Soil Erosion Estimation of Kunthippuzha Watershed Using GIS and RUSLE Model

Fathima Farsana *

Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, KCAET Tavanur, Malappuram-676305, India.

Anu Varughese

Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, KCAET Tavanur, Malappuram-676305, India.

Asha Joseph

Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, KCAET Tavanur, Malappuram-676305, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Soil erosion is an environmental crisis in the world today that threatens the natural environment and also agriculture.  Erosion removes the top fertile soil, degrades soil fertility, water quality and soil productivity. The soil erosion risk assessment is helpful for land evaluation in the regions where soil erosion is a major threat for sustainable agriculture. Modelling can provide a quantitative and consistent approach to estimate soil erosion and sediment yield under a wide range of conditions.  The soil erosion and erosion prone areas in the Kunthippuzha sub-watershed of Bharathapuzha river basin, Kerala, India was estimated using RUSLE. The study area is having a drainage area of 950 km2 up to the gauging station. The estimation was done for 1990 to 2021. The estimated rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, Slope length and slope steepness factor and crop management factors range from 929.36 and 980.38 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 yr-1, 0.01387 to 0.0385 t ha h ha−1 MJ−1 mm−1, 0 to 9.77 and 0.057796 to 1.0999. The results indicate that the estimated total annual potential soil loss of about 842175 t/y is comparable with the measured sediment of 845500 t/yr during the years 1990-2021. The soil erosion rate categorized into six classes based on the erosion severity, the major portion (60%) of the study area comes under very slight erosion zone and only a small portion (14%) comes under severe and very severe erosion zone. Result suggests the area of the north-eastern part suffers from a high soil erosion risk due to steep slope. The results can certainly aid in implementation of soil management and conservation practices to reduce the soil erosion in the Kunthippuzha sub-watershed.

Keywords: Soil erosion, RUSLE, Kunthippuzha, Google earth engine

How to Cite

Farsana , F., Varughese , A., & Joseph , A. (2023). Soil Erosion Estimation of Kunthippuzha Watershed Using GIS and RUSLE Model. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 13(10), 2956–2967.


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