Assessment of potential soil erosion in Mongolia based on the RUSLE model and RCP 8.5 scenario

Namuun Tuvshinjargal, Munkhnasan Lamchin, Yoonji Kim, Enerel Bayarmagnai, Seong Woo Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Due to its relatively high altitude and a continental climate, environmental issues related to soil erosion and land degradation more seriously affect the ecosystem and crop production in Mongolia. As detailed soil erosion and land degradation assessments have only been performed in some regions of Mongolia, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the soil vulnerability on a national scale and predict future soil erosion under climate change prior to establishing an appropriate management plan. The revised universal soil loss equation model was chosen for this study, which reflects geographic and climatic characteristics in a vast area as the Mongolian territory. We evaluated soil erosion using historical data from 1993 and 2013 and generated predictions in the near (2041–2060) and far future (2061–2080) periods under the representative concentration pathway 8.5 scenario. The soil erosion rates were divided into six classes: very low, low, medium, high, very high and extreme. The total of 46,039 km2 of the Mongolian territory was classified as very high and extreme risk, which is predicted to increase up to 48,961 and 51,769 km2, in the near and far future periods, respectively. At the national scale, most of the soil erosion appeared in bare area, as it covers more than 60% of the total area. Meanwhile, the highest soil erosion risk was expected in high mountain ranges and ecologically vulnerable regions of the Gobi Desert and steppe area. This study identifies three land cover types with high priority for management and areas that should be considered first in the sustainable national land use and soil management plans considering regional characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13005
JournalSoil Use and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Soil Use and Management published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Society of Soil Science.


  • climate change
  • land degradation
  • Mongolia
  • RUSLE model
  • soil erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science


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