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Investigation of Soil Erosion in Pothohar Plateau of Pakistan

Investigation of Soil Erosion in Pothohar Plateau of Pakistan

Chen Tongde1, Fakher Abbas1, Jiao Juying1, Shahzada Sohail Ijaz2*, An Shoshan1, Muhammad Ansar3, Qaiser Hussain2, Mah-Noor Azad2 andAyaz Ahmad2

1Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest Agriculture and Forest University, China; 2Institute of Soil Science, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; 3Department of Agronomy, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

*Correspondence | Shahzada Sohail Ijaz, Institute of Soil Science, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Email: 


The research aims to investigate soil erosion in Pakistan in order to provide a scientific basis for the prevention and control of soil erosion in Pakistan and for the understanding of the ecological environment status in Pan-Third Pole. The Pothohar Plateau was selected as the representative area of soil erosion in the country. Along the route of Muree-Islamabad-Rawalpindi-Gujar Khan-Chakwal, 15 investigation units (12 small watersheds and 3 rectangular areas) were selected to investigate the types and characteristics of soil erosion, land use types and soil and water conservation measures, from April 16 to 20, 2019. Map interpreted in the early stage was manually recorded and Ovi interactive map APP was used for location photography to record the land use situation of each map spot in the survey unit. The land use situation was revised based on ArcGIS in the later stage. The overall soil erosion of woodland and grassland was relatively light with sheet erosion as the main type. Soil erosion mainly occurred in construction land. Gully erosion was caused by rainfall and runoff on excavated slopes, dump slopes, roadside slopes and brick factories. Due to overgrazing, gravity erosion and gully erosion also occurred in some natural hillsides. The range of soil erosion of the 15 investigation units was about 5.14~133.89 t ha-1 year-1. The soil erosion in Pothohar Plateau mainly occurred in construction land. The soil erosion caused by development and construction projects should be supervised and controlled, meanwhile, matching soil erosion prevention measures should be developed through research. Especially Murree region in the north requires rational planning and approval of a large number of construction projects to prevent the intensification of soil erosion and the deterioration of water quality and ecological environment. The research and control on headwater erosion in the gully region should be strengthened to protect farmland and ensure food security. It is recommended that collection of basic data on soil erosion, and study of the mechanism and process of soil erosion at different scales should be strengthened in order to protect the land resources in Pakistan.

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Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research


Vol. 34, Iss. 2, Pages 254-493


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