Modeling the Impact of Climate Change and Land Use Change Scenarios on Soil Erosion at the Minab Dam Watershed
Sardari, M.R., Bazrafshan, O.; Panagopoulos, T.; Sardooi, E. (2020).
Climate and land use change can influence susceptibility to erosion and consequently land degradation. The aim of this study was to investigate in the baseline and a future period, the land use and climate change effects on soil erosion at an important dam watershed occupying a strategic position on the narrow Strait of Hormuz. The future climate change at the study area was inferred using statistical downscaling and validated by the Canadian earth system model (CanESM2). The future land use change was also simulated using the Markov chain and artificial neural network, and the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation was adopted to estimate soil loss under climate and land use change scenarios. Results show that rainfall erosivity (R factor) will increase under all Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios. The highest amount of R was 40.6 MJ mm ha−1 h−1y−1 in 2030 under RPC 2.6. Future land use/land cover showed rangelands turning into agricultural lands, vegetation cover degradation and an increased soil cover among others. The change of C and R factors represented most of the increase of soil erosion and sediment production in the study area during the future period. The highest erosion during the future period was predicted to reach 14.5 t ha−1 y−1, which will generate 5.52 t ha−1 y−1 sediment. The difference between estimated and observed sediment was 1.42 t ha−1 year−1 at the baseline period. Among the soil erosion factors, soil cover (C factor) is the one that watershed managers could influence most in order to reduce soil loss and alleviate the negative effects of climate change.
Keywords: land degradation; rainfall erosivity; soil cover; reservoir; watershed management.
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