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Remote Sensing and GIS based soil erosion assessment from an agricultural watershed

Abstract

Soil resource is important for livelihood of the human being. Soil erosion is a global environmental crisis in the world today that threatens the natural environment and agriculture. The present study was undertaken to assess the annual rate of soil erosion from the study watershed using distributed information for topography, land use, soil, etc. using remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques and to compare the simulated sediment loss with observed sediment loss. In the present study, the Shakkar River watershed, lying in Narmada river basin situated in Narsinghpur and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh, India, was selected. The universal soil loss equation (USLE) integrated with RS and GIS approach was used to predict the spatial distribution of the soil erosion on a cell basis occurring in the study area. Thematic maps of USLE factors like rainfall erosivity factor (R), soil erodibility factor (K), topographic factor (LS), crop/cover management factor (C), and conservation/support practice factor (P) were prepared by using annual rainfall data, soil map, digital elevation model (DEM) and executable C++ program, and satellite image of the area, respectively, in the GIS environment. The annual rate of soil erosion was estimated for 10 years (1997 to 2006), and during this period, the annual rate of sediment loss from study area was found to vary between 6.45 and 13.74 t/ha/year with an average annual rate of 10.04 t/ha/year. The percent deviation between simulated and observed values varies between 2.68 and 18.73 % with coefficient of determination (R 2) of 0.911.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge all the support received from the Department of Soil and Water Engineering, College of Agricultural Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur (MP), India for this study. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers whose valuable comments/suggestions led to a substantially improved manuscript.

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Correspondence to R. J. Patil.

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Patil, R.J., Sharma, S.K. & Tignath, S. Remote Sensing and GIS based soil erosion assessment from an agricultural watershed. Arab J Geosci 8, 6967–6984 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-014-1718-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-014-1718-y

Keywords

  • Erosion
  • RS
  • GIS
  • Shakkar River watershed
  • USLE