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Mapping Potential Soil Erosion in the Pacific Islands. A case study of Efate Island (Vanuatu)

Abstract
Soil erosion is a serious problem in Pacific Islands mainly due to the cyclonic tropical weather, bush fires and the development of the human activities (mining activity, farming sugarcane, agricultural practices). This article aims to describe the implementation of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) for the mapping and quantification of the potential soil erosion. The USLE model (and its derivatives RUSLE) commonly used throughout the world to calculate average annual soil loss per unit land area resulting from sheet and rill erosion (t/ha/year). The USLE equation can be written as A=R*E*L*S*C*P where A is the soil loss, R is the rainfall-run off erosivity factor, E is a soil erodibility factor, L is a slopelength factor, S is a slope steepness factor, C is a covermanagement factor and P is a supporting practice factor. These five major factors involved in the USLE were derived using a Geographic Information System (GIS). This work is being implemented in Efate Island in Vanuatu.

Keywords
Erosion, Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), Geographical Information System (GIS), Vanuatu.

Axe de recherche : Dynamiques, gouvernance et durabilité des territoires insulaires

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