Erosion and control options in the La Ciénega Microbasin in Malinaltepec, Guerrero, Mexico


Javier Bailón-Miranda
Angel Bustamante González
Samuel Vargas-López
Juan Morales-Jiménez
Miguel A. Casiano-Ventura


Soil loss, USLE, living barriers, Poaceae


Objective: To estimate the water erosion rate in the La Ciénega Microbasin in
Malinaltepec, Guerrero, Mexico, and to evaluate control options.
Design/methodology/approach: Potential erosion rate, actual erosion rate, and
erosion control were estimated using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) under
three conservation practices: contour plowing, successive land terracing, and live
terracing with vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty).
Results: High erosion potential is shown by 99.18% of the microbasin surface area.
Due to vegetation, only 41% of the surface area demonstrates high or very high actual
erosion, 53.6% light, and 4.6% moderate. A living barrier using vetiver is the only
conservation practice, of those assessed, that effectively diminished erosion.
Study limitations/implications: The lack of accurate data on rain-induced erosion was
a limiting factor in this study.

Findings/conclusions: The La Ciénega Microbasin has a high risk of erosion and
current erosion is a problem on agricultural land. The most effective option is living
barriers using vetiver.

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