TERRAIN CHARACTERIZATION AND SOIL EROSION RISK ASSESSMENT FOR WATERSHED PRIORITIZATION USING REMOTE SENSING AND GIS A case study of Nawagaon Maskara Rao Watershed, Saharanpur, India
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Soil erosion is crucial problem in India where more than 70% of land in degraded. This study is to establish conservation priorities of the sub watersheds across the entire terrain, and suggest suitable conservation measures. Soil conservation practices are not only from erosion data both qualitative SES (Soil Erosion Status) model and quantitative MMF (Morgan, Morgan and Finney) model erosion, but we have to consider LCC (Land Capability Classification) and LULC (Land Use Land Cover). Study demonstrated the use of RS (Remote Sensing) and GIS (Geographic Information System) in soil erosion risk assessment by deriving soil and vegetation parameters in the erosion models. Sub-watersheds were prioritized based on average soil loss and the area falls under various erosion risk classes for conservation planning. The annual rate of soil loss based on MMF model was classified into five soil erosion risk classes for soil conservation measures. From 11 sub watersheds, for the first priority of the watershed is catchment with the small area and the steep slope. Recommendation for steep areas (classes VI, VII, and VIII) land use allocation should be made to maintain forest functions.