Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.17, Issue 4, 2011; Page No.(685-690)

SOIL EROSION MODELLING USING REMOTE SENSING AND GIS: A CASE STUDY OF SHENDURNEY WILD LIFE SANCTUARY IN SOUTHERN WESTERN GHATS, KERALA, INDIA

Subin K. Jose, Abin Varghese, Santhosh Kumar, G. Madhu, C. Rakhi and T.K. Sreekala

Abstract

Soil erosion is a growing problem in Western Ghats of Kerala and particularly in the Shendurney wild life sanctuary in southern western Ghats, with rich biodiversity. Soil erosion not only decreases biodiversity of the area, but also reduces the water availability. In the current study, an effort to predict potential annual soil loss has been conducted. For the prediction, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) has been adopted with Geographical Information System framework. The RUSLE factors were calculated for the entire sanctuary. The R-factor was calculated from monthly and annual precipitation data. The K-factor was estimated using Soil survey of India data. The LS-factor was calculated from a 20-m digital elevation model. The C-factor was calculated using Remote Sensing techniques. The P-factor was assigned based on field observations and forest management strategies. The results show that an extended part of the sanctuary is undergoing severe erosion. The annual soil loss is ranged between 0 to 74.1 t ha-1 year-1. Controlled human activities along with proper conservation programmes are recommended.

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