• Monoj Kumar Jaiswal Dibrugarh University, Centre for Studies in Geography, Dibrugarh
  • Nurul Amin Jagannath Barooah College, Department of Geology, Jorhat



soil erosion, RUSLE, LU dynamics, Panchnoi River basin (Northeast India)


Land use (LU) dynamics and its relation to the accelerated soil erosion phenomenon in two broad geomorphic divisions of the Panchnoi River basin of Northeast India have studied. The present study was based on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). To measure the impact of the LU dynamics on soil erosion, the basin was divided into two broad geomorphic divisions, i.e., plain zone and hilly zone, and the rate of soil erosion has been estimated separately for both of the geomorphic divisions. It has been found that in the plain zone, LU dynamics significantly accelerated soil erosion—from 0.52 ton/ha/yr in 1990 to 0.94 ton/ha/yr in 2015. Similarly, the vegetation density decreased significantly in the mountainous and hilly zone as the mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) value changed from 0.45 in 1990 to 0.35 in 2015, which accelerated soil erosion from 12.06 ton/ha/yr to 18.30 ton/ha/yr from 1990 to 2015. The study indicates that soil erosion may give rise to a severe environmental as well as economic problem in the Panchnoi river basin, which may trigger issues related to the soil fertility of the basin area.

Article metrics


Abdulkareem, J. H., Pradhan, B., Sulaiman, W. N. A., & Jamil, N. R. (2017). Prediction of spatial soil loss impacted by long-term land-use/land-cover change in a tropical watershed. Geoscience Frontiers, 10(2), 389–403.

Adinarayana, J., Gopal Rao, K., Rama Krishna, N., Venkatachalam, P., & Suri, J. K. (1999). A rule-based soil erosion model for a hilly catchment. Catena, 37(3–4), 309–318.

Almagro, A., Thomé, T. C., Colman, C. B., Pereira, R. B., Marcato Junior, J., Rodrigues, D. B. B., & Oliveira, P. T. S. (2019). Improving cover and management factor (C-factor) estimation using remote sensing approaches for tropical regions. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 7(4), 325–334.

ArcGIS (Version 9.3) [Computer software]. Retrieved from Environmental System Research Institute.

Assam Water Resource Department. (2016). Rainfall data register of central Assam districts. Mangaldoi, India: Assam Water Resource Department–Central Assam Investigation Division.

Biswas, S. S., & Pani, P. (2015). Estimation of soil erosion using RUSLE and GIS techniques: A case study of Barakar River basin, Jharkhand, India. Modeling Earth System and Environment, 1, 42.

Blanco-Canqui, H., & Lal, R. (2008). Principles of Soil Conservation and Management.

Chalise, D., Kumar, L., & Kristiansen, P. (2019). Land Degradation by Soil Erosion in Nepal: A Review. Soil Systems, 3(1), 12.

D’Ambrosio, D., Di Gregorio, S., Gabriele, S., & Gaudio, R. (2001). A cellular, automata model for soil erosion by water. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydrology, Oceans, and Atmosphere, 26(1), 33–39.

Geological Survey of India. (1974). Geology and mineral resources of the states of India, Misc. Publication 30. New Delhi, India: Government of India.

Geological Survey of India. (2010). Geology and mineral resources of Arunachal Pradesh. Shillong, India: Government of India.

India Meteorological Department. (1991–2015). Rainfall data [Data file]. Retrieved from

Jain, M. K., & Kothyari, U. C. (2000). Estimation of soil erosion and sediment yield using GIS. Hydrological Science Journal, 45(5), 771–786.

Jaiswal, M. K. (2013). Geospatial analysis of surface fluvial processes. Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

Jaiswal, M. K. (2014). Analysis of land-use land-cover impact on surface runoff in Panchnoi River Basin, North East India, using Geospatial tools. Image – A research Journal, 3, 15–25.

Jaiswal, M. K., Thakuria, G., Borah, A. C., & Saikia, R. (2014). Evaluation of parametric impact on soil loss of Panchnoi river basin, North-East India, using revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE). The Clarion International Multidisciplinary Journal, 3(1), 51–60.

Kalita, N., & Sarmah, R. (2016). Soil loss sensitivity in the Belsiri River basin using Universal Soil Loss Equation in GIS. International Journal of Current Research, 8(3), 28831–28838. Retrieved from

Karaburun, A. (2010). Estimation of C factor for soil erosion modelling using NDVI in Buyukcekmece watershed. Ozean Journal of Applied Sciences, 3(1), 77–85.

Kumar, S. (2015). Geospatial Approach in Assessing Impact of land use/land cover on soil erosion in a Himalayan watershed. In S. Bhan & S. Arora (Eds.), Advances in Soil and Water Resource Management for Food and Livelihood Security in Changing Climate (pp. 135–143). New Delhi, India: Soil conservation society of India.

Montgomery, D. R. (2007). Soil erosion and agricultural sustainability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(33), 13268–13272.

Moore, I. D., & Bruch, G. J. (1986). Modelling erosion and deposition: Topographic effect. Transactions of American Society of Agriculture Engineering, 29(6), 1624–1630.

Moore, I. D., & Wilson, J. P. (1992). Length-slope factors for the revised universal soil loss equation: simplified method of estimation. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 47(5), 423–428.

Morgan, R. P. C., Morgan, D. D. V., & Finney, H. J. (1984). A predictive model for the assessment of erosion risk. Journal of Agricultural Engineering and Resources, 30, 245–253.

Narayana Swamy, Y. A. N., Inayathulla, M., & Shashishankar, A. (2017). Spatial Estimation of Soil Erosion Using RUSLE, RS and GIS Techniques: A Case Study of T. G. Halli Watershed, Karnataka, India. International Journal of Engineering Development and Research, 5(3), 1056–1063. Retrieved from

National bureau of soil survey and land use planning, India. (1999). Soil map of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh [Data file]. Retrieved from

National Remote Sensing Agency. (2008). IRS P6 LISS III [Data file]. Retrieved from

Ozsahin, E., Duru, U., & Eroglu, I. (2018). Land Use and Land Cover Changes (LULCC), a Key to Understand Soil Erosion Intensities in the Maritsa Basin. Water, 10(3), 335.

Panagos, P., Borrelli, P., Meusburger, K., Alewell, C., Lugato, E., & Montanarella, L. (2015). Estimating the soil erosion cover-management factor at the European scale. Land Use Policy, 48, 38–50.

Pérez-Rodríguez, R., Marques, M. J., & Bienes, R. (2007). Spatial variability of the soil erodibility parameters and their relation with the soil map at subgroup level. Science of Total Environment, 378(1–2), 166–173.

Poręba, J. G., & Prokop, P. (2011). Estimation of Soil Erosion on cultivated fields on the hilly Meghalaya Plateau, North-East India. Geochronometria, 38(1), 77–84.

Regmi, R. R., Saha, S. K., & Subedi, D. S. (2017). Geospatial Analysis of Land Use Land Cover Change Modeling in Phewa Lake Watershed of Nepal by Using GEOMOD Model. The Himalayan Physics, 6/7, 65–72.

Renard, K. G., & Foster, G. R. (1983). Soil conservation: principles of erosion by water. In W. O. Willis & H. E. Dregne (Eds.), Dryland Agriculture, Agronomy Monograph 23 (pp. 155–176). Madison, WI: American Society of Agronomy.

Renard, K. G., Foster, G. R., Weesies, G. A., & Porter, J. P. (1991). RUSLE: revised universal soil loss equation. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 46(1), 30–33. Retrieved from

Renard, K., Foster, G., Weesies, G., McCool, D., & Yoder, D. (1997). Predicting soil erosion by water: a guide to conservation planning with the Revised Universal Soil Erosion Equation (RUSLE) (USDA Agriculture Handbook 703). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rouse, J. W., Haas, Jr. R. H., Schell, J. A., & Deering, D. W. (1973). Monitoring the vernal advancement and retrogradation (green wave effect) of natural vegetation. College Station, TX: Remote Sensing Centre, Texas A&M University.

Saha, S. K. (2003). Water and wind-induced soil erosion Assessment and Monitoring using Remote Sensing and GIS. In M. V. K. Sivakumar, P. S. Roy, K. Harmsen, & S. K. Saha (Eds.), Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Agricultural Meteorology (pp. 315–330). Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization.

Saha, R., Majumdar, B., & Das, K. (2015). Soil Conservation Management Practices for Fragile Ecosystem of Northeast India. In S. Bhan & S. Arora (Eds.), Soil Conservation Management Practices (pp. 1–8). New Delhi, India: Soil Conservation Society of India.

Saroha, J. (2017). Soil Erosion: Causes, Extent, and Management in India. International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts, 5(4), 1321–1330. Retrieved from

Sharma, A., Tiwari, K. N., & Bhadoria, P. B. S. (2011). Effects of land-use land cover change on soil erosion potential in an agricultural watershed. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 173(1), 789–801.

Sharpley, A. N., & Williams, J. R. (1976). EPIC – Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator: Model Documentation (USDA Technical Bulletin Number 1768). Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture.

Shen, D. Y., Ma, A. N., Lin, H., Nie, X. H., Mao, S. J., Zhang, B., & Shi, J. J. (2003). A new approach for simulating water erosion on hill slopes. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 25(9), 1791.

Shinde, V., Tiwari, K. N., & Singh, M. (2010). Prioritization of micro watersheds based on soil erosion hazard using remote sensing and geographic information system. International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, 2(3), 130–136.

Singh, G., & Panda, R. K. (2017). Grid-cell based assessment of soil erosion potential for identification of critical erosion-prone areas using USLE, GIS, and remote sensing: A case study in the Kapgari watershed, India. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 5(3), 202–211.

Survey of India. (1972). Toposheets—83–A/8, B/5, B/6 [Data file]. Retrieved from

Thomas, J., Joseph, S., & Thrivikramji, K. P. (2018). Assessment of soil erosion in a tropical mountain river basin of the southern Western Ghats, India using RUSLE and GIS. Geoscience Frontiers, 9(3), 893–906.

US Geological Survey. (1990). Landsat TM 7 band image [Data file]. Retrieved from

US Geological Survey. (2000). Landsat ETM 8 band image [Data file]. Retrieved from

US Geological Survey. (2014). SRTM 1 Arc-Second Global [Data file]. Retrieved from

US Geological Survey. (2015). Landsat ETM 8 band image [Data file]. Retrieved from

van der Knijff, J. M., Jones, R. J. A., & Montanarella, L. (2000). Soil erosion risk assessment in Europe. Brussels, Belgium: European Commission, European Soil Bureau, Joint Research Centre.

Wischmeier, W. H., & Smith, D. D. (1978). Predicting Rainfall Erosion Losses–A Guide to Conservation Planning, (Agricultural Handbook 537). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture.




How to Cite

Jaiswal, M. K., & Amin, N. (2020). THE IMPACT OF LAND USE DYNAMICS ON THE SOIL EROSION IN THE PANCHNOI RIVER BASIN, NORTHEAST INDIA. Journal of the Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić” SASA, 70(1), 1–14.