Role of GIS in Soil Erosion
5 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 6, 2017
Soil erosion is defined as the physical degradation of the landscape over time. The process is initiated when soil particles are detached from its original configuration by erosive forces such as rainfall. The soil particles may then be transported by overland flow into nearby rivers and oceans. Current developments in geographic information systems (GIS) make it possible to model complex spatial information. A GIS is used in this project to determine how soil erosion potential varies throughout a watershed. A method was developed in this research which combines the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). The USLE calculates long-term average annual soil loss by multiplying six specific factors which describe the watershed characteristics such as rainfall, soil types, slope, and vegetation cover. The GIS is used to store the USLE factors as individual digital layers and multiplied together to create a soil erosion potential map. This combination provides a way to assess soil erosion potential of an area with existing data sources.
Keywords: Remote sensing, RUSLE equation, GIS, soil erosion
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