RUSLE helps assess land degradation through soil related measures. RUSLE estimates long-term annual soil loss due to erosion across different land uses and land management activities.

The RUSLE equation, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, estimates average annual soil erosion as follows: A = R*K*L*S*C*P

A = average annual soil loss

R = rainfall erosivity

K = soil erodibility

L = slope length

S = slope

C = cropping

P = conservation practice

The RUSLE Online Soil Erosion Assessment Tool provides “What if” scenarios, which predict estimated average soil loss based on crop rotation and tillage practices and best management practices selected. It may be used to assess erosion from construction sites. Note that data pre-populated in the system is for Michigan only (however, the equation itself is applicable to the entire U.S.). The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed RUSLE 2 but this version is not available online.

Aim of the resource: 

To predict average annual soil loss caused by sheet and rill erosion. It aims to help agricultural producers, land developers, and contractors to better understand the impact that their crop and construction decisions have on the land. This should encourage them to employ practices that minimise the soil erosion at their sites.

RUSLE and similar variants such as the Modified USLE (MUSLE), were developed by modifying the USLE to more accurately estimate R, K, C, P factors and soil erosion.

Using the resource
Requirements for using the resource: 
Input data on annual average rainfall, soil, land use, management practices and terrain
Potential benefits from using the resource: 
It can estimate long-term annual soil loss and guide conservationists on proper cropping, management, and conservation practices
RUSLE and its predecessors were meant for field-level conservation planning rather than as research tools, and were therefore structured to be ‘user friendly’.
The method is universally recognized as a standard method for soil loss monitoring. It is relevant for ecosystem services related to soil erosion and protection.
Potential limitations from using the resource: 
It cannot be applied to a specific year or a specific storm
Enhancements to the tool are limited by the simple equation structure
The online interface is limited in geographic scope to Michigan. RUSLE as an equation can be applied across the U.S.
Sub/region where used: 
North America
Scale of application: 
Practical information
UN languages in which the resource is available: 
Contact details
Contact Name (Person or group/organization): 
Institute of Water Research (IWR) at Michigan State University
Is the resource freely available?: 
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