Factors responsible for soil erosion hazard in submontane Punjab, India



Abstract. Various factors of soil erosion (erodibility of the soil, slope of the land and nature of the plant cover) were studied in a representative area of submontane Punjab. In the north-eastern part of the area, slope steepness, slope length, convexo-concave and concave slope patterns and sparse vegetation were the dominant factors governing erosion hazard. In the central and lower south-western part of the area, high soil credibility and sparse vegetation were the most important factors.

Rill erosion was positively correlated (r= 0.87) with slope steepness. The erodibility of the soil was strongly correlated (r= 0.98) with amounts of silt + very fine sand.

In the area with steeper slopes, the lower segments of transects were prone to more erosion because of high credibility. Slope shapes such as convexo-concave and concave could result in sloughing and greater erosion hazard if not properly protected. Slopes facing southwest were more prone to erosion than others because of more solar energy, greater aridity, less vegetation and concave shape.