Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Original research article
23 Jan 2023
Original research article |  | 23 Jan 2023

Does soil thinning change soil erodibility? An exploration of long-term erosion feedback systems

Pedro V. G. Batista, Daniel L. Evans, Bernardo M. Cândido, and Peter Fiener

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Cited articles

Anache, J. A. A., Flanagan, D. C., Srivastava, A., and Wendland, E. C.: Land use and climate change impacts on runoff and soil erosion at the hillslope scale in the Brazilian Cerrado, Sci. Total Environ., 622, 140–151,, 2018. 
Anselmetti, F. S., Hodell, D. A., Ariztequi, D., Brenner, M., and Rosenmeier, M. F.: Quantification of soil erosion rates related to ancient Maya deforestation, Geology, 35, 915–918,, 2007. 
Auerswald, K., Fiener, P., Martin, W., and Elhaus, D.: Use and misuse of the K factor equation in soil erosion modeling: An alternative equation for determining USLE nomograph soil erodibility values, Catena, 118, 220–225,, 2014. 
Batista, P. V. G., Evans, D. L., Cândido, B. M., and Fiener, P.: Erosion Feedback System – Soil Thinning MMMF Model (2.0), Zenodo [code],, 2022. 
Benaud, P., Anderson, K., Evans, M., Farrow, L., Glendell, M., James, M., Quine, T., Quinton, J., Rawlins, B., Rickson, J., and Brazier, R.: National-scale geodata describe widespread accelerated soil erosion., Geoderma, 371, 114378,, 2020. 
Short summary
Most agricultural soils erode faster than new soil is formed, which leads to soil thinning. Here, we used a model simulation to investigate how soil erosion and soil thinning can alter topsoil properties and change its susceptibility to erosion. We found that soil profiles are sensitive to erosion-induced changes in the soil system, which mostly slow down soil thinning. These findings are likely to impact how we estimate soil lifespans and simulate long-term erosion dynamics.