Modelling catchment-scale erosion patterns in the East African Highlands

O. Vigiak, B.O. Okoba, G. Sterk, S. Groenenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Prompt location of areas exposed to high erosion is of the utmost importance for soil and water conservation planning. Erosion models can be useful tools to locate sources of sediment and areas of deposition within a catchment, but the reliability of model predictions of spatial patterns of erosion at catchment scale has seldom been validated against observations. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of a simple empirical model (Morgan, Morgan and Finney model, MMF) in predicting spatial patterns of erosion at two small catchments in the East African Highlands: Kwalei (Tanzania) and Gikuuri (Kenya). Erosion maps predicted by the MMF model were compared with erosion maps obtained by direct survey. In Kwalei, erosion features were especially frequent in fields of annual crops. In Gikuuri, slope was the critical erosion factor, with estimated erosion rates >10 kg m-2 a-1 on slopes >18 per cent. Predicted erosion rates were mainly transport-limited and ranged from
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • soil-erosion
  • agreement
  • landscape


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