GIS Based Assessment of Soil Erosion Using Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) in Wular Catchment of Kashmir

Zahoor ul Hassan, M. Imran Malik, T. A. Kanth

Abstract


The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) has been assessed in the present study using Remote Sensing and GIS in order to estimate the potential Soil Loss at watershed level in Wular Catchment. Wular Catchment has an area of 1200.36 km2 and lies between 34o12′24″ and 34o36′26″ N latitude and 74o26′41″ and 74o56′02″E longitude. Its altitudinal range is from 1580 meters near Wular Lake to about 4500 meters in Harmukh range. Maps of the R, K, LS, C and P factors were derived from the precipitation data, soil map, digital elevation model (DEM), land use and field survey respectively. It emerges from the study that about 6% of the area has severe erosion with a soil loss more than 900 t ha−1yr−1. The watersheds of 1EE2a, 1EM2a and 1EE1c have the highest percentage share of 19.91%, 17.30% and 14.88% respectively under severe erosion. This is the most susceptible zone to soil erosion primarily due to very steep slope gradient and slope length. The study clearly demonstrates the importance of vegetation cover for watershed management. The Study has proposed soil and water conservation measures in accordance with the spatial distribution of soil loss in the Catchment.

Keywords: USLE; Soil Loss; Wular Catchment; Soil Erosion; Rainfall; Erosivity

Cite this Article

Zahoor-ul-Hassan, M. Imran Malik, T.A. Kanth. GIS Based Assessment of Soil Erosion Using Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) in Wular Catchment of Kashmir. Journal of Remote Sensing & GIS. 2017; 8(3): 56–66p.



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