Modelling potential soil erosion and sediment delivery risk in plantations of Sri Lanka

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Karunaratne, Asha S, Wimalasiri, Eranga M ORCID: 0000-0002-2527-7650, Piyathilake, Udara ORCID: 0000-0003-0990-3276, Gunatilake, Sunethra Kanthi ORCID: 0000-0002-4875-0201, Muttil, Nitin ORCID: 0000-0001-7758-8365 and Rathnayake, Upaka ORCID: 0000-0002-7341-9078 (2022) Modelling potential soil erosion and sediment delivery risk in plantations of Sri Lanka. Soil Systems, 6 (4). ISSN 2571-8789


The current trend in agricultural practices is expected to have a detrimental impact in terms of accelerating soil erosion. Assessment of the cumulative impact of various management strategies in a major plantation is a measure of the sustainably of soil resources. Thus, the current study aimed to develop the potential soil erosion map for a selected plantation (8734 ha in size) in tropical Sri Lanka using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) model. The estimated mean annual soil loss rate of the selected plantation was 124.2 t ha−1 ranging from 0.1 to 6903.3 t ha−1. Out of the total extent, ~49.5% of the area belongs to the low soil erosion hazard category (0–5 t ha−1 year−1) while ~7.8% falls into very high (25–60 t ha−1 year−1) and ~1.3% into extremely high (60 < t ha−1 year−1) soil erosion hazard classes. The rainfall erosivity factor (R) for the entire study area is 364.5 ± 98.3 MJ mm ha−1 hr−1. Moreover, a relatively higher correlation was recorded between total soil loss and R factor (0.3) followed by C factor (0.2), P factor (0.2), LS factor (0.1), and K factor (<0.1). It is evident that rainfall plays a significant role in soil erosion in the study area. The findings of this study would help in formulating soil conservation measures in the plantation sector in Sri Lanka, which will contribute to the country’s meeting of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/soilsystems6040097
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords soil erosion, Sri Lanka, sediment delivery risk, environmental impact, agriculture, soil systems
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