Applying the Wischmeier Equation to Determine the Erodibility Factor in Soils of Albania

PRANVERA MZIU1, BESNIK GJONGECAJ1*, OLIVER LEKAJ1, DEMË ABAZI2

1Department of Agro-environment and Ecology, Agricultural University of Tirana, Kodër Kamëz, Tirana, Albania.

2Public Water Management Company, “Ibër Lëpenc”, Prishtina, Kosovo.

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Abstract

At the centre of this study is the determination of the erodibility factor, which is known as K factor in the Wischmeier universal equation of soil loss. It could be determined experimentally, in local conditions, or by deriving from the factors determining it. Before any determination or any quantifying, it should bear in mind that the erodibility factor is a physical quantity, which depends on the soil physical properties. So, it is an inherent property of soil itself. Experimentally, it can be derived from the Wischmeier universal equation of soil loss by measuring all other factors of the equation, turning it into an equation with one unknown: soil erodibility. In a large scale, soil erodibility would be determined by measuring four factors closely related with the soil physical status: soil texture, soil structure, soil permeability, and soil organic matter. In the presented study, soil erodibility factor was determined in the second way and for the entire country of Albania. About twenty nine experimental plots were used to measure the above mentioned factors determining K factor. The equation used was that of Wischmeier and a mathematical model was created just for doing the right calculations. The K factor was found to be between 0.0137 to 0.441, which means that there is a large variation in Albanian soils according to their behavior towards the erodibility, or finally, towards erosion. Based on the results found, a map is produced, in which, it is clearly indicated the way the soils with various capacity to resist to erosion are spread throughout Albania. The zones characterized by high potential of erosion correspond with the zones where the majority of silt rich soils occur, as the zones with low potential erosion correspond with the zones where the majority of light and heavy soils occur.

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