Wednesday, 9 November 2005 - 10:45 AM

Spatial Analysis of Soil Erosion Potential and Drainage Network in the Laramie River Basin.

Rifat Akis, Larry Munn, and J. Michael Daniels. University Of Wyoming, 1010 E Grand Ave Apt 2, Laramie, WY 82072

In the Laramie River Basin, soil erosion is a significant contributor to land degradation, the rate of which depends on a series of interconnected factors. In-depth mapping of soil erosion potential and drainage network are needed to understand and improve soil management strategies in the basin. This study integrates universal soil loss equation (USLE) into ArcGIS to quantify and map erosion hazard and watershed drainage morphology. Data sets for USLE were produced using ArcGIS, ArcInfo Grid and ArcInfo Macro language (AML) tools. Study objectives include predicting potential erosion hazard in the basin soil series and investigation of relations among erosion factors and watershed morphometry under different land management scenarios. Results indicated that the highest erodable slope value was 69%. The landscape of the basin has slightly, moderately, and strongly erodable slopes for 42, 31, and 27%, respectively. The stream order of drainage network in the basin was in the order 4th, 5th, and 7th if 10,000, 7,500, and 111 cells contributed flow to an outlet for a channel to occur in the landscape, respectively. The USLE parameters indicated significant negative correlations with soil physical properties. The soil loss varied between 0 and 2.1 tons/acre-yr in the basin occupied mostly by Mollisols. Geospatial analyses revealed soil saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and soil erodibility factor (K) cross-correlated for basin's flood plains and non-flood plain soils under different land use practices, while the other soil and model parameters didn't have cross-correlation. This analysis allows identification of appropriate soil and water conservation practices to reduce erosion risk potential in the basin.

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