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Prioritization of W. Alarab Sub-Watersheds (North Jordan) for Conservation Measures Using RS, GIS, and Multi-Criteria Analysis

DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2019.118059, PP. 995-1023

Keywords: Prioritization, Morphometric Analysis, LULC, Soil Erosion Modeling, Validation, Discriminant Analysis (DA)

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Abstract:

Soil erosion and high sediment flow are of eminent environmental concern in Wadi Alarab catchment, northern Jordan. The objective of this research is to conduct a prioritization scheme using RS, GIS, and multi-criteria analysis approach based on morphometric analysis, land use/land cover (LULC) change analysis, and soil loss modeling based on RUSLE model factors. ASTER GDEM and Arc GIS were utilized to delineate watersheds and extract the drainage networks using the Arc Hydro tool. Five basic morphometric parameters, five linear and five shape parameters, six LULC classes, and five soil erosion risk classes are applied to prioritize 13 sub-watersheds connected to W. Alarab basin. LANDSAT images were subjected to supervised classification (the Maximum Likelihood Method) to determine land use/cover changes and to establish the LULC map/layer. Soil erosion risk classes were estimated using the RULSE model. RULSE factors (R, K, L, S, C, and P) were calculated in a GIS environment, then multiplied together so as to estimate soil loss (ton·ha-1·yr-1) and to establish a soil erosion risk map for the entire watershed and the thirteen sub-watersheds. A GIS-based integration of the three layers compiled for each criterion reveals that six sub-watersheds (1, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11) are categorized under low priority. Further, three sub-basins (4, 12, and 13) are fall under moderate priority, and four sub-basins (2, 3, 6, and 7) are designated as of high priority. It is obvious that 53.8% of these sub-basins must be prioritized immediately for soil and conservation measures. The validity of the achieved priority classes was tested statistically using Discriminant Analysis (DA), and the results showed that morphometric parameters, LULC analysis, and soil loss are accepted criteria for prioritization. These results are intended to help decision-makers to prepare reliable soil erosion management plans.

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