Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30848
Determination of Critical Source Areas for Sediment Loss: Sarrath River Basin, Tunisia

Authors: Manel Mosbahi


The risk of water erosion is one of the main environmental concerns in the southern Mediterranean regions. Thus, quantification of soil loss is an important issue for soil and water conservation managers. The objective of this paper is to examine the applicability of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model in The Sarrath river catchment, North of Tunisia, and to identify the most vulnerable areas in order to help manager implement an effective management program. The spatial analysis of the results shows that 7 % of the catchment experiences very high erosion risk, in need for suitable conservation measures to be adopted on a priority basis. The spatial distribution of erosion risk classes estimated 3% high, 5,4% tolerable, and 84,6% low. Among the 27 delineated subcatchments only 4 sub-catchments are found to be under high and very high soil loss group, two sub-catchments fell under moderate soil loss group, whereas other sub-catchments are under low soil loss group.

Keywords: SWAT model, Critical source areas, Erosion risk

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1125


[1] O. Terranova, L. Antronico, R. Coscarelli, P. Iaquinta, "Soil erosion risk scenarios in the Mediterranean environment using RUSLE and GIS: An application model for Calabria (southern Italy)," Geomorphol, vol. 112, pp. 228-245, 2009.
[2] DG/ACTA, Stratégie nationale pour la conservation des eaux et des sols, Publication de la Direction de la Conservation des Eaux et des Sols. Ministère de l-Agriculture et des Ressources Hydrauliques. République Tunisienne, 1993.
[3] W. S. Merritt, R. A. Letcher, A. J. Jakeman, "A review of erosion and sediment transport models," Environ Modell Softw, vol. 18, pp. 761-799, 2003.
[4] A. Mishra, S. Kar, V.P Singh, "Determination of runoff and sediment yield from a small watershed in sub-humid subtropics using the HSPF model," Hydrol Process, vol. 21, pp. 3035-3045, 2007.
[5] K. C. Abbaspour et al, "Modeling hydrology and water quality in the pre-alpine/alpine Thur watershed using SWAT," J Hydrol, vol. 333, pp. 413-430, 2007.
[6] Y. Zhang, J. Xia, T. Liang, Q. Shao, "Impact of water projects on river flow regimes and water quality in Huai River basin," Water Resour Manage, vol. 24, pp. 889-908, 2010.
[7] Z. Kliment, J. Kadlec, J. Langhammer J, "Evaluation of suspended load changes using AnnAGNPS and SWAT semi-empirical erosion models," Catena, vol. 73, pp. 286-299, 2008.
[8] W. Ouyang, F. Hao, A. K. Skidmore, A. G. Toxopeus, "Soil erosion and sediment yield and their relationships with vegetation cover in upper stream of the Yellow River," Sci. Total Environ, vol. 409, pp. 396-403, 2010.
[9] F. Bouraoui, S. Benabdallah, A. Jrad, G. Bidoglio G, "Application of the SWAT model on the Medjerda river basin (Tunisia)," Phys Chem Earth, vol. 30, pp. 497-507, 2005.
[10] J. G. Arnold, R. Srinivasan, R. S. Muttiah, J. R. Williams, "Large area hydrologic modeling and assessment. Part I: Model development," J Am Water Resour Assoc, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 73-89, 1998.
[11] R. Srinivasan, S. Huisman, L. Breuer, European SWAT summer school 2004 (User's manuel). Institute of Landscape Ecology and Resources Management Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Belgium, 2004.
[12] S. L. Neitsch, J. G. Arnold, J. R. Kiniry, R. Srinivasan, J. R. Williams, Soil and Water Assessment Tool, Theoretical documentation version 2000. Grassland, Soil and Water Research Service, Temple, Texas, 2002.
[13] CH. B. Priestley, R. J. Taylor, "On the assessment of surface heat flux and evapotranspiration using large scale parameters," Mon. Weather Rev., vol. 100, no. 2, pp. 81-92, 1972.
[14] J. L. Monteith, Evaporation and the environment. The state and movement of water in living organisms. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1965, pp. 205-234.
[15] G. H. Hargreaves, Z. A. Samani ZA, "Reference Crop Evapotranspiration from Temperature," Appl Eng in Agr, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 96-99, 1985.
[16] J. R. Williams, H. D. Berndt, "Sediment yield prediction based on watershed hydrology," Trans ASAE, vol. 20, pp. 1100-1104, 1977.
[17] K. Bongartz, "Applying different spatial distribution and modeling concepts in three nested mesoscale catchments of Germany," Phys Chem Earth, vol. 28, pp. 1343-1349, 2003.
[18] W. H. Wischmeier, D. D. Smith, Predicting rainfall erosion losses: a guide to conservation planning. USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 537, Washington, DC, 1978.
[19] J M. Masson, "L-érosion des sols par l-eau en climat Méditerranéen. Méthodes expérimentales pour l-étude des quantités érodées ├á l-échelle du champ," LHBl, vol. 8, pp. 673-679, 1972.
[20] EEA, Environment in the European Union at the Turn of the Century. European Environmental Agency, 1999.
[21] M. P. Tripathi, R. K. Panda, N. S. Raghuwanshi, "Identification and prioritization of critical sub-watersheds for soil conservation management using the SWAT model," Biosyst Eng, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 365-379, 2003.
[22] A. Vrieling, G. Sterk, O. Vigiak, "Spatial evaluation of soil erosion risk in the west Usambara mountains, Tanzania," Land Degrad Develop, vol. 17, pp. 301-319, 2006.
[23] W. Bewket, E. Teferi, "Assessment of soil erosion hazard and prioritization for treatment at the watershed level: Case study in the Chemoga watershed, Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia," Land Degrad Develop, vol. 20, pp. 609-622, 2009.
[24] M. A. Nearing et al, "Modeling response of soil erosion and runoff to changes in precipitation and cover," Catena, vol. 61, pp. 131-154, 2005.