The Relationship between Gully Erosion and Geomorphological Factors in the Hill and Ravine Region of the Loess Plateau

  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System (LREIS), Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 10010, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2013-05-15

  Revised date: 2013-06-27

  Online published: 2014-01-05


Gully erosion is a result of the combined impact of various geomorphological factors. Taking the Zhifanggou small watershed in Ansai County as the study area, six geomorphological factors, such as land use, soil type, length-slope factor (LS), aspect, plan curvature, and topographical wetness index (TWI) have been selected to calculate weights of the various factors. For each factor, we made a thematic map and translated into a grid pattern. Then we calculated the proportion of each class of the factor in gully (DensClas) after reclassifying the factor through ArcGIS. And we calculated gully pixels and total pixels in the study area and gained the ratio value (DensMap), also, the weight (Wi) of factor proportion in gully (DensClas) and gully proportion in the entire study area (DensMap). We can calculate soil erosion susceptibility by the overlay analysis of Wi maps, then classify soil erosion susceptibility into five levels, i.e., very low, low, moderate, high, and very high, and evaluate gully erosion in this article. The results showed: gully erosion occurred easily in the areas which the slope steepness and length is large, and surface humidity is high. Furthermore, gully erosion occurred more easily in the concave of the back where the land use is grass and where covers yellow spongy soils. Considering gully erosion and soil erosion susceptibility, gully erosion occurred easily in areas where soil erosion susceptibility is above moderate, and the proportion up to 90%. High precision and less error shows that our method is universal, which the response accuracy of the weighs from the experimental area to gully erosion in the validation area is 82.43%, not differing very much from the practical value (90.53%). This study will provide a scientific basis to evaluate and control gully erosion, which have an important practical significance.

Cite this article

ZHANG Wenjie, CHENG Weiming, LI Baolin, ZHOU Chenghu, TONG Chiming . The Relationship between Gully Erosion and Geomorphological Factors in the Hill and Ravine Region of the Loess Plateau[J]. Journal of Geo-information Science, 2014 , 16(1) : 87 -94 . DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1047.2014.00087


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