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Research Articles

GIS Based Analysis of Biophysical and Socio - Economic Factors for Land Degradation in Kandaketiya DS Division

Authors:

KDBL Jayarathne ,

Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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NDK Dayawansa,

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, LK
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RP de Silva

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Soil erosion is one of the major factors that contributes to land degradation in the up and mid country of Sri Lanka. It is important to assess the rate of soil erosion under different environmental and socio-economic contexts to identify and apply suitable management interventions. A number of parametric models have been developed to predict soil erosion at drainage basins. Yet Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is the most widely used empirical equation for estimating annual soil loss from small agricultural lands. This study was carried out with the objective of developing a land degradation assessment model using a geospatial approach. The study area was Kandaketiya DS division in Badulla district. USLE together with some socio - economic factors were used to develop the model for predicting land degradation. Slope length (L) and slope gradient (S) factors were derived from Digital Elevation Model. Rainfall erosivity (R) factor was determined using a correlation developed for Sri Lanka in a past research. Soil erodibility (K) factor was derived from the soil map. Crop management (C) factor and Erosion control practices (P) factor related to land cover derived from remotely sensed data taken from the literature. Annual soil erosion was computed using the above factors. The computed soil erosion map was coupled with the socioeconomic factors on population density, agricultural land to man ratio, land to man ratio and number of Samurdhi beneficiaries to assess the land degradation severity. The results showed that marginal tea lands are the highest contributor to soil loss in the study area. According to the study, soil erosion and population density contributed more to the land degradation. A strong negative relationship was found between land degradation and land to man ratio.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i4.3312

TAR 2010; 21(3): 361-367

How to Cite: Jayarathne, K., Dayawansa, N. & de Silva, R., (2011). GIS Based Analysis of Biophysical and Socio - Economic Factors for Land Degradation in Kandaketiya DS Division. Tropical Agricultural Research. 21(4), pp.361–367. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i4.3312
Published on 16 Aug 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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