Keywords: GIS, Puerto Rico, revised universal soil loss equation, RUSLE, soil erosion, Caribbean, costal watersheds, estuaries, environmental impact, Jobos Bay, Rio Espiritu Santo, soil loss, sediment loading, topsoil loss, ecosystems
Estimating soil loss from two coastal watersheds in Puerto Rico with RUSLE
The loss of topsoil from the landscape increases sediment loading to adjacent aquatic systems, which may be transported further downstream. Increased sediment loading to downstream ecosystems such as estuaries can negatively impact these environments. This research compares the sediment loss from two watersheds [Jobos Bay (JB) and Rio Espiritu Santo (RES) watersheds] on the island of Puerto Rico. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) was applied to both watersheds. Results from this study suggested that potential soil loss from both watersheds is relatively low. There is some indication that the RES watershed may have a higher soil loss potential when compared to the JB watershed.