CADERNO DE CIÊNCIAS AGRÁRIAS
Agrarian Sciences Journal
Water erosion estimate in Belem Stream Watershed in Minas Gerais state
Guilherme Henrique Expedito Lense
1
*, Fernanda Almeida Bócoli
2
, Rodrigo Santos Moreira
3
, Ronaldo Luiz
Mincato
4
Abstract
Water erosion causes a diversity of negative environmental impacts, provoking soil degradation and by consequence
the agricole production decrease. Due to the damage caused by the soil erosion process, were developed a diversity
of water erosion modeling methods in other to support in other to project and implement measures soil conserva-
tion. Among the models, the more useful is the Erosion Potential Method (EPM), which recently was adapted to
the brazilian tropical conditions. In this context, the objective of this work was estimating the soil loss by Erosion
Potential Method in a water basin located in Muzambinho, in the South of Minas Gerais. The EPM model estimated
the water erosion in this study area starting with climate, topographic, pedology, land use, and erosive features
degree parameters. The modeling stage and the parameters obtaining was done with the Geography Information
System and remote sensing help. The total soil loss estimated by the EPM model was 10,418.53 Mg year
-1
, of which
5.50% reaches the water resources directly contributing to the siltation and water quality depreciation. The higher
slope areas and the rural roads with exposed soil are where localize the biggest soil loss degrees. The modeling
application was giving up in a simple and fast form, provender satisfactory results that are useful to the planning
of soil conservation practices in the water basin.
Keys words: Soil conservation. Erosion Potential Method. Agricole Sustainability.
Estimativa da erosão hídrica na Bacia Hidrogfica do Córrego Belém, Minas Gerais
Resumo
A erosão hídrica gera diversos impactos negativos ao ambiente provocando a degradação do solo e consequente
queda da produção agrícola. Devido aos danos causados pelo processo, foram desenvolvidos diversos todos de
modelagem da erosão hídrica afim de auxiliar na projeção e implementação de medidas de conservação do solo.
Dentre os modelos têm se o Método de erosão potencial (EPM) que recentemente foi adaptado para as condições
tropicais brasileiras. Nesse contexto, o objetivo do trabalho foi estimar as perdas de solo pelo Método de Erosão Po-
tencial em uma bacia hidrográfica situada em Muzambinho no Sul de Minas Gerais. O modelo EPM estimou a erosão
hídrica na área a partir de pametros referentes ao clima, topografia, pedologia, uso da terra e grau das feições
erosivas. As etapas da modelagem e a obtenção dos parâmetros foram feitas com auxílio de Sistema de Informação
Geográca e sensoriamento remoto. O modelo EPM estimou a perda de solo total em 10.418,53 Mg ano
-1
, das quais
5,50% atingem diretamente os cursos hídricos contribuindo para o assoreamento e depreciação da qualidade da
água. As áreas com maior declividade, e as estradas rurais com presença de solo exposto são onde se concentraram
as maiores taxas de perda de solo. A aplicação do modelo se deu de forma rápida e simples, fornecendo resultados
satisfatórios que são uteis para o planejamento da adoção de práticas de conservação do solo na bacia hidrogfica.
Palavras chave: Conservação do solo. Método de Erosão Potencial. Sustentabilidade agrícola.
1
Universidade Federal de Alfenas. Alfenas, MG. Brasil.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3560-9241
2
Universidade Federal de Lavras. Lavras, MG. Brasil.
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5476-6886
3
Universidade Federal de Alfenas. Alfenas, MG. Brasil.
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7443-94
4
Universidade Federal de Alfenas. Alfenas, MG. Brasil.
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8127-0325
*Autor para correspondência: guilhermeelense@gmail.com
Recebido para publicação em 18 de novembro de 2019. Aceito para publicação em 27 de março de 2020.
e-ISSN: 2447-6218 / ISSN: 2447-6218 / © 2009, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Todos os direitos reservados.
Lense G. H. E. et al.
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Cad. Ciênc. Agrá., v. 12, p. 01–05, 2020. e-ISSN: 2447-6218 / ISSN: 1984-6738
Introduction
Water erosion occurs in the worldwide watershed,
with strong anthropic influences. In advanced stages,
this phenomenon provokes soil loss, removes nutrients,
organic carbon and agrochemicals out of the systems,
diminishing the agricole production (Avanzi et al., 2013).
This kind of erosion also generates the sediment deposi-
tion in hydric courses promoting the siltation and with it
the water quality decrease (Haghizadeh; Shui; Godarzi,
2009).
Given the various negative impacts generated by
the erosion, the estimative of damage scope is essential,
in other to project and implement targeted and effective
measures soil conservation. In this way, was developed
a model diversity that simulates soil loss, as the Erosion
Potential Method (EPM). The EPM is an empiric model,
of easy utilization, implementation capacity with Geogra-
phy Information System (GIS) and application low cost
(Efthimiou et al., 2017). The EPM is the largest applied
to identification of the high vulnerability areas to ero-
sive process, and recently this method was adapted to
brazilian tropic conditions (Efthimiou et al., 2017; Lense
et al., 2019; Sakuno et al. 2020; Tavares et al., 2019).
In this context, the objective of this work was
estimating the soil loss by Erosion Potential Method
in a watershed located in Muzambinho, in the South
of Minas Gerais, in other to subsidiary the planning of
conservationist practices.
Material and Methods
Study area
The study area corresponds to the Belem Stream
Watershed, Muzambinho river affluent, situated in Mu-
zambinho city, Minas Gerais South region, Brazil (Fi-
gure 1) (from 46°32’44’to 46°34’35” W and 21°24’7” to
21°26’32’’ S, SIRGAS 2000). The basin presents an area
of 997,75 ha, with altitudes varying from 1020 m to
1240 m (Figure 1A). The region climate second Köppen
classification is Mesothermal Tropical (Cwb) (Alvares
et al., 2013), with wavy relief (8 - 20%) predominantly
(Figure 1B) and soils classified as Red Dystrophic Latosols
(UFV, 2010).
Figure 1 Localization, Digital Elevation Model (A) and Declivity Map (B) of Belem Stream Watershed, Muzambinho,
South of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was elabora-
ted from Brazil in Relief digital platform available data
(Miranda, 2005). With DEM utilization was elaborated
the Declivity Map (spatial resolution of 10 meters), by
the Slope tool from ArcMap 10.3 (ESRI, 2015).
The predominant crop in the area is coffee
(39.62%), followed by degraded pasture (32.07%), native
forest (24.05%), rural roads (1.20%), facilities (0.51%)
and drainage (2.55%). The land use map (Figure 2)
was done basing in field survey, images from Google
Earth (2019) and of Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager
(OLI) satellite, bands 2, 3 e 4, in the orbit 219, point 75,
obtained of Images Division Generation (INPE, 2019).
It was used the ArcMap 10.3 (ESRI, 2015) software.
Water erosion estimate in Belem Stream Watershed in Minas Gerais state
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Cad. Ciênc. Agrá., v. 12, p. 01–05, 2020. e-ISSN: 2447-6218 / ISSN: 1984-6738
Figure 2 – Land use map of Belem Stream Watershed, Muzambinho, south of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Erosion Potential Method
The EPM model estimates the water erosion from
climate, topographic, pedology, land use, and erosion
feature degree. The area erosive process susceptibility to
(Z) is calculated as Equation 1. Areas with Z > 1.0 values
present high susceptibility to erosion, while areas with Z
< 0.19 present low susceptibility to erosion (Gavrilovic,
1962).
Equation 1
On what, Y = water erosion soil resistance; X
a
= coefficient of soil
use and management; φ = coefcient of visible erosion features, both
dimensionless and I
sr
= mean slope in %.
The parameter Y varies from 0.25 to 2 and repre-
sents the soil resistance to the erosive process, whereas
the higher the Y value lower is the hydric erosion soil
resistance. The X
a
varies from 0.05 to 1, according to the
ground cover, on what exposed soils present the biggest
X
a
values. As for the parameter φ, it varies from 0.1 to 1
and is visually determinate according to erosive features
present in the study area. The parameters Y, X
a
and φ
are calculated using Gavrilovic (1962) tabled values,
adapted by Sakuno et al. (2020) to Brazilian conditions.
The area means slope (I
sr
) is 8.40%, calculated using the
slope map (Figure 1B).
Utilizing the coefcient Z, the EPM estimates the
total soil loss (W
yr
) in Mg year
-1
, according to Equation
2:
Equation 2
On what: t
0
= mean air temperature in °C year
-1
; H
yr
= annual average rainfall, in mm; Ds = mean soil density in kg dm
-3
; F = study area (km
2
).
For the study area, the t
0
and the H
yr
were 19°C
and 1500 mm, respectively. The climate data was obtai-
ned basing in a weather station next to the study area.
For the soil mean density has utilized the value of 1.21
kg dm
-3
, obtained by Lense et al. (2019), also in the south
of Minas Gerais.
The EPM allows estimating the eroded soil frac-
tion that is retained in the water basin interior and the
fraction that reaches hydrous bodies by the Retention
Coefficient (R
u
) utilization, calculated as Zemljic (1971)
(Equation 3).
Equation 3
On what: F = watershed area (9.97 km
2
); O = perimeter (12.99 km);
D = mean elevation difference (0.09 km), obtained by the differen-
ce between the mean altitude (1108 m) and the minimum altitude
(1020 m); L = water basin main length (4.40 k m) and Li = secondary
length (2.85 km).
The modeling stages and the parameter obtention
was done with the GIS and remote sensing help utilizing
ArcMap 10.3 (ESRI, 2015) software.
Results and Discussion
The Y value to the hydrographic basin Latosols
was 0.8, indicating good resistence to the erosive pro-
cess. The vegetation cover of the area provided high soil
protection, especially in the forest and coffee growing
areas with an average X
a
of 0.40. The average φ value
of the area is 0.32, with laminar erosion occurring pre-
dominantly in crops, while on rural roads erosion in
furrows predominates. Based on these parameters and
the slope of the area, the erosion intensity coefcient (Z)
was quantified at 0.22, indicating that the vast majority
of the watershed has low susceptibility to water erosion.
Lense G. H. E. et al.
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Cad. Ciênc. Agrá., v. 12, p. 01–05, 2020. e-ISSN: 2447-6218 / ISSN: 1984-6738
The total soil loss estimated by the EPM model
was 10,418.53 Mg year
-1
, of which 5.50% (Retention
Coefcient value - R
u
) reaching directly the hydric courses
contributing to siltation and water quality depreciation.
The higher slope areas and the rural roads with exposed
soil are where localize the biggest soil loss degrees (Fi-
gure 3). According to Pandey et al. (2007) and Beskow
et al. (2009), erosive rates lower than 4 Mg year
-1
and
higher than 15 Mg year
-1
can be considered of low and
high intensity respectively. In this contest, 27% of the
hydrographic basin, has a small soil loss and 25% of the
area has an elevated one.
Figure 3 – Soil loss estimates of Potential Erosion Method in the Belem Stream watershed, Muzambinho, south of
Minas Gerais, Brazil.
The high soil loss areas, observed in Figure 3,
might be prioritized in the erosion mitigation measures
introduction, and, as these areas are distributed in the
whole hydrographic basin is necessary a broad planning
of conservationist practices introduction (Beskow et al.,
2009).
Considering the land use classes, the lower ero-
sive rates were observed in the forest areas (1.85 Mg
ha
-1
year
-1
), followed by coffee (13.50 Mg ha
-1
year
-1
),
pasture (14.00 Mg ha
-1
year
-1
) and access roads (16.10
Mg ha
-1
year
-1
). The native forest vegetation elevated
density promoted lower soil loss rates on this land use,
a result similar to Lense et al (2019) and Tavares et
al (2019). The areas with facilities and hydric courses
weren’t considered in EPM calculation because they do
not participate in sediment generation.
To reduce the hydric erosion there should be
introduced measures to diminish the agricole activities
impact over the soil, improving the soil covering and
consequently the soil protection. The degraded pasture
areas have to pass to a vegetation recovering process and
the coffee cultivation area, conservationists’ practices,
as the vegetation management between coffee rows,
has to be maximized in other to reduce the erosion to
minimum rates. As the rural roads, the introduction of
gravel and containment basins are alternatives in other
to reduce the groove erosion (Scharrón; Sánchez, 2017;
Lense et al., 2019).
Conclusion
The Erosion Potential Method estimated the
Belem Stream hydrographic basin soil loss in 10,418.53
Mg year
-1
. About 5.50% of eroded soil reach directly the
area hydric courses.
The modeling application was giving up in a
simple and fast form, provender satisfactory results that
are useful to the planning of soil conservation practices
in the water basin.
Acknowledgments
The authors thank the Fundação de Amparo à
Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) for the
scholarship offered to the first author.
This study was financed in part by the Coorde-
nação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior
– Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001.
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