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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 1, p. 131-137
    Received: Apr 29, 1968



Relation of Soil Properties to its Erodibility1

  1. W. H. Wischmeier and
  2. J. V. Mannering2



A soil's inherent erodibility, which is a major factor in erosion prediction and land-use planning, is a complex property dependent both on its infiltration capacity and on its capacity to resist detachment and transport by rainfall and runoff. The relations of these capacities to soil physical and chemical properties were investigated in a 5-year field, laboratory, and statistical study including 55 selected Corn Belt soils. Properties that contributed significantly to soil-loss variance included percentages of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter; pH, structure and bulk density of plow layer and subsoil; steepness and concavity or convexity of slope; pore space filled by air; residual effects of sod crops; aggregation; parent material; and various interactions of these variables. An empirical equation was derived for calculating the universal soil-loss equation's erodibility factor K for specific soils. Tests of the equation against soils of the older erosion-research stations, for which the erodibility factor is known, substantiated its general applicability over a broad range of medium-textured soils.

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