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GIS and RUSLE Based Estimation of Annual Soil Loss at Tekeze Sub Watershed, Tigray, North Ethiopia


The International Journal of Biological Research (TIJOBR)

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Gebrekiros Gebremedhin1*

*Corresponding author: kiroskey@gmail.com 

Submitted Accepted Published
Sep 08,2018 Jan 23,2019 Feb 06,2019

2019 / Vol: 2 / Issue: 1


Abstract


Soil loss by runoff is severe ecological problem which is accelerated by human-induced soil degradation. Accordingly, comprehensive methodology that integrates the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were employed for estimating soil erosion at a typical watershed at around Tekeze basin. The RUSLE factors were used to assess mean annual soil erosion by water in the area. The required GIS data layers of RUSLE such as rainfall, soil characteristics, elevation, land use, cropping and management practices were prepared in raster format. Using these layers as an input, raster calculator was employed to estimate the spatial pattern of annual soil erosion in the watershed. Accordingly, most of the watershed experienced from low (0-6.7 tons/acre) to very low (6.7-11.2 tons/acre) erosion levels, while a considerable area of the watershed has also manifestations of moderate (11.2-22.4 tones/acre) to high (22.4-33.6 tons/acre) erosion levels. In some areas of the watershed, a severe erosion level has been assessed by the model. Hence, the integrated RUSLE & GIS approach allows for relatively easy, fast, and cost-effective estimation of spatially distributed soil erosion and sediment yield and prioritize which part of the watershed to be treated early given the time and budget constraint. Therefore, different conservation support practices and cropping systems should be employed to reduce the impact of water erosion on agricultural lands. 

Key words: GIS, RUSLE, Soil loss and Raster calculator


Reference


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