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Uncertainty analysis of soil erosion modelling using different resolution of open-source DEMs

Mondal, Arun, Khare, Deepak, Kundu, Sananda
Geocarto international 2017 v.32 no.3 pp. 334-349
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, digital elevation models, soil erosion, uncertainty, uncertainty analysis, watersheds
The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) is one of the important parameters of soil erosion assessment and notable uncertainties are found in using different resolutions of the DEM. Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation model has been applied to analyze the effect of open-source DEMs with different resolution and accuracy on the uncertainties of soil erosion modelling in a part of the Narmada river basin in Madhya Pradesh in central India. Selected open-source DEMs are GTOPO30 (1 km), SRTM (30 and 90 m), CARTOSAT (30 m) and ASTER (30 m), used for estimating erosion rate. Results with better accuracy are achieved with the high-resolution DEMs (30 m) with higher vertical accuracy than the coarse resolution DEMs with lower accuracy. This study has presented potential uncertainties introduced by the open-source DEMs in soil erosion modelling for better understanding of appropriate selection and acceptable errors for researchers.