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Water: WARSSS

Surface Erosion Defined

The indication of erodibility from soils maps, slope dissection and gradient from topographic maps, and vegetation cover, presence of rills or gullies, etc. from aerial photographs are used to identify areas associated with specific land uses potentially contributing to sediment supply from surface erosion processes. An analysis of the potential for surface (hillslope) erosion to be converted to water body sediment supply is needed to determine if a more detailed assessment is warranted.

For example, if erosion is evident at a particular site due to land clearing activities but slopes are relatively flat, internal soil drainage is excellent, and the site lies on an upper slope position far away from drainageways, then the likelihood of a water body sediment source would be low. Thus, this site could be excluded from further analysis of surface erosion prediction. However, the effects of land clearing on water yield (i.e., runoff rates), potentially affecting hydrologic and channel processes, would have to be considered as a separate analysis. See RUSLE, Surface Erosion fundamentals. Exit EPA Disclaimer

Each of the following several steps contains specific criteria to aid the selection of subwatersheds that should or should not be assessed in further detail. Using these criteria with the subwatershed-specific information compiled in Worksheets 1b and 1c, complete the appropriate columns in


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