Aware that erosion is one of the major environmental problems of this century, this study aims to apply the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation in combination with GIS and remote sensing to spatialize the risk of water erosion on the watershed of Zou in the central region of Benin. The five factors of RUSLE model (erosivity of rainfall, soil erodibility, slope length and inclination, cover and cropping practices) for the study area were determined and spatialized. The mean R-factor value is 914.88 MJ.mm.ha-1.year-1. The spatial distribution of the C-factor by class showed that 81.41% of the surface has low protection, 8.64% has medium protection; and 11% has from good to very good protection against water erosion. The LS-factor value ranged from 0 to 39 on the. The mean soil erodibility is 0.15 t.h.MJ-1.mm-1 over the watershed. The average erosion, for the watershed is 16.24 t.ha-1.year-1which corresponds to a very high vulnerability level. Respectively 3.08%, 22.36%; 22.92% and 51.63% of the watershed area are affected by low; moderate; high and very high erosion risk. However, most of the eroded soil are from the area with low vegetation cover, high soil erodibility and moderately and Gently undulating and Moderately undulating. The finding of this study could constitute a reference document for any proposed development.
Keywords: Soil Erosion, USLE, GIS, Watershed of Zou, Benin