Socioeconomic modifications of the universal soil loss equation
Abstract. While social scientists have long focused on socioeconomic and demographic factors, physical modelers typically study soil loss using physical factors. In the current environment, it is becoming increasingly important to consider both approaches simultaneously for the conservation of soil and water, and the improvement of land use conditions. This study uses physical and socioeconomic factors to find a coefficient that evaluates the combination of these factors. It aims to determine the effect of socioeconomic factors on soil loss and, in turn, to modify the universal soil loss equation (USLE). The methodology employed in this study specifies that soil loss can be calculated and predicted by comparing the degree of soil loss in watersheds, with and without human influence, given the same overall conditions. A coefficient for socioeconomic factors, therefore, has been determined based on adjoining watersheds (WS I and II), employing simulation methods. Combinations of C and P factors were used in the USLE to find the impact of their contributions to soil loss. The results revealed that these combinations provided good estimation of soil loss amounts for the second watershed, i.e., WS II, from the adjoining watersheds studied in this work. This study shows that a coefficient of 0.008 modified the USLE to reflect the socioeconomic factors, such as settlement, influencing the amount of soil loss in the studied watersheds.