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Reading: Field Validation of Erosion Hazard Zones for Small Scale Assessment using GIS


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Section II

Field Validation of Erosion Hazard Zones for Small Scale Assessment using GIS


G. R. N. Karunatilaka ,

National Transport Commission, LK
About G. R. N.

Civil Engineer

BSc Eng., MPhil., AM IESL

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N. T. S. Wijesekera

University of Moratuwa, LK
About N. T. S.

Professor of Civil Engineering and the Chairman of the International Center for Geoinformatics Applications and Training,

BSc Eng. (Hons) Sri Lanka, PG Dip (Moratuwa), M. Eng. (Tokyo), D. Eng. (Tokyo), C. Eng., MICE (London), FIE (Sri Lanka),

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Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental problem of agricultural based developing countries since it remove soils rich in nutrients, increase natural level of sedimentation in rivers and other water bodies and causes flood and water quality problems. The final results are the reduction of the productivity of land, which can lead to increase in expenditure in fertilizers to maintain yields and reduction in capacity of rivers increasing the risk of flooding, blocking of irrigation canals and shortening the design life of reservoirs. Soil erosion assessment for watershed management is one of the major concerns because, in reality, it is not possible to conserve all areas under the threat of erosion due to financial constrains. Soil loss rate or erosion rate estimation for land parcels is of utmost importance to the effort of soil conservation work. The most common method in the world to identify land parcels which are severely eroded is Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE). It predicts the long-term average annual rate of erosion. However, the factors in this equation require field validation prior to their application for a particular region. This study was carried out for a relatively small area and this paper describes the key issues, methodology and recommendations for the process of soil erosion assessment of such an area. Erosion hazard in a watershed has spatially varying characteristics. Hence, the use of a computer tool, which can handle spatial data, is important. Geographic Information System (GIS) provides an easy solution for such spatial assessments for effective watershed management.
How to Cite: Karunatilaka, G.R.N. and Wijesekera, N.T.S., 2006. Field Validation of Erosion Hazard Zones for Small Scale Assessment using GIS. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 39(3), pp.50–55. DOI:
Published on 29 Jul 2006.
Peer Reviewed


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