Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 373–381 | Cite as

Soil erosion risk assessment of hilly terrain through integrated approach of RUSLE and geospatial technology: a case study of Tirap District, Arunachal Pradesh

  • Biswajit Das
  • Ashish Paul
  • Reetashree Bordoloi
  • Om Prakash Tripathi
  • Pankaj K. Pandey
Original Article


Present study was carried out in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh characterized by mountainous terrain coupled with torrential rainfall. Forests and agriculture land cover are exposed to varied level of anthropogenic and deforestation activities. All these have augmented into pronounced soil erosion thereby negatively impacting the socio-economy of the rural population. Topographic, management, soil and landuse factors were among the most important drivers influencing the soil erosion. Keeping above in account, present study emphasizes the applicability of geospatial technology coupled with field data to estimate soil erosion rate which could be helpful in developing suitable management plan. Numerous empirical models are available for estimating soil erosion; however, Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) integrated with geographic information system framework was applied in the current study due to its robustness and simplicity. RUSLE factors such as erosivity of rainfall (RE), erodibility of soil (ES), slope length (LS), crop management (CM) and conservation practice (CP) were calculated using available data. Rainfall erosivity factor was 323.8 MJ mm/ha/h/year. ES factor ranged from 0.16 to 0.28 Mg h/MJ/mm and LS factor ranges between 0 and 44.62. NDVI derived crop management factor ranges between 0 and 1.7. Conservation practice factor values ranged from 0.004 to 1. The annual soil loss was modeled using different factors of RULSE model and soil loss was predicted (1.38–59.05 ton per hectare). Keeping threshold value of soil erosion (< 10 ton per hectare) in account, most part of the study area is suitable for agriculture practices however, emphasis on suitable soil and water conservation measures are perquisite for sustainable environment management.


Soil erosion Land use/cover RUSLE model Digital elevation model (DEM) Remote sensing and GIS 



Authors are thankful to Forest officials and staffs of Tirap district and Head, Department of Forestry, NERIST for necessary help and support. Financial Assistance received from Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi in the form of research project is duly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Biswajit Das
    • 1
  • Ashish Paul
    • 1
  • Reetashree Bordoloi
    • 1
  • Om Prakash Tripathi
    • 1
  • Pankaj K. Pandey
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ForestryNorth Eastern Regional Institute of Science and TechnologyNirjuliIndia
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EngineeringNorth Eastern Regional Institute of Science and TechnologyNirjuliIndia

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