Visual assessment of the Australian Land Erodibility Model

Visual assessment of the Australian Land Erodibility Model Journal Article

Journal of Arid Environments

  • Author(s): Webb, NP, Phinn, SR, McGowan, HA
  • Published: 2009
  • Volume: 73

Abstract: There is a growing requirement for techniques to assess land susceptibility to wind erosion, i.e. land erodibility, over large geographic areas (>104 km2). This requirement stems from a lack of wind erosion research between the field (101 km2) and regional scales, and a need to evaluate the performance of spatially explicit wind erosion models across these scales. This paper addresses this issue by presenting a methodology for monitoring land erodibility at the landscape scale (103 km2). First, we define criteria suitable for evaluating land erodibility based on empirical relationships between soil texture, vegetation cover, Geomorphology, and wind erosion. The criteria were used to visually assess land erodibility over long distances (103 km) using vehicle-based transects run through the rangelands of western Queensland, Australia. Application of the data for testing the performance of a spatially explicit land erodibility model (AUSLEM) is then demonstrated by comparing the visual assessments of land erodibility with the model output. The model performed best in the west of the study area in the open rangelands. In regions with higher woody shrub and tree cover the model performance decreases. This highlights the need for research to better parameterise controls on erodibility in semi-arid landscapes consisting of forested and rangeland mosaics.

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Webb, NP, Phinn, SR, McGowan, HA, 2009, Visual assessment of the Australian Land Erodibility Model, Volume:73, Journal Article, viewed 06 July 2020,

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