GIS based soil erosion assessment using the USLE model for efficient land management: A case study in an area with diverse pedo-geomorphological and bioclimatic characteristics


  • Paul SESTRAS Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Civil Engineering, 400020 Cluj-Napoca; Academy of Romanian Scientists, Ilfov 3, 050044 Bucharest (RO)
  • Sevastel MIRCEA University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Bucharest, Faculty of Land Reclamation and Environmental Engineering, 011464 Bucharest (RO)
  • Sanda ROȘCA Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, 400006 Cluj-Napoca; Academy of Romanian Scientists, Ilfov 3, 050044 Bucharest (RO)
  • Ștefan BILAȘCO Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, 400006 Cluj-Napoca; Cluj-Napoca Subsidiary Geography Section, Romanian Academy, 400015 Cluj-Napoca (RO)
  • Tudor SĂLĂGEAN University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Forestry and Cadastre, Department of Land Measurements and Exact Sciences, 400372 Cluj-Napoca (RO)
  • Lucian O. DRAGOMIR University of Life Sciences “King Mihai I”, Department of Sustainable Development and Environmental Engineering, 300645 Timișoara (RO)
  • Mihai V. HERBEI University of Life Sciences “King Mihai I”, Department of Sustainable Development and Environmental Engineering, 300645 Timișoara (RO)
  • Simion BRUMA Technical University of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Geodesy, 020396 Bucharest (RO)
  • Catalin SABOU Technical University of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Geodesy, 020396 Bucharest (RO)
  • Rastko MARKOVIĆ University of Niš, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography, Višegradska 11, 18000 Niš (RS)
  • Shuraik KADER Griffith University, School of Engineering and Built Environment, Nathan, QLD 4111; Griffith University, Cities Research Institute, Green Infrastructure Research Labs (GIRLS), Gold Coast, QLD 4215 (AU)



database, GIS analysis, land management, soil erosion, USLE


The complex environmental process of soil erosion is crucial to sustainable land management and conservation. This study uses the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) model to understand the intricate interactions that cause soil erosion in Cluj County, Romania, a region susceptible to complex erosion and landslide phenomenon. The established analysis depicts erosion patterns from localised hotspots to regions of relative stability, providing valuable insights into this critical issue. Spatial distribution maps with color-coded gradients show soil erosion risk and identify vulnerable regions, with temporal investigations depicting how environmental changes affect soil erosion, making it relevant to soil conservation and land management. A careful analysis of the USLE model's parameters (Ls, Cs, C, S, K) shows their soil erosion contributions. The erosion rates were graded in five classes in accordance to general practices of USLE modelling, which range from very-low, low, moderate, high and very-high susceptibility to soil erosion. While a significant majority of the county’s surface is represented by very-low and low erosion risk, several hotspots were identified with intense erosion processes that highlights the critical need to implement soil conservation measures in the area.  Identifying erosion hotspots and conservation solutions encourages stakeholders to protect soils, and can provide policymakers with useful information for developing improved guidelines for soil and water conservation.


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How to Cite

SESTRAS, P., MIRCEA, S., ROȘCA, S., BILAȘCO, Ștefan, SĂLĂGEAN, T., DRAGOMIR, L. O., HERBEI, M. V., BRUMA, S., SABOU, C., MARKOVIĆ, R., & KADER, S. (2023). GIS based soil erosion assessment using the USLE model for efficient land management: A case study in an area with diverse pedo-geomorphological and bioclimatic characteristics. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 51(3), 13263.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha51313263

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