Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3390/app11156763
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Soil erosion estimates in arid region: a case study of the Koutine catchment, southeastern Tunisia
Author Ben Zaied, M.; Jomaa, S.; Ouessar, M.
Source Titel Applied Sciences
Year 2021
Department ASAM; CATHYD
Volume 11
Issue 15
Page From art. 6763
Language englisch
Topic T4 Coastal System
Keywords soil erosion; RUSLE; GIS modeling; remote sensing; Koutine catchment; geospatial analysis
Abstract Soil erosion remains one of the principal environmental problems in arid regions. This study aims to assess and quantify the variability of soil erosion in the Koutine catchment using the RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) model. The Koutine catchment is located in an arid area in southeastern Tunisia and is characterized by an annual mean precipitation of less than 200 mm. The model was used to examine the influence of topography, extreme rainstorm intensity and soil texture on soil loss. The data used for model validation were obtained from field measurements by monitoring deposited sediment in settlement basins of 25 cisterns (a traditional water harvesting and storage technique) over 4 years, from 2015 to 2018. Results showed that slope is the most controlling factor of soil loss. The average annual soil loss in monitoring sites varies between 0.01 and 12.5 t/ha/y. The storm events inducing the largest soil losses occurred in the upstream part of the Koutine catchment with a maximum value of 7.3 t/ha per event. Soil erosion is highly affected by initial and preceding soil conditions. The RUSLE model reasonably reproduced (R2 = 0.81) the spatiotemporal variability of measured soil losses in the study catchment during the observation period. This study revealed the importance of using the cisterns in the data-scarce dry areas as a substitute for the classic soil erosion monitoring fields. Besides, combining modeling of outputs and field measurements could improve our physical understanding of soil erosion processes and their controlling factors in an arid catchment. The study results are beneficial for decision-makers to evaluate the existing soil conservation and water management plans, which can be further adjusted using appropriate soil erosion mitigation options based on scientific evidence.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Ben Zaied, M., Jomaa, S., Ouessar, M. (2021):
Soil erosion estimates in arid region: a case study of the Koutine catchment, southeastern Tunisia
Appl. Sci. 11 (15), art. 6763 10.3390/app11156763