Prioritization of subwatersheds based on quantitative morphometric analysis in lower Bhavani basin, Tamil Nadu, India using DEM and GIS techniques

  • Anand Balasubramanian
  • Karunanidhi DuraisamyEmail author
  • Subramani Thirumalaisamy
  • Srinivasamoorthy Krishnaraj
  • Raneesh Kolladi Yatheendradasan
Original Paper


Watershed prioritization is one of the most important processes in natural resource management system especially in areas of sustainable watershed development and planning. Morphometric characteristics are the viable entity to understand the hydrological behavior of the subwatershed. For prioritization of subwatershed, morphometric analysis was utilized by using the linear, areal, and relief aspects of the drainage basin. In this context, remote sensing and GIS has been proved to be an efficient tool to identify the morphological features. The Survey of India (SOI) topographical maps, satellite data IRS-LISS III, and Cartosat DEM data were utilized to understand the drainage pattern and also for prioritization of subwatershed areas. The prioritization of subwatershed has been attempted using novel and quantitative approaches based on compound parameter ranking for soil erosion. Lower compound factors were chosen as the most feasible for soil erosion. Based on the observation, eight subwatersheds with a higher degree of the slope were severely prone to soil erosion and remaining 21 subwatersheds occur in low-lying areas that can be developed as sustainable watersheds. The identified subwatershed requires immediate soil remediation and water conservation measures for efficient watershed planning and management. The proposed study might be helpful for resource planners, government agencies, private sectors, and other stake holders to take up soil conservation measures and fixation of water-harvesting structures for better decision making.


Morphometry DEM Subwatershed Compound factor Prioritization Lower Bhavani basin 



The authors would like thank to Dr. S. Thangavelu, Chairman, Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore-641062, India for providing all facilities and a wonderful platform for research. The authors are also thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Funding information

The authors are greatly indebted to the Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS) Department of Science and Technology (Government of India), Ref. No: NRDMS/01/09/014 dated 31.12.2015 for providing the grants and support to carry out this work effectively.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anand Balasubramanian
    • 1
  • Karunanidhi Duraisamy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Subramani Thirumalaisamy
    • 2
  • Srinivasamoorthy Krishnaraj
    • 3
  • Raneesh Kolladi Yatheendradasan
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering (Centre for Geoinformatics and Water Technology)Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mining EngineeringAnna University, CEG CampusChennaiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesPondicherry UniversityPuducherryIndia
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural Engineering (Centre for Geoinformatics and Water Technology)Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia

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