Application of geomorphologic factors for identifying soil loss in vulnerable regions of the Cameron Highlands

Kahhoong Kok, Lariyah Mohd Sidek, Kwansue Jung, Joo Cheol Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The main purpose of this study is to propose a methodology for identifying vulnerable regions in the Cameron Highlands that are susceptible to soil loss, based on runoffaggregation structure and the energy expenditure pattern of the natural river basin, within the framework of power law distribution. To this end, three geomorphologic factors, namely shear stress and stream power, as well as the drainage area of every point in the basin of interest, have been extracted using GIS, and then their complementary cumulative distributions are graphically analyzed by fitting them to power law distribution, with the purpose of identifying the sensitive points within the basin that are susceptible to soil loss with respect to scaling regimes of shear stress and stream power. It is observed that the range of vulnerable regions by the scaling regime of shear stress is much narrower than by the scaling regime of stream power. This result seems to suggest that shear stress is a scale-dependent factor, which does not follow power law distribution and does not adequately reflect the energy expenditure pattern of a river basin. Therefore, stream power is preferred as a more reasonable factor for the evaluation of soil loss. The methodology proposed in this study can be validated by visualizing the path of soil loss, which is generated from the hillslope process (characterized by the local slope) to the valley through a fluvial process (characterized by the drainage area as well as the local slope).

Original languageEnglish
Article number396
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

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