Thursday, August 6, 2015

APPLICATIONS OF GIS IN SOIL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Soil is a natural resource that is fundamental for all human uses. Soil is primarily used for agriculture and soil erosion plays a major role in causing serious disruption in agricultural activity. Soil erosion occurs mainly due to natural disasters like floods and droughts. Prevention and mitigation are effective ways to manage this problem. GIS in conjunction with the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) can be used to evaluate the risk area of soil erosion. The USLE is the most commonly used estimator of soil loss caused by overland erosion. It is used in most parts of the world including India.
The assessment of soil erosion using GIS according to the flowchart shown below:


Each of the USLE factors with associated attribute data is digitally encoded in a GIS database to eventually produce five thematic layers. These are the spatially overlaid to produce a resultant polygonal layer. Application of the USLE model to the resultant layer yields a soil erosion map with classes of soil loss. Thus GIS can provide detailed information to locate areas that are at a risk of soil erosion and areas that are suitable for agriculture.