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Journal of Dynamics in Agricultural Research

Available online at

Vol.2(3), pp.31-39, July  2015

Article ID: jdar/15/019

Copyright © 2015


Original Research Paper

A Geographic Information System based Soil Loss Estimation in Lalen Watershed for Soil Conservation Planning, Highlands of Ethiopia

Gizachew Ayalew

Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Debre Tabor University, Debre Tabor, P.O.Box: 272 Ethiopia.

*Corresponding author.

Received 18 May, 2015; Accepted 23 June, 2015.


This study was carried out to spatially predict the soil loss rate of Lalen watershed with a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) adapted to Ethiopian conditions was used to estimate potential soil losses by utilizing information on  rainfall erosivity (R) using interpolation of rainfall data, soil erodibility (K) using soil map, vegetation cover (C) using satellite images, topography (LS) using Digital Elevation Model and conservation practices (P ) using satellite images. Based on the analysis, about 2495.09ha (95%) of the watershed was categorized none to slight class which under maximum soil loss tolerance value. The remaining 114.65 ha (5%) of land was classified under moderate to high class about several times the maximum tolerable soil loss. The study demonstrates that the RUSLE using GIS and RS provides great advantage to spatially analyze multi-layers of data and could facilitate sustainable land use and management.

Keywords: GIS, Lalen watershed, RUSLE, Soil erosion.