Analysis of Soil Erosion Characteristics in Small Watersheds with Particle Swarm Optimization, Support Vector Machine, and Artificial Neuronal Networks


Li, Yunkai; Tian, Yingjie; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Wang, Lingyan; Xu, Tingwu; Yang, Peiling; Zhao, Huanxun

Journal or Book Title: Environmental Earth Sciences

Keywords: Soil erosion; Particle swarm algorithm; Support vector machine; Small watershed; Characteristics extraction

Volume/Issue: 60/7

Page Number(s): 1559-1568

Year Published: 2010


Sand production by soil erosion in small watershed is a complex physical process. There are few physical models suitable to describe the characteristics of the intense erosion in domestic loess plateau. Introducing
support vector machine (SVM) oriented to small sample data and possessing good extension property can be an effective approach to predict soil erosion because SVM has been applied in hydrological prediction to some extent. But there are no effective methods to select the rational parameters for SVM, which seriously limited the practical application of SVM. This paper explored the application of intelligence-based particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm in automatic selection of parameters for SVM, and proposed a prediction model by linking PSO and SVM for small sample data analysis. This method utilized the high efficiency optimization property and swarm paralleling property of PSO algorithm and the relatively strong
learning and extending capacity of SVM. For an example of Huangfuchuan small watershed, its intensive fragmentation and intense erosion earn itself the name of ‘‘worst erosion in the world’’. Using four characteristics selection algorithms of correlation feature selection, the primary
affecting factors for soil erosion in this small watershed were determined to be the channel density, ravine area, sand rock proportion, and the total vegetation coverage. Based on the proposed PSO–SVM algorithm, the soil erosion modulus in the small watershed was predicted. The accuracy of the simulation and prediction was good, and the average error was 3.85%. The SVM predicting model was based on the monitoring data of sand production. The construction of the SVM erosion modulus prediction model for the small watershed comprehensively reflected the complex mechanism of soil erosion and sand production. It had certain advantage and relatively high practical value in small sample prediction in the discipline of soil erosion.

DOI: 10.1007/s12665-009-0292-1

Type of Publication: Journal Article