EVALUATION OF RAINFALL-RUNOFF EROSIVITY FACTOR FOR CAMERON HIGHLAND, PAHANG, MALAYSIA
 
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, 32610 Seri Iskandar Perak, Malaysia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Abdulkadir Taofeeq Sholagberu   

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Seri Iskandar, Malaysia
Publish date: 2016-07-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2016; 17(3):1–8
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ABSTRACT
Rainfall-runoff is the active agent of soil erosion which often resulted in land degradation and water quality deterioration. Its aggressiveness to induce erosion is usually termed as rainfall erosivity index or factor (R). R-factor is one of the factors to be parameterized in the evaluation of soil loss using the Universal Soil Loss Equation and its reversed versions (USLE/RUSLE). The computation of accurate R-factor for a particular watershed requires high temporal resolution rainfall (pluviograph) data with less than 30-minutes intensities for at least 20 yrs, which is available only in a few regions of the world. As a result, various simplified models have been proposed by researchers to evaluate R-factor using readily available daily, monthly or annual precipitation data. This study is thus aimed at estimating R-factor and to establish an approximate relationship between R-factor and rainfall for subsequent usage in the estimation of soil loss in Cameron highlands watershed. The results of the analysis showed that the least and peak (critical) R-factors occurred in the months of January and April with 660.82 and 2399.18 MJ mm ha-1 h-1year-1 respectively. Also, it was observed that erosivity power starts to increase from the month of January through April before started falling in the month of July. The monthly and annual peaks (critical periods) may be attributed to increased rainfall amount due to climate change which in turn resulted to increased aggressiveness of rains to cause erosion in the study area. The correlation coefficient of 0.985 showed that there was a strong relationship rainfall and R-factor.