ASSESSMENT OF SOIL EROSION BY RUSLE MODEL USING GIS: A CASE STUDY OF CHEMORAH BASIN, ALGERIA
Journal: Malaysian Journal of Geosciences (MJG)
Author: Khanchoul K., Balla F., and Othmani O.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Soil erosion by water is one of the major sources of land degradation. Erosion contributes to the temporary or permanent lowering of the productive capacity of agricultural land and sedimentation of dams. The purpose of this study is to assess soil loss rate using a GIS/RUSLE approach at the Chemorah basin by focusing on two catchments, namely, Reboa and Soultez. The assessment of soil erosion aims thus to identify the lands more prone to erosion which are vital for erosion management process. RUSLE model supported by GIS software is to predict the spatial variability of erosion occurring in the Chemorah basin and its sub-basins. Five inputs such as rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope and length of slope, plant cover and anti-erosion practices, are used in the model to compute the erosion loss rates. The mean annual soil loss in Chemorah river basin is estimated at 7.52 T/ha/year, and varying between 3.78 T/ha/year in Soultez catchment and 6.06 T/ha/year in Reboa sub-basin. The study shows that low erosion (≤ 7 T/ha/year) covers 52% and high to very high erosion (> 7 T/ha/year) which does not exceed 23% of the Chemorah basin area. The results indicate that Reboa catchment faces the greatest risk of soil erosion compared to Soultez one, with contributions of 44 % and 32 % of their basin areas respectively. Use of the erosion factors’ information coupled with GIS/RUSLE program can help to design the appropriate land management to minimize soil erosion in the basin.