Environmental News from India:
- Many parts of northeast India hold some of the most erosion-prone areas affected by rainfall-driven erosion, say researchers who mapped the most vulnerable areas to this type of erosion.
- A rainfall erosivity map developed by IIT Delhi uses multiple national and global gridded precipitation datasets covering 40 years, while another risk map developed by IIT Roorkee uses a high-resolution satellite rainfall dataset of 18 years.
- Such science-backed tools can help agricultural experts and soil conservation experts identify areas that need immediate attention in soil conservation and restoration.
- Understanding specific features of the degraded site is crucial to executing the best strategy for the site and communities.
Parts of Assam and Meghalaya are among zones in India that are prone to the greatest rainfall-driven soil erosion, says a study that provides a national-scale assessment of rainfall erosivity over India.
Rainfall erosivity or R-factor is the erosive force of rainfall and reflects the potential of rain to cause soil degradation. About 68.4% of total eroded soil in India is affected by water-driven erosion, and rainfall erosivity is a major contributor to that erosion and land degradation.
The study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi) has developed the Indian Rainfall Erosivity Dataset (IRED), a pan-India assessment of rainfall erosivity over India, using gridded precipitation datasets. The IRED map is available freely for public use and expands the scope of understanding of rainfall-induced erosion over India.
“The current assessments of rainfall erosivity in India are limited to catchment or regions specific. R-factor was estimated by Tiwari et al. (2016) for India, but only 52 rain-gauge stations had been considered in this study which is very less to assess rainfall erosivity for a nation like India, which has diverse climate properties,” Manabendra Saharia at IIT Delhi told Mongabay-India.
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