Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (3): 275-296.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1376-6

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimating rainfall erosivity by incorporating seasonal variations in parameters into the Richardson model

Yousheng WANG1,2(), Shi TAN1,3, Baoyuan *LIU1(), Yang YANG1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resources Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100048, China
    3. College of Education Science, Hunan First Normal University, Changsha 410205, China
  • Received:2015-12-07 Accepted:2016-03-04 Online:2017-03-30 Published:2017-03-30
  • About author:

    Author: Liu Chunla, PhD, specialized in economic geography and regional development. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Chen Mingxing, PhD and Associate Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Fund for Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41321001;the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.51379008;the Open Research Fund of the State Key Lab of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, No.2014QN04


Rainfall erosivity is an important climatic factor for predicting soil loss. Through the application of high-resolution pluviograph data at 5 stations in Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China, we analyzed the performance of a modified Richardson model that incorporated the seasonal variations in parameters α and β. The results showed that (1) moderate to high seasonality was presented in the distribution of erosive rainfall, and the seasonality of rainfall erosivity was even stronger; (2) seasonal variations were demonstrated in both parameters α and β of the Richardson model; and (3) incorporating and coordinating the seasonality of parameters α and β greatly improved the predictions at the monthly scale. This newly modified model is therefore highly recommended when monthly rainfall erosivity is required, such as, in planning soil and water conservation practices and calculating the cover-management factor in the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE).

Key words: seasonal rainfall erosivity, Richardson model, cover-management factor, USLE, RUSLE