Prediction of Land Use Management Scenarios Impact on Water Erosion Risk in Kashidar Watershed, Azadshahr, Golestan Province

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Department of Watershed and Rangeland Management, Malayer University

2 Desert Area Management, Department of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences

3 Department of Watershed and Rangeland Management, Malayer University,


Soil erosion is a serious problem especially in northern parts of Iran. One the
most important side effects on soil erosion may be the decline in qualities of soil refers to
agricultural productivity. So it is very important to assess the soil erosion risk for the
sustainable development of agriculture. This study outlines ways undertaken to provide a
new tool to manage water erosion from physical and economical perspectives. Kashidar
Watershed in north of Iran is used as a case study. The focus of this study is on exploring
the economic and physical impacts of eight land use-based scenarios for water erosion
management as well as conducting a trade-off analysis using the Multi-Criteria Decision
Making (MCDM) technique. This involves developing a modeling system to assist decision
makers in formulating scenarios, analyzing the impacts of these scenarios on water erosion,
interpreting and suggesting appropriate scenarios for implementation in the area. This study
was conducted with object of modeling and assessing soil erosion risk in Kashidar
Watershed with the application of IMAGE\LDM. Rainfall erosivity index, relief index, soil
erosivity index and land cover index were four basic factors used in IMAGE\LDM. Soil
erosion risk can be divided into six groups. Furthermore, the spatial distribution
characteristics were also analyzed with the application of GIS in the view of elevation, land
use types. Among 8 scenarios for water erosion management, most appropriate ones that
have minimum proportion of high water erosion hazard classes, maximum gross margin
and minimum establishment cost were chosen as best scenarios.