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Spatial and temporal variability of rainfall erosivity factor for Switzerland

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Author(s): K. Meusburger | A. Steel | P. Panagos | L. Montanarella | C. Alewell

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions
ISSN 1812-2108

Volume: 8;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 8291;
Date: 2011;
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ABSTRACT
Rainfall erosivity, considering rainfall amount and intensity, is an important parameter for soil erosion risk assessment under future land use and climate change. Despite its importance, rainfall erosivity is usually implemented in models with a low spatial and temporal resolution. The purpose of this study is to assess the temporal- and spatial distribution of rainfall erosivity (R-factor) in Switzerland. Time series of 22 yr for rainfall (10 min resolution) and temperature (1 h resolution) data were analysed for 71 automatic gauging stations distributed throughout Switzerland. Multiple regression was used to interpolate the erosivity values of single stations and to generate a map for Switzerland. Latitude, longitude, average annual precipitation, biogeographic units (Jura, Midland, etc.), aspect and elevation were used as covariates, of which average annual precipitation, elevation and the biographic unit (Western Alps) were significant predictors. The mean value of long-term rainfall erosivity is 1323 MJ mm ha−1 h−1 yr−1 with a range of lowest values of 124 MJ mm ha−1 h−1 yr−1 at an elevated station in Grisons to highest values of 5611 MJ mm ha−1 h−1 yr−1 in Ticino. All stations have highest erosivity values from July to August and lowest values in the winter month. Swiss-wide the month May to October show significantly increasing trends of erosivity (p
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