Assessing soil loss using GIS based RUSLE methodology. Case of the Bou Namoussa watershed – North-East of Algeria

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Abstract

This study aims to estimating annual soil erosion rate and its spatial distribution in the Bou Namoussa water-shed located in the North-East of Algeria by applying the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) within a Geographical Information System environment (GIS). The application of the RUSLE model in different natural environments and on every scale takes into account five key factors namely: the rainfall erosivity, the soil erodibility, the steepness and length of slopes, the vegetation cover and the conservation support practices. Each of these factors was generated in GIS as a raster layer, their combination, resulted in the development of a soil loss map indicating an average erosion rate of 7.8 t·ha−1·y−1. The obtained soil loss map was classified into four erosion severity classes; low, moderate, high and very high severity representing respectively 40, 30.48, 22.59 and 6.89% of the total surface. The areas, showing moderate, high and very high erosion rates which represent more than half of the basin area were found generally located in regions having high erodibility soils, steep slopes and low vegetation cover. These areas should be considered as priorities in future erosion control programs in order to decrease the siltation rate in the Cheffia reservoir.

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Journal of Water and Land Development

The Journal of Committee for Land Reclamation and Environmental Engineering in Agriculture of Polish Academy of Sciences and Institute of Technology and Life Sciences in Falenty

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CiteScore 2017: 1.04

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.304
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.024

Ministry of Science and Higher Education: 14 points

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