An Illustrated Study on Mapping of Soil Erosion Zones of Meghadrigedda Catchment, Visakhapatnam, India for Conservation– A Geospatial Approach

Meghadrigedda, a non-perennial drainage system is one of the major water resources of
Vishakhapatnam city located in the northern coastal region of Andhra Pradesh, India. It traverses
through the hilly terrain of Eastern GhatMobile Belt (EGMB) characterized by khondalitic rock
formations. Excessive siltation scenario aggravated due to soil erosion in its catchment is threatening
the very existence of Meghadrigedda reservoir. In order to assess the intensity of soil erosion as well
as silt deposition in the reservoir, an integrated study has been undertaken which takes into
consideration various topographic, morphological, soil, and land use/land cover characteristics of the
basin. The study aims at identification and mapping of erosion prone zones with respect to silt
deposition using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Alteration in human induced land use practices
in its catchment due to rapid growth in population; urbanization and industrialization are found to be of
prime reasons for various forms of erosion. The study has noticed that various forms of erosion like
sheet, gully and stream erosion are responsible for the siltation at large scale which is causing
reduction of its designed storage capacity by 40%. Various sub-water-sheds of the basin have been
prioritized on the basis of erosion intensity for suggesting various mitigation measures like check-dam
construction, afforestation etc. to protect the reservoir from the silting problem.

Author(s) Details

Dr. Usha Chirala
Department of Geo-Engineering, College of Engineering (A), Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India

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