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Prioritization of Erosion Prone Micro-watersheds using Morphometric Analysis coupled with Multi-Criteria Decision Making
* 1 , 2 , 3 , 1
1  Department of Geography, School of Earth Science, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli - 620 024, Tamil Nadu, India
2  Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Department, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing ISRO, Dehradun- 248001, India
3  Department of Civil Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


Soil erosion is a serious environmental threat amongst the prevailing major natural hazards which affects the livelihood of millions of people around the world. The deterioration of nutrient-rich topsoil can affect the sustainability of agriculture and various ecosystems by decreasing soil productivity. Conservation measures should be implemented in those regions which are critical to soil erosion. Identification of areas susceptible to soil erosion through prioritization of watershed can help in proper planning and implementation of suitable conservational measures. Therefore, in this study, prioritization of 23 micro-watersheds present in the Dnyanganga watershed of Tapti River basin is carried out based on morphometric parameters and Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). TanDEM-X 90m openly accessible DEM generated from SAR interferometry is obtained through DLR is used for determining the morphometric parameters. These parameters are grouped into linear, areal and relief aspects. Initially, the relative weights of various morphometric parameters used in TOPSIS were determined using Saaty’s Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). Thereafter, the MCDM package in R software was utilized to implement TOPSIS. The micro-watersheds were classified into very high (0.459 - 0.357), high (0.326 – 0.240), moderate (0.213 – 0.098), and low (0.096 – 0.088) prioritisation levels based on the TOPSIS highest closeness (Ci+) to ideal solution. It is evident from the results that micro-watersheds (MW10, MW18, MW19, MW2, MW11, and MW17) are highly susceptible to soil erosion and thus, conservation measures can be carried out in these micro-watersheds on priority to ensure the sustainability of future agriculture by preventing excessive soil loss through erosion.

Keywords: Soil Erosion, Prioritization of Micro-watersheds, TOPSIS, AHP, TanDEM-X, SAR Interferometry