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Comprehensive assessment of soil erosion risk for better land use planning in river basins : case study of the Upper Blue Nile River

Nigussie Haregeweyn, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Jean Poesen, Mitsuru Tsubo, Derege Tsegaye Meshesha, Ayele Almaw Fenta, Jan Nyssen UGent and Enyew Adgo (2017) SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. 574. p.95-108
abstract
In the drought-prone Upper Blue Nile River (UBNR) basin of Ethiopia, soil erosion by water results in significant consequences that also affect downstream countries. However, there have been limited comprehensive studies of this and other basins with diverse agroecologies. We analyzed the variability of gross soil loss and sediment yield rates under present and expected future conditions using a newly devised methodological framework. The results showed that the basin generates an average soil loss rate of 27.5 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and a gross soil loss of ca. 473 Mt yr(-1), of which, at least 10% comes from gully erosion and 26.7% leaves Ethiopia. In a factor analysis, variation in agroecology (average factor score = 1.32) and slope (1.28) were the two factors most responsible for this high spatial variability. About 39% of the basin area is experiencing severe to very severe (>30 t ha(-1) yr(-1)) soil erosion risk, which is strongly linked to population density. Severe or very severe soil erosion affects the largest proportion of land in three subbasins of the UBNR basin: Blue Nile 4 (53.9%), Blue Nile 3 (45.1%), and Jema Shet (42.5%). If appropriate soil and water conservation practices targeted ca. 77.3% of the area with moderate to severe erosion (>15 t ha(-1) yr(-1)), the total soil loss from the basin could be reduced by ca. 52%. Our methodological framework identified the potential risk for soil erosion in large-scale zones, and with a more sophisticated model and input data of higher spatial and temporal resolution, results could be specified locally within these risk zones. Accurate assessment of soil erosion in the UBNR basin would support sustainable use of the basin's land resources and possibly open up prospects for cooperation in the Eastern Nile region.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Drought-prone, Grand Ethiopian renaissance dam, Gross soil loss, Gully erosion, Soil and water conservation, Sediment yield, NORTHERN ETHIOPIA, SEDIMENT YIELD, TIGRAY HIGHLANDS, ROCK FRAGMENTS, RESEARCH NEEDS, WATER EROSION, HUMAN IMPACT, SWAT MODEL, CONSERVATION, MANAGEMENT
journal title
SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT
Sci. Total Environ.
volume
574
pages
95 - 108
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000389090100010
ISSN
0048-9697
1879-1026
DOI
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.019
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
8500204
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8500204
date created
2016-12-22 09:54:41
date last changed
2017-04-21 12:39:12
@article{8500204,
  abstract     = {In the drought-prone Upper Blue Nile River (UBNR) basin of Ethiopia, soil erosion by water results in significant consequences that also affect downstream countries. However, there have been limited comprehensive studies of this and other basins with diverse agroecologies. We analyzed the variability of gross soil loss and sediment yield rates under present and expected future conditions using a newly devised methodological framework. The results showed that the basin generates an average soil loss rate of 27.5 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and a gross soil loss of ca. 473 Mt yr(-1), of which, at least 10\% comes from gully erosion and 26.7\% leaves Ethiopia. In a factor analysis, variation in agroecology (average factor score = 1.32) and slope (1.28) were the two factors most responsible for this high spatial variability. About 39\% of the basin area is experiencing severe to very severe ({\textrangle}30 t ha(-1) yr(-1)) soil erosion risk, which is strongly linked to population density. Severe or very severe soil erosion affects the largest proportion of land in three subbasins of the UBNR basin: Blue Nile 4 (53.9\%), Blue Nile 3 (45.1\%), and Jema Shet (42.5\%). If appropriate soil and water conservation practices targeted ca. 77.3\% of the area with moderate to severe erosion ({\textrangle}15 t ha(-1) yr(-1)), the total soil loss from the basin could be reduced by ca. 52\%. Our methodological framework identified the potential risk for soil erosion in large-scale zones, and with a more sophisticated model and input data of higher spatial and temporal resolution, results could be specified locally within these risk zones. Accurate assessment of soil erosion in the UBNR basin would support sustainable use of the basin's land resources and possibly open up prospects for cooperation in the Eastern Nile region.},
  author       = {Haregeweyn, Nigussie and Tsunekawa, Atsushi and Poesen, Jean and Tsubo, Mitsuru and Meshesha, Derege Tsegaye and Fenta, Ayele Almaw and Nyssen, Jan and Adgo, Enyew},
  issn         = {0048-9697},
  journal      = {SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT},
  keyword      = {Drought-prone,Grand Ethiopian renaissance dam,Gross soil loss,Gully erosion,Soil and water conservation,Sediment yield,NORTHERN ETHIOPIA,SEDIMENT YIELD,TIGRAY HIGHLANDS,ROCK FRAGMENTS,RESEARCH NEEDS,WATER EROSION,HUMAN IMPACT,SWAT MODEL,CONSERVATION,MANAGEMENT},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {95--108},
  title        = {Comprehensive assessment of soil erosion risk for better land use planning in river basins : case study of the Upper Blue Nile River},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.019},
  volume       = {574},
  year         = {2017},
}

Chicago
Haregeweyn, Nigussie, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Jean Poesen, Mitsuru Tsubo, Derege Tsegaye Meshesha, Ayele Almaw Fenta, Jan Nyssen, and Enyew Adgo. 2017. “Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Erosion Risk for Better Land Use Planning in River Basins : Case Study of the Upper Blue Nile River.” Science of the Total Environment 574: 95–108.
APA
Haregeweyn, Nigussie, Tsunekawa, A., Poesen, J., Tsubo, M., Meshesha, D. T., Fenta, A. A., Nyssen, J., et al. (2017). Comprehensive assessment of soil erosion risk for better land use planning in river basins : case study of the Upper Blue Nile River. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 574, 95–108.
Vancouver
1.
Haregeweyn N, Tsunekawa A, Poesen J, Tsubo M, Meshesha DT, Fenta AA, et al. Comprehensive assessment of soil erosion risk for better land use planning in river basins : case study of the Upper Blue Nile River. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. 2017;574:95–108.
MLA
Haregeweyn, Nigussie, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Jean Poesen, et al. “Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Erosion Risk for Better Land Use Planning in River Basins : Case Study of the Upper Blue Nile River.” SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 574 (2017): 95–108. Print.