Evaluating Soil Loss Using Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing for Soil and Water Resource Conservation: The Case of Yisir Watershed, Northwestern Ethiopia

Habtamu Tadele Belay


Soil erosion is more sensitive in the highlands of Ethiopia.  The purpose of this study is estimating soil loss rate using RUSLE model with GIS and remote sensing to identify erosion potential areas for soil and water resources conservation plan and to prepare soil loss risk map. LANDSAT image of the study area and Digital Elevation Model from http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov as taken in 2017. Collected data were processed and analyzed using Arc GIS10.2 version. Total average annual soil loss from the 2,120.33ha was estimated at 7161.06tons. The lower soil loss rate was 2.5t/ha/yr on plantation and natural forest, the maximum value was 100.62tons/ha/yr in steep slope cultivated land and average soil loss was 50.31 tons/ha/yr. About 6.35% of the area is under extremely very severe soil erosion rate. Level soil bund, graded soil, stone or stone faced soil bund, fanyajju, cutoff- drain in the above part of the catchment, waterway along the slope, trenches on grazing land, check dam SWC measures at Quala got, integrated physical with biological measures like tree Lucerne, Vetiver grass are the recommended SWC measures. This approach can be applied in other basin or watershed for assessment of erosion risk potential using GIS and RS, and this can be used as a preliminary watershed planning tool for decision makers in Ethiopia like Woreda Agriculture and Natural Resources management Office.

Keywords: Ethiopia, GIS, RUSLE, Soil and Water Resource, Yisir Watershed

DOI: 10.7176/JRDM/66-02

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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