Geohazards often cause a lot of damage to human life and property. Among the geohazard mitigation measures, ecological restoration engineering is an ecomonic and widely-used one, but the effectiveness varies with the alternatives' settings and the local stand conditions, and there is a lack of effective means to assess it. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of vegetation restoration alternatives on mitigating geohazards in Bailong River Basin (BRB), where the soil erosion and debris flow are very severe. Given the significance of surface hydrological process in the formation of geohazards, the surface runoff depth (SRD) simulated by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was chosen to evaluate the effectiveness of the mitigation alternatives. We designed four groups of ecological restoration scenarios, among which the first three groups returned the cropland with slope above 0, 15 and 25°, respectively, to one type of vegetation from evergreen forest, deciduous forest, mingled forest, shrub and grassland. The fourth group returned two slope levels of cropland to combination of two from the above five vegetation types. At the basin level, it was shown that all the alternatives could reduce the SRD. The evergreen forest alternative performs better than other vegetation types, and converting cropland above 15° is more efficient than converting cropland above 0 and 25°. The combination of evergreen and shrub in group 4 reduces SRD the most. At the subbasin level, the spatial heterogeneity of restoration alternatives effectiveness was shown. The reduction rate of SRD at the subbasin level reveals that the restoration measures would perform well in the northeastern basin and the eastern area of midstream. The reduction of SRD per unit returned cropland area reveals that the efficiency of reducing more SRD with less returned cropland is higher in the northeastern basin. Further, a map of most efficient group 4 scenarios at the subbasin level is obtained. Our work is expected to provide information regarding the establishment or improvement of ecological restoration policy in mitigating geohazards.
- Ecological restoration
- Scenario analysis