IMPACTS OF LAND USE AND LAND COVER (LULC) CHANGE (1990-2011) IN LOWER ASI RIVER BASIN (HATAY) ON EROSION

Abstract

Author(s): Emre ZSAHIN, Ahmet ATASOY

Today, one of the main factors that affect erosion – one of the most important soil problems – is land use and land cover (LULC). In recent years, the change in this factor as a result of human activities has affected erosion, too. In this study, the effect of land use and land cover change on erosion was examined in the case of the Lower Asi River basin. For the purposes of the present study, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based RUSLE (3D) method was employed in order to determine the amount of annual soil loss, erosion risk classes, and the distribution of such classes. In addition, land use and land cover (LULC) change was analyzed through Landsat satellite images and various maps (e.g. remote sensing [RS]). Provided that other factors remained constant, during the implementation phase of the model, the application of the land cover and management (C) factors obtained for various years was repeated within the model, and two independent erosion maps were created. It was concluded that mild erosion was effective in the widest area both in 1990 (28.26%) and in 2011 (35.60%). It was found that the amount of annual soil loss for the basin area was 462.46 t ha-¹ y-¹ in 1990, 141.17 t ha-¹ y-¹ in 2011. This being the case, it was seen that there was a decrease of 68.17 t ha-¹ y-¹ in the amount of annual soil loss as the time got closer to the present. Another result of the study was that the RUSLE (3D) method delivered accurate results, and could be preferred in such areas. Also, it was proved that change in land use and land cover (LULC) had a significant impact on erosion in the study area.

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