Houay Pano catchment
Houay Pano catchment, the MSEC site in Laos, is located near the village named “Lak Sip”, in the province of Luang Prabang in northern of the country, about 10 km south of central Luang Prabang city, along the National road N° 13 and 400 km from Vientiane, the capital.
There are 63,582 households and a population of 396,110 inhabitants (NSC, State Planning Committee, 1998). The population density is 23 inhabitants per km², with an annual growth rate of 2.6%. There are various minority groups with about 84% belonging to the Lao Lum and Lao Theuong. Approximately 89% of the population live in rural areas.
Luang Prabang region
Luang Prabang region is mainly mountainous, mostly consists of hills with very steep slopes (8% of the land with slope gradient exceeding 55%). The flat and gently slope (0 to 2 %) represents less than 1 % of the area and occurs at foot hills and at the valley bottom. Elevation varies from 290 to 2257 meters above sea level
The coordinates of the catchment are between 102° 09’ 50’’E and 102° 10’ 20’’E, 19° 51’ 00’’E and 19° 51’ 45’’N
The most common rock types are gabros, diorite, and site and basic rocks, schist, gneiss, sandstone (Department of Geology and Mines, 1990-1991).
A detailed soil survey conducted by the Soil Survey and Land Classification Center (SSLCC) in 1996 showed that the most widespread soil groups are Acrisols, Alisol (FAO UNESCO/ Systems) or Ultisols (US.Taxonomy). They are mainly found on the slopes ranking from 8 % to 50 %, i.e. on most of the surveyed area.