Investigation of the Effect of Land Use Change on Soil Erosion and Sediment Production in Ramhormoz Basin Using Object-Oriented Classification and RUSLE Model

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Department of Environmental Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Khuzestan Science and Research Branch (Tehran), Ahvaz, Iran.

3 Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


Soil erosion is a global problem that threatens water and soil resources and land use change is one of the important factors in soil erosion. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of land use change on soil erosion and sediment production in Ramhormoz basin in Khuzestan province. Landsat ETM+ (2002) and OLI (2019) images were used for this purpose. First, satellite images were classified using the Object Oriented Method (SVM) algorithm and the land use changes were studied during the years 2019-2002. Then the amount of soil erosion was calculated using the RUSLE model and the amount of sediment load in the area was estimated. The results showed that the residential areas, barren and rainfed cultivated lands increased by 3520.86, 7041.72 and 5281.29 hectares, respectively, and water bodies, pastures and irrigated lands have lost 1760, 43.02, 02.02. 12323 and 1760/43 hectars of their lands, respectively. The result of these changes in areas has been a decrease in natural soil cover and an increase in erosion in the region. Considering the landing limit of about one ton per hectare per year, it was found that the amount of erosion have been more than the acceptable level in 43.24 and 64.99% of the area in years 2002 and 2019, respectively. The results of calculations of sediment delivery ratio methods also showed that the rate of sediment delivery ratio varies from 0.07 to 0.28 and the maximum sediment load varies from 0.18 to 0.63 tons per hectare per year. Therefore, the results of this study clarify the need to address the issue of soil erosion in the region and to provide management solutions.


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