The increasing population, deforestation and conversion of agricultural land to the built-up areas are putting pressure on land resources. Moreover, among land degradation, soil loss is one of the common issues that has posed adverse consequences to natural ecosystems thus affecting livelihood. The Panjkora River Basin is selected as the study area due to its very fragile soil and having shown regular soil loss activity. In the study area, the scientific communities are consistently insisting to monitor the LULC changes and explore the extent of soil loss. To achieve the stated objectives, the RUSLE approach was applied to generate maps of soil loss for the years 1990, 2005 and 2020. The analysis revealed that during the past three decades (1990–2020), the built-up areas have been increased by 20%. Contrary to this, a decrease of 3% in barren land, 2% in area under water, 3% in snow cover and 13% in area under vegetation have been recorded. The analysis further revealed that the maximum actual annual soil loss consistently increased from 5,195 tons/ha/year in 1990 to 6,247 tons/ha/year in 2005 and 8,297 tons/ha/year in 2020. This research implies that geospatial technologies are effective tools for modeling the erosion of soil.
The soil provides a diverse array of essential ecosystem services.
However, the degradation of land and soils has escalated significantly.
In the study area, erosion occurs at a relatively high intensity.
This study is unique in its assessment of soil erosion in this area, as no previous assessment of this kind has been conducted.
This paper will serve as a foundation for future research in the entire basin.