Modelling Soil Erosion Using RUSLE and GIS for Kadalundi River Basin in Kerala, India

Akhina P. *

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

Rema K. P.

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

Anu Varughese

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

Divya Vijayan

Department of RS&GIS, College of Forestry, Thrissur, India.

Asha Joseph

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

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The main objective of the study was to estimate the potential average annual soil loss from Kadalundi river basin using RUSLE model and to prepare the spatial distribution map of soil erosion hazard using GIS to suggest suitable soil conservation and management measures for the basin. The individual factor maps for each factor in the RUSLE equation were prepared and multiplied in raster calculator to obtain the spatial distribution map of soil erosion with the help of ArcGIS. The daily rainfall data, basic soil data, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and satellite imageries were used as the input data for the calculation of rainfall erosivity factor, soil erodibility factor, topographic factor, cover management factor and conservation practice factor. The results indicated an average annual erosion of 5.48 t·ha-1·yr-1 in the basin during the period of 2001 to 2021. The total quantity of soil washed away from the basin was 694836.60 t·yr-1. The estimated values of R-factor ranged from 938.97 MJ·mm·ha-1·h-1·yr-1 to 1102.65 MJ·mm·ha-1·h-1·yr-1, and the computed erodibility factor values varied between 0.0075 to 0.025 t·h·MJ1·mm1. The topographic factor value of the basin was found between 0 to 9.07. The basin had C-factor values of 0.08 to 1.10 and the P-factor values varied from 0.1 to 1. The spatial distribution map of erosion suggest that major part of the basin is under slight erosion class and only a minor part is under very severe erosion class. Areas in the very severe erosion class is characterised by moderate to steep slopes, or in other words areas with less slope is having slight erosion. As most of the area of the basin is having slight erosion, simple agronomical measures can be adopted for the mitigation purposes.

Keywords: Modelling, RUSLE, GIS, soil erosion, Kadalundi river basin, India

How to Cite

Akhina P., Rema K. P., Varughese , A., Vijayan , D., & Joseph , A. (2024). Modelling Soil Erosion Using RUSLE and GIS for Kadalundi River Basin in Kerala, India. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 14(2), 652–667.


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