Using high resolution images and elevation data in classifying erosion risks of bare soil areas in the Hatila Valley Natural Protected Area, Turkey

Eroglu H., Cakir G., Sivrikaya F., Akay A. E.

STOCHASTIC ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND RISK ASSESSMENT, vol.24, no.5, pp.699-704, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Soil erosion is one of the most important environmental problems. In the case of small scale areas where soil properties and climate have relatively uniform characteristics, vegetation cover and topography (i.e. ground slope) are the main factors that affect the amount of soil erosion. Lack of vegetation cover on bare soil areas, including forest road side slopes, especially in mountainous regions with steep slopes, may significantly increase the erosion rate. Determining and classifying erosion risks in such areas can help preventing environmental impacts. In this study, remotely sensed data and elevation data were used to extract and classify bare soil erosion risk areas for a study area selected from Hatila Valley Natural Protected Area in northeastern Turkey. High resolution IKONOS imagery was used to apply land use classification in ER-DAS Imagine 9.0. To generate erosion risk map of the bare soil areas, classified image was superimposed on top of slope map, generated based on a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in ArcGIS 9.2. The results indicated that 1.43, 5.85, 34.62, 53.16, and 4.94% of the bare soil areas in the study area were under very low, low, medium, high, and very high erosion risks, respectively. The overall classification accuracy of 82.5% indicated the potential of the proposed methodology.