Evaluation of Soil Erosion and Sustainable Land Use Management in the Sarısu Basin
Keywords:land use management, soil erosion, soil loss tolerance, sustainability
AbstractLand use management requires controlling natural resources for sustainability. Soil erosion related to improper land use is a major issue around the world. Land degradation may harm the health of ecosystems. Defining the soil loss in a basin is the starting point in the restoration of soil quality for crop production. Reducing soil losses to a tolerable rate is one of the primary objectives for sustainability and soil conservation. Central Anatolia is under considerable risk due to an increase in the cultivation of marginal lands for food production. Cultivated lands have already been reached the final limits throughout the last 50 years. Moreover, forests and considerable areas of pasture have recently been converted to ploughed fields due to agricultural expansion. This study was conducted in the Sarısu basin to evaluate soil losses and land use management for sustainability. The Universal Soil Loss Equation model and Geographic Information System techniques were used to estimate the soil losses. The mean potential soil loss of the basin was calculated to be 1.88 t ha-1 per year with the Universal Soil Loss Equation model. These results are comparatively small when compared to the average value for Turkey of 13 t ha-1 yearly. Our calculated results are closer to the value for the Sakarya river basin, which is approximately 2.77 t ha-1 y-1. In this study, land usages in the Sarısu basin were evaluated in terms of soil losses, tolerable soil loss rates and soil conservation precautions.
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