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International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences.

Available online at www.ijagcs.com

ISSN 2227-670X 2013 IJACS Journal

Estimating the amount of erosion using the EPM and

MPSIAC models in the basin of Karaj Dams
Mohammad TaherNezami 1, Maryam Izadi 2
1. Department of Soil sciences, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran
2. M.Sc. student of soil sciences, , Karaj branch,Islamic Azad University,Karaj, Iran
Corresponding author : Mohammad TaherNezami
ABSTRACT: The erosion of soil can be considered as one of the most important impediments to the
realization of the sustainable development of agriculture and natural resources. The sediments resulting
from the erosion of basins lead to the squandering of the soil, reduction of its infertilityand decreasing of
the quality of the water, and that is why the lifespan of the dams would be endangered because of the
accumulation of the sediments. The region studied is located in northwestern Tehran with an area of
14,400 hectares. This region is divided into 14 sub-basins or hydrologic units based on area, number, the
length of waterways, etc. Having in mind these factors, the Shahrestanak region was evaluated to assess
the results of using the empirical models of EPM and MPSIAC in the GIS environment. In order to
implement the selected models, after entering the information layers into the GIS environment and
weighing them, the amount of erosion was finally obtained, using the MPSIAC model, to be at 14839.452
tons per year. Moreover, after calculating the value of the erosion coefficient (Z) in the EPM model, since
the value was larger than 1 for all the sub-basins, it was estimated as a quantitative value of extreme
erosion. As a result, based on the numbers obtained, this region is considered as a critical region and the
amount of erosion in it is very high.
Keywords: erosion, MPSIAC, EPM models, Karaj Dam
Each year, the phenomenon of erosion on the earth eliminates and swallows millions of hectares of fertile
agricultural lands and takes them out of the cycle of productivity. As a result, preserving the soil and confronting
erosion is one of the most essential infrastructural measures each country can take today (Refahi, 1996). In order
to prevent and decrease erosion, its necessary that the intensity of erosion and production be measured or
estimated and then with soil preservation actions, confrontation with erosion and sediment controlling be
implemented. Therefore, the modality of the emergence of this destructive phenomenon, prediction methods and
prevention methods must be identified (Beckler, 1997). The amount of erosion and sediment can be concluded
using direct measurement or prediction by the models. The direct measurement of erosion and sediment can be
carried out by installing erosive pins, creating erosion measurement plots and other methods on the surface or
through measuring sediment in the hydrometric stations and sediment-assessment in the rivers (Ahmadi, 1995).
Measuring the erosion and sediments using measurement pins and plots is a difficult and at the same time, costly
and time-consuming endeavor. Therefore, under the current circumstances, the only method which leads to a
tangible result and will not implicate high costs is using the models of estimating erosion and sediments
(Najafinejad, 2000). In order to estimate the amount of erosion, different methods, including empirical models are
used among which we can name the EPM and MPSIAC models. The modified model is known as MPSIAC and
currently this model is used more in Iran and the primary model is almost discarded (Johnson et al, 1982). In a
study titled Studying the efficiency of the models of estimating erosion, sediments and distance assessment
techniques in investigating the erosion of soil in the Ozundarreh basin by Hakimkhani (2002), the efficiency of
MPSIAC, fevrineh, hydrological potential and EPM have been examined. In the present study, it has been
concluded that among the reviewed models, MPSIAC has the highest compatibility with the observed amounts of
sediment production (BaqerzadehKarimi, 1993). In a study titled Studying the efficiency of the MPSIAC and EPM

Intl J Agri Crop Sci. Vol., 6 (12), 773-777, 2013

models in assessing the erosion of soil and sediment in the Taleqan basin using the Geographical Information
System, these two models have been investigated. In this study, the creation of the sediment of the studied basin
using the EPM and MPSIAC models with the assumption of the apparent special weight of 1.5 tons/m for the
sediments, the values of 1306.5 and 999 tons/km were obtained, showing a compatibility of about 98.31% and
74.96% with the observed values. Therefore, it has been concluded that in the studied basin, the MPSIAC model is
more appropriate than the EPM model (Bayat,1999).
In a study titled Evaluating the PSIAC and EPM methods in assessing the sediments and specifying the
erosive dissemination in a part of theLatyan Dam basin, these two models have been evaluated. The results
obtained show that in the Imamah basin in the Kamarkhani station which had an appropriate sediment figure, the
creation of estimated sediment using the MPSIAC model had only a 5-percent discrepancy with the observed
sediment. In this basin, the discrepancy of estimation of the EPM model and the estimated sediment based on the
sediment statistics is reported to be three times greater. Discrepancy in the two other basins which had insufficient
sediment and flow statistics was high (Pakparvar, 1995).
The studied basin: the region studied is located between the longitude 51 13 to 51 25 east and latitude
35 53 20 to 36 1 4 north, 55 kilometers northeast of the Karaj town in the basin of Amir Kabir Dam. From north,
this basin is confined to the Kasil and Nisa basins; from east it has a common border with the Latyan Dam basin;
from south, its confined to the northern Tehran basin and from east, its adjacent to the Mourd basin. The area of
this basin to the point where the water divides into two streams (adjacent to the Chalous road, 15 km away from
the Asara village) is estimated to be 14,400 hectares. Its highest point in terms of elevation is 3,876 meters. This
basin is one of the important and succulent divisions of the Karaj River. Since the studied region is located on the
southern ridges of the Alborz Mountains, the average rainfall in this region is 602 millimeters 62 percent of which
comes down in the form of snow. The analysis of precipitation has been carried out in five divisions of annual
rainfall, monthly rainfall, 24 hours maximum, short-term rainfall and snow. The average annual temperature is
about 7.98 C.
a) Collecting the existing and necessary information
In this part, we attempted to collect the information needed for getting aware of the erosion and sediment
status throughout the studied basin as follows.
Gathering the reports and previous studies (comparative e stage) related to the concept of erosion and
sediment including geology, geomorphology, plant coverage and initial logistic operations were taken into
consideration. After collecting the data in the stage (a), the present information were analyzed. Then the regions
were spotted on the map so that the characteristics of each region could be identified and separated in a different
GPS for desert control through a field operation.
In this stage, we went to the studied region to carry out the field operation and control the observed spots
which were specified on the map using a GPS map. The analysis was done along with the collected data, and the
final processing was applied on the statistics and information. Maps including topographic maps, slope direction
and the lands applicability, meteorology statistics and information provided by the National Meteorology
Organization and the hydrometric statistics provided by the Water Resources Development Company (TAMAB),
field instruments and facilities, laboratory tools and utility software such as Word, Excel, Arc GIS and Autocad were
used in the study.
As it was stated earlier, the factors which are used in the EPM model for assessing the erosion potential
and sediment creation include topography, geology, pedology, using the lands and the current status of erosion.
The basic maps were prepared using the Geographical Information System and the GIS application.
Estimating 9 factors of the MPSIAC method in the studiedregion
Surface geology

y1 x1

Intl J Agri Crop Sci. Vol., 6 (12), 773-777, 2013

The direction of the evaluation of this factor is so that after grading the type of different stones under a
surface basin occupied by each of the stones under that planimetric sub-basin, the relevant grade is calculated in
the format of a weight average for each sub-basin. Since the geologic factor is one of the most important
parameters affecting the extent of erosion and sediment and all the actions and reactions depend on the resistance
coefficient or the sensitivity of this factor, we have tried to assign the grades in an appropriate manner given the
existing tables so that the main map of this factor may not be overlooked. The sub-basins 4, 1, 6 and 7 jointly have
a weight average of y= 7.1 which makes the highest score, and the sub-basin 10 has the weight average of y = 3.7
which makes the lowest score. In this region, theres a high sensitivity to erosion, and the layers thick dolomite
along with the sandstones have the lowest sensitivity to erosion.

y 2 16.67x 2

In order to grade different soils in the MPSIAC method, the x2 or K (the coefficient of erosion) should be
determined for each sub-basin. However, in the present study, using 5 parameters of soil and existing nomograms,
the K factor has been calculated and these five parameters are as follows:
1- Percentage of silt + soft sand with the diameter of its particle revolving around 0.002 to 0.1 millimeters.
2- Percentage of sand with the diameter of its particles revolving around 0.1 to 2 millimeters
3- Percentage of organic materials
4- Structure of the soil
5- The conductivity of the water or permeability
The maximum weight average of the grade belongs to the soils of the sub-basin 9 with a weight average
grade of 4.4 and the minimum grade belongs to the sub-basin 3 with a weight average grade of 2.17. The subbasin 9 has soils with the codes and the sub-basin 3 has a soil code of 2.

y3 0.2x 3

Using the Pearson log distribution, the P1 value (average rainfall of 24-hour maximum) for the
Shahrestanak station in a return period of 2 years was estimated to be 29 millimeters. Moreover, the average
annual rainfall (P2) with a 2-year returning period has been estimated to be 591.5 millimeters and using the
abovementioned formula, the amount of one-hour rainfall will equal the 10-year return period.

y4 0.2x 4

In order to obtain the value of flow rate and the volume of surface flows, the S.C.S. method has been used.
By taking into consideration the CN-90 for a two-year return period, the calculations have been carried out.
Given the calculations, the maximum weight average for the sub-basin 2 was obtained to be y= 3.86 and its
minimum value for the sub-basin 13 was obtained to be y = 0.
Ups and downs

y5 0.33x 5

Assessing this factor in the MPSIAC method could be only done using the slope factor in different regions. Using
the slope map of the region for each layer of slope in each sub-basin, the platimetric occupied area, and eventually
using the area and relationship mentioned above, the weight average of the grade for each sub-basin were
calculated. Taking into consideration the calculations, the maximum value belonged to the sub-basin 4-10 with a
grade of y= 19.2 and the minimum value belonged to the sub-basin 12 with a grade of y = 14.8
Land coverage factor

y6 0.2x 6

Once the percentage of the nudity of each type level is determined, using the abovementioned relationship,
the weight average for each sub-basin was calculated. One of the advantages of the MPSIAC method is the high
and appropriate value which is given to the plant covering and the percentage of nude lands which in turn explains
the role of these parameters in producing wastewater and finally erosion and the transference of the sediments
which is almost a becoming value. The maximum weight average belonged to the sub-basin 10 with a value of y=
7.7 and its minimum value jointly belongs to the sub-basins 14, 11 and 2 with a value of y= 3.9
Land coverage factor

y6 0.2x 6

This factor which is matched to and estimated with a percentage of the earth which lacks any plant
coverage, leaf litter and stone coverage has been completely reviewed and investigated using the reports of the


Intl J Agri Crop Sci. Vol., 6 (12), 773-777, 2013

plant coverage and by taking into consideration the abovementioned factors. Once the nudity percentage of each
level of plant type has been determined, the weight average grade for each sub-basin would be determined using
the abovementioned relationship. The maximum weight average belonged to the sub-basin 10 with a grade value
of y= 7.7 and its minimum jointly belongs to the sub-basins 14, 11 and 2 with a grade value of y= 3.9.
The factor of land use

y7 20 0.2x 7

In our study, it was revealed that the plant covering crown plays a significant role in preventing the direct
collision of the showering drops with the surface of the soil and also the emergence of an appropriate microclimate
in the covered region for the growth of one-year samples. However, the higher the percentage of the coverage
crown is, if the species are gourmet, the greater role they will for planning the exploitation of forage and other
The factor contributing to the surface erosion of the soil

y 8 0.25x 8

In order to estimate this parameter, that is y, one must first determine the x factor or the soils surface
factor. For this purpose, the BLM method has been used in the present study. In the present research, the weight
average of y was calculated for each sub-basin through the accurate assessment of these 7 factors. The area limit,
the detailed privileges and the weight average of the privileges for the different sub-basins were estimated. The
seven factors used in this method are as follows: 1- Soil movement: this factor depends on the status of soil
movement in the sub-basin foots and the existence or absence of terrace and also the accumulation of soil which
has a score between 0 and 15. In the studied region, the maximum weight average of this grade is 11.5 and its
minimum is 4. 2- Surface litter: this factor explicates the role of litter in preserving the sources of water and soil in
the regions. The grade 0 to 14 engages this grade in the sediment-releasing level of the basin. In the region
studied, the maximum grade has a weight average of 13.5 and its minimum has a weight average of 9.
Cobblestone: with a grade range of 0 to 14, this factor, depending on the distribution of the stones over the
surface of the soil, plays its role in estimating erosion and sediment. The maximum grade for this factor has a
weight average of 11 and its minimum value is 2.5. 4- Pedestal ling: this factor also has a grade range of 0 to 14
and takes part in estimating the creation of erosion and sediment products. In the studied region, the maximum
value of this factor was 11 with a weight average of 11.5 and a minimum weight grade of 4. 5- Groove: this factor
explicates the density and depth of the grooves in the foots existing beneath each sub-basin. Its grade range is
between 0 and 14. In the Shahrestanak basin, the maximum value of this factor had a weight average of 10 and a
minimum value of 3. 6- Waterways network (stream pattern): in this factor, the situation of the waterways network
and the accumulation of sediments in them will be taken into consideration. The maximum grade is 15, the
maximum weight average is 10 and the minimum weight average is 3. 7- Rice stem: the rice stem factor indicates
the density and activities of the trenches in a region and evaluates them with the grades 0-15. This factor has a
totally low grade in the Shahrestanak district in such a way that the maximum weight average grade is 3 and its
minimum value is 0.5 and underlines its unimportant role in the creation of erosive and sedimentary products in the
region. After evaluating the seven factors mentioned above, the value of y would be also calculated as a weight
whose maximum value has a weight average of 16.125 and its minimum has a weight average of 9.75.
The factor of the intensity of river erosion

y 9 1.67x 9

River erosion can be assessed in the PSIAC model with regards to the soil surface factor and especially
the factor of rice stem. After evaluating the factors involved, the value of X will be calculated and then using the
abovementioned relationship, y will be determined in each sub-basin. The maximum grade is y= 5.01 and its
minimum value is y= 0.835.
Estimating the total amount of erosion and the special erosion of the sub-basins
After calculating the sediment-releasing level using the area of the sub-basins and the related nomograms,
first the Sediment Delivery Ratio (SDR) of the sub-basins was calculated and then using the following relationship,
the gross erosion of the sub-basins has been calculated. To this end, first the different patterns of the soil in a basin
should be identified and after measuring and planimetry operations on the S.D.R., each level and pattern of the soil
was calculated permissibly and finally, a weight average of S.D.R. was specified for each sub-basin. Given the
calculations which were carried out, the maximum weight average grade was 48 and its minimum value was
obtained to be at 27.1.


Intl J Agri Crop Sci. Vol., 6 (12), 773-777, 2013

Finally, using the abovementioned relationship, the special erosion amount and the total erosion of all the subbasins were calculated in a volume-based and weight-based manner. The maximum erosion was 25.477
tons/hectare and the minimum value equals 0.1207 tons/hectare annually.
Having in mind the calculations which are carried out, the amount of erosion for the whole sub-basin area
using the MPSIAC model equals 14839.452 tons per annum. Using the EPM model and given the greatness of the
erosion coefficient (Z>1), the amount of erosion was estimated to be very high. This value is very large and the
intended region is considered to be a critical zone which should be given a high priority in the watershed
management plans.
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