Soil losses in the State of Rondônia, Brazil
ABSTRACT: In the state of Rondônia, deforestation, and inadequate soil use and management have intensified the water erosion process, causing degradation of agricultural land. Modeling is a tool that can assist in the adoption of targeted and effective measures for soil and water conservation in the region. In this context, the objective of the research was to model soil losses due to water erosion in the state of Rondônia using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). The parameters related to rain erosivity, relief, erodibility, and soil cover, as well as the conservation practices of the state of Rondônia, were considered. The modeling steps were performed with the aid of the Geographic Information System. Results were validated with data of total sediments transported with water discharge. The estimated total soil loss was about 605 million tons per year, corresponding to an average loss of 22.50 Mg ha-1 year-1. In 19% of the state, the erosion rate was higher than the soil loss tolerance(T), and these areas should be prioritized for adopting measures to mitigate the erosion process. The RUSLE underestimated the generation of sediments at 0.56 Mg ha-1 year-1, which corresponds to an error of 18.60%. Results obtained can assist in the development of different soil use and management scenarios and provide options for policymakers to encourage soil conservation in the state of Rondônia.