Effects of Vegetation Cover and Land Use Changes on Soil Erosion in Kalaya Watershed (North Western Morocco)


Vegetation cover degradation is still a very common problem in many parts of Morocco; moreover, it affects straight up the amount of the annual soil loss rate. The analytical approach used in this study, respectively, includes remote sensing techniques, application of USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) and overlay analysis in a raster Geographic Information System (GIS) environment, employing available information on the region covering the Kalaya catchment. Thus, this procedure allowed the calculation of the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), the execution of two types of classification (unsupervised and supervised) for 1999 and 2010 imagery and eventually the prediction of soil erosion risk in the watershed in question. The main outcome was the production of multidate vegetation cover maps, land use maps and soil loss risk maps. The overlay of two maps allowed us to highlight the changes occurred in this area, which evidence the high anthropogenic impact on the dynamics of land use and vegetation cover. The results suggest that the outputs of this study can be used for predicting rate of soil loss, which varied from 31.68 t·ha-1·yr-1 in 1999 to 34.74 t·ha-1·yr-1 in 2010.

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Lech-hab, K. , Issa, L. , Raissouni, A. , El Arrim, A. , Tribak, A. and Moussadek, R. (2015) Effects of Vegetation Cover and Land Use Changes on Soil Erosion in Kalaya Watershed (North Western Morocco). International Journal of Geosciences, 6, 1353-1366. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2015.612107.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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