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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

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

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

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

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

3.3.1.Introduction 1.4 Cover Management Factor.3. R 29 3. 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. P 38 V .2.2 Scopeof Study 28 3.1 Types of Soil Erosion 13 2.1 The Study Area 7 1. LS 32 3.4.1.2 Soil Erodibility Factor.Methodology 3.3 Geology and Soil 9 1.1 Introduction 1 1.3 Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) 23 Chapter 3. C 37 3.1. Pusat Khidmat Maklumat Akademie.1.4 Scope of Study 7 1.2 Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) 19 2.2.4.3 Prediction of Soil Erosion Ratesand Sediment Yield 28 3.2 Soil Erosion Modeling 17 2.4.1 Soil Erosion 12 2.3.3.5 Erosion Control Practice Factor. K 30 3.1 Rainfall Erosivity.2.1.2 Problem Statement 3 1.3.4 General Climate 9 Chapter 2.1 Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) 18 2.3 Objectives of Study 6 1.1 Identification of Study Area 27 3.4.2 Topography 9 1.Literature Review 2.1.1 Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) 28 3.3 Slope Length and Slope Steepness Factor.

3.2.4.3.1 Silt Trap / Sediment Trap 47 3.3 Volume of Runoff 42 3.1 Mean of Rainfall Intensity and Rainfall Factor.8 Prediction of Erosion Rates and Sediment Yields 67 4.7 Volume of Runoff.2 Soil Erodibility.3 Summary 70 Chapter 5.3.2 Prediction of Erosion Rate 50 4. C 56 4.2.3 Check Dam 48 Chapter 4. Peak Flow 40 3.2.2.2 Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation 39 3.1 Introduction 50 4.4.1 MUSLE 39 3.2.2.3 Slope Length and Slope SteepnessFactor.4 Best ManagementPractices(BMP) for Erosion Control 46 3. 3.4 Cover Management Factor.2. Qp 58 4.3.6 Estimation of Peak Discharge.2 Silt Fence 48 3. LS 54 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 . V 65 4.2.2.5 Erosion Control Practice Factor.2.2.Results and Discussion 4. K 51 4. R 51 4. P 57 4.4.2.

10 Runoff Coefficient 66 Summary of Erosion Rates (without BMP) in Different Construction 68 4. C (Construction Site) 37 3. C 57 4.7 Runoff Coefficient 59 4.1 Particles Size Analyses for Samples Collected from 6 Boreholes (BH) 53 4.11 Stages Summary of Sediment Yield (without BMP) in Different Construction 68 4.3 LS Factors for Each Slope during Pre-Construction Stage 55 4.4 Runoff Curve Numbers (Undeveloped Land) 43 3.6 Erosion Control Practices Factor.List of Tables 3.12 Stages 4. K (Nomograph) 54 4.13 Summary of Erosion Rates (with BMP) in Different Construction Stages 69 Summary of Sediment Yield (with BMP) in Different Construction 69 4. Qp 64 4.1 Cover Management Factors.3 Runoff Coefficients (Rational Equation) 41 3.5 Cover Management Factors.8 Runoff Peak Flow. P 39 3. P 58 4.9 Curve Number of Runoff 65 4.2 Erosion Control Practice Factor.4 LS Factors for Each Slope during Construction / Operation Stages 56 4.14 Stages vii .6 Estimated Relative Erosion SedimentControl Effectiveness for Different 46 Best Management Practices (BMP) 4.5 Hydrology Soil Groups 45 3.2 Estimated Soil Erodibility.

3 Gully Erosion 15 2.1 Soil Erodibility Nomograph 31 3.2 Analysis on the Runoff Flow Pattern During Construction Stage 61 CatchmentAreas on Existing Topography During Pre-construction 62 4.4 Catchment Areas During Construction Stage 63 viii .1 SheetErosion 14 2.3 Topography of Study 11 2.5 Slope Lengths During Construction and Post-Construction Stage 36 3.3 Design Platform Level 34 3.1 During Pre-construction Stage 4.2 Site Plan of Study Area 8 1.4 SegmentArea and Slope Lengths during Pre-Construction Stage 35 3.3 Stage 4.2 Rill Erosion 14 2.5 The Wind Erosion to an Open Field 17 3.6 Typical Details of Check Dam 49 Analysis on the Runoff Flow Pattern on Existing Topography 60 4.4 Types of Erosion 16 2.2 Details of Slope Elevation. Length and Steepness 33 3.List of Figures 1.1 Locality Plan of Study Area 8 1.

1 . 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. 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. and soil protection has been rapidly destroyed that leading to significant soil erosion. biological diversity conservation. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION' 1.Several effects may caused by excessive erosion such as reduction of soil productivity. landscapedegradationswhich are complex and have diverse nature and land dimensions. Rapid growth in industrial production.1 Introduction Soil Erosion is a processwhereby a portion of the soil profile or soil surface is detachedto the ambient environment. urban development. production of ecosystem goods. which serves as temporary water storage. and production of sedimentsthat may result damagesof downstream. carbon storage. lake and marine and destroy the ecosystems. Deforestation and land clearing are the major attributions to industrial development. The forest. It can be occurred by the natural physical forces of water and wind or disturbances of human activities on the land.

Besides. 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. 2 . 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. When the trees are removed. In 2011. The mitigation measures. 2011). 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. Soil erosion has become the major environmental problems in Malaysia. 2004). The floods that break the river banks worsen the soil erosion problems by changing the path of the river.planners. 1987. In order to control the erosion effectively and protect the natural environments. 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. the land no longer absorbs the water when it rains. the water flows more quickly to the waterways.and contractors to engagein planning. Department of Environment (DOE). 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. the factors of influencing soil erosion should be defined. designing and implementing the BMP that to be adopted on construction site. engineers. causing erosion and flashfloods. DID has further published a new specific design guideline and manual entitled Guideline for Erosion and Sediment Control in Malaysia (DID.

Water is the most significant agent of soil erosion. Thus. Malaysia. 3 . 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. eg. industrial developments . The eroded soil has causedsedimentationand siltation to the waterways and destroyedthe water ecosystems. the mathematical model.2 Problem Statement Rapid increase in construction industrial involving varieties of construction activity such as construction practices and materials. 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. and equipment managementhave potential to pollute stormwater and contamination to the waterways. 1. 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. 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 conservation planning and design for sediment control. Erosion is a major environmental problem for most of the construction projects especially those construction projects located in sensitive areas such as the highland. near rivers and streams. New Light Industrial Estate located at Kapit Division. which influences by the tropical climate with high rainfall intensity has led to several erosion problems. Surface runoff generated from high climatic conditions and steep terrains are highly erosive to the exposed soil surface within the construction area. waste.

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

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

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

4 Scope of Study This study estimates the erosion rates and sediment yield on the disturbed soil surfaces during.34ha (23.4. ii) construction stage.1 and 1. Kapit.2 show the locality and site plan of the study area. I. Proposed Site Clearing. 7) Estimate soil erosion rates by using RUSLE and tabulate percentage of erosion reduction by implementing BMP.1 The Study Area The study area is located on the south bank of Batang Rajang.respectively. A series of data shall be collected from an undergoing project. Figures 1. 1. Sand Filling and Infrastructural Works of Light Industrial Area for Food Processing located at Kapit Division. approximately 2. The study area is accessible by car and other motor vehicles via Jalan Bleteh.07 acres). 1. i) pre-construction stage. It encompassesan area of approximately 9.3km west of Kapit Township as shown in Figure I. The study area is a classified as Mixed Zone Land and is in the category of Country Land. and iii) post- construction stage. 7 . Earthworks.

-ý_.'"ýkýý ýý : . Batang Rajang Project Site f.2: Site Plan of Study Area 8 .I*-_ 'ý. V--- . Figure 1.1: Locality Plan of Study Area Figure 1.

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

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. 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.

Figure 1.3: Topography of Study 11 .

Without proper soil erosion and sediment control measures. which is 20 times greater than the loss from the agricultural land (NRCS. The human activities such as deforestation and resulting soils depleted may boost the natural progress of soil erosion. of which 56% are due to water-induced soil erosion (Oldeman. 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. 1990). Soil erosion has caused more than 80% of land degradation. It is an unavoidable phenomenon associated on sloping land. 1999). and removesmost of the topsoil that contains nutrients. 1991). 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. Approximately 400 million tons of sediment settles in the Lower 12 . 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. 1992).1 Soil Erosion Soil erosion is a natural process that is essential for soil formation which occurred throughout geological history. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. soil erosion from construction sites may loss of 8-80 tones/ha/year. Natural soil erosion rate could not haved occurred constantly with consistent rates: for example. Soil erosion has become the major environmental problems in China.

1.the People's Republic of China. 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. (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. so the soil will be sealed and infiltration process will be reduced.). It occurs where there is little vegetative cover that can anchor the soil. 2011). 13 .Yellow River annually (Ministry of Water Resources. The soil particles that are removed by sheet erosion contain most of the organic matters and nutrients of the soils. Thus. The splashedsoil particles will fill up the void of soil aggregates.d.1 Types of Soil Erosion According to New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSWDPI n.1). 2. surfacerunoff is introduced.

Figure 2. 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. Figure 2. This type of erosion starts to develop when surface water concentrates to flow on the same channels and erodes the soil.2) is common in freshly cultivated soil where the soil aggregates is loosened.2: Rill Erosion Source: (Ritter. 2012) 14 . Rill erosion (Figure 2.

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