, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 77-84

Estimation of soil erosion on cultivated fields on the hilly Meghalaya Plateau, North-East India

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Abstract

The estimation of soil erosion rates in complex subtropical agricultural systems of hilly environment is difficult and most of the traditional methods have serious limitations. The 137Cs technique allows to obtain relatively quickly retrospective medium term soil erosion results. The objective of this study was using 137Cs approach to quantify soil loss under agricultural system which develops under growing human pressure on the hilly terrain of the Meghalaya Plateau. The measured values of caesium inventory for all sampling points are between 2% and 63% of the reference value of caesium inventory. The estimated annual soil loss for sampling points located on the slope are between 29 and 79 Mg·ha−1·yr−1 in the case of an improved mass balance model. It means that soil erosion in this manually tilled agricultural area cannot be neglected.