U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Agricultural Research Magazine 60(4): April 2012 pp. 20-22; ISSN 0002-161X


Seth Dabney is busy tweaking a soon-to-be-unveiled update of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Version 2 (RUSLE2), which moves the original equation ever further from its origins in the age of slide rules to the era of computing. Dabney is research leader of the Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit, at the Agricultural Research Service’s National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Mississippi.

RUSLE2 has retained the integrity of the original Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE)—in greatly expanded form—and integrated an updated database with a computer model that reflects both the latest in computer technology and scientific discoveries about erosion processes. It is unlikely that there is a more powerful, proven, practical computer model than RUSLE2. Its ability to predict daily erosion related to any human activity anywhere in the nation, based on a host of conditions, through a combination of simulation model, vast database, and scientific knowledge, makes it an excellent example of computational science and technology.