Assessing the performance of wind erosion prediction models of RWEQ and SWEEP by direct measurements in an arid region


Soil and Tillage Research, vol.240, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 240
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.still.2024.106086
  • Journal Name: Soil and Tillage Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Land use, Predictive models, Soil loss, Wind erosion
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Wind erosion field studies allow researchers to conduct simulations under natural conditions, thus play a significant role in investigating wind erosion processes. Direct measurements are also used to validate and improve existing erosion models. There is a need to develop sustainable land-use practices and management strategies and to assess potential current and future trends of wind erosion risk in arid and semi-arid regions. This study assessed wind erosion-induced soil losses in 11 different wind cases encountered within the wheat-fallow production system in a semi-arid region of Türkiye between 2017 and 2020 to eliminate the wind erosion threats on soil resources. Direct measurements and two estimation models (RWEQ and SWEEP) were employed to assess soil loss. Grid sampling method and BEST® sediment traps were utilized to measure wind-blown soil in the field directly. Present findings revealed that wind erosion threatened both plots in different seasons. The wheat-cultivated plot was highly susceptible to wind erosion in autumn when winter cereals are sown, while the fallow plot showed susceptibility in spring. Throughout the entire measurement period (3-years), wind erosion-induced soil transportation was measured as 1383 kg ha−1 for fallow plots and 2548 kg ha−1 for wheat-cultivated plots. Model performance was assessed through correlations (r), root mean square error (RMSE) and d-test results. The results demonstrated that the calibrated RWEQ (RWEQcal) model provided reasonably accurate estimates of wind erosion for both fallow and wheat-cultivated lands, with relatively low RMSE values of 0.34 and 0.46, d-test values of 0.26 and 0.27, and correlation coefficients of 0.69 and 0.85, respectively. Model results highlighted the importance of model calibration for local conditions; otherwise, they may produce underestimated and overestimated results.