Land use and sediment yield

Edited by: William L. Thomas Jr.


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When the vegetal cover is removed from a land surface, the rate of removal of the soil material, at least initially, increases rapidly. So well known is this principle that it hardly needs restatement.

If attention is focused on any individual drainage basin in its natural state, large or small, and inquiry is made as to the rate of denudation, a quantitative answer is not easily obtained. The possible error in any computation of rate of sediment production from any given drainage basin is considerable. Significant variations are found in sediment yields from closely adjacent watersheds which appear to be generally similar. To make a quantitative evaluation of the change in the rate of denudation when the natural vegetation is disturbed is, therefore, even more difficult. Considering the fact that "soil conservation" has been promoted to the status of a science, our lack of ability to answer what is apparently so simple a question may seem surprising. Let us look at some of the reasons.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Land use and sediment yield
Year Published 1956
Language English
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publisher location Chicago, IL
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Man’s role in changing the face of the Earth
First page 639
Last page 647
Conference Title Man's role in changing the face of the Earth: Second annual Wenner-Gren Symposium
Conference Location Princeton, NJ
Conference Date June 16-22, 1955