Back
 GEP  Vol.6 No.6 , June 2018
Integrated Modeling of Soil Erosion for a Canadian Watershed in Response to Projected Changes in Climate and Consequent Adoption of Mitigating Best Management Practices
Abstract: Controlling soil erosion and the transport and deposition of suspended sediment to receiving waters, especially in relation to the modifying influences of, and interplay between, climate and land-use alterations, is essential for effective watershed management. The Atlantic Canada—New England region is expected to experience elevated rainfall erosivity due to climate change over the next century. Using the projected higher precipitation amounts of 5% and 10% for future scenarios of 5 and 25 years for the region, and a spatially-explicit, integrated (GIS, RUSLE) model for a rural watershed in Nova Scotia, predicted increases in total erosion rates of 4.9 and 9.9%, respectively. Modelled scenarios altering buffer strips based on either consistent or slope-variable widths between 30 m (the legal requirement) to 90 m were found to correspond to reductions in predicted total watershed erosion rates from 11% to 32%. Assuming and extending the 1:1 concordance between projected precipitation and estimated soil erosion for this particular watershed into the more distant future of 26 to 55 years, suggests that the 25% increase in soil erosion predicted over this period would have to be offset by expanding the protective buffer strips to a consistent width of 70 m. Adoption of such a protective management scheme would subsume 19% of the terrestrial area of the study watershed and thus consequent reductions in land available for agricultural production and timber harvest.
Cite this paper: France, R. , Zhang, C. and Brewster, G. (2018) Integrated Modeling of Soil Erosion for a Canadian Watershed in Response to Projected Changes in Climate and Consequent Adoption of Mitigating Best Management Practices. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 6, 12-34. doi: 10.4236/gep.2018.66002.
References

[1]   Jones, J.A. (2011) Hydrologic Responses to Climate Change: Considering Geographic Context and Alternative Hypotheses. Hydrological Processes, 25, 1996-2000.
https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.8004

[2]   Tahiri, M., Tabyaaoui, H., Tahiri, A., El Hadi, H., El Hammichi, F. and Achab, M. (2016) Modelling Soil Erosion and Sedimentation in the Oude Haricha Sub-Basin (Tahaddart Watershed, Western Rif, Morocco): Risk Assessment. Journal of Geoscience and Environmental Protection, 4, 107-119.
https://doi.org/10.4236/gep.2016.41013

[3]   Wu, F., Zhan, J., Su, H., Yan, H. and Ma, E. (2015) Scenario-Based Impact Assessment of Land Use/Cover and Climate Changes on Watershed Hydrology in Heihe River Basin of Northwest China. Advances in Meteorology, 2015, Article ID 410198.
https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/410198

[4]   Rowshon, M.K., Mabaruk, M.M., Marriott, M.J., Amin, M., Ashan, A. and Loh, E.W. (2014) Geospatial Water Quality Assessment System for the Sg. Buloh River Basin in Malaysia. International Journal of Water, 8, 401-421.
https://doi.org/10.1504/IJW.2014.065795

[5]   Nearing, M.A. (2001) Potential Changes in Rainfall Erosivity in the U.S. with Climate Change during the 21st Century. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 56, 229-232.

[6]   Pruski, F.F. and Nearing, M.A. (2002) Runoff and Soil-Loss Responses to Changes in Precipitation: A Computer Simulation Study. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 57, 7-16.

[7]   Nearing, M.A., Pruski, F.F. and O’Neal, M.R. (2004) Expected Climate Change Impacts on Soil Erosion Rates: A Review. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 59, 43-49.

[8]   Hatfield, J.L. and Prueger, J.H. (2004) Impacts of Changing Precipitation Patterns on Water Quality. Journal of Soil and Water Quality, 59, 51-58.

[9]   Bussi, G., Francis, F., Horel, E., Lopez-Tarazon, J. and Batalla, R.J. (2014) Modelling the Impact of Climate Change on Sediment Yield in a Highly Erodible Mediterranean Catchment. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 14, 1921-1937.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-014-0956-7

[10]   France, R., Peters, R. and McCabe, L. (1998) Spatial Relationships among Boreal Riparian Trees, Litterfall and Soil Erosion Potential with Reference to Buffer Strip Management and Coldwater Fisheries. Annales Botanici Fennici, 35, 1-9.

[11]   France, R.L. and Pardy, G. (2018) Spatially-Explicit, Exposure-Based Assessment of Surface Water Vulnerability from Land Use Threats for Time-Efficient and Cost-Effective Watershed Development Planning. Journal of Geoscience and Environmental Protection, 6, 35-55.

[12]   Blais, J.M., France, R.L., Kimpe, L.E. and Cornett, R.J. (1998) Climatic Changes in Northwestern Ontario Have Had a Greater Effect on Erosion and Sediment Accumulation than Logging and Fire: Evidence from 210Pb Chronology in Lake Sediments. Biogeochemistry, 43, 235-252.
https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006065109925

[13]   Pusey, B.J. and Arthington, A.H. (2003) Importance of the Riparian Zone to the Conservation and Management of Freshwater Fish: A Review. Marine and Freshwater Research, 54, 1-16.
https://doi.org/10.1071/MF02041

[14]   Zhang, X., Liu, X., Zhang, M., Dahlgren, R.A. and Eitzel, M. (2010) A Review of Vegetated Buffers and a Meta-Analysis of Their Mitigation Efficacy in Reducing Nonpoint Source Pollution. Journal of Environmental Quality, 39, 76-84.
https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2008.0496

[15]   France, R., Felkner, J.S., Flaxman, M. and Rempel, R. (2002) Spatial Investigation of Applying Ontario’s Timber Management Guidelines: GIS Analysis for Riparian Areas of Concern. In: France, R., Ed., Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, CRC Press, Cambridge, 601-613.
https://doi.org/10.1201/9781420032420.ch2.14

[16]   Steedman, R.J. and France, R.L. (2000) Origin and Transport of Aeolian Sediment from New Clearcuts into Boreal Lakes, Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 122, 139-152.
https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005235604087

[17]   France, R. (2002) Factors Influencing Sediment Transport from Logging Roads near Boreal Trout Lakes (Ontario, Canada). In: France, R., Ed., Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, CRC Press, Cambridge, 635-645.
https://doi.org/10.1201/9781420032420.ch2.16

[18]   O’Laughlin, J. and Belt, G.H. (1995) Functional Approaches to Riparian Buffer Strip Design. Journal of Forestry, 93, 29-32.

[19]   Correll, D.L. (2005) Principles of Planning and Establishment of Buffer Zones. Ecological Engineering, 24, 433-439.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2005.01.007

[20]   Richardson, J.S., Naiman, R.J. and Bisson, P.A. (2012) How Did Fixed-Width Buffers Become Standard Practice for Protecting Freshwaters and Their Riparian Areas from Forest Harvest Practices? Freshwater Science, 31, 232-238.
https://doi.org/10.1899/11-031.1

[21]   Lee, P., Smyth, C. and Boutin, S. (2004) Quantitiative Review of Riparian Buffer Strip Width Guidelines from Canada and the United States. Journal of Environmental Management, 70, 165-180.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2003.11.009

[22]   Creed, I.F., Sass, G.Z., Wolniewicz, M.B. and Devito, K.J. (2008) Incorporating Hydrologic Dynamics into Buffer Strip Design on the Sub-Humid Boreal Plain of Alberta. Forest Ecology and Management, 256, 1984-1994.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.07.021

[23]   Island Nature Trust (2005) Beneficial Management Practices for Riparian Zones in Atlantic Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa.

[24]   Xu, Q., Clark, S., Asiedu, S., Smutka, L. and Lewis, R. (2011) Benefits and Costs of Species Diversity and the Formation of Riparian Buffer Zones in Prince Edward Island in Canada. Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro.

[25]   Rideout, E. (2012) Setbacks and Vegetated Buffers in Nova Scotia: A Review and Analysis of Current Practice and Management Options. Hydrologic Systems Research Group, Dalhousie Unversity, Halifax.

[26]   Stoffyn-Egli, P. and Duinker, P.N. (2013) An Ecological Approach to Riparian-Buffer Definition, and Implications for Timber Harvests in Nova Scotia, Canada. Journal of Sustainable Development, 6, 111-134.
https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v6n12p111

[27]   Capron, S.J., Chambers, L.E., MacNally, R., Naiman, R.J. and Davies, P. (2013) Riparian Ecosystems in the 21st Century: Hotspots for Climate Change Adaptation? Ecosystems, 16, 359-381.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-013-9656-1

[28]   Williams, J., Nearing, M., Nicks, A., Skidmore, E. and Valentin, C. (1996) Using Soil Erosion Models for Global Change Studies. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 51, 381-385.

[29]   Pruski, F.F. and Nearing, M.A. (2002) Climate-Induced Changes in Erosion during the 21st Century for Eight U.S. Locations. Water Resources Research, 38, 23-35.
https://doi.org/10.1029/2001WR000493

[30]   Kertesz, A. (1993) Application of GIS Methods in Soil Erosion Modelling. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 17, 233-238.
https://doi.org/10.1016/0198-9715(93)90018-Z

[31]   Jabber, M.J. (2003) Application of GIS to Estimate Soil Erosion Using RUSLE. Geo-Spatial Information Science, 6, 34-37.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02826699

[32]   Mellerowicz, K.T., Ress, H.W., Chow, T.L. and Ghanem, I. (1994) Soil Conservation Planning at the Watershed Level Using the Universal Soil Loss Equation with GIS and Microcomputer Technologies: A Case Study. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 49, 194-200.

[33]   Lufafa, A., Tenywa, M.M., Isabirye, M., Majaliwa, M.J. and Woomer, P.L. (2003) Prediction of Soil Erosion in a Lake Victoria Basin Catchment Using a GIS-Based Universal Soil Loss Model. Agricultural Systems, 76, 883-894.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0308-521X(02)00012-4

[34]   Parveen, R. and Kumar, U. (2012) Integrated Approach of Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and Geographical Information System (GIS) for Soil Loss Risk Assessment in Upper South Koel Basin, Jharkhand. Journal of Geographic Information Systems, 4, 23-34.
https://doi.org/10.4236/jgis.2012.46061

[35]   Martin, C.W. and Hornbeck, J.W. (1994) Logging in New England Need Not Cause Sedimentation of Streams. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, 11, 17-23.

[36]   Mitchell, F. (2002) Shoreline Buffers: Protecting Water Quality and Biological Diversity (New Hampshire). In: France, R., Ed., Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, CRC Press, Cambridge, 361-377.

[37]   Vaidya, O.C., Smith, T.P., Fernand, H. and Leek, N.R. (2008) Forestry Best Management Practices: Evaluation of Alternate Streamside Management Zones on Stream Water Quality in Pockwock Lakes and Five Mile Lake Watersheds in Central Nova Scotia, Canada. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 137, 1-14.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-006-9370-y

[38]   Cantwell, M.Y. (2002) The Effect of Spatial Location in Land-Water Interactions: A Comparison of Two Modeling Approaches to Support Watershed Planning (Newfoundland, Canada). In: France, R., Ed., Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, CRC Press, Cambridge, 577-599.
https://doi.org/10.1201/9781420032420.ch2.13

[39]   Schloss, J.A. (2002) GIS Watershed Mapping: Developing and Implementing a Watershed Natural Resources Inventory (New Hampshire). In: France, R., Ed., Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, CRC Press, Cambridge, 557-575.
https://doi.org/10.1201/9781420032420.ch2.12

[40]   Yang, Q., Chow, T.L., Rees, H.W. and Meng, F.R. (2008) Using a GIS and Digital Elevation Model to Assess the Effectiveness of Variable Grade Flow Diversion Terraces for Reducing Soil Erosion in Northwestern New Brunswick. Hydrological Processes, 23, 3271-3280.

[41]   Yang, Q., Meng, F., Zhao, Z., Chow, T.L. and Benoy, G. (2009) Assessing the Impacts of Flow Diversion Terraces on Stream Water and Sediment Yields at a Watershed Level Using SWAT. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 132, 23-31.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2009.02.012

[42]   Ahmad, H.M.N., Sinclair, A., Jamieson, R., Madani, A., Hebb, D., Havard, P. and Yirodoe, E.K. (2011) Modeling Sediment and Nitrogen Export from a Rural Watershed in Eastern Canada Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Journal of Environmental Quality, 40, 1182-1194.
https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2010.0530

[43]   Benoy, G.A., Sutherland, A.B., Culp, J.M. and Brond, R.B. (2012) Physical and Ecological Thresholds for Deposited Sediments in Streams in Agricultural Landscapes. Journal of Environmental Quality, 41, 31-40.
https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2010.0251

[44]   Amon-Armah, F., Yirodoe, E.K., Ahmad, N.H.M., Hebb, D., Jamieson, R., Burton, D. and Madani, A. (2013) Effect of Nutrient Management Planning on Crop Yield, Nitrate Leaching and Sediment Loading in Thomas Brook Watershed. Environmental Management, 52, 1177-1191.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-013-0148-z

[45]   El-Sharif, A. and Hansen, D. (2001) Application of SWMM to the Flooding Problem in Truro, Nova Scotia. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 26, 439-459.
https://doi.org/10.4296/cwrj2604439

[46]   Patton, A.S.M. (2005) A Study of the Hydrological Characteristics of the North and Salmon Rivers in Relations to Central Colchester County Flooding. M.Sc. Thesis, Dalhousie University, Tru-ro.

[47]   Webb, K.T., Thompson, R.L., Beke, G.J. and Nowland, J.L. (1991) Soils of Colchester Country, Nova Scotia. Report No. 19, Nova Scotia Soil Survey, Agriculture Canada.

[48]   Zhang, C. (2012) Soil Erosion Modeling Using GIS in Colchester County. Honours Thesis, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro.

[49]   Sterling, S.M., Garroway, K., Guan, Y., Ambrose, S.M. and Horne, P. (2014) A New Watershed Assessment Framework for Nova Scotia: A High-Level, Integrated Approach for Regions without a Dense Network of Monitoring Stations. Journal of Hydrology, 519, 2596-2612.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.07.063

[50]   Renard, K.G., Foster, G.R., Yoder, D.C. and McCool, D.K. (1994) RUSLE Revisited: Status, Questions, Answers, and the Future. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 49, 213-220.

[51]   Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) (1995) RUSLE User Guide Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation Version 1.04. Ankeny, Iowa.

[52]   Wischmeier, W. and Smith, D. (1965) Predicting Rainfall Erosion Losses from Cropland East of the Rocky Mountains: Guide for Selection of Practices for Soil and Water Conservation. U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook No. 537.

[53]   Wicklund, R.E. and Smith, G.R. (1948) Soil Survey of Colchester County Nova Scotia. Report No. 3, Nova Scotia Soil Survey, Experimental Farms Service, Dominion Department of Agriculture.

[54]   Sheeran, M.D. (2000) Comparison of Observed and Calculated Annual Soil Losses for Prince Edward Island Using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. M.Sc. Thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax.

[55]   Renard, R.G. and Freidmond, J.R. (1994) Using Monthly Precipitation Data to Estimate the R Factor in the Revised USLE. Journal of Hydrology, 157, 287-306.
https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(94)90110-4

[56]   Tew, K. (1999) Production of Malaysian Soil Erodibility Nomograph in Relation to Soil Erosion Issues. VT Soil Erosion Research and Consultancy.

[57]   Laprise, R., Caya, D., Giguere, G., Bergeron, H. and Cote, J.P. (1998) Climate and Climate Change in Western Canada as Simulated by the Canadian Regional Climate Model. Atmosphere and Oceans, 36, 119-167.
https://doi.org/10.1080/07055900.1998.9649609

[58]   Caya, D. and Laprise, R. (1999) A Semi-Implicit Semi-Lagrangian Regional Climate Model: The Canadian RCM. Monthly Weather Review, 127, 341-362.
https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127<0341:ASISLR>2.0.CO;2

[59]   Ontario Ministry Natural Resources (1988) Timber Management Guidelines for Protection of Fish Habitat. ONMR, Toronto.

[60]   Ontario Ministry Natural Resources (1991) Code of Practice for Timber Management Operations in Riparian Areas. ONMR, Toronto.

[61]   Kachanoski, R.G. (1992) Evaluation of Soil Loss Rates under Different Soil and Cropping Practices in Prince Edward Island. Final Report, National Soil Conservation Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Charlottetown.

[62]   Edwards, L. (1995) Rill Erosion Causes Massive Soil Loss in Spring from Prince Edward Island (PEI) Potato Lands. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Charlottetown.

[63]   Edwards, L., Richter, G., Bernsdorf, B., Schmidt, R. and Burney, J. (1998) Measurement of Rill Erosion by Snowmelt on Potato Fields under Rotation in Prince Edward Island (Canada). Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 78, 449-458.
https://doi.org/10.4141/S97-053

[64]   Jacobs, P. (1997) Best Management Practices Soil Conservation for Potato Production. PEI Department of Fisheries and Environment, PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Charlottetown.

[65]   De Munck, C.S., Hutchings, T.R. and Moffat, A.J. (2007) Impacts of Climate Change and Establishing a Vegetation Cover on Water Erosion of Contaminated Spoils for Two Contrasting United Kingdom Regional Climates: A Case Study Approach. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 3, 443-455.

[66]   Dayyani, S., Prasher, S.O., Madramootoo, C.A., Madani, A. and Lebel, S. (2010) Impact of Climate Change on Drainage Outflow and Water Quality in Eastern Canada. World Congress of the International Commission of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, Vol. 17, Québec City, 13-17 June 2010, 1-12.

[67]   Haberstock, A.E., Nichols, H.G., DesMeules, M.P., Wright, J., Christensen, J.M. and Hudnut, D.H. (2000) Method to Identify Effective Riparian Buffer Widths for Atlantic Salmon Habitat Protection. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 36, 11271-1286.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-1688.2000.tb05726.x

[68]   Luke, S.H., Luckai, N.J., Burke, J.M. and Prepas, E.E. (2008) Riparian Areas in the Canadian Boreal Forest and Linkages with Water Quality in Streams. Environmental Reviews, 15, 79-97.
https://doi.org/10.1139/A07-001

 
 
Top