Indian Rainfall Erosivity Dataset (IRED)
Soil erosion induced by water has been identified as one of the major environmental problems worldwide. The erosive force of rainfall, also known as rainfall erosivity (R-factor), is the potential of rain to cause soil degradation and one of the factors in the widely adopted RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) empirical soil erosion estimation model. About 68.4% of total eroded soil in India is eroded due to erosion by water, and rainfall erosivity is one of the major factors. The past assessments of rainfall erosivity in India were however largely based on rain-gauge recordings and surveys which hinders its understanding and estimation over large areas. Growing availability of gridded precipitation datasets presents an unprecedented opportunity to study long-term rainfall erosivity over varied terrains and address some of the limitations of point data-based studies. IRED (Indian Rainfall Erosivity Dataset) is the first such national-scale assessment of rainfall erosivity over India using gridded precipitation datasets, which will be helpful for agricultural experts, watershed managers, agronomists, and soil-conservational experts in order to understand and mitigate rainfall-induced erosion. In this dataset, long term yearly average R-factor, Fourier Index (FI), and Modified Fourier Index (MFI) maps have been included with a distributional analysis over IMD (India Metrological Department) defined regions, states and districts of India.