Soil erosion represents one of the most important global issues with serious effects on agriculture and water quality, especially in developing countries, such as Ethiopia, where rapid population growth and climatic changes affect widely mountainous areas. The Meskay catchment is a head catchment of the Jemma Basin draining into the Blue Nile (Central Ethiopia) and is characterized by high relief energy. Thus, it is exposed to high degradation dynamics, especially in the lower parts of the catchment. In this study, we aim at the geomorphological assessment of soil erosion susceptibilities. First, a geomorphological map was generated based on remote sensing observations. In particular, we mapped three categories of landforms related to (i) sheet erosion, (ii) gully erosion, and (iii) badlands using a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM). The map was validated by a detailed field survey. Subsequently, we used the three categories as dependent variables in a probabilistic modelling approach to derive the spatial distribution of the specific process susceptibilities. In this study we applied the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt). The independent variables were derived from a set of spatial attributes describing the lithology, terrain, and land cover based on remote sensing data and DEMs. As a result, we produced three separate susceptibility maps for sheet and gully erosion as well as badlands. The resulting susceptibility maps showed good to excellent prediction performance. Moreover, to explore the mutual overlap of the three susceptibility maps, we generated a combined map as a color composite where each color represents one component of water erosion. The latter map yields useful information for land-use managers and planning purposes.

A probabilistic assessment of soil erosion susceptibility in a head catchment of the jemma basin, ethiopian highlands

Bosino A.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Marker M.
Conceptualization
2020-01-01

Abstract

Soil erosion represents one of the most important global issues with serious effects on agriculture and water quality, especially in developing countries, such as Ethiopia, where rapid population growth and climatic changes affect widely mountainous areas. The Meskay catchment is a head catchment of the Jemma Basin draining into the Blue Nile (Central Ethiopia) and is characterized by high relief energy. Thus, it is exposed to high degradation dynamics, especially in the lower parts of the catchment. In this study, we aim at the geomorphological assessment of soil erosion susceptibilities. First, a geomorphological map was generated based on remote sensing observations. In particular, we mapped three categories of landforms related to (i) sheet erosion, (ii) gully erosion, and (iii) badlands using a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM). The map was validated by a detailed field survey. Subsequently, we used the three categories as dependent variables in a probabilistic modelling approach to derive the spatial distribution of the specific process susceptibilities. In this study we applied the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt). The independent variables were derived from a set of spatial attributes describing the lithology, terrain, and land cover based on remote sensing data and DEMs. As a result, we produced three separate susceptibility maps for sheet and gully erosion as well as badlands. The resulting susceptibility maps showed good to excellent prediction performance. Moreover, to explore the mutual overlap of the three susceptibility maps, we generated a combined map as a color composite where each color represents one component of water erosion. The latter map yields useful information for land-use managers and planning purposes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1347954
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