Soil Erosion assessment within the Erbil watershed using geo-informatics technology
Keywords:Soil Erosion, RUSLE, Erbil Watershed, GIS, Remote sensing
The spatial pattern distribution of average soil loss per year has been computed relying on the five criteria inputted in the Revised Universal Soil Loss (RUSLE), as well as with the application of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) techniques. The aim of this study is to calculate soil erosion by runoff in the Erbil watershed for different types of land cover and land-use. The soil erosion rate per year was recorded by incorporating environmental data and topographic factors in a grid (30 m resolution) by GIS and remote sensing package. The GIS database layers consist of rainfall erosivity (R), slope length and gradient (LS), soil erodability (K), land cover management (C) and conservation practice (P) criteria were estimated to identify their effects on average annual soil loss in the study area. Potential average annual soil loss of the Erbil watershed has been divided into three classes; low, moderate and high levels. The analysis indicates that 22.8% of the Erbil watershed is at a low-risk level of the soil loss, 9.5% medium-risk, whilst 67.8% it located under a high-risk level of soil erosion. The results indicated that soil loss rate per year estimated for the entire watershed is 14.35 ton. ha-1. yr-1, the study also refers to that most of the soil erosion occurs areas of agricultural activity.
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