California Department of Transportation

Erosion Prediction with RUSLE2

  • Caltrans RUSLE2 Software

  • The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, version 2 (RUSLE2) is an advanced, user-friendly software model that predicts long-term, average annual erosion by rainfall.  Modified as “Caltrans RUSLE2,” this software is streamlined for use on large, roadway construction projects and includes commonly used Best Management Practices (BMPs).  This version of Caltrans RUSLE2 (August, 2011) includes:

    • BMP management options and folder titles are more intuitive for the user.
    • Compost Erosion Control Blankets (CECBs).
    • 24-inch diameter fiber rolls (permanent).
    • Earthworks (cut, fill, track walking) associated with all construction activities have been improved.
    • All pre-existing and post-construction vegetation have been modeled to California native growth patterns, with summer dormancy for annual grasses.
    • Compatibility with the current RUSLE2 version (2011) developed by the USDA/ARS and NRCS.
    • Effectiveness of all RECBs and mulch materials have been calibrated to two independent studies conducted in Texas and San Diego, California.
    • Effectiveness of all permeable barriers is based on more realistic storm water and surface water flow conditions.


    Whereas every effort has been made to incorporate accurate data into the Caltrans RUSLE2 software and databases, its empirical nature can only suggest annual averages of erosion and not exact amounts of sediment into receiving waters.  Please verify all Caltrans RUSLE2 results using best professional judgment. Caltrans does not guarantee that use of the Caltrans RUSLE2 software will assure regulatory compliance in all situations.

      Caltrans RUSLE2 Instructions for Installation

    New Download Caltrans RUSLE2 03-02-2012 zip file

    New Download Caltrans RUSLE2 Quick Start Guide

    New Download RUSLE2 Worksheet

    Erosion Prediction Procedure

    The Erosion Prediction Procedure (EPP) defines a method to predict erosion rates at construction sites.  The EPP includes a series of steps to properly characterize project sites and facilitate more accurate evaluation of the anticipated erosion and the effectiveness of proposed soil stabilization and sediment control practices.  The procedure introduces the concept of a Maximum Allowable Erosion Rate (MAER) for the construction and post-construction phases to establish a performance goal for comparing calculated erosion rates.

    New EPP 8-30-2011 PDF file

    Caltrans RUSLE2 Training

    This 8 hour, advanced course presents RUSLE2 modified for Caltrans use as a tool for predicting surface erosion and selecting temporary and permanent BMPs.  It covers requirements in the new Construction General Permit (CGP) for Risk Level Determination (RLD) and NOT/NOCC related to RUSLE2.   This class is listed in LMS as “Design-Erosion Prediction using RUSLE2”, course code 100504.

    Caltrans RUSLE2 Training PowerPoint Presentation

    Caltrans RUSLE2 Training Exercises

    Advanced Topics - Caltrans RUSLE2 Webinar

    RUSLE2 FAQs & Tips

    Users of the Caltrans version of RUSLE2 may find these guides, worksheets and frequently asked questions helpful.



This page last updated March 12, 2012