Last changed: 16 September 2016

USPED calculates spatial distribution of erosion and deposition areas

Erosion and losses of phosphorus display large variations in both time and space. Identifying the most sensitive areas is thus a necessity to ensure mitigation measures are made at the right place and to have the biggest effect. The production of a new high-resolution, high precision Swedish digital elevation model (DEM), will aid in identifying hotspots: the areas in a catchment which are likely to have erosion and surface runoff. The USPED model (Unit Stream Power-based Erosion Deposition, Mitasova, 2001) is an empirical model to identify erosion and deposition areas within a catchment at a high resolution. Using the model, it is possible to rank vulnerability to erosion of individual fields, or parts of fields. Calculations so far show that the USPED model together with the new high-resolution DEM (2 m grid) successfully identifies erosion-prone hotspots in catchments. These locations correspond to the farmers’ own observations of erosion.

The figure shows results from the modeling with USPED in the Milsboån catchment in Dalarna, Sweden. Red indicates erosion areas and green deposition areas. The whole report can be found here


Mitasova, H, Mitas, L & Brown, WM. 2001. Multiscale Simulation of Land Use Impact on Soil Erosion and Deposition Patterns. In Stott, DE, Mohtar, RH & Steinhardt, GC (eds). Sustaining the Global Farm. Selected papers from the 10th international Soil Conservation Meeting.

Contact: Faruk Djodjic