a shows soil erodibility factor obtained from Williams equation (Kwl) and figure 4.0.236 95(Medium) Kwl 0.284(Very High) 0.195(Medium) ERFAC 0. Figure 4.0.203 0.0.169 0.195 .169 0.236 84(Very high) (Very high) (a) (b) Figure 4. the second range can be assigned medium.0.0.0.0.0.102 .239(High) 0.169 .203 .15 0.239 .195(Medium) (Medium) 39 (High) (High) ERFAC 0.102 .150(Low) 0.135 0.0. During the validation step.0.150(Low) 0. Areas occupied by the leptosols are identical on both maps.169 .6b shows erodibility map from the newly proposed erodibility factor estimation method (ERFAC).0.239 .135 .203 .In a similar way as the statistical method shown above. A total of 104 different FAO/UNESCO soils had been considered for the analysis.135 .135 (Low) 50 (Low) 0.105 .6 Spatial pattern of soil erodibility distribution in Awash Basin Evaluation of the ERFAC equation on FAO world soil data The applicability of the new proposed soil erodibility factor estimation method (ERFAC) had been evaluated on the world soil map database.105 .239(High) 0. The leptosols areas fall under high erodibility range.284(Very High) 50 0.0. Kwl 0.so that the first lower range can be assigned low. Similarly the third range is assigned high erodibility and fourth and the maximum values of the range considered as very high erodibility potential.195 . However the areas identified as medium erodibility potential using Kwl method fall under high erodibility potential in the case of the newly proposed method (ERFAC).

64 0.7 Chart indicating the pattern of grouping the different soil groups The percentage of soils falling in group 1 comprises of 40% of the total soils considered in the evaluation.8.7 and figure 4.4.The remaining 20% of the soils show a relative errors between 20% to 60% except for Gleyic podzols which its error is found to be 90%. The grouping of the soil is represented as shown on figure 4. while the percentage of soils in group 2 account for 80%.The statistical indicators (R2 and NSE) had been computed. Group 1 are soils which show absolute relative error less than 10%.71 0. The results are summarized in to three groups based on their relative errors observed during the computation. and Group 3 are all soils considered except 1 soils whose absolute relative error exceeded 60%.57 .5 Summary result of statistical indicators as compared to William’s equation Indicator Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 R2 0. Group 1 RE<10% Group 2 RE<20% Group 3 RE<60% Figure 4. Group 2 are soils which show absolute relative error less than 20%.73 NSE 0. Table 4.7).92 0.The list of soils in each soil groups is attached on Annex A.90 0.

0 0.0 0.0 0.100 -5. 0.0 0.050 -10.200 15.300 35.150 5.0 Error% 0.000 -25.0 ERFAC 25.150 5.0 0.100 -5.000 -15.200 10.350 ERFAC Error 45.0 0.00 0.00 FAO soil code Figure 4.0 Erodibility factor 0.00 0.00 0.00 Erodibilityfactor 0.00 0.00 0.050 -15.350 KWL 30.300 Error 20.250 15.250 25.00 Error% 0.8a Comparison of Williams equation and new proposed equation based soil erodibility factors for soils of group 1 0.8b Comparison of Williams equation and new proposed equation based soil erodibility factors for soils group 2 .00 0.400 KWL 55.0 GD W GE B N PF WE CL CK XL LO LK JT AP FH LF I I KK SM AF LP X NH L NE R WS LG LC HH RC D RE ZG BE SO YY S GK XH YK SG XY BV XK Y ZO Z DG JC FAO soil code Figure 4.

400 10.0 0.500 Error 30.0 Erodibility factor Error% -10.0 ERFAC 0. 0.0 FAO soil code Figure 4.600 KWL 50.0 0.200 -50.000 -90.0 0.100 -70.300 -30.8c Comparison of Williams equation and new proposed equation based soil erodibility factors for all FAO soils .0 0.0 0.

The more the parameters are considered. 2008).. The better the performance of the shirazi and Boarsma equation which is independent of the organic carbon content can justify this comment.3. The input soil data required by the Shirazi et al. Sand dominant soils have a higher soil infiltration rate which results less runoff potential to erode the soil particles. The William’ equation had shown intermediate relative errors.1984. the availability of the FAO/UNESCO-1998 soil data base is advantageous as it contains soil physical properties required by the William’s equation. Conclusions and recommendations The literature review of the soil erobility estimation equation assessment revealed that the existing and popular erodibility factor estimation equations over predicts the erobility factor as compared to on field observed erodibility values. the William’s equation is more preferable for its applicability on data limited areas. Hence. In soils having significant clay composition. the result is expected to be too erroneous. equation is shows less relative errors as compared to Wischmeier eta al. equation and Williams equation. The Pearson’s correlation analysis had shown that the soil erobility factor is more correlated with the percent silt to percent sand and percent clay ratio. equation is the main draw back for its applicability on data limited areas like Upper Awash basin in Ethiopia. This indicates that soil erodibility is directly proportional to the percent silt and inversely proportional to percent clay and percent sand. soil parameters like the organic carbon content is difficult to accurately measure and as a result large error can be introduced in to the equations. The burning method is a very approximate method which varies in accuracy depending on the clay content of the soil (Eleanor et al. The over estimation of the erodibility factor by the Wischmeier et al. The most popular soil organic measurement is by the soil burning method.equation and William’s equation could probably due to the many soil parameters incorporated in the equation. Neverthless. In contrary. The method assumes that the loss due to the burning is the organic carbon content. the more the error duplicates during data collection and analysis. three soil groups had been identified based on their absolute relative errors. The derived erodibility equation (ERFAC) had been evaluated for its applicability on different soil characteristics. Moreover.the erodibility factor predicted by Shirazi et al. Higher clay content indicates the strong binding property of the soil particles to resist easy detachability.40% of the . On the evaluation of its applicability.

the absolute relative errors between the William’s erodibility estimation method and the ERFAC equation had been computed to be less than 20%. Additionally there is less error propagation from the input data sets. Therefore.world soil types had shown absolute relative errors of less than 10%. The third soil group had shown absolute relative errors of less than 60%.The analysis and evaluation of the applicability of the ERFAC equation confirms that a reasonable and an acceptable soil erodibility factor can be predicted by the equation.Such soils extend to soils with clay proportion of 20% to 40% which increased the textural range from slit clay to sandy soil textures. ERFAC is an alternative soil erodibility prediction equation that simplifies the cost and time to be invested to collect huge data sets from field works. The free availability of the FAO/UNESCO world soil database characteristics is another advantage to apply the equation for preliminary analysis of soil erosion. The ERFAC equation performed well for soils with less clay contents having soil texture from silty clay to sandy soils. the RE between the William’s equation and the ERFAC equation had been estimated to be less than 20%. the input parameters can be easily obtained in laboratory through dry and wet sieve analysis techniques.The advantage of the ERFAC equation is that less soil parameters are required as compared to the existing equations. For the second group of soil which account for about 80% of the total soil considered in the evaluation. The textural classes of such soils range from silt loam to sand textures. For 80% of the world soil. Moreover. because it is based on few and easily measurable soil characteristics. .Majority of the soils in the group are characterized by less clay content with less than 30% clay fraction.