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A synoptic approach has been devised to delineate the relationships that exist' between physiographic factors, land-use activities, and resultant erosional problems. The approach involves the development of an erosional-depositional province map and a numerical impact matrix for rating the potential for erosional problems. The province map is prepared by collating data on the natural terrain factors that exert the dominant controls on erosion and deposition in each basin. In addition, existing erosional and depositional features are identified and mapped from color-infrared, high-altitude aerial imagery. The axes of the impact matrix are composed of weighting values for the terrain factors used in developing the map and by a second set of values for the prevalent land-use activities. The body of the matrix is composed of composite erosional-impact ratings resulting from the product of the factor sets. Together the province map and problem matrix serve as practical tools for estimating the erosional impact of human activities on different types of terrain. The approach has been applied to the Molalla River basin, Oregon, and has proven useful for the recognition of problem areas. The same approach is currently being used by the State of Oregon (in the 208 assessment of nonpoint-source pollution under Public Law 92-500) to evaluate the impact of land-management practices on stream quality.
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A synoptic approach for analyzing erosion as a guide to land-use planning