Estimating of erosion and sediment yield of Gorganrud basin using erosin potential method

Document Type : Scientific and Research


1 Instructor at the University of Environmental Sciences, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource, University of Payam e Noor, and Ph.D Candidate of Malayer University, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries and Environmental Science, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Iran

3 Instructor at the University of Environmental Sciences, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resource, University of Payam e Noor, Kerman, Iran


Soil erosion can be considered as one of the most important obstacles in the way of sustainable development of agriculture and natural resources. The aim of this study is to estimate erosion and sediment yield of basin using Erosion Potential Method, in Gorganrud basin, north of Iran. The main factors in the EPM (slope average percent, erosion, rock and soil resistance, and land-use) were evaluated using a GIS software. Then, each of the parameters has been classified in different categories based on the importance. Finally, the prepared layers integrated and overlaid in EPM model, and soil erosion map are calculated. The spatial distribution of erosion intensify classes showed that 7.4% of the total basin area had tolerate erosion, 25.9% slight erosion, 27.96% moderate erosion, 10.46% strong erosion, 9.91% very strong erosion, and 18.34% destructive erosion. The highest amount of erosion occurred in the northwest to northeast regions with lithological units including loess, and alluvial deposits and agricultural use despite the fact that slope factors in these areas were less than 10%. In the central, western, and eastern parts of the basin, in spite of 15%-55% of slope, the areas depicted a slight to moderate potential of erosion. This is supposed to be due to the dense forest coverage in the region that decreases the energy of rain droplets. Results showed that about 66.7% of the study area is classified in moderate to destructive erosion intensify (Wsp >15 t ha-1 year-1). For avoiding soil erosion in this basin, soil conservation operation should be performed.


  1. Ahmadi, H. (2006). Application Geomorphology. University of Tehran Press, Iran, 688 pp.
  2. Amiri, F.; Tabatabaie, T. (2009). EPM approach for erosion modeling by using RS and GIS. 7th Regional Conference Spatial Data Serving People: Land Governance and the Environment- Building the Capacity, Hanoi. Vietnam, 19-22 October.
  3. Angima, S.D.; Stott, D.E.; O’neill, M.K.; Ong, C.K.; Weesies, G.A. (2003). Soil erosion prediction using RUSLE for central Kenyan highland conditions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 97(1): 295-308.
  4. Arekhi, S.; Niazi, Y.; Kalteh, A.M. (2012). Soil erosion and sediment yield modeling using RS and GIS techniques: a case study, Iran. Arab Journal Geoscience, 5(2): 285-296.
  5. Bartsch, K.P.; Van Miegroet, H.; Boettinger, J.; Dobrwolski, J.P. (2002). Using empirical erosion models and GIS to determine erosion risk at Camp Williams. J Soil Water Conserv., 57: 29-37.
  6. Blanco, H.; Lal, R. (2010). Soil and water conservation. Principles of Soil Conservation and Management. Springer Netherlands, 617 p. Achieved from:
  7. Chen, T.; Niu, R.Q.; Li, P.X.; Zhang, L.P. and Du, B. (2011). Regional soil erosion risk mapping using RUSLE, GIS, and remote sensing: a case study in Miyun Watershed, North China. Environmental Earth Sciences, 63(3): 533-541.
  8. Clark, K.B. (2001). An estimate of sediment yield for two small sub catchments in a geographic information system. Ph.D. Thesis, University of New Mexico.
    1. Dale, V.H.; Brown, R.A.; Haeuber, N.T.; Hobbs, N. (2000). Ecological principles and guidelines for managing in use of Land. Journal of Ecological Applications, 10(3): 639-670.
  9. Da Silva, R.M.; Santos, C.A.; Silva, A.M. (2014). Predicting soil erosion and sediment yield in the Tapacurá Catchment, Brazil. Journal of Urban and Environmental Engineering, 8(1): 75-82.
  10. Emmanouloudis, D.A.; Christou, O.P.; Filippidis, E.I. (2003). Quantitative estimation of degradation in the Aliakmon River Basin using GIS. International Association of Hydrological Sciences, Publication, (279): 234-240.
  11. Fanetti, D.; Vezzoli, L. (2007). Sediment input and evolution of lacustrine deltas: The Breggia and Greggio Rivers case study (Lake Como, Italy). Quaternary International, 173-174: 113-124.
  12. Feng, Q.; Guo, X.; Zhao, W.; Qiu, Y.; Zhang, X. (2015). A comparative analysis of runoff and soil loss characteristics between extreme precipitation year and normal precipitation year at the plot scale: a case study in the loess plateau in China. Water, 7(7): 3343-3366.
  13. Ganasri, B.P.; Ramesh, H. (2016). Assessment of soil erosion by RUSLE model using remote sensing and GIS: A case study of Nethravathi Basin. Journal of Geoscience Frontiers, 7(6): 953-961.
  14. Gavrilovic, Z. (1988). The use of an empirical method (Erosion Potential Method) for calculating sediment production and transportation in unstudied or torrential streams. International Conference River Regime, Wallingford, England. May 18-20: 411-422.
  15. Globevnik, L.; Holjevic, D.; Petkovsek, G.; Rubinic, J. (2003). Applicability of the Gavrilovic method in erosion calculation using spatial data manipulation techniques. International Association of Hydrological Sciences, Publication, 279: 224-233.
  16. Heydarian, S.A. (1996). Assessment of erosion in mountain regions. Proceedings of 17th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, 4–8 November, Sri Lanka.
  17. Jordan, G.; van Rompaey, A.; Szilassi, P.; Csillag, G.; Mannaerts, C.; Woldai, T. (2005). Historical land use changes and their impact on sediment fluxes in the Balaton basin (Hungary). Agricultural Ecosystem Environment, 108: 119-133.
  18. Kavian, A.; Azmoodeh, A.; Solaimani, K. (2014). Deforestation effects on soil properties, runoff and erosion in northern Iran. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 7(5): 1941-1950.
  19. Kertész, A.; Huszár-Gergely, J. (2004). The effect of soil physical parameters on soil erosion. Journal of Foldrajzi Ertesito, 53(1-2): 77-84.
  20. Khaleghi, B.M. (2005). Considering efficiency of empirical models, EPM and fornier in erosion and sediment yield assessment in Zaremrud, Tajen. M.Sc. Theses Natural Resource Department of Mazandaran University.
  21. Kumar, S.; Raghuwanshi, N.S.; Mishra, A. (2015). Identification and management of critical erosion watersheds for improving reservoir life using hydrological modeling. Sustainable Water Resources Management, 1(1): 57-70.
  22. Lal, R.; Stewart, B.A. (1990). Soil degradation. Springer-Verlag: New York, NY, USA.
  23. Lubowski, R.N.; Vesterby, M.; Bucholtz, S.; Baez, A.; Roberts, M.J. (2006). Major uses of land in the United States. Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-14), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  24. Maleki, M. (2003). Considering water erosion and comparison EPM model geomorphology method in Taleghan, Iran. M.Sc. Thesis, Tehran of University.
  25. Modallaldoust, S. (2007). Estimation of sediment and erosion with use of MPSIAC and EPM models in GIS environment. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Mazandaran, Iran.
  26. Pandey, A.; Chowdary, V.M.; Mal, B.C. (2007). Identification of critical erosion prone areas in the small agricultural watershed using USLE, GIS and remote sensing. Water Resources Management, 21(4): 729-746.
  27. Pimentel, D.; Burgess, M. (2013). Soil erosion threatens food production. Griculture Journal, 3(3): 443-463.
  28. Refahi, H. (2004). Water erosion and conservation. University of Tehran Press, Iran, 568 pp.
  29. Renschler, C.S.; Mannaerts, C.; Diekkrüger, B. (1999). Evaluating spatial and temporal variability in soil erosion risk-rainfall erosivity and soil loss ratios in Andalusia, Spain. Catena, 34(3): 209-225.
  30. Ritter, J.; Eng, P. (2015). Soil erosion- causes and effects. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, 12-053. Achieved from: /english/ engineer / facts/12-053.htm.
  31. Rostamizad, G.; Khanbabaei, Z. (2012). Investigating effect of land use optimization on erosion and sediment yield limitation by using of GIS (Case study: Ilam dam watershed). Advances in Environmental Biology, 6(5): 1688-1696.
  32. Safamanesh, R.; Sulaiman, W.N.A.; Ramli, M.F. (2006). Erosion risk assessment using an empirical model of pacific south west Inter Agency Committee method for Zargeh watershed, Iran. Journal of Spatial Hydrology, 6(2): 105-120.
  33. Saha, S.K. (2003). Water and wind induced soil erosion assessment and monitoring using remote sensing and GIS. In: Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Agricultural Meteorology. Proceedings of the training workshop, 7-11 July, Dehra Dun, India: 315-330.
  34. Solaimani, K.; Modallaldoust, S.; Lotfi, S. (2009). Investigation of land use changes on soil erosion process using geographical information system. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Tech., 6(3): 415-424.
  35. Stehman, S.V. (2004). A critical evaluation of the normalized error matrix in map accuracy assessment. Journal of Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 70(6): 743-751.
  36. Tan, B.K. (2005). Engineering geology of rock slopes in highway constructions. 2nd Quarter 2005 Cover Story 22, Malaysia: University Putra Malaysia Press.
  37. Toy, T.; Foster, G.R.; Renard, K.G. (2002). Soil erosion: Processes, prediction, measurement, and control. John Wiley & Sons.
  38. UNDP (1999). Human development report of Islamic Republic of Iran. Chapter 8. pp.109-121.
  39. Van Dijk, P.M.; Kwaad, F.J.P.M.; Klapwijk, M. (1996). Retention of water and sediment by grass strips. Hydrology Process, 10: 1069-1080.
  40. Wang, S.J.; Ruan, H.H.; Wang, B. (2009). Effects of soil micro arthropods on plant litter decomposition across an elevation gradient in the Wuyi Mountains. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 41(5): 891-897.
  41. Wang, G.; Gertner, G.; Fang, S.; Anderson, A.B. (2003) Mapping multiple variables for predicting soil loss by geostatistical methods with TM images and a slope map. Photogramm Eng. Remote Sens, 69: 889–898.
  42. Wijitkosum, S. (2012). Impact of land use changes on soil erosion in Pa Deng sub-district, adjacent area of Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand. International Journal of Soil Water Resources, 7(1): 10-17.
  43. Williams, J.R.; Renard, K.G.; Dyke, P.T. (1983). EPICUA new method for assessing erosion’s effect on soil productivity. Journal of Soil and Water Conversation, 38(5): 381-383.
  44. Wischmeier, W.H.; Smith, D.D. (1978). Prediction rainfall erosion losses: a guide to conservation planning. Agriculture Handbook No. 537. US Department of Agriculture Science and Education Administration, Washington, DC, USA, 163 pp.
  45. Woolhiser, D.A.; Smith, R.E.; Goodrich, D.C.; et al. (1990). A kinematic runoff and erosion model: documentation and user manual. USDA-Agricultural Research Service, 9: 122-130.
  46. Yimer, F.; Ledin, S.; Abdelkadir, A. (2007). Changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen contents in three adjacent land use types in the Bale Mountains, south-eastern highlands of Ethiopia. Forest Ecology Management. 242(2): 337-342.
  47. Zhang, K.L.; Hosoyamada, K. (1996). Influence of slope gradient on inter-rill erosion of Shirasu soil. Journal of Soil Physical Condition and Planet Growth in Japan, 73: 37-44.
  48. Zhang, Z.; Sheng, L.; Yang, J.; Chen, X.A.; Kong, L.; Wagan, B. (2015). Effects of land use and slope gradient on soil erosion in a red soil hilly watershed of Southern China. Sustainability, 7(10): 14309-14325.
  49. Zia Abadi, L.; Ahmadi, H. (2011). Comparison of EPM and geomorphology methods for erosion and sediment yield assessment in Kasilian Watershed, Mazandaran Province, Iran. Journal of Desert, 16(2): 103-109.