Special Issue Article
EFFECT OF URBANIZATION ON SOIL EROSION
Soil erosion is a serious problem faced at global and local level. The soil erosion rate increases at a faster rate due to urbanization. Urbanization involves expansion of urban related area and conversion of natural physical landscape to more economic land uses. Due to urbanization, water holding capacity of the soil decreases and runoff rate increases which in turn led to soil erosion. This study was conducted in Karamana river basin to determine the effect of urbanization on soil erosion in its watershed area, Thiruvananthapuram district. Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was applied for the study and the spatial distribution of soil loss over the basin was obtained with the help of GIS. The maximum soil erosion rate of Karamana river basin in 1999 and 2008 is 36t/ha/yr and 39t/ha/yr respectively. Among the five USLE factors, the most prominent parameter crop and management factor (C) and erosion control practice factor (P) which is the function of land cover change, the ultimate result of urbanization.