DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/32/S13.001

A 30-YEAR APPRAISAL OF SOIL-GULLY EROSION AS A DRIVER OF PLANTS EXTINCTION DUE TO CHANGED SOIL-LITHOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA

C. Nwaogu, O. J. Okeke, E.Eromosei, O. A. Sefiya, A. Simon
Monday 11 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-05-8 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 32, 3-10 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/32/S13.001

ABSTRACT

Soil erosion is one of the crucial forms of land degradation; a menace caused by soil degradation and prevailing lithological feature in southern Nigeria. Several hectares of land area and properties worth about 2.5 million USD are lost annually due to soil erosion. Besides arable lands, the vegetation which serves as habitat to several species is rapidly disappearing leading to the extinction of the native plant species. The objective of the study was to evaluate the impacts of soil-gully erosion from 1986-2016 by mapping the susceptibility areas, classifying the land use, and analyzing the prevailing soil properties to proffer sustainable measures. It is hypothesized that the exacerbated soil erosion was attributed to low soil nutrients and weakened bed-rock which consequently had significant effect on the vegetation cover. The study data consisted satellite images, and topographical maps covering soil, geology, demography, DEM, and vegetation. In addition, field data were collected using a handheld GPS. ArcGIS 10.3, ENVI 4.7, RUSLE model and statistical software packages were applied for the data preprocessing and analyses. The image classification accuracy and kappa coefficient were 91.6%, 87.7%, 90.7%, and 0.84, 0.76, and 0.83 for 1986, 2001, and 2016 respectively. The results revealed that the vulnerability areas had soil with high percentage of sand from the false-bedded sandstone and Upper Coal Measures, and a low organic matter than universally recommended for agricultural soil. The area for vegetation cover decreased from 61.7% in 1986 to 29.8% in 2016. Rapid decline of at least 20% in area cover (km2) was recorded during the study period for all the major food crops. Integration of geoinformatics, statistics, and the RUSLE model recorded a spatio-temporally applicable and dependable result and should be used in the future appraisal of soil erosion in Nigeria and other developing countries.

Keywords: soil erosion, Remote sensing, GIS, land use, vegetation, Auchi

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