Researchers at IIT Delhi develop first national-scale mapping of soil erodibility
Researchers at IIT Delhi have developed a national-scale mapping of soil erodibility, a first of its kind in the country. This national-scale mapping of soil erodibility highlights specific areas where the soil is most prone towards erosion.
The researchers in their study have found that out of the 50 districts with the most erodible soil, 29 are in Uttar Pradesh, 13 are in Bihar, 3 in Gujarat, 2 each in Haryana and Rajasthan, and 1 in Punjab.
The study by Mr. Ravi Raj (PhD Scholar), Prof. Manabendra Saharia and Prof. Sumedha Chakma from the Hydrosense Lab (https://hydrosense.iitd.ac.in/), Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Delhi, exploring the spatial variation of soil erodibility and its relationships with soil properties in India was published in CATENA (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2023.107271).
The dataset has been freely released as the Indian Soil Erodibility Dataset (ISED, https://zenodo.org/record/8011445) at a spatial resolution of 250 m.
The study estimated the national average soil erodibility factors for India as 0.028 and 0.034 t-ha-h/ha/MJ/mm using Nomograph and EPIC models, respectively.
The researchers found histosols soil type as least susceptible to soil erosion, having the lowest average K-factor (0.011 t-ha-h/ha/MJ/mm), while the Xerosols soil type was observed as most susceptible to soil erosion, having the highest average K-factor (0.034 t-ha-h/ha/MJ/mm) corresponding to the soil classes in Indian conditions.
In addition to this, the researchers conducted a comprehensive statistical analysis of the soil erodibility map to visualize its distribution over the national territory in terms of the different soil types, textures, and percentage ranges of erodibility values. The results indicated that the K-factor, estimated using the Nomograph approach, exhibited a stronger correlation with the observed K-factors retrieved from the literature.