Modeling Sediment Yield in Semi-Arid Pasture Micro-Catchments, NW Iran

Vaezi, Ali Reza; Abbasi, Mohammad; Bussi, Gianbattista; Keesstra, Saskia


Modeling sediment yield is a complex task because of the nonlinearity of natural processes intervening at slope and basin scale. In this study slope steepness, vegetation cover, and soil properties along with sediment yield were studied in 20 pasture micro-catchments in a semi-arid region, NW Iran in order to understand and predict sediment yield. The micro-catchments included only one first-order gully and drain toward a rock check dam in the outlet. The sediment yield of each micro-catchment was calculated using the measurement of sediment mass in the check dams for a 16-year period (1994-2010). Relationships between sediment yield and drainage characteristics were analyzed using correlation matrix and multiple linear regression method. Based on the results, sediment yield in the micro-catchments varied from 0.29Mgha-1y-1 to 14.81Mgha-1y-1, with an average of 5.04Mgha-1y-1. It was significantly related to slope steepness, vegetation cover, and soil organic matter using a linear regression equation (R2=0.87, p