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Sediment Load Calculation by Using the Universal Soil Loss Equation with a Geographic Information Software

Author(s): Miguel Angel Bribiesca Rodriguez, Jorge Ivan Juarez Dehesa, Fernando Gonzalez, Gabriela Gutierrez Avina

Linked Author(s): Miguel Angel Bribiesca Rodriguez, Fernando Gonzalez, Gabriela Gutierrez Aviña

Keywords: Water erosion; Potential erosion; Current erosion; USLE method;

Abstract: Water erosion within rural basins is mainly caused by rains and runoff phenomena. The mentioned water erosion, reduces crop zones yields and produces soil loss, which, for academic purposes is a non-renewable resource. On the other hand, the sediment load produced, reduces the water quality and it is a good way of transportation for chemical pollutants. This is, without forgetting that on a yearly basis, it is necessary to use several economic resources to water canals cleaning, reservoirs flushing and sediment removal actions within estuaries and ports.
This document provides a methodology to calculate water erosion within a rural basin located in Central Mexico, Mexico. These methodology is based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) but applied to a Geographic Information System (GIS), in this case the ArcGIS software.
ArcGIS has a specific tool called “Map Algebra”; this tool was used to solve the USLE for two possible scenarios. The first one is for the Potential Erosion scenario, and the second one is for the Current Erosion scenario within the studied basin. This two scenarios are reached by using different data maps such as maps for the “C” factor (Land use), “K” factor (Soil type), “R” factor (potential erosion by rainfall activity), and the “LS” factor (obtained with the DEM raster). Once the USLE is calculated, the results are displayed as a map for both Potential Erosion and Current Erosion within the basin, these results were calculated in ton/hectare/year.


Year: 2019

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