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  • Spatial pattern of soil erosion using RUSLE model and GIS software at the Saf Saf watershed, Algeria

    Soil erosion is one of the problems threatening the Algerian environment. In agriculture, soil erosion leads to the thinning of the topsoil under the effect of the natural erosive forces of water, or under the effect of agricultural activities. The present study aims to estimate average soil loss rate and to identify vulnerable zones. Through the integration of RUSLE model at the Saf Saf watershed, various parameters are utilized such as the rainfall erosivity factor (R), soil erodibility factor (K), slope length - slope factor (LS), crop management factor (C) and practice management factor (P). All these parameters are prepared and processed through a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing using various database sources. The results reveal that the river basin has an average annual soil loss of 3.9 t ha−1 yr−1, and annual soil loss of 4.53 million tonnes for the period 1975-2017. Meanwhile, eighty five percent of the study area is experiencing acceptable rate of soil erosion loss, which is ranging between 0 to 5 t ha−1 yr−1. The present study of risk assessment can contribute to understand the spatial pattern of soil erosion in order to use appropriate conservation practices for sustainable soil management.