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Journal of Arid Land  2023, Vol. 15 Issue (9): 1007-1022    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-023-0107-3
Review article     
Review and prospect of soil compound erosion
YANG Wenqian1,2, ZHANG Gangfeng1,2,3, YANG Huimin4, LIN Degen5,6, SHI Peijun1,2,3,6,*()
1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Emergency Management and Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
4College of Land and Tourism, Luoyang Normal University, Luoyang 471934, China
5School of Business, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou 325035, China
6Academy of Plateau Science and Sustainability, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810016, China
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Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental issues constraining the sustainable development of human society and economies. Soil compound erosion is the result of the alternation or interaction between two or more erosion forces. In recent years, fluctuations and extreme changes in climatic factors (air temperature, precipitation, wind speed, etc.) have led to an increase in the intensity and extent of compound erosion, which is increasingly considered in soil erosion research. First, depending on the involvement of gravity, compound erosion process can be divided into compound erosion with and without gravity. We systematically summarized the research on the mechanisms and processes of alternating or interacting soil erosion forces (wind, water, and freeze-thaw) considering different combinations, combed the characteristics of compound erosion in three typical regions, namely, high-elevation areas, high-latitude areas, and dry and wet transition regions, and reviewed soil compound erosion research methods, such as station observations, simulation experiments, prediction models, and artificial neural networks. The soil erosion model of wind, water, and freeze-thaw interaction is the most significant method for quantifying and predicting compound erosion. Furthermore, it is proposed that there are several issues such as unclear internal mechanisms, lack of comprehensive prediction models, and insufficient scale conversion methods in soil compound erosion research. It is also suggested that future soil compound erosion mechanism research should prioritize the coupling of compound erosion forces and climate change.

Key wordssoil compound erosion      soil erosion      gravity erosion      wind and water erosion      freeze-thaw erosion     
Received: 03 March 2023      Published: 30 September 2023
Corresponding Authors: * SHI Peijun (E-mail:
Cite this article:

YANG Wenqian, ZHANG Gangfeng, YANG Huimin, LIN Degen, SHI Peijun. Review and prospect of soil compound erosion. Journal of Arid Land, 2023, 15(9): 1007-1022.

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Fig. 1 Keyword cluster analysis of the literature regarding the theme of soil erosion
Number of forces Type of compound erosion without gravity Type of compound erosion with gravity
Two forces Wind and water; freeze-thaw and wind; and freeze-thaw and water Wind and gravity; water and gravity; and freeze-thaw and gravity
Three forces Freeze-thaw, wind, and water Wind, water, and gravity; wind, freeze-thaw, and gravity; water, freeze-thaw, and gravity
Four forces Wind, water, freeze-thaw, and gravity
Table 1 Types of compound erosion based on the dominant forces
Fig. 2 Schematic diagram of multi-force compound erosion. Lowercase letters represent different compound erosion types.
Fig. 3 Schematic diagram of alternating and interactive soil erosion
Fig. 4 Conceptual diagram of the interrelations among soil erosion, land degradation, climate change, and biodiversity loss
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