Water Resources Management

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 41–54 | Cite as

Estimation of Soil Erosion for a Himalayan Watershed Using GIS Technique



The fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas has been an increasing cause of concern to environmentalists and water resources planners. The steep slopes in the Himalayas along with depletedforest cover, as well as high seismicity have been major factors in soil erosion and sedimentation in river reaches. Prediction ofsoil erosion is a necessity if adequate provision is to be madein the design of conservation structures to offset the ill effects of sedimentation during their lifetime.In the present study, two different soil erosion models, i.e. theMorgan model and Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) model, have been used to estimate soil erosion from a Himalayan watershed.Parameters required for both models were generated using remotesensing and ancillary data in GIS mode. The soil erosion estimated by Morgan model is in the order of 2200 t km-2 yr-1 and is within the limits reported for this region.The soil erosion estimated by USLE gives a higher rate. Therefore, for the present study the Morgan model gives, for area located in hilly terrain, fairly good results.

erosion GIS Morgan remote sensing USLE 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of HydrologyUniversity of RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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