SEDIMENT YIELD ESTIMATION AND PRIORITIZATION OF WATERSHED USING REMOTE SENSING AND GIS
Keywords: Soil Erosion, USLE, Sediment yield, GIS, Remote sensing
Abstract. Soil erosion is the greatest destroyer of land resources in Indravati catchment. It carries the highest amount of sediment compared to other catchment in India. This catchment spreading an area of 41,285 square km is drained by river Indravati, which is one of the northern tributaries of the river Godavari in its lower reach. In the present study, USLE is used to estimate sediment yield at the outlet of river Indravati catchment. Both magnitude and spatial distribution of potential soil erosion in the catchment is determined. From the model output predictions, it is found that average erosion rate predicted is 18.00 tons/ha/year and sediment yield at the out let of the catchment is 22.31 Million tons per year. The predicted sediment yield verified with the observed data. The Indravathi basin is divided into 424 sub-watersheds and prioritization of all 424 sub-watersheds is carried out according to soil loss intensity for soil conservation purpose. Generated soil loss map will be useful to soil conservationist and decision makers for watershed management. Overall 19.71 % of the area is undergoing high erosion rates which are a major contributor to the sediment yield (78.04 %) in the catchment. This area represents high-priority area for management in order to reduce soil losses, which are mostly found in upstream of the catchment. It is indicated that the areas of high soil erosion can be accounted for in terms of steep unstable terrain, and the occurrence of highly erodible soils and low vegetation cover.