Title: Sediment yield variability in Northern Ethiopia: A quantitative analysis of its controlling factors
Authors: Haregeweyn, Nigussie ×
Poesen, Jean
Nyssen, Jan
Govers, Gerard
Verstraeten, Gert
de Vente, Joris
Deckers, Jozef A.
Moeyersons, Jan
Mitiku, Haile #
Issue Date: 15-Sep-2008
Publisher: Elsevier
Series Title: Catena vol:75 issue:1 pages:65-76
Abstract: In Tigray-northern Ethiopia, lack of sediment yield data and appropriate methodologies for predicting
sediment yield have contributed to poor planning resulting in rapid sedimentation in reservoirs and storage
capacity loss. The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess the spatial variability of absolute sediment yield
(SY) and area-specific sediment yield (SSY) and to identify their controlling factors for 11 representative
catchments and (2) to develop models to predict sediment yield. We quantified sediment yield from
reservoir sediment surveys and studied the role of bio-physical characteristics of the catchments and their
interactions in controlling SY and SSY variability.
The average SSY for 11 reservoirs was 9.89 t ha−1 y−1 with a standard deviation (S.D.) of ±4.46 t ha−1 y−1,
which can be considered as a large spatial variation in SSY among the catchments. Total drainage length (TDL)
and the proportion of the catchment area that is treated with soil and water conservation (SWC) practices are
the strongest variables controlling the variability of SY and the SSY, respectively. Interactions between
controlling factors were found: i.e. SWC practices and average catchment slope (Av_slope) (r=0.80), SWC and
proportion of cultivated land (CUL) (r=−0.64) and CUL and Av_slope (r=−0.81). SWC practices were found to
be less implemented in catchments with a relatively high CUL-value and having moderately steep
Best results were obtained with the SY regression model with a high model efficiency (ME=0.88). The SSY
model had a reasonable ME of 0.66. Therefore, the SY model allows a better prediction of SY in the planning
phase of new reservoirs in Northern Ethiopia. However, such models need new calibration if they are to be
used beyond the region where they were developed and they do not allow spatially-distributed input and
ISSN: 0341-8162
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geography & Tourism
Division Soil and Water Management
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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