Assessment and Mapping of the Vulnerability of Soils in Imo State, Nigeria to Erosion Hazard Using Geographic Information System
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 3, Issue 5, October 2015, Pages: 245-259
Received: Jul. 25, 2015; Accepted: Aug. 12, 2015; Published: Sep. 24, 2015
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Emeka Udokporo, Department of Geography and Meteorology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria
Martin Atu Ngozika Anikwe, Department of Agronomy and Ecological Management, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria
Kevin Ejike Chukwu, Department of Geography and Meteorology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria
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Soil erosion by water is a critical problem in Imo State terrain due to anthropogenic pressure on its landscape. Assessment and mapping of erosion prone area is essential for soil conservation and watershed management. The objectives of the study are to use satellite imageries to assess and map the land cover, vegetation, land use, topography and hydrology; and to use field sampling to map soil properties and soil erodibility of Imo State with a view to assessing soil erosion hazard in Imo State. The DEM was generated to prepare slope map, elevation map and hill shading map. Results from the study show that 45.4 % of the land cover of Imo State representing 2256.7 Km2 is covered by light vegetation whereas 24.7 % of the land area representing 1229 Km2 is covered by thick vegetation. The result also showed that a large percentage of the entire land area (21%) representing 1046.3 Km2 is cultivated whereas 6.4% representing 319 Km2 is built up with houses and infrastructure like roads, bridges etc. The area covered by thick vegetation (24.7%) is categorized under slightly vulnerable to stable. A larger percentage (45.4%) is covered by light vegetation, and therefore, classified as moderately vulnerable to erosion whereas 27.4% comprising cultivated and built up areas are classified as highly to extremely vulnerable to erosion. Results also show that most parts of the state (4133Km2) representing 84% of the entire landscape fall into slightly to less vulnerable to erosion with a slope class between 1 – 4% slope. The results on hill shading concur with that of slope above. As expected, the dispersion ratios were affected by the type of underlying parent material. Results from the characterization of soil properties of study area show since most soils in the study area have high dispersion rates, depicting high vulnerability to soil erosion and 84% of the entire landscape fall into slightly to less vulnerable to erosion with a slope class between 1 – 4% slope, it then follows that high rates of erosion recorded for the area may be due to land use and management as light vegetation, cultivation and built areas cover 73% of the land area and classified as moderately to extremely vulnerable to erosion. The result at landscape and plot scale varies. Therefore, model results need to be carefully used for local level soil conservation planning.
Assessment, Mapping, Vulnerability, Gully Erosion, Nigeria
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Emeka Udokporo, Martin Atu Ngozika Anikwe, Kevin Ejike Chukwu, Assessment and Mapping of the Vulnerability of Soils in Imo State, Nigeria to Erosion Hazard Using Geographic Information System, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 245-259. doi: 10.11648/j.ijema.20150305.12
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