The use of RUSLE and GCMs to predict potential soil erosion associated with climate change in a monsoon-dominated region of eastern India

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 2020, 13, (20)
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© 2020, Saudi Society for Geosciences. Soil is one of the most important natural resources; therefore, there is an urgent need to estimate soil erosion. The subtropical monsoon-dominated region also faces a comparatively greater problem due to heavy rainfall with high intensity in a very short time and the presence of longer dry seasons and shorter wet seasons. The Arkosa watershed faces the problem of extreme land degradation in the form of soil erosion; therefore, the rate of soil erosion needs to be estimated according to appropriate models. GCM (general circulation model) data such as MIROC5 (Model for Interdisciplinary Climate Research) of CMIP5 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5) have been used to project future storm rainfall and soil erosion rates following the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) in various influential time frames. Apart from that, different satellite data and relevant primary field-based data for future prediction were considered. The average annual soil erosion of Arkosa watershed ranges from < 1 to > 6 t/ha/year. The very high (> 6 t/ha/year) and high (5–6 t/ha/year) soil loss areas are found in the southern, south-eastern, and eastern part of the watershed. Apart from this, low (1–2 t/ha/year) and very low (< 1 t/ha/year) soil loss areas are associated with the western, northern, southern, and major portion of the watershed. Extreme precipitation rates with high kinetic energy due to climate change are favorable to soil erosion susceptibility. The results of this research will help to implement management strategies to minimize soil erosion by keeping authorities and researchers at risk for future erosion and vulnerability.
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