Morphometric study and watershed prioritization for soil conservation in Kalinjar micro-watersheds, Odisha
Keywords:Watershed, morphometric analysis, prioritization of micro-watersheds, soil erosion
The detailed study of morphometry is very important to understand the hydrological comportment and characteristics of the watershed. The morphometric parameters are used for prioritization of the micro-watersheds based on WSA (weighted sum analysis) for sustainable watershed management. In this study, a collective approach of using remotely sensed DEM, topographical map and ArcGIS (10.1) has been applied to define morphometric parameters of the Kalinjar river basin, a sub-basin of Baitarani River which is prone to gully erosion. Seven micro-watersheds of Kalinjar River have been prioritized by applying the morphometric parameters and ranking them according to their liability to soil erosion. According to results, Kalinjar River is a 6th order stream having four 5th order and one 6th order sub-watershed, having a total drainage area of 506.34 km². High values of infiltration number are indicative of low infiltration which may cause high surface runoff and soil erosion. The micro-watershed prioritization implied that MW-4 (16.79% area) is an extremely vulnerable micro-watershed that requires better attention for soil and water conservation measures. The result of the prioritization shows that micro-watersheds MW-1 and MW-3 (13.33% area) are the most vulnerable micro-watersheds to erosion, micro-watersheds MW-2 and MW-5 (13.97% area) are moderately vulnerable and micro-watersheds MW-6 and MW-7 (23.16% area) are the least vulnerable to erosion.