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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2414; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072414

Hydrological Evaluation of Flow Diversion Terraces Using Downhill-Slope Calculation Method for High Resolution and Accuracy DEMs

1
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, 5825 University Research Ct, College Park, MD 20740, USA
2
Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 4400, 28 Dineen Drive, Fredericton, NB E3B 6C2, Canada
3
Potato Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 20280, 850 Lincoln Road, Fredericton, NB E3B 4Z7, Canada
4
Department of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Abstract

Slope is an important topographical parameter in hydrological models. Dramatic changes in slope are produced due to micro variations of topography in flow diversion terrace (FDT) systems. Assessing the effectiveness of FDT on soil conservation yields different results using different slope calculation methods with different resolution and accuracy digital elevation models (DEMs). In this study, the ArcGIS built-in average-neighborhood-slope (ANS) method and a downhill-slope (DHS) method were used to calculate slopes for a small agricultural watershed in New Brunswick, Canada. Six DEMs were used, i.e., 1, 5 and 10 m resolution DEMs generated with conventional photogrammetric techniques, and 1, 5, and 10 m resolution DEMs derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data. Calculated slopes were summarized for the whole watershed, a patch of FDT systems, and grassed flow channels in front of embankments in the patch. Results indicated that the DHS method produced smaller slopes than the ANS method with LiDAR-1m DEM along grasses flow channels. Furthermore, the mean L-factor derived from the DHS method was smaller than that derived from the ANS in terraces and grassed flow channels for the LiDAR-1m DEM. Finally, soil loss estimated from the DHS method using RUSLE was more consistent with measurement for the watershed than that from the ANS method when the LiDAR-1m DEM was used. The DHS method can provide accurate slopes along grassed flow channels and can be used to assess FDT systems using USLE-based models with high resolution and accuracy DEMs. View Full-Text
Keywords: DEM; universal soil loss equation; flow diversion terrace; soil loss; slope DEM; universal soil loss equation; flow diversion terrace; soil loss; slope
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Qi, J.; Liang, K.; Li, S.; Wang, L.; Meng, F.-R. Hydrological Evaluation of Flow Diversion Terraces Using Downhill-Slope Calculation Method for High Resolution and Accuracy DEMs. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2414.

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