Spatial Estimation of Soil Erosion Risk Using RUSLE Approach, RS, and GIS Techniques: A Case Study of Kufranja Watershed, Northern Jordan


Wadi Kufranja catchment (126.3 km2), northern Jordan, was selected to estimate annual soil loss using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), remote sensing (RS), and geographic information system (GIS). RUSLE factors (R, K, LS, C and P) were computed and presented by raster layers in a GIS environment, then multiplied together to predict soil erosion rates, and to generate soil erosion risk categories and soil erosion severity maps. The estimated potential average annual soil loss is 10 ton·ha-1·year-1 for the catchment, and the potential erosion rates from recognized erosion classes ranged from 0.0 to 1850 ton·ha-1·year-1. About 42.1% (5317.23 ha) of the catchment area was predicted to have moderate risk of erosion, with soil loss between 5 - 25 ton·ha-1·year-1. Risk of erosion is severe to extreme over 31.2% (3940.56 ha) of the catchment, where calculated soil loss is 25 - 50 and >50 ton·ha-1·year-1. Apart from the gentle slopes of the alluvial fan (Krayma town and surroundings), the lower and the middle reaches of the watershed suffer from severe to extreme erosion risk. High terrain, slope steepness, removal of vegetation, and poor conservation practices are the most prominent causes of soil erosion.

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Y. Farhan, D. Zregat and I. Farhan, "Spatial Estimation of Soil Erosion Risk Using RUSLE Approach, RS, and GIS Techniques: A Case Study of Kufranja Watershed, Northern Jordan," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 12, 2013, pp. 1247-1261. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.512134.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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