Soil erosion assessment based on minimum polygons in the Yellow River basin, China

Jin-Ren Ni*, Xiu-Xia Li, A. G. L. Borthwick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the previous studies, a method was developed to assess soil erosion based on land use information. In this paper, we present another approach that uses environmental data to assess soil erosion. A soil erosion characteristic index EI is proposed, and its value is derived using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique based on standardized environmental information stored in minimum polygons that tile the erodible area under consideration. The approach is applied to a case study of the Yellow River basin, north China, where serious erosion is occurring. To represent different grades of soil erosion, the range of EI is divided into six levels according to standard grades of soil erosion intensity. The application indicates that the method deals properly with data scarcity, with the results giving a satisfactory representation of the characteristics of soil erosion in the Yellow River basin. The spatial-temporal distribution of EI in the Yellow River basin is predicted, and the results interpreted to give the long-term trend and state of soil depletion. Comparisons are given between EI and surveyed soil erosion zoning maps for the Yellow River basin at the end of the 1980s and 1990s. The output reliability and the approach applicability in smaller spatial scales are investigated in a case study of Zhifanggou basin. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-252
Number of pages20
JournalGeomorphology
Volume93
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • soil erosion assessment
  • characteristic index
  • AHP
  • minimum polygon
  • Yellow River basin
  • ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS
  • WATER EROSION
  • LANDSAT TM
  • MODEL
  • CATCHMENT
  • SEDIMENT
  • DELIVERY
  • IMPACTS
  • PLOT
  • GIS

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