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Vol. V, No. II, April 2018

Geospatial Assessment of Soil Conservation Impacts

in Musi Project
M. Karthikeya, S. Sandeep Kumar, S. Bhagirath Reddy

Abstract— The major project, “Geospatial Assessment of Soil A simple governance hurdle worries how we name and value
Conservation Impacts in Musi Project using InVEST Model.” the land and what we call it and this can be changed by
Soil erosion is one of the serious problems arising from cultural adaptation.
agricultural escalation, land depletion and other anthropogenic
activities. Assessment of soil erosion is helpful in planning and II. STUDY AREA
conservation activities in a watershed or basin. Modelling will
provide a quantitative and consistent approach in estimating soil The Musi Project is constructed in the year 1963 across the
loss and sediment yield under a wide range of conditions. In this Musi River near Solipet (V) in Nalgonda (Dt.). The Project is
study, the sediment retention model, Revised Universal Soil Loss designed with a live storage of 4.60 TMC to extend irrigation
Equation (RUSLE) integrated with GIS has been used to estimate facility to 41,800 Acers through L.F and R.F Canal covering
sediment retention in the Musi Project located in the 42 villages in six mandals of Nalgonda District. Presently
southeastern part of Telangana region. The Musi Project is a 30,000 Acers of ayacut is under cultivation.
tropical humid area having an area of 10741 km2 up to the Musi The two canals are taken out from the two flanks of dam
with a discharge of 330 cusecs (each canal) with 3 Vents of
Keywords: Rainfall Erosivity, Soil Erodibility, Biophysical tables, size 0.91m x 1.83m with sill level of +185.930 (+610.00 Feet)
LULC, Drianage layer. with a canal section of 5.49m x 1.83m.
I. INTRODUCTION The project is having 30 gates for discharge of maximum
surplus flood of 4 lakhs cusecs. Presently 20 gates are in
Soil conservation is the prevention of soil loss from erosion or function (12 No. crest gates with sill level +625.00 feet and 8
reduced fertility caused by over usage, salinization, No. regulator gates with sill level + 610.00 feet) and balance
acidification, or other chemical contamination. Slash or other 10 No.s Scour gates with sill level of +595.00 feet are plugged
unsustainable methods of subsistence farming are practiced in and not functioning.
some low developed areas. A sequel to the deforestation is
typically large scale erosion, loss of soil nutrients and III. METHODOLOGY
sometimes total desertification. Techniques for improved soil The methodology is given below for finding the sequence of
conservation include cover crops, crop rotation, planted parameters and processing them in the InVEST an open
windbreaks and conservation tillage and affect both erosion source model which is useful in interpreting the results
and fertility. When plants, especially trees, die, they decay and through the inbuilt parameters, and the obtained results are
become part of the soil. Code 330 defines standard methods further opened in ArcGIS for further processing.
recommended by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation The following steps are shown below in the chronological
Service. Farmers have practiced soil conservation for order to be performed:
millennia. In Europe, policies such as the Common  Delineation of Watershed(Watershed Vector)
Agricultural Policy are targeting the application of best  Rainfall Erosivity Raster
management practices such as reduced tillage, winter cover  Soil Erodibility Raster
crops, plant residues and grass margins in order to better  Land Use Land Cover
address the soil conservation. Economic and political action is  Drianage Layer Raster
further helpful in solving the erosion problem.  Biophysical tables
A. Delineation of Watershed:
Manuscript received on April, 2018.
Delineation is the part of the project in the process known
M. Karthikeya, Research Scholar, Department of Civil Engineering, B V dissection of Watershed i.e. dividing the watershed into
Raju Institute of Technology, Narsapur Telangana, India. discrete land and channel segments to analyze the watershed
S. Sandeep Kumar, Research Scholar, Department of Civil Engineering, B V behavior Conceptual overview of watershed delineation
Raju Institute of Technology, Narsapur Telangana, India. (ArcGIS)
S. Bhagirath Reddy, Research Scholar, Department of Civil Engineering, B  Fill
V Raju Institute of Technology, Narsapur Telangana, India.  Flow Direction

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Vol. V, No. II, April 2018
 Flow accumulation
 Pour points
 Snap Pour points
 Watershed
These sequence of operations are performed in ArcGIS in Arc
toolbox>Spatial analyst tools>Hydrology

Fig. 2: Rainfall Erosivity Raster

C. Soil Erosivity Raster:

Soil Erodibility factor (K) characterizes the vulnerability of
soil or surface material to erosion, transportability of the
sediment, and the amount and rate of runoff given a particular
rainfall input as measured under typical conditions. The
Fig. 1: Watershed Map
standard condition is the unit plot, 22.6 m long with a 9%
B. Rainfall Erosivity Raster: gradient, maintained in continuous fallow, tilled up and down
The rainfall erosivity factor (R) replicates the effect of rainfall the hill slope. The soil erodibility factor K was estimated on
concentration on soil erosion, and needs a detailed, continuous the basis of soil textures i.e. size. K values reflect the rate of
rainfall data for its calculation (Wischmeier and Smith, 1978). soil loss per rainfall-runoff erosivity (R) index. Soil erodibility
R is an indication of the two most important characteristics of factors (K) shown are best obtained from direct measurements
a storm determining its erosivity i.e. amount of rainfall and on natural runoff plots. Normally nomograph is used to
peak intensity continued over an extended period. Previous determine K factor for a soil, based on its texture; % silt plus
studies indicate that soil loss from cultivated fields is directly very fine sand, % sand, % organic matter, soil structure, and
related to the energy and intensity of each rainfall. The value permeability.
of rainfall erosivity factor used in InVEST must quantify the
effect of raindrop impact and must also reflect the amount and
rate of runoff likely to be associated with the rainfall. The
rainfall erosivity factor is often determined from rainfall
intensity if such data are available. In the present study,
monthly rainfall data of 5 years (2012-2016) were used to
calculate the R factor from the following equation:

Where Pi = Monthly rainfall (mm)
P = Annual Rainfall (mm)
R = Rainfall Erosivity
(MJ mm ha-1h-1 per year)
By taking the past five years Rainfall data of the districts
covered under the watershed from the IMD department and
substituting them in the above formula we get the rainfall Fig. 3: Soil Erosivity Raster
Erosivity index which by further processing in ArcGIS by Soil erodibility index can be found from the formula
Krigging method can create the Rainfall Erosivity Map. K= 27.66 x m1.14 x 10-8 x (12-a) + 0.0043 x (b-2) + 0.0033 x
K= Soil Erodibility
m = silt in (%) + Very fine Sand (in %) x (100-clay(in %))
a = Organic matter (in %)

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b is structure code in which (1) is very structured or
particulate, (2) is fairly structured, (3) is slightly structured,
and (4) is solid
c profile permeability code in which (1) is rapid, (2) is
moderate to rapid, (3) is moderate, (4) is moderate to slow, (5)
is slow, and (6) very slow
The above map can be generated by processing the above soil
erodibility index values in ArcGIS.
D. Land Use Land Cover:
LULC is a GIS raster dataset, with an integer LULC code for
each cell. Land use involves the managing and modification of
natural environment or wilderness into built environment such
as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable lands,
pastures, and managed woods. It also has been defined as "the
total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people
undertake in a certain land cover type.” Fig. 5: Optional Drianage Layer
Land cover is the physical material at the surface of the
earth. Land covers include grass, asphalt, trees, bare ground, F. Biophysical Table
water, etc. Earth cover is the expression used by ecologist A csv table containing model information corresponding to
Frederick Edward Clements that has its closest modern each of the land use classes. Each row is a land use/land cover
equivalent being vegetation. The expression continues to be class and columns should be named and defined as follows:
used by the Bureau of Land Management. 1. lucode (Land use code): Unique integer for each LULC
class (e.g., 1 for forest, 3 for grassland, etc.), must match
the LULC raster input.
2. usle_c: Cover-management or crop management factor
for the USLE, a floating point value between 0 and 1.
3. usle_p: Support practice factor for the USLE, a floating
point value between 0 and 1.
A typical biophysical table used is in this study is shown
below. The values for usle_c, usle_p are taken from the
reference Karaburan (2010) and the codes for Land use are
auto generated in ArcGIS which represents different fields like
water bodies, buildings, vegetation etc.
Lu_code Usle_C Usle_P
182 0 1
354 0.00155 1
Fig. 4: LULC with different lu_codes 370 0.00155 1
The LULC data is useful in finding the values for the C_factor 450 0.004 1
and for the P_factor in biophysical table used corresponding to 731 0.004 1
different lu_codes. 968 0.21 1
1142 0.2 1
E. Optional Drianage Layer: 1170 0.2 1
In certain situations, the index of connectivity defined by 1294 0 1
terrain or topography does not represent actual flow paths, Other factors used in this sediment delivery ratio model are
which may be influenced by artificial connectivity instead. For borcelli parameters kb& ico. These two calibration parameters
suppose sediments in urban areas or near roads are likely to be determine the shape of the relationship between hydrologic
taken to the stream with little retention. The drainage raster connectivity and the sediment delivery ratio. The default
identifies the pixels that are artificially connected to the values are kb=2 and Ico=0.5.
stream, irrespective of their geographic position. Pixels from SDRmax: The maximum SDR that a pixel can reach,
the drainage layer are treated similarly to pixels of the stream which is a function of the soil texture. More specifically, it is
network; in other words, the downstream flow path will stop defined as the fraction of topsoil particles finer than coarse
at pixels of the drainage layer. sand (1000 μm; Vigiak et al. 2012). This parameter can be
used for calibration in advanced studies. Its default value is

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Threshold flow accumulation is the number of upstream A. Sediment Export:
cells that should flow into a cell before it is considered as a part It is the total amount of sediment exported from each pixel
of the stream, which is used to define streams in the DEM. This that reaches the stream.
threshold directly affects the expression of hydrologic
connectivity and sediment export: when a flow path reaches the
stream, sediment deposition stops and the sediment exported is
assumed to reach the catchment outlet.
The sediment delivery module is a spatially-explicit model
working at the spatial resolution of the input DEM raster. For
each cell, the model first computes the amount of sediment
eroded, then the sediment delivery ratio (SDR), which is the
proportion of soil loss actually reaching the catchment outlet.
This approach was proposed by Borselli et al. (2008) and has
received an increasing interest in the recent years.

Fig. 7: Sediment Export Map

From this map we came to know the areas from where the
sediment is getting exported or the sediment erosion is
happening. The districts that are prone to sediment loss are
western parts of Warangal, Northern part of Nalgonda and
small parts of Rangareddy and Medak.
B. Sediment Retention:
It is Map of sediment retention with reference to a bare

Fig. 6: Sediment Delivery Ratio Model


The results in this sediment delivery ratio model are divided
into two categories. They are
Final outputs
Intermediate outputs Fig. 8: Sediment Retentiom Map
After processing the inputs in the sediment delivery ratio
C. Sediment Retention Index:
module we get the desired final output results like sediment
Index of sediment retention is used to identify areas
retention, sediment retention index, and sediment export etc.
contributing to more sediment retention compared to a bare
and so on.
watershed. This is not sediment retained on each pixel.
A parameter log of .txt format is created in the workspace
folder. The file will list the parameter values for that run and
will be named according to the service, the date and time, and
the suffix.

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 This paper demonstrates the application of one of the
InVEST models that is sediment delivery ratio model
integrated with GIS to estimate soil erosion potential,
sediment depositing zones and the potential zones in Musi
Project area. Also, an attempt has been made to study the
impact of change in land use-land cover on erosion rate.
 The analysis and results conclude that the annual average
soil loss estimated using InVEST model is about 2260
t/yr/sub-watershed in the watershed of MUSI PROJECT
area. It is also observed that the quantity of erosion varies
mainly on topography and land use-land cover.
 The analysis and results include that the annual average
soil retention estimated using InVEST model is about
645422 t/yr in the watershed of Musi Project.
 By analyzing the impact of increase in agricultural area
and the built up area on soil erosion, it can be concluded
that as the agricultural area increases, erosion risk also
Fig. 9: Sediment Retention Index Map
increases due the agricultural practices.
The sediment retention index is computed by the model as  GIS is a powerful tool for editing, displaying maps and
follows: spatial analysis, and our GIS-based interface program is
Ri⋅Ki⋅LSi(1−CiPi)×SDRi user-friendly, easy to operation and the results are intuitive.
This denotes the avoided soil loss by the current land use
compared to bare soil, with reference to SDR factor. This REFERENCES
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given pixel. Therefore, this index should not be taken 2001) Automatic Delineation of Watersheds for Hydrological
quantitatively. We also note that in certain situations, index Applications. Paper published in 22ndAsian Conference on
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