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Effects of land use, slope gradient, and soil and water conservation structures on runoff and soil loss in semi-arid Northern Ethiopia

(2013) PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 34(3). p.236-259
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Abstract
Land degradation and recurrent drought are the major threats to rain-fed agriculture in the semi-arid Ethiopian highlands. Water harvesting has become a priority in the Tigray region since 1990. However, the success of water harvesting in reservoirs is limited due to reduced inflow. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of typical land-use types, slope gradients, and different soil and water conservation (SWC) structures on runoff and soil loss at the runoff-plot scale. Six runoff measuring sites, corresponding to three slope gradients, were established for cropland (cultivated land for annual crop production) and rangeland (heavily grazed land on hillslopes with high rock-fragment cover) at Mayleba catchment in Tigray, Ethiopia. SWC structures tested were stone bunds, trenches, and stone bunds with trenches, in addition to control plots. In total, 21 large runoff plots (with lengths of 60 to 100 m) were monitored daily for runoff production and soil loss during the main rainy season (July-September) in 2010. The results show that the seasonal runoff coefficient (RCs) representing the fraction of rainfall measured as runoff was much higher for rangeland (0.38 < RCs < 0.50) compared to that for cropland (0.11 < RCS < 0.15). Seasonal soil loss (SLs) values were five to six times larger on rangeland (28.6 < SLs < 50.0 ton ha(-1)) compared to that for cropland (4.6 < SLs < 11.4 ton ha(-1)). Stone bunds with trenches were the most effective SWC structures in reducing runoff and soil loss. With the same SWC structures installed, RCs and SLs for both rangeland and cropland tend to decrease with increasing slope gradient mainly due to a corresponding increase in rock-fragment cover. The effects of SWC structures on runoff production and soil loss are considerable; hence, it is crucial to consider these effects for optimal design of water-harvesting schemes such as micro-dams that collect and store surface runoff for irrigation development in the Ethiopian highlands.
Keywords
TIGRAY HIGHLANDS, ROCK FRAGMENT COVER, trenches, stone bunds, rangeland, cropland, water harvesting, soil erosion, runoff plot, Ethiopian highlands, INTERRILL RUNOFF, STONE BUNDS, NILE BASIN, CROP YIELD, EROSION, VARIABILITY, RAINFALL, CATCHMENT

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MLA
Taye, Gebeyehu et al. “Effects of Land Use, Slope Gradient, and Soil and Water Conservation Structures on Runoff and Soil Loss in Semi-arid Northern Ethiopia.” PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY 34.3 (2013): 236–259. Print.
APA
Taye, G., Poesen, J., Van Wesemael, B., Vanmaercke, M., Teka, D., Deckers, J., Goosse, T., et al. (2013). Effects of land use, slope gradient, and soil and water conservation structures on runoff and soil loss in semi-arid Northern Ethiopia. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, 34(3), 236–259.
Chicago author-date
Taye, Gebeyehu, Jean Poesen, Bas Van Wesemael, Matthias Vanmaercke, Daniel Teka, Jozef Deckers, Tom Goosse, et al. 2013. “Effects of Land Use, Slope Gradient, and Soil and Water Conservation Structures on Runoff and Soil Loss in Semi-arid Northern Ethiopia.” Physical Geography 34 (3): 236–259.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Taye, Gebeyehu, Jean Poesen, Bas Van Wesemael, Matthias Vanmaercke, Daniel Teka, Jozef Deckers, Tom Goosse, Willem Maetens, Jan Nyssen, Vincent Hallet, and Nigussie Haregeweyn. 2013. “Effects of Land Use, Slope Gradient, and Soil and Water Conservation Structures on Runoff and Soil Loss in Semi-arid Northern Ethiopia.” Physical Geography 34 (3): 236–259.
Vancouver
1.
Taye G, Poesen J, Van Wesemael B, Vanmaercke M, Teka D, Deckers J, et al. Effects of land use, slope gradient, and soil and water conservation structures on runoff and soil loss in semi-arid Northern Ethiopia. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 2013;34(3):236–59.
IEEE
[1]
G. Taye et al., “Effects of land use, slope gradient, and soil and water conservation structures on runoff and soil loss in semi-arid Northern Ethiopia,” PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 236–259, 2013.
@article{4256467,
  abstract     = {Land degradation and recurrent drought are the major threats to rain-fed agriculture in the semi-arid Ethiopian highlands. Water harvesting has become a priority in the Tigray region since 1990. However, the success of water harvesting in reservoirs is limited due to reduced inflow. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of typical land-use types, slope gradients, and different soil and water conservation (SWC) structures on runoff and soil loss at the runoff-plot scale. Six runoff measuring sites, corresponding to three slope gradients, were established for cropland (cultivated land for annual crop production) and rangeland (heavily grazed land on hillslopes with high rock-fragment cover) at Mayleba catchment in Tigray, Ethiopia. SWC structures tested were stone bunds, trenches, and stone bunds with trenches, in addition to control plots. In total, 21 large runoff plots (with lengths of 60 to 100 m) were monitored daily for runoff production and soil loss during the main rainy season (July-September) in 2010. The results show that the seasonal runoff coefficient (RCs) representing the fraction of rainfall measured as runoff was much higher for rangeland (0.38 < RCs < 0.50) compared to that for cropland (0.11 < RCS < 0.15). Seasonal soil loss (SLs) values were five to six times larger on rangeland (28.6 < SLs < 50.0 ton ha(-1)) compared to that for cropland (4.6 < SLs < 11.4 ton ha(-1)). Stone bunds with trenches were the most effective SWC structures in reducing runoff and soil loss. With the same SWC structures installed, RCs and SLs for both rangeland and cropland tend to decrease with increasing slope gradient mainly due to a corresponding increase in rock-fragment cover. The effects of SWC structures on runoff production and soil loss are considerable; hence, it is crucial to consider these effects for optimal design of water-harvesting schemes such as micro-dams that collect and store surface runoff for irrigation development in the Ethiopian highlands.},
  author       = {Taye, Gebeyehu and Poesen, Jean and Van Wesemael, Bas and Vanmaercke, Matthias and Teka, Daniel and Deckers, Jozef and Goosse, Tom and Maetens, Willem and Nyssen, Jan and Hallet, Vincent and Haregeweyn, Nigussie},
  issn         = {0272-3646},
  journal      = {PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY},
  keywords     = {TIGRAY HIGHLANDS,ROCK FRAGMENT COVER,trenches,stone bunds,rangeland,cropland,water harvesting,soil erosion,runoff plot,Ethiopian highlands,INTERRILL RUNOFF,STONE BUNDS,NILE BASIN,CROP YIELD,EROSION,VARIABILITY,RAINFALL,CATCHMENT},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {236--259},
  title        = {Effects of land use, slope gradient, and soil and water conservation structures on runoff and soil loss in semi-arid Northern Ethiopia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02723646.2013.832098},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2013},
}

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