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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: Critical source areas, Erosion risk, SWAT model.

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