Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A GIS Approach to Soil Erosion Risk Assessment of the Changing Cropping Practices in Richland Creek Watershed, Illinois
by Obieke, Linda, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 98; 1567736
Abstract (Summary)

Soil erosion on agricultural fields is a major environmental problem across the globe (Lal 2003). Many factors of erosion have been identified and have each been define differently according to their magnitude of influence of the soil. Land use which comprise of the cropping system is identified by many literature as a major factor that can, if proper management are not in place, cause erosion risk to occur. Therefore, the main goal of this study is to assess the erosion risk at the watershed using the Geographical Information System software tool with adapted RUSLE erosion parameters, QUERM ordinal ranking technics and data from semi-structured questionnaire administered in form of interview conducted with the farm experts at the farm bureau and government farm agency offices. The specific objective amongst others were (a) the major land use changes in Richland Watershed, a predominantly rural farming land, between 1990(base year), 2000 and 2010. (b) If there been major changes in the traditional farming (cropping practices) in Richland Creek Watershed between 1990 (base year) and 2010 and (c) the impacts of the changes in cropping practices on the potential erosion risks within Richland Creek Watershed. The result shows that the agricultural identity of the watershed in terms of it crop land use has much to non-cropland from 1990 through 2010. Same, the traditional cropping rotation has changed with the major crops trending towards more corn planting while acreage for other crops dwindled and almost eliminated. Although the watershed from the erosion risk assessment result did not show a highly erodible area but a moderately erodible area and there has been an internal adjustment between none erodible and slightly erodible areas as a result of increase trees and grass planting encouraged by government Conservation Reserve Programs. Despite the limitation to access primary data, the USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Crop Land Data (CDL) image and the USDA-NASS Field crop data proved invaluable to the study. However, more ground data should be gathered for a better evaluation of the method adapted in this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Odemerho, Francis
Commitee: Hu, Shu Hu, Martinez, Adriana
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 54/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Agronomy, Soil sciences
Publication Number: 1567736
ISBN: 978-1-321-28866-7
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