Soil Erosion Literature Review


We have just published our latest working paper on ‘Soil Erosion’!

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This paper will be published in Volume 5 in the first half of 2019.

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All suggestions posted until the 4th of December 2018 can be considered.

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Find the working paper here:

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Soil erosion is one of the major issues worldwide. It is not possible to reduce soil erosion completely, but it can be controlled. This peer review is such an article through which any reader can get a very good idea about Soil erosion. The whole article constists of several parts. Firstly, after a well-described introduction, different erosion processes and present practices of soil erosion measuring tools are presented elaborately. Secondly, the successful soil conservation principles discussed along with different analysis from researchers on successfully inplemented practices are one of the main parts of this article. Finally, the conclusion part is totally based on advices on effective ways to solve soil erosion. The whole literature review is comprised of general ideas from different authors without having any in-depth research. However, the whole review is very well organized and the connecting sentences are relevant in most of the cases, which makes the article easier to read. It is very difficult to review such an article with this much enriched ideas. Hence, certain ideas could have been added in different sections to make the article more complete and precise.
In the section Erosion Process, water erosion and wind erosion are well described. Though very little focus is given on wind erosion, but it can be severe in many cases. According to a study, Van Pelt e al. (2017) stated that wind erosion is more effective than water erosion in the case of net soil redistribution. In another study, Tuo et al. (2016) mentioned that wind erosion has the capability to increase water erosion. Based on that it is suggested to add another paragraph on the combined effect of water and wind erosion. The section “Measuring Erosion” comprised of different formulas which are very advanced in terms of different conditions. USLE, RUSLE, RUSLE2 are the advanced formulas used worldwide which have different limitations in different scenarios. Another system is WEPP which is mentioned as the most advanced simulation system, but it has some limitations which are not presented. In practical situations, when it is needed to predict an event of soil loss, the actual event runoff values remain unknown and need to be predicted (Kinnell, 2016). For running these simulation systems a lot of data is needed, which might not be available in developing countries. A study conducted by GiaPham, Degener & Kappas (2018) showed that they used USLE model because of its wide use and simplicity, also for research which requires spatial data they recommended to use GIS to determine the soil erosion rates. So, apart from focusing on the limitations, USLE could be recommended depending on various regional conditions. In this section, a brief introduction to modeling is included followed by differences between numerical weather forecasting and climate modeling. The physical basis and boundary conditions are also explained and finally, the topics of the global climate model (GCM) and limited area models (LAM) are introduced.
In “Soil Conservation Principles”, different types of measures on soil conservation are discussed. The main measures are agronomic measures, soil management, and mechanical methods to prevent soil erosion. However, the cost analysis is not performed to find out the feasibility. Many developing countries may not be able to perform costly measures. In this case, alternative methods can be introduced. Dumanski & Peiretti (2013) introduced Conservation Agriculture (CA) method in which, modern agricultural technologies are used to increase production alongside it helps to enhance the quality of the soil. CA aims to increase land productivity, lesser production costs, environmental protection which includes reduced input and labor costs. (Dumanski & Peiretti, 2013). Nevertheless, the initiatives that are suggested for taking erosion control measures are very well researched. Different types of which are discussed throughout the section are very informative. Pros & cons of these measures makes it very easy to understand.
Last but not the least, in the section “Erosion Processes & Erosion Measurement” the topic is only on the erosion processes, wherein the erosion measurement process is described in a separate segment with the heading “Measuring Erosion”. So it would be more appropriate to break down the heading to “Erosion Processes”.
The explanation that is given throughout the article is vibrant. The writer arranged this review article in such a way that any reader would get a very good idea about the topic, the problems or the situations can be overcome using the control measures and this is the best part of the article. In contrast to that, there are few things that the writer missed. For example, introduction to different agricultural methods to keep the soil in good condition. Also less knowledge on land practices and management are causing the loss of soil where public awareness and spreading knowledge would help people to be more careful. Moreover, the text is described keeping in mind the scenarios of different regions, but it failed to be suitable economically. Few suggestions can be added for developing countries who are facing this vast problem by suggesting cost-effective methods. Adding all this information with the existing article would make it more complete.