Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 131, Issue 1–3, pp 153–161 | Cite as

Use of USLE/GIS Methodology for Predicting Soil Loss in a Semiarid Agricultural Watershed

  • Emrah H. Erdogan
  • Günay Erpul
  • İlhami Bayramin


The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is an erosion model to estimate average soil loss that would generally result from splash, sheet, and rill erosion from agricultural plots. Recently, use of USLE has been extended as a useful tool predicting soil losses and planning control practices in agricultural watersheds by the effective integration of the GIS-based procedures to estimate the factor values in a grid cell basis. This study was performed in the Kazan Watershed located in the central Anatolia, Turkey, to predict soil erosion risk by the USLE/GIS methodology for planning conservation measures in the site. Rain erosivity (R), soil erodibility (K), and cover management factor (C) values of the model were calculated from erosivity map, soil map, and land use map of Turkey, respectively. R values were site-specifically corrected using DEM and climatic data. The topographical and hydrological effects on the soil loss were characterized by LS factor evaluated by the flow accumulation tool using DEM and watershed delineation techniques. From resulting soil loss map of the watershed, the magnitude of the soil erosion was estimated in terms of the different soil units and land uses and the most erosion-prone areas where irreversible soil losses occurred were reasonably located in the Kazan watershed. This could be very useful for deciding restoration practices to control the soil erosion of the sites to be severely influenced.


USLE/GIS methodology Flow accumulation Soil erosion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emrah H. Erdogan
    • 1
  • Günay Erpul
    • 1
  • İlhami Bayramin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of AnkaraDiskapı-AnkaraTurkey

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