ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0082.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: soil erosion; land cover change; RUSLE; the northeastern
Online: 4 September 2020 (05:00:23 CEST)
Impact of land use and land cover (LULC) change on soil erosion is still imperfectly understood, especially in northeastern China (NEC). Based on the Revised Universal Loss Equation (RUSLE), the variability of soil erosion at different spatial scales following land use changes in1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2017 was analyzed. The regionally spatial patterns of soil loss coincided with the topography, rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, and use patterns, and around 45% soil loss came from arable land. Regionally, soil erosion rates increased from 1980 to 2010 and decreased from 2010 to 2017, ranging from 3.91 to 4.45 t ha-1 yr-1 with an average of 4.22 t ha-1 yr-1 in 1980-2017. The rates of soil erosion less than 1.41 t ha-1 yr-1 decreased from 1980 to 2010, and increased from 2010 to 2017, and opposite changing patterns occurred in higher erosion classes (i.e., above 5 t ha-1 yr-1). At a provincial scale, Liaoning Province experienced the highest soil erosion rate of 9.43 t ha-1 yr-1, followed by Jilin Province, the east Inner Mongolia, and Heilongjing Province. Arable land continuously increased at the expense of forest in the high-elevation and steep-slope areas from 1980 to 2010, and decreased from 2010 to 2017, resulting in increased areas with erosion rates higher than 7.05 t ha-1 yr-1. At a county scale, around 75% of the countries had soil erosion rate higher than its tolerance level. The county numbers with higher erosion rate increased in 1980-2010 and decreased in 2010- 2017, resulting from the sprawl and withdrawal of arable land. The results indicate that appropriate policies can control soil loss through limiting arable land sprawl in areas of unfavorable regions in the NEC.