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A CASE STUDY ON SOIL EROSION RATE AND SEDIMENT
YIELD OF A PROPOSED INFRASTRUCTURAL
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Ting Huong Siong

Master of Environmental Science
(Land Use and Water Resource Management)
2013

Pusat Khidmat Maklumat Akademii:
UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SARAWAK

A CASE STUDY ON SOIL EROSION RÄTE AND SEDIMENT
YIELD OF A PROPOSED INFRASTRUCTURAL
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

TING HUONG SIONG

A thesis submitted
in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Environmental Science

Faculty of Resource Science and Technology
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
2013

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to express my sincerest and deepest appreciation to my supervisor. Dr. Dr. Tang Jock Kie. Tay Meng Guan for their encouragementand patienceto provide guidance and support. Effendi and current SLUSE coordinator. I would like to thank my former SLUSE coordinators. Law Puong Ling for his support and encouragement. Dr. 1 . and my family for their continuous support and during the course of this research. Lim Po Teen. I would like to thank my wife. Prof. Last but not least. Ir Dr. His patience and generosity are highly appreciated.

e. earthworks/ sand filling and infrastructure works at light industrial area. There are four major factors that affect erosion potential: soil characteristics. A comparison between "with BMP" and "without BMP" were carried out. Erosion control measures are recommended to minimize the potential erosion rates and sedimentation. The RUSLE and MUSLE were used to estimate the potential erosion rate and the sediment yield. Keywords: Soil Erosion. and (iii) post-construction stage of the study area. ABSTRACT Soil Erosion is a process of a portion of the soil profile or soil surface detachment to the ambient environment. Batang Rajang and could result in deposition of the sediments at the river bed and lead to degradation of the aquatic ecosystem. i. it and was found that a reduction of more than 65% for both erosion rate and sediment yield with the implementation of BMPs. Predictions of soil erosion rate and sediment yield during different construction stages were carried out at the proposed Project site with respect to site clearing. Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Best ManagementPractices (BMP) ii . topography and climate. However.. Kapit Division. Significant amount of soil sediments would be washed and eroded directly to the nearby watercourse. and slope grading would produce highest erosion rates and sediment yields as compared to other construction stages. the disturbed soil surface would result from the site clearing. respectively during (i) pre-construction stage. (ii) construction stage. earthwork activities. During construction stage. vegetative cover. sediment control practices such as silt trap. Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE). silt fence and check dam would minimize the adverse effects of erosion rates to a certain extent.

Amalan kawalan sedimen seperti perangkap kelodak. perlindungan tumbuhan. Jumlah besar tanah yang didedahkan akan dibasuh dan dihakiskan terus ke arah saluran air yang berdekatan. Untuk mencapai keberkesanan optimum BMPs di tapak pembinaan. tanah terganggu dan terdedah yang disebabkan oleh kerja-kerja pembersihan tapak. RUSLE dan MUSLE telah digunakan untuk menganggar kadar hakisan yang berpotensi dan basil pengenapan masing- masing di seluruh i) peringkat pra-pembinaan ii) peringkat pembinaan. pencemaran dan degradasi alam sekitar terutamanya ekosistem akuatik. Ramalan untuk kadar hakisan tanah dan hasil enapan dalam peringkat pembinaan yang berbeza telah dijalankan di cadangan pembersihan tapak. Semasa pembinaan. semua langkah-langkah kawalan dinasihatkan supaya diperiksa dan diselenggarakan dengan tetap masa. dan iii) peringkat operasi di kawasan kajian. Satu perbandingan antara BMP dan tanpa BMP telah dijalankan dan menunjukkan dengan jelasnya pengurangan melebihi 65 peratus untuk kedua-dua kadar hakisan dan hasil pengenapan dengan pelaksanaan BMPs. topografi dan iklim. iaitu Batang Rajang. pagar kelodak dan empangan semakan akan mengurangkan kesan-kesan buruk daripada hakisan tanah kepada persekitaran ambien. kerja tanah. dan penggredan cerun telah menghasilkan kadar hakisan yang tertinggi dan penghasilan sedimen jika dibandingkan dengan peringkat pembinaan yang lain. kerja-kerja tanah / pengisian pasir dan kerja-kerja infrastruktur di kawasan perindustrian ringan. iii . Terdapat empat faktor utama mempengaruhi potensi hakisan tanah: ciri-ciri tanah. ABSTRAK Hakisan Tanah adalah satu sebahagian proses daripada profil tanah atau permukaan tanah detasmen untuk persekitaran ambien. dan akan mengakibatkan pemendapan sedimen di dalam air sungai. Oleh itu. langkah-langkah kawalan hakisan telah dicadangkan untuk mengurangkan kadar hakisan yang berpotensi dan deposisi pemendapan. Daerah Kapit.

Amalan Pengurusan Terbaik (BMP) iv .Kata-kata kunci: Hakisan Tanah. Ubahsuai Tanah Universal Kehilangan Persamaan (RUSLE). Semakan Tanah Universal Kehilangan Persamaan (RUSLE).

3.3 Objectives of Study 6 1.4. LS 32 3. C 37 3.5 Erosion Control Practice Factor.1 Rainfall Erosivity.3 Slope Length and Slope Steepness Factor.Introduction 1.1.2.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Soil Erodibility Factor.2 Soil Erosion Modeling 17 2.3.4 General Climate 9 Chapter 2.1 The Study Area 7 1.1.1 Types of Soil Erosion 13 2. UNIVERSM MALAYSIASARAWAK TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgement i Abstract 11 Table of Contents V List of Appendices VI List of Tables vii List of Figures viii Chapter 1.4.2.1.2. Pusat Khidmat Maklumat Akademie.4.2 Problem Statement 3 1.Methodology 3.4 Cover Management Factor.1 Identification of Study Area 27 3.2 Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) 19 2.1.2 Topography 9 1.3 Prediction of Soil Erosion Ratesand Sediment Yield 28 3.3 Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) 23 Chapter 3.3.3 Geology and Soil 9 1.3. P 38 V . K 30 3.1.1 Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) 28 3.3.1 Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) 18 2.Literature Review 2.1.2 Scopeof Study 28 3.4 Scope of Study 7 1.3.4. R 29 3.1 Soil Erosion 12 2.

2.2.2.2 Prediction of Erosion Rate 50 4. 3.4 Cover Management Factor.2.2.3 Volume of Runoff 42 3.Results and Discussion 4.Conclusion 71 References 73 List of Appendices Appendix A Meteorological Data A-I Appendix B Soil Investigation Data A-4 Particle Size Distribution Hand Auger Log Organic Matter Content Appendix C Construction Drawing A-5 Slope Protection Works vi .2.2.3 Summary 70 Chapter 5.4 Best ManagementPractices(BMP) for Erosion Control 46 3. R 51 4. K 51 4.2.2 Silt Fence 48 3.2 Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation 39 3. LS 54 4.1 Mean of Rainfall Intensity and Rainfall Factor. Qp 58 4.2.4. V 65 4.2 Soil Erodibility.1 Introduction 50 4. P 57 4.4.2.5 Erosion Control Practice Factor.4.3.3 Check Dam 48 Chapter 4.1 Silt Trap / Sediment Trap 47 3.3.2.3.3 Slope Length and Slope SteepnessFactor.2.6 Estimation of Peak Discharge.3. C 56 4.8 Prediction of Erosion Rates and Sediment Yields 67 4. Peak Flow 40 3.7 Volume of Runoff.1 MUSLE 39 3.

5 Cover Management Factors.10 Runoff Coefficient 66 Summary of Erosion Rates (without BMP) in Different Construction 68 4. C 57 4. Qp 64 4.1 Particles Size Analyses for Samples Collected from 6 Boreholes (BH) 53 4.2 Estimated Soil Erodibility. P 39 3. K (Nomograph) 54 4.3 LS Factors for Each Slope during Pre-Construction Stage 55 4. P 58 4.9 Curve Number of Runoff 65 4.1 Cover Management Factors.11 Stages Summary of Sediment Yield (without BMP) in Different Construction 68 4.12 Stages 4.4 Runoff Curve Numbers (Undeveloped Land) 43 3. C (Construction Site) 37 3.3 Runoff Coefficients (Rational Equation) 41 3.6 Erosion Control Practices Factor.8 Runoff Peak Flow.5 Hydrology Soil Groups 45 3.14 Stages vii .6 Estimated Relative Erosion SedimentControl Effectiveness for Different 46 Best Management Practices (BMP) 4.13 Summary of Erosion Rates (with BMP) in Different Construction Stages 69 Summary of Sediment Yield (with BMP) in Different Construction 69 4.List of Tables 3.2 Erosion Control Practice Factor.7 Runoff Coefficient 59 4.4 LS Factors for Each Slope during Construction / Operation Stages 56 4.

2 Rill Erosion 14 2.1 SheetErosion 14 2.List of Figures 1.1 Soil Erodibility Nomograph 31 3.2 Site Plan of Study Area 8 1.4 Catchment Areas During Construction Stage 63 viii .1 During Pre-construction Stage 4.3 Stage 4.2 Details of Slope Elevation.5 Slope Lengths During Construction and Post-Construction Stage 36 3.6 Typical Details of Check Dam 49 Analysis on the Runoff Flow Pattern on Existing Topography 60 4.2 Analysis on the Runoff Flow Pattern During Construction Stage 61 CatchmentAreas on Existing Topography During Pre-construction 62 4.4 Types of Erosion 16 2.5 The Wind Erosion to an Open Field 17 3.1 Locality Plan of Study Area 8 1.3 Design Platform Level 34 3.4 SegmentArea and Slope Lengths during Pre-Construction Stage 35 3.3 Gully Erosion 15 2.3 Topography of Study 11 2. Length and Steepness 33 3.

production of ecosystem goods. Deforestation and land clearing are the major attributions to industrial development. mono-cropping and cultivation to support the demand of rapid-growth of population and world economic has led to the acquirement of more land especially the forest area. biological diversity conservation. landscapedegradationswhich are complex and have diverse nature and land dimensions. urban development. It can be occurred by the natural physical forces of water and wind or disturbances of human activities on the land. which serves as temporary water storage. The forest. Rapid growth in industrial production. The removal of soil- trapping trees during the process of deforestation near waterways causes the upper layer of soil more vulnerable to the water and wind erosion. Sediments and soil carried by the runoff after rainfall from cleared lands can damage the river. lake and marine and destroy the ecosystems. 1 . CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION' 1. and soil protection has been rapidly destroyed that leading to significant soil erosion. carbon storage. and production of sedimentsthat may result damagesof downstream.Several effects may caused by excessive erosion such as reduction of soil productivity.1 Introduction Soil Erosion is a processwhereby a portion of the soil profile or soil surface is detachedto the ambient environment.

DID has further published a new specific design guideline and manual entitled Guideline for Erosion and Sediment Control in Malaysia (DID. The coastal zone between Sungai Sementa and Sungai Puloh in Malaysia has been severely eroded up to 120-200 meters since 1963 at a rate of 5 to7 meters per year (Port Klang ICM Project Management Office. the factors of influencing soil erosion should be defined. 2004). The mitigation measures. designing and implementing the BMP that to be adopted on construction site. In 2011. 2 . Malaysia has establishedthe requirement of Erosion Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) to all the projects which involve soil disturbing activities and in site preparation year 2011 as part of the EIA approval under the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) Order. Soil erosion has become the major environmental problems in Malaysia. the land no longer absorbs the water when it rains. causing erosion and flashfloods. control plans and Best Management Practices (BMP) should be planned and implemented in order to reduce the soil erosion and sedimentation problems especially at the construction site.planners. 2011). The eroded soil flows to the waterways causes the sedimentation and siltation to the waterways and makes it shallow and reduces the flood carrying capacity of the river. engineers. In order to control the erosion effectively and protect the natural environments.and contractors to engagein planning. The floods that break the river banks worsen the soil erosion problems by changing the path of the river. Besides. 1987. Department of Environment (DOE). Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID) has introduced a design guidelines and manual named Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia (MSMA) in year 2001 purposed for project developers. When the trees are removed. the water flows more quickly to the waterways.

Malaysia. New Light Industrial Estate located at Kapit Division. waste. and the removal of vegetative cover which breakdown and loosen the soil structure and organic matte often reduce infiltration and accelerate runoff and the entrainment of soil particles. eg. near rivers and streams. vehicles. Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is one of the presently used models to predict the potential soil erosion hazard resulted from human activities such as rural and urban extension. 1. the mathematical model. which influences by the tropical climate with high rainfall intensity has led to several erosion problems. The soil-trapping forest which protects the soil to be washed away by the runoff is removed during the construction which in turn leading to the erosion. and equipment managementhave potential to pollute stormwater and contamination to the waterways. 3 . The eroded soil has causedsedimentationand siltation to the waterways and destroyedthe water ecosystems. and conservation planning and design for sediment control. Thus. Surface runoff generated from high climatic conditions and steep terrains are highly erosive to the exposed soil surface within the construction area.2 Problem Statement Rapid increase in construction industrial involving varieties of construction activity such as construction practices and materials. Water is the most significant agent of soil erosion. such as Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) or Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) is an important tool in management system by predicting the erosion processes. Erosion is a major environmental problem for most of the construction projects especially those construction projects located in sensitive areas such as the highland. industrial developments .

Ngoi and Choo (2012) mentioned some of the erosion and sediment hazards caused by uncontrolled construction activities: 1) Changes in water runoff. d. Increased down-time on construction and building sites after storm events. In 1996. 2001). 4 . Sediment and mud on roads with associatedtraffic problems and road safety issues. f. Undermining of roads and utilities. Clogged drains and increasednuisanceflooding. Sedimentationand bank damageon construction sites. earth movement and accumulation of sedimentation. c. Loss of topsoil and resulting coststo communities. As stated in DID's Urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia (MSMA. Downcutting of any slope is the dominant gully enlargement process as gullies increase in size more rapidly on fill materials instead of cut slopes. b. and 3) Damages to the aquatic life habitat and hydrology which affect the fishery and agriculture industries. gullies are the major source of erosion at the exposed construction site. 2) Water pollution and change in river bed levels due to accumulation of sedimentswashed from the construction site. e. DOE categorized the impacts on soil erosion. sedimentation. and deposition into "On-site" and "Off-site": 1) On-Site a. siltation.

h. i) Adverse ecological effects of high sediment loads. and dredging and de-silting of waterways. and i. d) Proliferation of exotic weeds within watercourses due to the high nutrient content of silt and sediments. 5 . 2) Off-site a) Sedimentation in reservoirs and other storage structures. with resulting loss of water storagecapacity. f) Land degradationcausedby gully erosion and sediment deposition. High cost for reconstruction and maintenance. Pusat Khidmat Maklumat Akademik UMVERSTTIMALAYSIASARAWAK g. h) Loss of navigable reachesof a river or watercourse. g) Increasedpollution of rivers and streams. c) Siltation and sedimentation of rivers will cause a reduction in channel capacity leading to greater frequency of floods. Sedimentation and accelerated loss of capacity in sediment basins. and k) Reducedrecreational and aestheticvalue of riverbanks and waterways. b) Instability of stream channelscausedby increasedrunoff and sediment loads: channel change and bank erosion may affect adjacent buildings and other infrastructure. e) Smothering of aquatic and marine flora and fauna as high turbidity in rivers excluding light penetration affecting fish life. Unsightly appearanceof construction works. j) Decline or total loss of recreational and commercial fishing. deposition. particularly as a result of increasedturbidity.

the erosion control and the best managementpractices are recommendedto reduce the effects of soil erosion from the construction site.1. earthworks/ sandfilling and infrastructure works at light industrial area. and estimate other relevant parameters of Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). The specific aims of the study are to: 1) Identify a study area . locality and site plans. e. In this study. i. 5) Estimate soil erosion rates by using RUSLE. 4) Tabulate slopesof construction site baseon topography data. Sarawak.. To reduce the environmental impacts associatedwith soil erosion.. Sand Filling and Infrastructural Works of Light Industrial Area for Food Processinglocated at Kapit Division.3 Objectives of Study The objectives of this study are to estimate and compute soil erosion rates during pre-construction. the percentageof reduction by implementation of control measuresis going to be defined. structural design of slope protection works. Earthworks. soil investigation data. 6) Recommend appropriate BMP. and post construction of the proposed site clearing. and 6 . best managementpractices (BMP). etc. 2) Collect project details and relevant information. 3) Literature review .annual soil erosion rates. geology and geotechnical information. etc.the Proposed Site Clearing. construction.

i) pre-construction stage. A series of data shall be collected from an undergoing project.4.2 show the locality and site plan of the study area. Earthworks. 7) Estimate soil erosion rates by using RUSLE and tabulate percentage of erosion reduction by implementing BMP. Kapit. approximately 2.4 Scope of Study This study estimates the erosion rates and sediment yield on the disturbed soil surfaces during. The study area is accessible by car and other motor vehicles via Jalan Bleteh. Sand Filling and Infrastructural Works of Light Industrial Area for Food Processing located at Kapit Division. Proposed Site Clearing. The study area is a classified as Mixed Zone Land and is in the category of Country Land.respectively.1 and 1. and iii) post- construction stage. 7 .3km west of Kapit Township as shown in Figure I.07 acres). 1.34ha (23. It encompassesan area of approximately 9. Figures 1. 1.1 The Study Area The study area is located on the south bank of Batang Rajang. ii) construction stage. I.

-ý_. Figure 1. Batang Rajang Project Site f.'"ýkýý ýý : .2: Site Plan of Study Area 8 .1: Locality Plan of Study Area Figure 1. V--- .I*-_ 'ý.

3 Geology and Soil The geological deposits of the study area are mainly of rocks from tertiary period with Paleoceneand Eocene sedimentary deposits. acid igneous and metamorphic rocks and are distributed in areasof steep and mountainous land (Appendix A. 1. i. typical of equatorial regions. The rock formation is of the Kapit Member of Belaga Formation.2 Topography The study areahas undulating terrain and the elevation rangesfrom 4m to 76m with reference from TBM 1 (RL=37. 1. high humidity and high rainfall. There are two monsoon regimes. The undulating terrain easestowards the riverbank and continues towards the south of the study areawhere the elevation is progressively higher.4. The soils are formed on sedimentary. The study area is covered mainly by skeletal soils (Kapit Series) and red-yellow podzolic soils (Kapit Series) consisting of very shallow to moderately deep loamy sands to clays. calcerous sandstone.91m) as shown in topographical map (Figure 1. slate. phyllite and sandstone with marlstone. e.3).4 General Climate Characteristic features of the climate in the regional and the study area are uniform temperature.1. Winds are generally light.4. consisting primarily of shale.Soil Map). the Southwest 9 .4.conglomerate and limestone lenses with weak regional metamorphism.

Due to the proximity of the Equator. 10 .wherefore there is a more climatic conditions show less seasonalvariance and peaks comparedto other south-eastAsian regions.Monsoon (May to September)and the Northeast Monsoon (November to March). The Northeast Monsoon brings heavy rainfall and the Southwest Monsoon normally signifies relatively drier weather. East Malaysia is not directly exposedto the monsoons.

3: Topography of Study 11 .Figure 1.

soil erosion from construction sites may loss of 8-80 tones/ha/year.1 Soil Erosion Soil erosion is a natural process that is essential for soil formation which occurred throughout geological history. Approximately 400 million tons of sediment settles in the Lower 12 . 1990). 1992). Natural soil erosion rate could not haved occurred constantly with consistent rates: for example. Without proper soil erosion and sediment control measures. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. of which 56% are due to water-induced soil erosion (Oldeman. The human activities such as deforestation and resulting soils depleted may boost the natural progress of soil erosion. and soils and semi-arid soils which have less protective vegetative covers may erode at average rates of 10-50 times greaterthan those humid climate soils (Miller and Donahue. UN Environmental Program that on about 20 million hectares could be reduced to zero reported crop productivity annually due to the soil induced degradation or soil erosion (UNEP. It is an unavoidable phenomenon associated on sloping land. Soil erosion has caused more than 80% of land degradation. Soil erosion has become the major environmental problems in China. and removesmost of the topsoil that contains nutrients. 1999). which is 20 times greater than the loss from the agricultural land (NRCS. Soil erosion is mainly causedby water that does not infiltrate into the soil and direct runs over the soil surface resulting erosion damages over the sloping land. 1991).

It occurs where there is little vegetative cover that can anchor the soil. 13 .d. there are six major types of soil erosion: (i) Splashor Raindrop Erosion: It is the first stage of erosion that resulted from the raindrop impacts on bare soil surface and destructs surface soil aggregatesis termed as splash erosion. Thus. The splashedsoil particles will fill up the void of soil aggregates.1 Types of Soil Erosion According to New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI n.Yellow River annually (Ministry of Water Resources. so the soil will be sealed and infiltration process will be reduced.). 2.1). 2011).the People's Republic of China. (ii) SheetErosion: Removal of thin layers of soil by the impacts of the raindrop and shallow surface water flow is termed as sheet erosion (Figure 2. surfacerunoff is introduced. The soil particles that are removed by sheet erosion contain most of the organic matters and nutrients of the soils.1.

2012) (iii) Rill Erosion: A form of water erosion where a numerous of shallow drainage less than 300mm depth and straight channels are produced.1: Sheet Erosion Source: (Ritter. 2012) 14 .2: Rill Erosion Source: (Ritter. This type of erosion starts to develop when surface water concentrates to flow on the same channels and erodes the soil. Rill erosion (Figure 2. Figure 2. Figure 2.2) is common in freshly cultivated soil where the soil aggregates is loosened.

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