Runoff, soil loss and their relationships under different land uses in the central highland of Ethiopia

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Zenebe Adimassu
Nigusse Haile


The study was conducted at Holeta Agricultural Research Center to assess runoff and soil
losses and establish rainfall-runoff-soil loss relationships. Nine hydrologically isolated
experimental runoff plots of 22 m length and 6 m width were installed on 10% slope and three
dominant land uses (crops types) viz. faba bean (Vicia faba L. var. Degaga), field pea (Pisum
sativum L. var. Tegegnech) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L. var. Kubsa). Daily values of rainfall,
runoff and soil loss for three successive years (2005 to 2007) were recorded. The results
showed that the average surface runoff generated from field pea, faba bean and wheat plots
were 144.7 mm, 181.4 mm and 169.5 mm, respectively and the corresponding soil losses in the
land use of the same order were 16.9, 29.9 and 20.29 Mg ha -1 , respectively. Thus field pea was
found to be effective in reducing runoff and soil loss. However, the actual runoff and soil
losses recorded were still high in all cases which warrant the requirement of more effective
soil and water conservation measures in the area. The runoff coefficient revealed that an
average of 19 to 42% of the annual rainfall became runoff in the study areas under these land
uses. The result of linear regression of rainfall-runoff-soil losses shows positive and strong

Article Details

How to Cite
Adimassu, Z., & Haile, N. (2011). Runoff, soil loss and their relationships under different land uses in the central highland of Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 2(1), 39-49. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Zenebe Adimassu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P. O. Box
2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Nigusse Haile,

Land Degradation and Development Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author: Tel.: +251-920325920; E-mail: