This work explores how organising soil erosion assessments using established groupings of similar soils (ecological sites) can inform systems for managing accelerated soil erosion. We evaluated aeolian sediment transport and fluvial erosion rates for five ecological sites in southern New Mexico, USA...
This paper explores how soil erosion assessments structured across ecological sites can inform systems for managing accelerated soil erosion in rangelands. We evaluated wind and water erosion rates for five ecological sites in southern New Mexico, USA, using monitoring data and rangeland-specific wi...
Webb, Nicholas P.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Duniway, Michael C.
Accelerated soil erosion occurs when anthropogenic processes modify soil, vegetation or climatic conditions causing erosion rates at a location to exceed their natural variability. Identifying where and when accelerated erosion occurs is a critical first step toward its effective management. Here we explore how erosion assessments structured in the context of ecological sites (a land classification based on soils, landscape setting and ecological potential) and their vegetation states (plant assemblages that may change due to management) can inform systems for reducing accelerated soil erosion in rangelands. We evaluated aeolian horizontal sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion rates for five ecological sites in southern New Mexico, USA, using monitoring data and rangeland-specific wind and water erosion models. Across the ecological sites, plots in shrub-encroached and shrub-dominated vegetation states were consistently susceptible to aeolian sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion. Both processes were found to be highly variable for grassland and grass-succulent states across the ecological sites at the plot scale (0.25 Ha). We identify vegetation thresholds that define cover levels below which rapid (exponential) increases in aeolian sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion occur across the ecological sites and vegetation states. Aeolian sediment flux and fluvial erosion in the study area can be effectively controlled when bare ground cover is 100 cm in length is less than ~35%. Land use and management activities that alter cover levels such that they cross thresholds, and/or drive vegetation state changes, may increase the susceptibility of areas to erosion. Land use impacts that are constrained within the range of natural variability should not result in accelerated soil erosion. Evaluating land condition against the erosion thresholds identified here will enable identification of areas susceptible to accelerated soil erosion and the development of
Van Oost, K.; Verstraeten, G.; Notebaert, B.; Broothaerts, N.; Doetterl, S.; Wiaux, F.
Carbon emissions as a result of anthropogenic land use have drastically altered the global C cycle. Analyses reported that land use change has released 156 Pg C from vegetation and soils to the atmosphere in the period 1850-2000, equivalent to c. 50% of fossil fuel emissions. More recently, longer-term analysis of human-induced land cover change have highlighted the importance of past land use changes, with estimates of pre-industrial Holocene carbon emissions ranging between 50 and 357 Pg C. Current global vegetation models represent well the net terrestrial C exchange from both vegetation and soils accompanying land use change. In contrast, C exchange associated with accelerated soil erosion following the conversion of land to agricultural use is not accounted for. Large amounts of C have been exposed to mineralization and burial as a result of agricultural erosion and deposition but its significance for both current and past fluxes of carbon due to changes in land use remains poorly quantified. Here, we present an overview of the key controls on soil erosion-induced changes in C exchange between the soil and the atmosphere. We provide evidence of how erosion processes increase the stabilization potential of soils by advecting mineral surfaces through the soil column. Accelerated erosion provides fresh mineral surfaces to the biologically active soil layer where it can stabilize organic matter inputs from plants at sites of erosion. In combination with the deep burial of allochthonous and autochtonous carbon and the inhibited decomposition upon burial, this acts as a sink mechanism. The conditions under which accelerated erosion leads to the chemical and physical breakdown of soil and a biomass reduction following soil degradation, resulting in a net source are also identified. We also present the integrated biotic flux of carbon for the Holocene as a result of both anthropogenic land use change and accelerated erosion for a large coupled upland
Puttock, Alan; Dungait, Jennifer A. J.; Macleod, Christopher J. A.; Bol, Roland; Brazier, Richard E.
Drylands worldwide are experiencing rapid and extensive environmental change, concomitant with the encroachment of woody vegetation into grasslands. Woody encroachment leads to changes in both the structure and function of dryland ecosystems and has been shown to result in accelerated soil erosion and loss of soil nutrients. Covering 40% of the terrestrial land surface, dryland environments are of global importance, both as a habitat and a soil carbon store. Relationships between environmental change, soil erosion, and the carbon cycle are uncertain. There is a clear need to further our understanding of dryland vegetation change and impacts on carbon dynamics. Here two grass-to-woody ecotones that occur across large areas of the southwestern United States are investigated. This study takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining ecohydrological monitoring of structure and function and a dual-proxy biogeochemical tracing approach using the unique natural biochemical signatures of the vegetation. Results show that following woody encroachment, not only do these drylands lose significantly more soil and organic carbon via erosion but that this includes significant amounts of legacy organic carbon which would previously have been stable under grass cover. Results suggest that these dryland soils may not act as a stable organic carbon pool, following encroachment and that accelerated erosion of carbon, driven by vegetation change, has important implications for carbon dynamics.
Baxter, Craig; Rowan, John; McKenzie, Blair; Neilson, Roy
Soil is central to the provision of multiple ecosystem services that sustain life through a myriad of chemical, physical and biological processes. One of the greatest threats to soil is erosion, a natural process accelerated by human activities. Elevated erosion rates are common in agro-ecosystems causing both direct physical impacts (e.g. soil loss), and indirect biogeochemical consequences, which ultimately leads to impaired ecosystem functioning. The consequences of erosion on soil biota have hitherto been ignored, yet biota have fundamental roles in the provision of soil ecosystem services. To our knowledge few studies have addressed the gap between erosion and impacts on soil biota. Here we use soil nematodes as a model organism for assessing erosion impacts on soil (micro) fauna in temperate agro-ecosystems. Soil nematodes are ubiquitous, abundant, are represented at all levels in soil food webs and can be categorised into a range of trophic or functional groups. To quantify transport of nematodes and gain a better understanding of erosive mechanisms responsible, we measured their export from small erosion plots (0.0625m2) under a fixed-intensity design rainstorm (6mm min-1 duration: 3 min) over six slope angles (4° - 24°) and three soil texture classes (sandy silt, silty sand, silt). Runoff and eroded sediment were collected for each plot (four replicate runs), and a suite of biological and physico-chemical parameters measured. Results confirmed that, similar to soil particles, nematodes were exported at rates influenced by slope angle and soil texture. These experiments, linked with field and catchment-scale equivalents, are designed to elucidate the links between soil erosion and provision of ecosystem services and to inform biodiversity-sensitive soil and water conservation practices.
Hamidreza Sadeghi, Seyed; Cerdà, Artemi
Iran currently faces many soil erosion-related problems (see citations below). These issues are resulted from some inherent characteristic and anthropogenic triggering forces. Nowadays, the latter plays more important rule to accelerate the erosion with further emphasis on soil erosion-prone arid and semi arid regions of the country. This contribution attempts to identify and describe the existing main reasons behind accelerated soil erosion in Iran. Appropriate solutions viz. structural and non-structural approaches will be then advised to combat or minimise the problems. Iran can be used as a pilot research site to understand the soil erosion processes in semiarid, arid and mountainous terrain and our research will review the scientific literature and will give an insight of the soil erosion rates in the main factors of the soil erosion in Iran. Key words: Anthropogenic Erosion, Land Degradation; Sediment Management; Sediment Problems Acknowledgements The research projects GL2008-02879/BTE, LEDDRA 243857 and PREVENTING AND REMEDIATING DEGRADATION OF SOILS IN EUROPE THROUGH LAND CARE (RECARE)FP7-ENV-2013- supported this research. References Aghili Nategh, N., Hemmat, A., & Sadeghi, M. (2014). Assessing confined and semi-confined compression curves of highly calcareous remolded soil amended with farmyard manure. Journal of Terramechanics, 53, 75-82. Arekhi, S., Bolourani, A. D., Shabani, A., Fathizad, H., Ahamdy-Asbchin, S. 2012. Mapping Soil Erosion and Sediment Yield Susceptibility using RUSLE, Remote Sensing and GIS (Case study: Cham Gardalan Watershed, Iran). Advances in Environmental Biology, 6(1), 109-124. Arekhi, S., Shabani, A., Rostamizad, G. 2012. Application of the modified universal soil loss equation (MUSLE) in prediction of sediment yield (Case study: Kengir Watershed, Iran). Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 5(6), 1259-1267.Sadeghi, S. H., Moosavi, V., Karami, A., Behnia, N. 2012. Soil erosion assessment and prioritization of affecting factors at plot
Buydos, John F., Comp.
Soil erosion is the detachment and movement of topsoil or soil material from the upper part of the soil profile. It may occur in the form of rill, gully, sheet, or wind erosion. Agents of erosion may be water, wind, glacial ice, agricultural implements, machinery, and animals. Soil conservation measures require a thorough understanding of the…
Ouyang, Wei; Skidmore, Andrew K; Hao, Fanghua; Wang, Tiejun
Simulating soil erosion variation with a temporal land use database reveals long-term fluctuations in landscape patterns, as well as priority needs for soil erosion conservation. The application of a multi-year land use database in support of a Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) led to an accurate assessment, from 1977 to 2006, of erosion in the upper watershed of the Yellow River. At same time, the impacts of land use and landscape service features on soil erosion load were assessed. A series of supervised land use classifications of Landsat images characterized variations in land use and landscape patterns over three decades. The SWAT database was constructed with soil properties, climate and elevation data. Using water flow and sand density data as parameters, regional soil erosion load was simulated. A numerical statistical model was used to relate soil erosion to land use and landscape. The results indicated that decadal decrease of grassland areas did not pose a significant threat to soil erosion, while the continual increase of bare land, water area and farmland increased soil erosion. Regional landscape variation also had a strong relationship with erosion. Patch level landscape analyses demonstrated that larger water area led to more soil erosion. The patch correlation indicated that contagious grassland patches reduced soil erosion yield. The increased grassland patches led to more patch edges, in turn increasing the sediment transportation from the patch edges. The findings increase understanding of the temporal variation in soil erosion processes, which is the basis for preventing local pollution.
Thapa, Gopal B.; Weber, Karl E.
Soil erosion is accelerating in developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It has threatened the livelihood of millions of peasants, for agriculture is their economic mainstay. A probe into the forces causing erosion reveals that the elite’s resolve to accumulate ever more wealth and to maintain, consolidate, or expand their sociopolitical power and the necessity of the poor to fulfill their requirements of food, fuelwood, and fodder are the two major factors accelerating soil erosion. Unless the vast masses of poor people are integrated into the national mainstream through the implementation of equitable and redistributive development policies, it is impossible to control the accelerating rate of soil erosion and thus to achieve the objective of sustainable development.
Babaev, M. P.; Gurbanov, E. A.
It was found that the average size of water-stable aggregates in irrigated soils varies in the range 0.23-2.0 mm, and the eroding flow velocity is 0.03-0.12 m/s. A five-point scale was used for assessing erosion resistance, predicting irrigation erosion, and developing erosion control measures on irrigated soils. According to this system, gray-brown soils and light sierozems were classified as the least erosion-resistant, sierozemic and meadow-sierozemic soils as low erosion-resistant, gray-cinnamonic soils as moderately erosion-resistant, mountain gray-cinnamonic soils as highly erosion-resistant, and steppe mountain cinnamonic soils as very highly erosion-resistant ones. The determination of the erosion resistance of soils is of great importance for assessing the erosion-resistance potential of irrigated areas and developing erosion control measures.
Kim, Jongho; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Fatichi, Simone
Accurate assessment of erosion rates remains an elusive problem because soil loss is strongly nonunique with respect to the main drivers. In addressing the mechanistic causes of erosion responses, we discriminate between macroscale effects of external factors - long studied and referred to as "geomorphic external variability", and microscale effects, introduced as "geomorphic internal variability." The latter source of erosion variations represents the knowledge gap, an overlooked but vital element of geomorphic response, significantly impacting the low predictability skill of deterministic models at field-catchment scales. This is corroborated with experiments using a comprehensive physical model that dynamically updates the soil mass and particle composition. As complete knowledge of microscale conditions for arbitrary location and time is infeasible, we propose that new predictive frameworks of soil erosion should embed stochastic components in deterministic assessments of external and internal types of geomorphic variability.
Baxter, C.; Rowan, J. S.; McKenzie, B. M.; Neilson, R.
Soil is a key asset of natural capital, providing a myriad of goods and ecosystem services that sustain life through regulating, supporting and provisioning roles, delivered by chemical, physical and biological processes. One of the greatest threats to soil is accelerated erosion, which raises a natural process to unsustainable levels, and has downstream consequences (e.g. economic, environmental and social). Global intensification of agroecosystems is a major cause of soil erosion which, in light of predicted population growth and increased demand for food security, will continue or increase. Elevated erosion and transport is common in agroecosystems and presents a multi-disciplinary problem with direct physical impacts (e.g. soil loss), other less tangible impacts (e.g. loss of ecosystem productivity), and indirect downstream effects that necessitate an integrated approach to effectively address the problem. Climate is also likely to increase susceptibility of soil to erosion. Beyond physical response, the consequences of erosion on soil biota have hitherto been ignored, yet biota play a fundamental role in ecosystem service provision. To our knowledge few studies have addressed the gap between erosion and consequent impacts on soil biota. Transport and redistribution of soil biota by erosion is poorly understood, as is the concomitant impact on biodiversity and ability of soil to deliver the necessary range of ecosystem services to maintain function. To investigate impacts of erosion on soil biota a two-fold research approach is suggested. Physical processes involved in redistribution should be characterised and rates of transport and redistribution quantified. Similarly, cumulative and long-term impacts of biota erosion should be considered. Understanding these fundamental aspects will provide a basis upon which mitigation strategies can be considered.
The estimated annual costs of damage caused by soil erosion and excessive sediment in surface waters within the U.S. is approximately $6 billion to $16 billion annually. Historically, information on the types, patterns, causes, spatial location, severity, and extent of land degradation through soil ...
Erosion is the detachment of soil particles and transportation to another location. Wind erosion occurs when wind speed exceeds a critical threshold level, and loose soil particles or soil particles removed by abrasion then move in one of three ways: creep, saltation, and suspension. Erosion by wate...
Jakab, Gergely; Kertész, Ádám; Madarász, Balázs; Pálinkás, Melinda; Tóth, Adrienn
Soil erosion is one of the most effective soil degradation processes reducing crop production on arable fields significantly. It also leads to serious environmental hazards such as eutrophication, mud and flesh floods. Beyond the processes there is an urgent need to survey and descript the current degree of erosion of arable lands in order to provide adequate land use techniques and mitigate the harmful effects. Surveying soil erosion is a very time consuming process since soil loss and deposition take place next to each other resulting a rather diverse erosion pattern even within a plot. Remote sensing is a possible way to determine the degree of soil erosion without special efforts taken in the field. The application of images can provide high resolution erosion maps of almost any type of arable fields. The method is based on the identification of the origin of the surface soil layer, i.e. whether it represents an originally deeper laying horizon (e.g. B horizon), or the parent material. A case study was carried out on a Cambisol formed on loess parent material. The soil and the parent rock have various reflectance spectra in the visible range, so this strip was used for the investigations. For map creation "training sites" were used in ArcMap environment. The obtained results suggest that the method is highly effective and useful, however, other properties like moisture content and plant cover can limit automated application. In this case new training sites are needed. The study was supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH),), project Nr. 108755 and the support is gratefully acknowledged here. G. Jakab was supported by the János Bolyai Fellowship.
Soil erosion processes are usually quantified by observation and measurement of their related forms. Rill, and gullies, moulds or sediment sinks are often used to estimate the soil loss. These forms are generally related directly to different types of processes, thus are also used to identify the dominant processes on a certain type of land-use. Nevertheless, the direct observation of erosion processes is constrained by their temporal and spatial erratic occurrence. As a consequence, the process understanding is generally deduced by analogies. Another possibility is to reproduce processes in experiments in both, the lab and in the field. Laboratory experiments are implemented when we want to have full control over all parameters we think are relevant for the process in our focus. So are very useful for identification of parameters influencing processes and their intensities, but also as physical models of the processes and process interactions in our focus. Therefore, we can use them to verify our concepts, and to define relevant parameters. Field experiments generally only simulate with controlled driving forces, this is the rain or the runoff, but dealing with the uncertainty of our study object, the soil. This enables two things: 1) similar as with lab experiments, we are able to identify processes and process interactions and so, to get a deeper understanding of soil erosion; 2) experiments are suitable for providing data about singular processes in the field and thus, to provide data suitable for model parametrisation and calibration. These may be quantitative data about erodibility or soil resistance, sediment detachment or transport. The Physical Geography Group at Trier University has a long lasting experience in the application of experiments in soil erosion research in the field, and has become lead in the further development conception and of devices and procedures to investigate splash detachment and initial transport of soil particles by wind and water
Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Bala, Chaudhary V.; Johnson, N.C.
Soil erosion and subsequent degradation has been a contributor to societal collapse in the past and is one of the major expressions of desertification in arid regions. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) models soil lost to water erosion as a function of climate erosivity (the degree to which rainfall can result in erosion), topography, soil erodibility, and land use/management. The soil erodibility factor (K) is primarily based upon inherent soil properties (those which change slowly or not at all) such as soil texture and organic matter content, while the cover/management factor (C) is based on several parameters including biological soil crust (BSC) cover. We examined the effect of two more precise indicators of BSC development, chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharides (EPS), upon soil stability, which is closely inversely related to soil loss in an erosion event. To examine the relative influence of these elements of the C factor to the K factor, we conducted our investigation across eight strongly differing soils in the 0.8 million ha Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We found that within every soil group, chlorophyll a was a moderate to excellent predictor of soil stability (R2 = 0.21-0.75), and consistently better than EPS. Using a simple structural equation model, we explained over half of the variance in soil stability and determined that the direct effect of chlorophyll a was 3?? more important than soil group in determining soil stability. Our results suggest that, holding the intensity of erosive forces constant, the acceleration or reduction of soil erosion in arid landscapes will primarily be an outcome of management practices. This is because the factor which is most influential to soil erosion, BSC development, is also among the most manageable, implying that water erosion in drylands has a solution. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.
Sanderman, Jonathan; Chappell, Adrian
The movement of soil organic carbon (SOC) during erosion and deposition events represents a major perturbation to the terrestrial carbon cycle. Despite the recognized impact soil redistribution can have on the carbon cycle, few major carbon accounting models currently allow for soil mass flux. Here, we modified a commonly used SOC model to include a soil redistribution term and then applied it to scenarios which explore the implications of unrecognized erosion and deposition for SOC accounting. We show that models that assume a static landscape may be calibrated incorrectly as erosion of SOC is hidden within the decay constants. This implicit inclusion of erosion then limits the predictive capacity of these models when applied to sites with different soil redistribution histories. Decay constants were found to be 15-50% slower when an erosion rate of 15 t soil ha(-1) yr(-1) was explicitly included in the SOC model calibration. Static models cannot account for SOC change resulting from agricultural management practices focused on reducing erosion rates. Without accounting for soil redistribution, a soil sampling scheme which uses a fixed depth to support model development can create large errors in actual and relative changes in SOC stocks. When modest levels of erosion were ignored, the combined uncertainty in carbon sequestration rates was 0.3-1.0 t CO2 ha(-1) yr(-1) . This range is similar to expected sequestration rates for many management options aimed at increasing SOC levels. It is evident from these analyses that explicit recognition of soil redistribution is critical to the success of a carbon monitoring or trading scheme which seeks to credit agricultural activities.
This brief (775 word) article, written for a non-technical audience, describes how soil erosion during the early decades of agriculture in Iowa contributed sediment that accumulated in local stream and river valleys. A Grant Wood painting titled 'Young Corn' is used to illustrate how early cropping ...
Zobeck, Ted M.; Baddock, Matthew; Scott Van Pelt, R.; Tatarko, John; Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
Histosols (also known as organic soils, mucks, or peats) are soils that are dominated by organic matter (OM > 20%) in half or more of the upper 80 cm. Forty two states have a total of 21 million ha of Histosols in the United States. These soils, when intensively cropped, are subject to wind erosion resulting in loss of crop productivity and degradation of soil, air, and water quality. Estimating wind erosion on Histosols has been determined by USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as a critical need for the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) model. WEPS has been developed to simulate wind erosion on agricultural land in the US, including soils with organic soil material surfaces. However, additional field measurements are needed to understand how soil properties vary among organic soils and to calibrate and validate estimates of wind erosion of organic soils using WEPS. Soil properties and sediment flux were measured in six soils with high organic contents located in Michigan and Florida, USA. Soil properties observed included organic matter content, particle density, dry mechanical stability, dry clod stability, wind erodible material, and geometric mean diameter of the surface aggregate distribution. A field portable wind tunnel was used to generate suspended sediment and dust from agricultural surfaces for soils ranging from 17% to 67% organic matter. The soils were tilled and rolled to provide a consolidated, friable surface. Dust emissions and saltation were measured using an isokinetic vertical slot sampler aspirated by a regulated suction source. Suspended dust was sampled using a Grimm optical particle size analyzer. Particle density of the saltation-sized material (>106 μm) was inversely related to OM content and varied from 2.41 g cm-3 for the soil with the lowest OM content to 1.61 g cm-3 for the soil with highest OM content. Wind erodible material and the geometric mean diameter of the surface soil were inversely related to dry clod
Price, Kevin P.
Multispectral measurements collected by Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) were correlated with field measurements, direct soil loss estimates, and Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) estimates to determine the sensitivity of TM data to varying degrees of soil erosion in pinyon-juniper woodland in central Utah. TM data were also evaluated as a predictor of the USLE Crop Management C factor for pinyon-juniper woodlands. TM spectral data were consistently better predictors of soil erosion factors than any combination of field factors. TM data were more sensitive to vegetation variations than the USLE C factor. USLE estimates showed low annual rates of erosion which varied little among the study sites. Direct measurements of rate of soil loss using the SEDIMENT (Soil Erosion DIrect measureMENT) technique, indicated high and varying rates of soil loss among the sites since tree establishment. Erosion estimates from the USLE and SEDIMENT methods suggest that erosion rates have been severe in the past, but because significant amounts of soil have already been eroded, and the surface is now armored by rock debris, present erosion rates are lower. Indicators of accelerated erosion were still present on all sites, however, suggesting that the USLE underestimated erosion within the study area.
Kim, Jongho; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Fatichi, Simone
Understanding soil erosion by water is essential for a range of research areas but the predictive skill of prognostic models has been repeatedly questioned because of scale limitations of empirical data and the high variability of soil loss across space and time scales. Improved understanding of the underlying processes and their interactions are needed to infer scaling properties of soil loss and better inform predictive methods. This study uses data from multiple environments to highlight temporal-scale dependency of soil loss: erosion variability decreases at larger scales but the reduction rate varies with environment. The reduction of variability of the geomorphic response is attributed to a ‘compensation effect’: temporal alternation of events that exhibit either source-limited or transport-limited regimes. The rate of reduction is related to environment stochasticity and a novel index is derived to reflect the level of variability of intra- and inter-event hydrometeorologic conditions. A higher stochasticity index implies a larger reduction of soil loss variability (enhanced predictability at the aggregated temporal scales) with respect to the mean hydrologic forcing, offering a promising indicator for estimating the degree of uncertainty of erosion assessments. PMID:26925542
Kim, Jongho; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Fatichi, Simone
Understanding soil erosion by water is essential for a range of research areas but the predictive skill of prognostic models has been repeatedly questioned because of scale limitations of empirical data and the high variability of soil loss across space and time scales. Improved understanding of the underlying processes and their interactions are needed to infer scaling properties of soil loss and better inform predictive methods. This study uses data from multiple environments to highlight temporal-scale dependency of soil loss: erosion variability decreases at larger scales but the reduction rate varies with environment. The reduction of variability of the geomorphic response is attributed to a ‘compensation effect’: temporal alternation of events that exhibit either source-limited or transport-limited regimes. The rate of reduction is related to environment stochasticity and a novel index is derived to reflect the level of variability of intra- and inter-event hydrometeorologic conditions. A higher stochasticity index implies a larger reduction of soil loss variability (enhanced predictability at the aggregated temporal scales) with respect to the mean hydrologic forcing, offering a promising indicator for estimating the degree of uncertainty of erosion assessments.
Kázmér, Miklós; Kern, Zoltán; Zhou, Yun-chao; Mei, Lou; Fang, Keyan
Soil deterioration and erosion is a major problem worldwide. Various agricultural practices, deforestation and engineering works add to erosion in various ways. However, we are often unaware of the rate of natural processes affecting soil formation and erosion, which could serve as baseline for the assessment of human impact. Roots of trees and shrubs start to grow underground. Wherever we find them subaerially, we can be sure that erosion exposed them. By studying the age and anatomical texture of roots, it is possible to tell the year of exposition, and calculate the rate of erosion. Analysis of growth-rings of tree roots is applied to estimate the time of the exhumation of the root. Various types of observations are to be applied to identify the exposure time of a root. (1) Since the first ring of a root can only grow under the surface, the number of the tree rings of a living root defines the maximal age of the exhumation. (2) The uncovered root can be damaged after exposure. (3) Exposed roots change geometry and texture of rings. The age of a damage of the cambium also can be measured by the counting the number of overgrown tree-rings, which defines the minimal age of exhumation. Examples from root-exposure soil erosion studies will be displayed from Budapest, from the nuclear waste repository site in Mecsek Hills (Hungary) and from Guizhou and Gansu provinces (China). (OTKA T43666, K67.583; TET_12_CN-1 2012-0008; LP2012-27/2012).
Price, Kevin P.; Ridd, Merrill K.
The sensitivity of Landsat TM data for detecting soil erosion within pinyon-juniper woodlands, and the potential of the spectral data for assigning the universal soil loss equation (USLE) crop managemnent (C) factor to varying cover types within the woodlands are assessed. Results show greatly accelerated rates of soil erosion on pinyon-juniper sites. Percent cover by pinyon-juniper, total soil-loss, and total nonliving ground cover accounted for nearly 70 percent of the variability in TM channels 2, 3, 4, and 5. TM spectral data were consistently better predictors of soil erosion than the biotic and abiotic field variables. Satellite data were more sensitive to vegetation variation than the USLE C factor, and USLE was found to be a poor predictor of soil loss on pinyon-juniper sites. A new string-to-ground soil erosion prediction technique is introduced.
Langran, K. J.
Accurate estimates of soil erosion and its effects on soil productivity are essential in agricultural decision making and planning from the field scale to the national level. Erosion models have been primarily developed for designing erosion control systems, predicting sediment yield for reservoir design, predicting sediment transport, and simulating water quality. New models proposed are more comprehensive in that the necessary components (hydrology, erosion-sedimentation, nutrient cycling, tillage, etc.) are linked in a model appropriate for studying the erosion-productivity problem. Recent developments in remote sensing systems, such as Landsat Thematic Mapper, Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-B), etc., can contribute significantly to the future development and operational use of these models.
Casper, Markus C.
The main tools to provide estimations concerning risk and amount of erosion are different types of soil erosion models: on the one hand, there are empirically based model concepts on the other hand there are more physically based or process based models. However, both types of models have substantial weak points. All empirical model concepts are only capable of providing rough estimates over larger temporal and spatial scales, they do not account for many driving factors that are in the scope of scenario related analysis. In addition, the physically based models contain important empirical parts and hence, the demand for universality and transferability is not given. As a common feature, we find, that all models rely on parameters and input variables, which are to certain, extend spatially and temporally averaged. A central question is whether the apparent heterogeneity of soil properties or the random nature of driving forces needs to be better considered in our modelling concepts. Traditionally, researchers have attempted to remove spatial and temporal variability through homogenization. However, homogenization has been achieved through physical manipulation of the system, or by statistical averaging procedures. The price for obtaining this homogenized (average) model concepts of soils and soil related processes has often been a failure to recognize the profound importance of heterogeneity in many of the properties and processes that we study. Especially soil infiltrability and the resistance (also called "critical shear stress" or "critical stream power") are the most important empirical factors of physically based erosion models. The erosion resistance is theoretically a substrate specific parameter, but in reality, the threshold where soil erosion begins is determined experimentally. The soil infiltrability is often calculated with empirical relationships (e.g. based on grain size distribution). Consequently, to better fit reality, this value needs to be
Wang, L.; Shi, Z. H.; Wu, G. L.; Fang, N. F.
Wind erosion is very pronounced in semiarid regions during late winter-early spring and has major impacts on regional desertification and agriculture. In order to identify the effects of freeze/thaw and soil moisture on wind erosion, wind tunnel experiments were conducted to compare wind erosion effects under various soil moisture gradients in frozen and thawed soil. The variation of surface soil moisture after wind erosion and the effective soil particle size distribution was tested to explain the differences. The results showed that surface soil moisture content decreased in thawed soil and increased in frozen soil after wind erosion. The mean weight diameter, which increased with increasing soil moisture, was smaller in thawed soil than in frozen soil. The wind-driven sediment flux of frozen and thawed soil both decreased with increasing moisture, owing to the heavier soil particle weight and stronger interparticle bonding forces. The critical soil moisture content for suppressing wind erosion was around 2.34% for frozen soil and around 2.61% for thawed soil. The wind-driven sediment flux of thawed soil was always larger than that of frozen soil at the same moisture content, but this difference became negligible at moisture contents above 3.38%. We may speculate that wind erosion will be more severe in the future because of the lower soil moisture content and fewer soil freezing days as a result of global warming.
Eshel, G.; Egozi, R.
As the world population continues to grow, the need for food production increases, which result in larger areas under intensive agriculture activity. It is also known that intensive agriculture activity tends to accelerate soil erosion rates. The coupling of these two processes put under risk the fertile soils and the ability to maintain sustainable food production. However, the subject is still ignored by the general public and politicians, contrary to global warming and water scarcity issues. The main reason may relate to the difficulty in providing numbers for slow long term soil erosion process. This is due to measurements complexity to quantify small changes in volume, especially, when the soils are deep and frequently cultivated. On the other hand, extreme soil erosion events provide us a unique opportunity to measure soil loss rates and quantities under real conditions in which soil erosion processes are intensified. Although those events provide good imagery of the problem, it is not trivial to extract quantitative valuable information. We, the scientists from different disciplines, must join forces in order to develop tools to overcome the problem. If we able to generate more significant scientific knowledge on the phenomena, we may able to raise the general public and politicians awareness for the need to change the way we manage our land and extensively shift toward conservation practices.
Schönbrodt, Sarah; Behrens, Thorsten; Scholten, Thomas
Apparently, the current most prominent human-induced example for large scale environmental impact is the Three Gorges Dam in China. The flooding alongside the Yangtze River, and its tributaries results in a vast loss of settlement and farmland area with productive, fertile valley soils. Due to the associated high land use dynamic on uphill-sites, the soil resources are underlying high land use pressure. Within our study, the soil erosion under natural conditions is compared to the soil erosion under current land use after the impoundment. Both were modeled using the empirical Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) which is able to predict long-term annual soil loss with limited data. The database consists of digital terrain data (45 m resolution DEM, erosive slope length based on Monte-Carlo-Aggregation according to Behrens et al. (2008)), field investigations of recent erosion forms, and literature studies. The natural disposition to soil erosion was calculated considering the USLE factors R, S, and K. The soil erosion under current land use was calculated taking into account all USLE factors. The study area is the catchment of the Xiangxi River in the Three Gorges Reservoir area. Within the Xiangxi Catchment (3,200 km²) the highly dynamic backwater area (580 km²), and two micro-scale study sites (Xiangjiaba with 2.8 km², and Quyuan with 88 km²) are considered more detailed as they are directly affected by the river impoundment. Central features of the Xiangxi Catchment are the subtropical monsoon climate, an extremely steep sloping relief (mean slope angle 39°, SD 22.8°) artificially fractured by farmland terraces, and a high soil erodibility (mean K factor 0.37, SD 0.13). On the catchment scale the natural disposition to soil erosion makes up to mean 518.0 t ha-1 a-1. The maximum potential soil loss of 1,730.1 t ha-1 a-1 under natural conditions is reached in the Quyuan site (mean 635.8 t ha-1 a-1) within the backwater area (mean 582.9 t ha-1 a-1). In the
West, A. J.; Arnold, M.; Aumaître, G.; Bourlès, D. L.; Keddadouche, K.; Bickle, M.; Ojha, T.
Although agriculturally accelerated soil erosion is implicated in the unsustainable environmental degradation of mountain environments, such as in the Himalaya, the effects of land use can be difficult to quantify in many mountain settings because of the high and variable natural background rates of erosion. In this study, we present new long-term denudation rates, derived from cosmogenic 10Be analysis of quartz in river sediment from the Likhu Khola, a small agricultural river basin in the Middle Hills of central Nepal. Calculated long-term denudation rates, which reflect background natural erosion processes over 1000+ years prior to agricultural intensification, are similar to present-day sediment yields and to soil loss rates from terraces that are well-maintained. Similarity in short- and long-term catchment-wide erosion rates for the Likhu is consistent with data from elsewhere in the Nepal Middle Hills, but contrasts with the very large increases in short-term erosion rates seen in agricultural catchments in other steep mountain settings. Our results suggest that the large sediment fluxes exported from the Likhu and other Middle Hills rivers in the Himalaya are derived in large part from natural processes, rather than from soil erosion as a result of agricultural activity. Because of the high natural background rates, simple comparison of short- and long-term rates may not reveal unsustainable soil degradation, particularly if much of the catchment-scale erosion flux derives from mass wasting. Correcting for the mass wasting contribution in the Likhu implies minimum catchment-averaged soil production rates of ~0.25-0.35 mm yr-1. The deficit between these production rates and soil losses suggests that terraced agriculture in the Likhu may not be associated with a large systematic soil deficit, at least when terraces are well maintained, but that poorly managed terraces, forest and scrubland may lead to rapid depletion of soil resources.
Internal erosion of soil pipes can lead to embankment failures, landslides, and gully erosion. Therefore, non-intrusive methods are needed to detect and monitor soil pipeflow and the resulting internal erosion. This paper presents a laboratory study using both active and passive acoustic techniques ...
Internal erosion of soil pipes can lead to embankment failures, landslides, and gully erosion therefore non-intrusive methods are needed to detect and monitor soil pipeflow and the resulting internal erosion. This paper presents a laboratory study using both active and passive acoustic techniques to...
Van Oost, Kristof; Van Hemelryck, Hendrik; Harden, Jennifer W.; McPherson, B.J.; Sundquist, E.T.
Agricultural activities have substantially increased rates of soil erosion and deposition, and these processes have a significant impact on carbon (C) mineralization and burial. Here, we present a synthesis of erosion effects on carbon dynamics and discuss the implications of soil erosion for carbon sequestration strategies. We demonstrate that for a range of data-based parameters from the literature, soil erosion results in increased C storage onto land, an effect that is heterogeneous on the landscape and is variable on various timescales. We argue that the magnitude of the erosion term and soil carbon residence time, both strongly influenced by soil management, largely control the strength of the erosion-induced sink. In order to evaluate fully the effects of soil management strategies that promote carbon sequestration, a full carbon account must be made that considers the impact of erosion-enhanced disequilibrium between carbon inputs and decomposition, including effects on net primary productivity and decomposition rates.
Davenport, D.W.; Breshears, D.D.; Wilcox, B.P.; Allen, C.D.
Many pinon-juniper ecosystem in the western U.S. are subject to accelerated erosion while others are undergoing little or no erosion. Controversy has developed over whether invading or encroaching pinon and juniper species are inherently harmful to rangeland ecosystems. We developed a conceptual model of soil erosion in pinon-jumper ecosystems that is consistent with both sides of the controversy and suggests that the diverse perspectives on this issue arise from threshold effects operating under very different site conditions. Soil erosion rate can be viewed as a function of (1) site erosion potential (SEP), determined by climate, geomorphology and soil erodibility; and (2) ground cover. Site erosion potential and cove act synergistically to determine soil erosion rates, as evident even from simple USLE predictions of erosion. In pinon-juniper ecosystem with high SEP, the erosion rate is highly sensitive to ground cover and can cross a threshold so that erosion increases dramatically in response to a small decrease in cover. The sensitivity of erosion rate to SEP and cover can be visualized as a cusp catastrophe surface on which changes may occur rapidly and irreversibly. The mechanisms associated with a rapid shift from low to high erosion rate can be illustrated using percolation theory to incorporate spatial, temporal, and scale-dependent patterns of water storage capacity on a hillslope. Percolation theory demonstrates how hillslope runoff can undergo a threshold response to a minor change in storage capacity. Our conceptual model suggests that pinion and juniper contribute to accelerated erosion only under a limited range of site conditions which, however, may exist over large areas.
Chamizo, S.; Cantón, Y.; Lázaro, R.; Solé-Benet, A.; Calvo-Cases, A.; Miralles, I.; Domingo, F.
Most soils exposed to rainfall are prone to sealing and crusting processes causing physical soil crusts (PSCs). When climate and soil stability conditions are suitable, PSCs can be consolidated by a complex community consisting of cyanobacteria, bacteria, green algae, microfungi, lichens and bryophytes, which are collectively known as biological soil crust (BSC). The influence of soil crusts on erosion processes is complex: crusts may reduce detachment, increasing soil stability and protecting soil against raindrop impact, although that protection will depend on the type of soil crust and the stage of development; they can also build up runoff, suggesting that downstream erosion may actually be increased or favoured water harvesting to vegetated areas. On the other hand, BSCs have been demonstrated to be very vulnerable to disturbance which in turn can lead to accelerate soil erosion and other forms of land degradation. Incorporation of the response of different type of soil crusts and the effects of their disturbance is highly likely to improve the prediction of runoff and water erosion models in arid and semi-arid catchments. The objective of this work is to analyse the erosional response of PSCs and BSCs in different stages of their development and subject to distinct disturbances when extreme rainfalls intensities are applied at plot scale in semiarid environments. Small plots on the most representative crust types, corresponding to different stages of crust development, in two semiarid ecosystems in SE Spain, El Cautivo (in the Tabernas Desert) and Amoladeras (in the Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Níjar), were selected and three disturbance treatments were applied on each crust type: a) no disturbance (control), b) trampling, stepping 100 times over the crust and c) scraping. Two consecutive rainfall simulation experiments (50 mm/h rainfall intensity) were carried out on each plot: the first on dry soil and the second, 30 minutes later, on wet soil conditions
Tuttle, M.; Griggs, G. )
Off-road vehicle (ORV) impact on the landscape includes the destruction of protective vegetative cover, soil compaction, and increased runoff followed by increased erosion. An investigation of three State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs) in arid regions of California have documented 10- to 25-fold increases in sediment yield relative to nearby undisturbed basins. Soil texture and slope length are the dominant factors controlling soil erodibility in these areas. Organic carbon content of the soil exposed in hillclimb gullies was comparable to C horizon values of undisturbed soil profiles demonstrating a significant (70%) loss of soil fertility due to accelerated erosion. Soil erosion can be minimized and lifespan of these recreational areas prolonged by initiating and enforcing some critical management policies, including careful control over location and length of hillclimb, rotating use areas such that rehabilitation of revegetation is feasible, and seasonal use restrictions.
Setiawan, M. A.; Stoetter, J.; Sartohadi, J.; Christanto, N.
tolerable soil erosion rate, the soil erosion management will be applied base on cost and benefit analysis. The soil erosion management measures will conduct as decision maker of defining the best alternative soil conservation method in a certain area. Besides the engineering and theoretical methods, the local wisdom also will be taken into account in defining the alternative manners of soil erosion management. As a prototype, this integrated model will be generated and simulated in Serayu Watershed, Central Java, since this area has a serious issue in soil erosion problem mainly in the upper stream area (Dieng area). The extraordinary monoculture plantation (potatoes) and very intensive soil tillage without proper soil conservation method has accelerated the soil erosion and depleted the soil fertility. Based on the potatoes productivity data (kg/ha) from 1997-2007 showed that there was a declining trend line, approximately minus 8,2% every year. On the other hand the fertilizer and pesticide consumption in agricultural land are significantly increasing every year. In the same time, the high erosion rate causes serious sedimentation problem in lower stream. Those conditions can be used as study case in determining the element at risk of soil erosion and calculation method for the total soil erosion cost (on-site and off-site effect). Moreover, The Serayu Watershed consists of complex landforms which might have variation of soil erosion tolerable rate. In the future, this integrated model can obtain valuable basis data of the soil erosion hazard in spatial and temporal information including its total cost, the sustainability time of certain land or agriculture area, also the consequences price of applying certain agriculture or soil management. Since this model give result explicitly in spatial and temporal, this model can be used by the local authority to run the land use scenario in term of soil erosion impact before applied them in the real condition. In practice, such
Konz, N.; Baenninger, D.; Konz, M.; Nearing, M.; Alewell, C.
Mountainous soil erosion processes were investigated in the Urseren Valley (Central Switzerland) by means of measurements and simulations. The quantification of soil erosion was performed on hill slope scale (2·20 m) for three different land use types: hayfields, pastures with dwarf shrubs and pastures without dwarf shrubs with three replicates each. Erosion rates during growing season were measured with sediment traps between June 2006 and November 2007. Long-term soil erosion rates were estimated based on Cs- 137 redistribution. In addition, soil moisture and surface flow were recorded during the growing season in the field and compared to model output. We chose the WEPP model (Water Erosion Prediction Project) to simulate soil erosion during the growing season. Model parameters were determined in the field (slope, plant species, fractional vegetation cover, initial saturation level), by laboratory analyses (grain size, organic matter) and by literature study. The WEPP model simulates sheet erosion processes (interrill and splash erosion processes, please note that no rill erosion occurs at our sites). Model output resulted in considerable smaller values than the measured erosion rates with sediment traps for the same period. We attribute the differences to observed random gravity driven erosion of soil conglomerates. The Cs-137 measurements deliver substantially higher mean annual erosion rates, which are most likely connected to snow cover related processes such as snow gliding and avalanche activities.
As a result of 1930’s Dust Bowl, the U.S. initiated soil erosion and land conservation programs. The Universal Soil Loss (USLE) was one result of this effort and has remained one of the most widely used equations for soil erosion prediction world-wide. This empirical relationship has been incorpor...
Quantification of soil erosion has been traditionally considered as a surface hydrologic process with equations for soil detachment and sediment transport derived from the mechanics and hydraulics of the rainfall and surface flow. Under the current erosion modeling framework, the soil has a constant...
Symeonakis, Elias; Drake, Nick
Soil erosion is considered to be one of the greatest environmental problems of sub-Saharan Africa. This paper investigates the advantages and disadvantages of modelling soil erosion at the continental scale and suggests an operational methodology for mapping and quantifying 10-daily water runoff and soil erosion over this scale using remote sensing data in a geographical information system framework. An attempt is made to compare the estimates of this study with general data on the severity of soil erosion over Africa and with measured rates of soil loss at different locations over the continent. The results show that the measured and estimated rates of erosion are in some areas very similar and in general within the same order of magnitude. The importance and the potential of using the soil erosion estimates with simple models and easily accessible free data for various continental-scale environmental applications are also demonstrated.
Martín-Fernández, Luis; Martínez-Núñez, Margarita
Soil erosion is one of the most important factors in land degradation and influences desertification worldwide. In 2001, the Spanish Ministry of the Environment launched the 'National Inventory of Soil Erosion (INES) 2002-2012' to study the process of soil erosion in Spain. The aim of the current article is to assess the usefulness of this National Inventory as an instrument of control, measurement and monitoring of soil erosion in Spain. The methodology and main features of this National Inventory are described in detail. The results achieved as of the end of May 2010 are presented, together with an explanation of the utility of the Inventory as a tool for planning forest hydrologic restoration, soil protection, erosion control, and protection against desertification. Finally, the authors make a comparative analysis of similar initiatives for assessing soil erosion in other countries at the national and European levels.
Borrelli, Pasquale; Schütt, Brigitta
This study aimed to assess the effects of forest management on the occurrence of accelerated soil erosion by water. The study site is located in a mountainous area of the Italian Central Apennines. Here, forest harvesting is a widespread forestry activity and is mainly performed on the moderate to steep slopes of the highlands. Through modeling operations based on data on soil properties and direct monitoring of changes in the post-forest-harvesting soil surface level at the hillslope scale, we show that the observed site became prone to soil erosion after human intervention. Indeed, the measured mean soil erosion rate of 49 t ha- 1 yr- 1 for the harvested watershed is about 21 times higher than the rate measured in its neighboring undisturbed forested watershed (2.3 t ha- 1 yr- 1). The erosive response is greatly aggravated by exposing the just-harvested forest, with very limited herbaceous plant cover, to the aggressive attack of the heaviest annual rainfall without adopting any conservation practices. The erosivity of the storms during the first four months of field measurements was 1571 MJ mm h- 1 ha- 1 in total (i.e., from September to December 2008). At the end of the experiment (16 months), 18.8%, 26.1% and 55.1% of the erosion monitoring sites in the harvested watershed recorded variations equal or greater than 0-5, 5-10 and > 10 mm, respectively. This study also provides a quantification of Italian forestland surfaces with the same pedo-lithological characteristics exploited for wood supply. Within a period of ten years (2002-2011), about 9891 ha of coppice forest changes were identified and their potential soil erosion rates modeled.
Bertol, Ildegardis; César Ramos, Júlio; Vidal Vázquez, Eva; Mirás Avalos, José Manuel
Soil erosion is a complex phenomenon depending on climate, topography, soil intrinsic characteristics, crop and residue cover, and management and conservation practices that may be accelerated by man activities. Within the above mentioned factors, soil cover and soil management most influence soil erosion. Soil management includes mechanical mobilization and in soil conservationist systems soil residues are mobilized for increasing soil surface roughness. Even if soil roughness is ephemeral, it increases soil water storage and sediment retention in surface microdepressions, which contributes to decrease water erosion. Conservationist soil management systems also maintain the soil surface covered by crop residues, which are more persistent than roughness and contribute to dissipate kinetic energy from raindrops and partly also from runoff. Crop residues are more efficient than soil roughness in controlling water erosion because of its ability to retain detached soil particles. The objective of this study was to assess the efficiency of both soil cover by crop residues and soil surface roughness in controlling water erosion. A field experiments was performed on an Inceptisol in South Brazil under simulated rainfall conditions during 2012. The following treatments were evaluated: 1) residues of Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), 2) residues of common vetch (Vicia sativa), 3) scarification after cultivation of Italian ryegrass, 4) scarification after cultivation of common vetch, 5) scarified bare soil with high roughness as a control. Treatments #1 and 2 involved no-tilled soil with a rather smooth soil surface, where roots and crop residues of the previous crop were maintained. Treatments # 3 and 4 involved a rather high roughness, absence of previous crop residues and maintenance of antecedent roots. Experimental plots were 11 m long and 3.5 m wide with an area of 38.5 m2. Six successive simulated rainfall tests were applied using a rotating-boom rain simulator
van Gorp, Wouter; Temme, Arnaud; Schoorl, Jeroen
LAPSUS is a soil erosion - landscape evolution model which is capable of simulating landscape evolution of a gridded DEM by using multiple water, mass movement and human driven processes on multiple temporal and spatial scales. It is able to deal with a variety of human landscape interventions such as landuse management and tillage and it can model their interactions with natural processes. The complex spatially explicit feedbacks the model simulates demonstrate the importance of spatial interaction of human activity and erosion deposition patterns. In addition LAPSUS can model shallow landsliding, slope collapse, creep, solifluction, biological and frost weathering, fluvial behaviour. Furthermore, an algorithm to deal with natural depressions has been added and event-based modelling with an improved infiltration description and dust deposition has been pursued. LAPSUS has been used for case studies in many parts of the world and is continuously developing and expanding. it is now available for third-party and educational use. It has a comprehensive user interface and it is accompanied by a manual and exercises. The LAPSUS model is highly suitable to quantify and understand catchment-scale erosion processes. More information and a download link is available on www.lapsusmodel.nl.
Zhang, Qing-Wen; Li, Yong
Accelerated soil erosion is considered as a major land degradation process resulting in increased sediment production and sediment-associated nutrient inputs to the rivers. Over the last decade, several soil conservation programs for erosion control have been conducted throughout Northeastern China. Reliable information on soil erosion rates is an essential prerequisite to assess the effectiveness of soil conservation measures. A study was carried out in Baiquan County of Northeastern China to assess the effectiveness of soil conservation measures in reducing soil erosion using the (137)Cs tracer technique and related techniques. This study reports the use of (137)Cs measurements to quantify medium-term soil erosion rates in traditional slope farmland, contour cropping farmland and terrace farmland in the Dingjiagou catchment and the Xingsheng catchment of Baiquan County. The (137)Cs reference inventory of 2532 ± 670 Bq m(-2) was determined. Based on the principle of the (137)Cs tracer technique, soil erosion rates were estimated. The results showed that severe erosion on traditional slope farmland is the dominant soil erosion process in the area. The terrace measure reduced soil erosion rates by 16% for the entire slope. Typical net soil erosion rates are estimated to be 28.97 Mg per hectare per year for traditional slope farmland and 25.04 Mg per hectare per year for terrace farmland in the Dingjiagou catchment. In contrast to traditional slope farmland with a soil erosion rate of 34.65 Mg per hectare per year, contour cultivation reduced the soil erosion rate by 53% resulting in a soil erosion rate of 22.58 Mg per hectare per year in the Xingsheng catchment. These results indicated that soil losses can be controlled by changing tillage practices from the traditional slope farmland cultivation to the terrace or contour cultivation.
Butterworth, Joel B.
Areas of significant soil erosion and unvegetated road cuts were identified and mapped for Vandenberg Air Force Base. One hundred forty-two eroded areas (most greater than 1.2 ha) and 51 road cuts were identified from recent color infrared aerial photography and ground truthed to determine the severity and causes of erosion. Comparison of the present eroded condition of soils (as shown in the 1986 photography) with that in historical aerial photography indicates that most erosion on the base took place prior to 1928. However, at several sites accelerated rates of erosion and sedimentation may be occurring as soils and parent materials are eroded vertically. The most conspicuous erosion is in the northern part of the base, where severe gully, sheet, and mass movement erosion have occurred in soils and in various sedimentary rocks. Past cultivation practices, compounded by highly erodible soils prone to subsurface piping, are probably the main causes. Improper range management practices following cultivation may have also increased runoff and erosion. Aerial photography from 1986 shows that no appreciable headward erosion or gully sidewall collapse have occurred in this area since 1928.
Zhang, Bing; Jiao, Quanjun; Wu, Yanhong; Zhang, Wenjuan
The secondary disasters induced by the Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, such as landslides, collapsing rocks, debris flows, floods, etc., have changed the local natural landscape tremendously and caused heavy soil erosion in the earthquake-hit areas. Using thematic mapper images taken before the earthquake and airborne images taken after the earthquake, we extracted information about the destroyed landscape by utilizing remote sensing and geographical information system techniques. Then, taking into account multi-year precipitation, vegetation cover, soil type, land use, and elevation data, we evaluated the soil erosion area and intensity using the revised universal soil loss equation. Results indicate that the soil erosion in earthquake-hit areas was exacerbated, with the severe erosion area increasing by 279.2 km2, or 1.9% of the total statistical area. Large amounts of soil and debris blocked streams and formed many barrier lakes over an area of more than 3.9 km2. It was evident from the spatial distribution of soil erosion areas that the intensity of soil erosion accelerated in the stream valley areas, especially in the valleys of the Min River and the Jian River.
Soil erosion by the environmental agents of water and wind is a continuing global menace that threatens the agricultural base that sustains our civilization. Members of ASABE have been at the forefront of research to understand erosion processes, measure erosion and related processes, and model very...
West, A. J.; Arnold, M.; AumaItre, G.; Bourles, D. L.; Keddadouche, K.; Bickle, M.; Ojha, T.
Although agriculturally accelerated soil erosion is implicated in the unsustainable environmental degradation of mountain environments, such as in the Himalaya, the effects of land use can be challenging to quantify in many mountain settings because of the high and variable natural background rates of erosion. In this study, we present new long-term denudation rates, derived from cosmogenic 10Be analysis of quartz in river sediment from the Likhu Khola, a small agricultural river basin in the Middle Hills of central Nepal. Calculated long-term denudation rates, which reflect background natural erosion processes over 1000+ years prior to agricultural intensification, are similar to present-day sediment yields and to soil loss rates from terraces that are well maintained. Similarity in short- and long-term catchment-wide erosion rates for the Likhu is consistent with data from elsewhere in the Nepal Middle Hills but contrasts with the very large increases in short-term erosion rates seen in agricultural catchments in other steep mountain settings. Our results suggest that the large sediment fluxes exported from the Likhu and other Middle Hills rivers in the Himalaya are derived in large part from natural processes, rather than from soil erosion as a result of agricultural activity. Catchment-scale erosional fluxes may be similar over short and long timescales if both are dominated by mass wasting sources such as gullies, landslides, and debris flows (e.g., as is evident in the landslide-dominated Khudi Khola of the Nepal High Himalaya, based on compiled data). As a consequence, simple comparison of catchment-scale fluxes will not necessarily pinpoint land use effects on soils where these are only a small part of the total erosion budget, unless rates of mass wasting are also considered. Estimates of the mass wasting contribution to erosion in the Likhu imply catchment-averaged soil production rates on the order of ~ 0.25-0.35 mm yr-1, though rates of mass wasting are
Mamo, Martha; Kettler, Timothy; Hussman, Dann
Our objective was to evaluate responses from students with different learning styles to the use of computer technology as a supplemental tool in teaching soil erosion concepts. The online lesson utilized photographs, illustrations, animations, and an interactive model that allowed students to manipulate factors influencing soil erosion. Students…
Gerke, Horst H.; Rieckh, Helene; Sommer, Michael
Hummocky soil landscapes are characterized by 3D spatial patterns of soil types that result from erosion-affected pedogenesis. Due to tillage and water erosion, truncated profiles have been formed at steep and mid slopes and colluvial soils at hollows. Pedogenetic variations in soil horizons at the different hillslope positions suggested feedback effects between erosion affected soil properties, the water balances, and the crop growth and leaching rates. Water balance simulations compared uniform with hillslope position-specific crop and root growths for soils at plateau, flat mid slope, steep slope, and hollow using the Hydrus-1D program. The boundary condition data were monitored at the CarboZALF-D experimental field site, which was cropped with perennial lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) in 2013 and 2014. Crop and root growth was assumed proportional to observed leaf area index (LAI). Fluxes of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (DOC, DIC) were obtained from simulated water fluxes and measured DOC and DIC concentrations. For the colluvic soil, the predominately upward flow led to a net input in DIC and DOC. For the truncated soils at steep slopes, a reduced crop growth caused an relative increase in drainage, suggesting an accelerated leaching, which in the long term could accelerate the soil development and more soil variations along eroding hillslopes in arable soil landscapes.
Ananda, Jayanath; Herath, Gamini
Soil erosion is the single most important environmental degradation problem in the developing world. Despite the plethora of literature that exists on the incidence, causes and impacts of soil erosion, a concrete understanding of this complex problem is lacking. This paper examines the soil erosion problem in developing countries in order to understand the complex inter-relationships between population pressure, poverty and environmental-institutional dynamics. Two recent theoretical developments, namely Boserup's theory on population pressure, poverty and soil erosion and Lopez's theory on environmental and institutional dynamics have been reviewed. The analysis reveals that negative impacts of technical change, inappropriate government policies and poor institutions are largely responsible for the continued soil erosion in developing countries. On the other hand, potential for market-based approaches to mitigate the problem is also low due to the negative externalities involved. A deeper appreciation of institutional and environmental dynamics and policy reforms to strengthen weak institutions may help mitigate the problem.
Ilieva, Diliana; Malinov, Ilia
Soil erosion is widely recognised environmental problem. The report aims at presenting the main results from assessment and mapping of the factors of sheet water erosion and the potential erosion risk on the territory of National Park "Central Balkan". For this purpose, the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was used for predicting soil loss from erosion. The influence of topography (LS-factor) and soil erodibility (K-factor) was assessed using small-scale topographic and soil maps. Rainfall erosivity (R-factor) was calculated from data of rainfalls with amounts exceeding 9.5 mm from 14 hydro-meteorological stations. The values of the erosion factors (R, K and LS) were presented for the areas of forest, sub-alpine and alpine zones. Using the methods of GIS, maps were plotted presenting the area distribution among the classes of the soil erosion factors and the potential risk in the respective zones. The results can be used for making accurate decisions for soil conservation and sustainable land management in the park.
Ola, A.; Dodd, I. C.; Quinton, J. N.
Soil erosion is a major threat to soil functioning. The use of vegetation to control erosion has long been a topic for research. Much of this research has focused on the above ground properties of plants, demonstrating the important role that canopy structure and cover plays in the reduction of water erosion processes. Less attention has been paid to plant roots. Plant roots are a crucial yet under-researched factor for reducing water erosion through their ability to alter soil properties, such as aggregate stability, hydraulic function and shear strength. However, there have been few attempts to manipulate plant root system properties to reduce soil erosion. Therefore, this review aims to explore the effects that plant roots have on soil erosion and hydrological processes, and how plant root architecture might be manipulated to enhance its erosion control properties. We clearly demonstrate the importance of root system architecture for the control of soil erosion. We also demonstrate that some plant species respond to nutrient enriched patches by increasing lateral root proliferation. The soil response to root proliferation will depend upon its location: at the soil surface dense mats of roots may block soil pores thereby limiting infiltration, enhancing runoff and thus erosion; whereas at depth local increases in shear strength may reinforce soils against structural failure at the shear plane. Additionally, in nutrient deprived regions, root hair development may be stimulated and larger amounts of root exudates released, thereby improving aggregate stability and decreasing erodibility. Utilising nutrient placement at depth may represent a potentially new, easily implemented, management strategy on nutrient poor agricultural land or constructed slopes to control erosion, and further research in this area is needed.
Mamedov, Amrakh; Warrington, David; Levy, Guy
Understanding the processes and mechanisms affecting runoff generation and subsequent soil erosion in semi-arid regions is essential for the development of improved soil and water conservation management practices. Using a drip type laboratory rain simulator, we studied runoff and soil erosion, and the relationships between them, in 60 semi-arid region soils varying in their intrinsic properties (e.g., texture, organic matter) under differing extrinsic conditions (e.g., rain properties, and conditions prevailing in the field soil). Both runoff and soil erosion were significantly affected by the intrinsic soil and rain properties, and soil conditions within agricultural fields or watersheds. The relationship between soil erosion and runoff was stronger when the rain kinetic energy was higher rather than lower, and could be expressed either as a linear or exponential function. Linear functions applied to certain limited cases associated with conditions that enhanced soil structure stability, (e.g., slow wetting, amending with soil stabilizers, minimum tillage in clay soils, and short duration exposure to rain). Exponential functions applied to most of the cases under conditions that tended to harm soil stability (e.g., fast wetting of soils, a wide range of antecedent soil water contents and rain kinetic energies, conventional tillage, following biosolid applications, irrigation with water of poor quality, consecutive rain simulations). The established relationships between runoff and soil erosion contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms governing overland flow and soil loss, and could assist in (i) further development of soil erosion models and research techniques, and (ii) the design of more suitable management practices for soil and water conservation.
Yermolaev, O. P.
The results of a medium-scale geoinformation mapping of soil erosion on an area of about 150000 km2 in the Middle Volga region are analyzed using the catchment-based approach. A quantitative index of the development of soil erosion on the agricultural lands is suggested. It reflects the intensity of soil erosion on slopes within the river catchments. A computer-based vector map of the boundaries of 3331 elementary catchments has been developed. It represents the territorial units for the analysis of soil erosion. Archive materials from the former institutes for land survey have been used to compile a series of the maps of soil erosion in river catchments on a scale of 1: 200000. The zoning of erosional processes has been performed, and the natural and anthropogenic levels of soil erosion in different basins have been estimated. The analysis of these materials shows that the topography and agricultural activity of humans are the major factors controlling the development of erosion. The maximum development of soil erosion in the studied region is typical of the subzone of broadleaved forests.
Moreno de las Heras, Mariano; Merino-Martín, Luis; Espigares, Tíscar; Nicolau, José M.
Mining reclamation in Mediterranean-dry environments represents a complex task. Reclaimed mining slopes are particularly vulnerable to the effects of accelerated soil erosion processes, especially when these processes lead to the formation of rill networks. On the other hand, encouraging early vegetation establishment is perceived as indispensable to reduce the risk of degradation in these man-made ecosystems. This study shows a synthesis of soil erosion-vegetation research conducted in reclaimed mining slopes at El Moral field site (Teruel coalfield, central-east Spain). Our results highlight the role of rill erosion processes in the development of reclaimed ecosystems. Runoff routing is conditioned by the development of rill networks, maximizing the loss of water resources at the slope scale by surface runoff and altering the spatial distribution of soil moisture. As a result, the availability of water resources for plant growth is drastically reduced, affecting vegetation development. Conversely, vegetation exerts a strong effect on soil erosion: erosion rates rapidly decrease with vegetation cover and no significant rill erosion is usually observed after a particular cover threshold is reached. These interactive two-way vegetation-soil erosion relationships are further studied using a novel modeling approach that focuses on stability analysis of water-limited reclaimed slopes. Our framework reproduces two main groups of trends along the temporal evolution of reclaimed slopes: successful trends, characterized by widespread vegetation development and the effective control of rill erosion processes; and gullying trends, characterized by the progressive loss of vegetation and a sharp logistic increase in erosion rates. This stability-analysis also facilitates the determination of threshold values for both vegetation cover and rill erosion that drive the long-term reclamation results, assisting the identification of critical situations that require specific human
Marques da Silva, Richarde; Guimarães Santos, Celso Augusto; Carneiro de Lima Silva, Valeriano; Pereira e Silva, Leonardo
This study evaluates erosivity, surface runoff generation, and soil erosion rates for Mamuaba catchment, sub-catchment of Gramame River basin (Brazil) by using the ArcView Soil and Water Assessment Tool (AvSWAT) model. Calibration and validation of the model was performed on monthly basis, and it could simulate surface runoff and soil erosion to a good level of accuracy. Daily rainfall data between 1969 and 1989 from six rain gauges were used, and the monthly rainfall erosivity of each station was computed for all the studied years. In order to evaluate the calibration and validation of the model, monthly runoff data between January 1978 and April 1982 from one runoff gauge were used as well. The estimated soil loss rates were also realistic when compared to what can be observed in the field and to results from previous studies around of catchment. The long-term average soil loss was estimated at 9.4 t ha(-1) year(-1); most of the area of the catchment (60%) was predicted to suffer from a low- to moderate-erosion risk (<6 t ha(-1) year(-1)) and, in 20% of the catchment, the soil erosion was estimated to exceed > 12 t ha(-1) year(-1). Expectedly, estimated soil loss was significantly correlated with measured rainfall and simulated surface runoff. Based on the estimated soil loss rates, the catchment was divided into four priority categories (low, moderate, high and very high) for conservation intervention. The study demonstrates that the AvSWAT model provides a useful tool for soil erosion assessment from catchments and facilitates the planning for a sustainable land management in northeastern Brazil.
Over 55% of sediment and salts entering the Colorado River are derived from accelerated soil erosion from federal rangelands with damages estimated to be $385 million per year. About 55% of the loading is derived from rangelands. This suggests a significant potential to reduce dissolved-solids loa...
Lu, Qingshui; Gao, Zhiqiang; Chen, Qiao; Ning, Jicai; Shi, Runhe; Gao, Wei
The coastal zone is very important in the world. China coastal zone was granted the first priority of developing economy in the late 1980s. Since then, high population density and rapid economic development hace caused intensive changes of LUCC in this zone. Those changes have lead to land degradation. Besides, China governments launched series of projects and policy to improve such problems. Those will inevitably cause to diverse spatial dynamics of land degradtion. However, the state of land degradation in certain time is still unknown. Soil erosion is an important indicator of land degradation.Therefore, we use RS images，RUSLE model to anlyze the spatial pattern of soil erosion for 2000. By spatial analysis, we found that soil erosion in China coastal zone is not serious. Widespread soil erosion is only occurred on coastal zones in Shandong, Hainan and werstern Guangdong Province. Although rainfall eosivity factor(R) is higher in southern coastal zone, erosion tends to occur on the slopes with lower LS values in northern coastal zone than southern coastal zone. Goevernments have enforced some policy to reduce the extent of soil erosion by conversion of farmland to woodland and barren mountains to woodland. But the difference between southern and northern coastal zone is still not realized. To improve soil eorosion in those areas, we should let governments put more funds to increase vegetation cover in north. Such study will provide helpful suggestions for governments to prevent soil erosion in coastal zone.
Uri, N D
Soil erosion has both on-farm and off-farm impacts. Reduction of soil depth can impair the land's productivity, and the transport of sediments can degrade streams, lakes, and estuaries. Since 1933, soil conservation policies have existed in the United States. Originally they focused on the on-farm benefits of keeping soil on the land and increasing net farm income. Beginning in the 1980s, however, policy goals increasingly included reductions in off-site impacts of erosion. As a consequence of conservation efforts associated with explicit U.S. government policies, total soil erosion between 1982 and 1992 was reduced by 32% and the sheet and rill erosion rate fell from an average of 4.1 tons per acre per year in 1982 to 3.1 tons per acre in 1992 while the wind erosion rate fell from an average of 3.3 tons per acre per year to 2.4 tons per acre per year over the same period. Still, soil erosion is imposing substantial social costs. These costs are estimated to be about $37.6 billion annually. To further reduce soil erosion and thereby mitigate its social costs, there are a number of policy options available to induce farmers to adopt conservation practices including education and technical assistance. financial assistance, research and development, land retirement, and regulation and taxes.
Ola, A.; Dodd, I. C.; Quinton, J. N.
Soil erosion is a major threat to soil functioning. The use of vegetation to control erosion has long been a topic for research. Much of this research has focused on the above-ground properties of plants, demonstrating the important role that canopy structure and cover plays in the reduction of water erosion processes. Less attention has been paid to plant roots. Plant roots are a crucial yet under-researched factor for reducing water erosion through their ability to alter soil properties, such as aggregate stability, hydraulic function and shear strength. However, there have been few attempts to specifically manipulate plant root system properties to reduce soil erosion. Therefore, this review aims to explore the effects that plant roots have on soil erosion and hydrological processes, and how plant root architecture might be manipulated to enhance its erosion control properties. We demonstrate the importance of root system architecture for the control of soil erosion. We also show that some plant species respond to nutrient-enriched patches by increasing lateral root proliferation. The erosional response to root proliferation will depend upon its location: at the soil surface dense mats of roots may reduce soil erodibility but block soil pores thereby limiting infiltration, enhancing runoff. Additionally, in nutrient-deprived regions, root hair development may be stimulated and larger amounts of root exudates released, thereby improving aggregate stability and decreasing erodibility. Utilizing nutrient placement at specific depths may represent a potentially new, easily implemented, management strategy on nutrient-poor agricultural land or constructed slopes to control erosion, and further research in this area is needed.
Soil erosion and saltation—the transport of ground particles by wind—are significant producers of dust and can damage crops or lead to nutrient-poor soil in semiarid regions. These regions are particularly vulnerable to climate warming and increased human activity, which can exacerbate erosion and induce dust bowl-like conditions. Previous research and observations have shown that vegetation such as shrubs and trees can reduce soil erosion, but existing models do not account for variations in wind direction or strength.
Wallace, D. J.; Anderson, J. B.
The Gulf of Mexico coast is especially vulnerable to rapid coastal changes. The recent acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise and continued steady rate of hurricane impacts is expected to elicit dramatic effects on barrier islands. Galveston Island (GI), located along the upper Texas coast, is ideally suited to quantify the relative influence of sea-level rise and hurricane impacts on the erosion of a barrier island through time due to its low elevation, dense core coverage and radiocarbon constraints on barrier evolution, and more than four decades of shoreline change monitoring. GI formed ~5,500 yr B.P., and has been eroding naturally for the past ~1,800 yr B.P. Sand eroded from GI is transported via longshore currents and deposited directly into the San Luis Pass Tidal Delta complex (SLPTDC). No other known sand sources exist for the SLPTDC, and very little sediment bypass occurs to the west. Therefore, we can examine the erosional history of GI through time by quantifying sediment fluxes into the SLPTDC, in addition to quantifying offshore and backshore sand fluxes due to cyclone impacts. Although many tidal inlets along the Gulf of Mexico have been anthropogenically modified, the SLPTDC has remained natural, thereby allowing a unique opportunity to conduct this study. The SLPTDC formed ~2,100 yr B.P., roughly the same time when erosion along GI began, and corresponds to the time when the rate of sea-level rise decelerated from ~2.0 mm/yr to ~0.60 mm/yr. It has been sequestering sediment relatively continuously throughout its history. In the last 200 years, the sand flux into the SLPTDC has more than doubled relative to the first two millennia. As this material is sourced from GI, this suggests that erosion of the barrier has accelerated in the last ~200 years. Additionally, GI's offshore (seaward of the shoreface) and backshore sand flux due to hurricane impacts have been minor contributors to the erosion of GI. This analysis suggests that the recent
Miller, Larry E.
The course of study represents the last of six modules in advanced crop and soil science and introduces the agriculture student to the topic of soil erosion. Upon completion of the two day lesson, the student will be able to: (1) define conservation, (2) understand how erosion takes place, and (3) list ways of controlling wind and water erosion.…
Adugna, A.; Abegaz, A.; Cerdà, A.
Soil erosion is the main driver of land degradation in Ethiopia, and in the whole region of East Africa. This study was conducted at the Northeast Wollega in West Ethiopia to estimate the soil losses by means of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). The purpose of this paper is to identify erosion spot areas and target locations for appropriate development of soil and water conservation measures. Fieldwork and household survey were conducted to identify major determinants of soil erosion control. Six principal factors were used to calculate soil loss per year, such as rainfallerosivity, soil erodiblity, slope length, slope steepness, crop management and erosion-control practices. The soil losses have shown spatio-temporal variations that range from 4.5 Mg ha-1 yr-1 in forest to 65.9 Mg ha-1 yr-1 in cropland. Results from the analysis of stepwise multiple linear regression show that sustainable soil erosion control are determined byknowledge of farmers about soil conservation, land tenure security and off-farm income at community level. Thus, policy aim at keeping land productivity will need to focus on terracing, inter-cropping and improved agro-forestry practices.
Soil degradation associated with soil erosion and land use is a critical problem in Iran and there is little or insufficient scientific information in assessing soil quality indicator. In this study, factor analysis (FA) and discriminant analysis (DA) were used to identify the most sensitive indicators of soil quality for evaluating land use and soil erosion within the Hiv catchment in Iran and subsequently compare soil quality assessment using expert opinion based on soil surface factors (SSF) form of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) method. Therefore, 19 soil physical, chemical, and biochemical properties were measured from 56 different sampling sites covering three land use/soil erosion categories (rangeland/surface erosion, orchard/surface erosion, and rangeland/stream bank erosion). FA identified four factors that explained for 82 % of the variation in soil properties. Three factors showed significant differences among the three land use/soil erosion categories. The results indicated that based upon backward-mode DA, dehydrogenase, silt, and manganese allowed more than 80 % of the samples to be correctly assigned to their land use and erosional status. Canonical scores of discriminant functions were significantly correlated to the six soil surface indices derived of BLM method. Stepwise linear regression revealed that soil surface indices: soil movement, surface litter, pedestalling, and sum of SSF were also positively related to the dehydrogenase and silt. This suggests that dehydrogenase and silt are most sensitive to land use and soil erosion.
Rickson, R J
The detrimental impact of sediment and associated pollutants on water quality is widely acknowledged, with many watercourses in the UK failing to meet the standard of 'good ecological status'. Catchment sediment budgets show that hill slope erosion processes can be significant sources of waterborne sediment, with rates of erosion likely to increase given predicted future weather patterns. However, linking on-site erosion rates with off-site impacts is complicated because of the limited data on soil erosion rates in the UK and the dynamic nature of the source-pathway-receptor continuum over space and time. Even so, soil erosion control measures are designed to reduce sediment production (source) and mobilisation/transport (pathway) on hill slopes, with consequent mitigation of pollution incidents in watercourses (receptors). The purpose of this paper is to review the scientific evidence of the effectiveness of erosion control measures used in the UK to reduce sediment loads of hill slope origin in watercourses. Although over 73 soil erosion mitigation measures have been identified from the literature, empirical data on erosion control effectiveness are limited. Baseline comparisons for the 18 measures where data do exist reveal erosion control effectiveness is highly variable over time and between study locations. Given the limitations of the evidence base in terms of geographical coverage and duration of monitoring, performance of the different measures cannot be extrapolated to other areas. This uncertainty in effectiveness has implications for implementing erosion/sediment risk reduction policies, where quantified targets are stipulated, as is the case in the EU Freshwater Fish and draft Soil Framework Directives. Also, demonstrating technical effectiveness of erosion control measures alone will not encourage uptake by land managers: quantifying the costs and benefits of adopting erosion mitigation is equally important, but these are uncertain and difficult to
0.0.1 1. Introduction to soil erosion measurement by radionuclides Soil erosion by water, wind and tillage affects both agriculture and the natural environment. Studying this phenomenon would be one of the advancements in science. Soil erosion occurs worldwide and since the last two decades it has been a main topic of discussion all over the world. The use of environmental radionuclides such as 90Sr, 137Cs to study medium term soil erosion (40 yrs) started in the early 1990's. Using these new techniques better knowledge about erosion can be gained and this knowledge can be implemented for erosion risk management. The erosion and sedimentation study by using man-made and natural radioisotopes is a key technique, which has developed over the past 30 years. Fallout 137Cs and Cosmogenic 7Be are radionuclides that have been used to provide independent measurements of soil-erosion and sediment-deposition rates and patterns    . Erosion measurements using radionuclides 137Cs, 7Be Caesium-137 from atmospheric nuclear-weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s (Fig.1) is a unique tracer of erosion and sedimentation, since there are no natural sources of 137Cs. Unique events such as the Chernobyl accident in April 1986 caused regional dispersal of 137Cs that affects the total global deposition budget. This yearly pattern of fallout can be used to develop a chronology of deposition horizons in lakes, reservoirs, and floodplains. 137Cs can be easily measured by gamma spectroscopy. Using 137Cs is a fast and cheap method to study erosion-deposition processes compared to the traditional methods like silt bags. PIC Figure 1: Global 137Cs fallout (Modified from SAAS Bulletin 353, Part E, DDR, 1986) When 137Cs, 7Be reach the soil surface by wet and dry deposition, they are quickly and strongly adsorbed by ion exchange and are essentially non exchangeable in most environments. Each radionuclide is distributed differently in the soil because of differences in half-lives (30 yrs
Ekholm, Petri; Lehtoranta, Jouni
Much of the phosphorus (P) from erosive soils is transported to water bodies together with eroded soil. Studies clarifying the impact of soil erosion on eutrophication have sought largely to quantify the reserves of P in soil particles that can be desorbed in different types of receiving waters. Aquatic microbiology has revealed that the cycling of P is coupled to the availability of common electron acceptors, Fe oxides and SO₄, through anaerobic mineralization in sediments. Eroded soil is also rich in Fe oxides, and their effect on the coupled cycling of C, Fe, S, and P has been neglected in eutrophication research. Soil erosion, and its control, should therefore be studied by considering not only the processes occurring in the water phase but also those taking place after the soil particles have settled to the bottom. We propose that in SO₄-rich systems, Fe oxides transported by eroded soil may promote Fe cycling, inhibit microbial SO₄ reduction and maintain the ability of sediment to retain P. We discuss the mechanisms through which eroded soil may affect benthic mineralization processes and the manner in which soil erosion may contribute to or counteract eutrophication.
Stepchich, Avgusta; Djodjov, Christo
Soil erosion is removal of soil and rock particles by water, wind, ice and gravity. It is widely recognized as a global soil threat. Soils impacted by different forms of erosion cover large areas around the world. While landscape, soil and climate conditions trigger soil erosion processes, the vegetation cover reduces the soil erosion risk. About 60 % of the area of agricultural land in Bulgaria is under erosion risk, which necessitates implementation of series of measures for soil erosion control. The aim of this study is to determine the erosion protection potential and the loss of soil nutrients of young Paulownia plantation. Field experiments have been set up under unirrigated conditions at the experimental field for soil erosion studies of the N. Poushkarov Institute of Soil Science, Agrotechnology and Plant Protection near Suhodol. The local soils are Chromic Luvisols, moderately eroded. The altitude is 750 m and the slope gradient is 80. The experiment consists of four field plots for soil erosion studies, three of which planted with Paulownia Bellissima and a reference one with bare soil. The plants have been planted at a distance of 2 m between adjacent rows and 1 m between each two plants within the row. The size of each field plot is 32 m2 (4 m width and 8 m length). The plots are equipped with containers for collecting the surface runoff caused by erosive rainfall events. Biometrics, including the root-striking of the plants, their growth in height, foliage cover (projection) and stem diameter, was studied from May 13th to October 21st. The data reported cover the results from the studies during the first vegetation period after planting in the Spring of 2013. During the year four erosive rainfalls were observed with a total amount of 79.2 mm, resulting to a total amount of soil loss of 772 kg/ha from a planted plot and 551 kg/ha from bear soil. The total surface runoff is 156.7 m3/ha from planted plot and 153.1 m3/ha from bare soil. The total losses of
Mehrabadi, M. M.
Aeolian (wind) processes occur as a result of atmosphere/land-surface system interactions. A thorough understanding of these processes and their physical/mechanical characterization on a global scale is essential to monitoring global change and, hence, is imperative to the fundamental goal of the Earth observing system (Eos) program. Soil erosion and dust production by wind are of consequence mainly in arid and semi arid regions which cover 36 percent of the Earth's land surface. Some recent models of dust production due to wind erosion of agricultural soils and the mechanics of wind erosion in deserts are reviewed and the difficulties of modeling the aeolian transport are discussed.
In the U.S. Corn Belt, claypan soils are vulnerable to both erosion and transport of unincorporated herbicides. Thus, there is a need to identify tillage practices that can achieve a balance between herbicide transport and soil erosion for these soils. The objectives of this research were to compare...
Soil surface roughness is commonly identified as one of the dominant factors governing runoff and interrill erosion. Yet, because of difficulties in acquiring the data, most studies pay little attention to soil surface roughness. This is particularly true for soil erosion models which commonly don't...
Benmansour, Moncef; Mabit, Lionel; Moussadek, Rachid; Yassin, Mohamed; Nouira, Asmae; Zouagui, Anis; Mrabet, Rachid; Iaaich, Hamza; Hajib, Said
- In Morocco, reducing soil erosion and land degradation is a national priority for improving soil quality and protecting downstream water quality and quantity. The combined use of Cs-137 and Be-7 techniques permit to estimate long and short term erosion and deposition magnitudes under different agro-environment and climatic conditions and then to evaluate the effectiveness of soil conservation practices. Case studies using Cs-137 and Be-7 were carried out in three Moroccan agricultural sites: Marchouch, Harchane and Oued Mellah located in Rabat, Tétouan and Chaouia-Ouardigha regions, respectively. In these sites, fallout Cs-137 measurements allowed a retrospective assessment of long term (50-60 years) soil redistribution rates while fallout Be-7 (half-life of 53 days) was used to document short term soil erosion associated with rainfall events for different tillage systems and land uses. Long term soil erosion rates of the three regions evaluated by the Cs-137 method, ranged from 8 to 58 t/ha/yr. Mostly located in the upslope part of the fields, the eroding zones represented more than 70% of the total area. For the experimental sites in Rabat and Tétouan, the results obtained using Be-7 indicated that soil loss has been reduced significantly under no-till as compared to conventional tillage. Indeed, soil erosion rates were lowered by 50% for the Marchouch site and by 40% for the Harchane site. Concerning the Oued Mellah watershed, the results highlighted that high density Atriplex plantations have reduced soil loss by approximately 60 to 80%, while for the site under fruit plantations and cereals, soil erosion has been decreased by 58%.
Keesstra, Saskia; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Brevik, Eric C; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Jordán, Antonio; Cerdà, Artemi
Soil erosion is extreme in Mediterranean orchards due to management impact, high rainfall intensities, steep slopes and erodible parent material. Vall d'Albaida is a traditional fruit production area which, due to the Mediterranean climate and marly soils, produces sweet fruits. However, these highly productive soils are left bare under the prevailing land management and marly soils are vulnerable to soil water erosion when left bare. In this paper we study the impact of different agricultural land management strategies on soil properties (bulk density, soil organic matter, soil moisture), soil water erosion and runoff, by means of simulated rainfall experiments and soil analyses. Three representative land managements (tillage/herbicide/covered with vegetation) were selected, where 20 paired plots (60 plots) were established to determine soil losses and runoff. The simulated rainfall was carried out at 55mmh(-1) in the summer of 2013 (<8% soil moisture) for one hour on 0.25m(2) circular plots. The results showed that vegetation cover, soil moisture and organic matter were significantly higher in covered plots than in tilled and herbicide treated plots. However, runoff coefficient, total runoff, sediment yield and soil erosion were significantly higher in herbicide treated plots compared to the others. Runoff sediment concentration was significantly higher in tilled plots. The lowest values were identified in covered plots. Overall, tillage, but especially herbicide treatment, decreased vegetation cover, soil moisture, soil organic matter, and increased bulk density, runoff coefficient, total runoff, sediment yield and soil erosion. Soil erosion was extremely high in herbicide plots with 0.91Mgha(-1)h(-1) of soil lost; in the tilled fields erosion rates were lower with 0.51Mgha(-1)h(-1). Covered soil showed an erosion rate of 0.02Mgha(-1)h(-1). These results showed that agricultural management influenced water and sediment dynamics and that tillage and herbicide
Xiaojun, Nie; Jianhui, Zhang; Zhengan, Su
Dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) are associated with soil erosion, yet there is a shortage of research concerning the relationship between soil erosion, SOC, and especially microbial biomass carbon (MBC). In this paper, we selected two typical slope landscapes including gentle and steep slopes from the Sichuan Basin, China, and used the 137Cs technique to determine the effects of water erosion and tillage erosion on the dynamics of SOC and MBC. Soil samples for the determination of 137Cs, SOC, MBC and soil particle-size fractions were collected on two types of contrasting hillslopes. 137Cs data revealed that soil loss occurred at upper slope positions of the two landscapes and soil accumulation at the lower slope positions. Soil erosion rates as well as distribution patterns of the <0.002-mm clay shows that water erosion is the major process of soil redistribution in the gentle slope landscape, while tillage erosion acts as the dominant process of soil redistribution in the steep slope landscape. In gentle slope landscapes, both SOC and MBC contents increased downslope and these distribution patterns were closely linked to soil redistribution rates. In steep slope landscapes, only SOC contents increased downslope, dependent on soil redistribution. It is noticeable that MBC/SOC ratios were significantly lower in gentle slope landscapes than in steep slope landscapes, implying that water erosion has a negative effect on the microbial biomass compared with tillage erosion. It is suggested that MBC dynamics are closely associated with soil redistribution by water erosion but independent of that by tillage erosion, while SOC dynamics are influenced by soil redistribution by both water erosion and tillage erosion. PMID:23717530
Xiaojun, Nie; Jianhui, Zhang; Zhengan, Su
Dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) are associated with soil erosion, yet there is a shortage of research concerning the relationship between soil erosion, SOC, and especially microbial biomass carbon (MBC). In this paper, we selected two typical slope landscapes including gentle and steep slopes from the Sichuan Basin, China, and used the (137)Cs technique to determine the effects of water erosion and tillage erosion on the dynamics of SOC and MBC. Soil samples for the determination of (137)Cs, SOC, MBC and soil particle-size fractions were collected on two types of contrasting hillslopes. (137)Cs data revealed that soil loss occurred at upper slope positions of the two landscapes and soil accumulation at the lower slope positions. Soil erosion rates as well as distribution patterns of the <0.002-mm clay shows that water erosion is the major process of soil redistribution in the gentle slope landscape, while tillage erosion acts as the dominant process of soil redistribution in the steep slope landscape. In gentle slope landscapes, both SOC and MBC contents increased downslope and these distribution patterns were closely linked to soil redistribution rates. In steep slope landscapes, only SOC contents increased downslope, dependent on soil redistribution. It is noticeable that MBC/SOC ratios were significantly lower in gentle slope landscapes than in steep slope landscapes, implying that water erosion has a negative effect on the microbial biomass compared with tillage erosion. It is suggested that MBC dynamics are closely associated with soil redistribution by water erosion but independent of that by tillage erosion, while SOC dynamics are influenced by soil redistribution by both water erosion and tillage erosion.
Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Käppeler, Kathrin; Nebel, Martin; Webber, Carla; Scholten, Thomas
Biological soil crusts (BSCs) have major influences on terrestrial ecosystems and play significant functional roles in soil systems, such as accelerating soil formation, changing water flows or enhancing soil stability. By that, they have the potential to protect soil surfaces against erosive forces by wind or water. However, the effect of BSCs on erosion processes is rarely mentioned in literature and most of the work done focused on arid and semi-arid environments. Furthermore, compared to the structure and function of BSCs, less attention was paid to their temporal and topographical distribution. This study aims to investigate the influence of BSCs on initial soil erosion, and their topographical development over time in initial subtropical forest ecosystems. Therefore, measurements have been conducted within a biodiversity and ecosystem functioning experiment (BEF China) near Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province, PR China. Interrill erosion was measured on 220 microscale run-off plots (ROPs, 0.4 m × 0.4 m) and the occurrence, distribution and development of BSCs within the measuring setup were recorded. BSC cover in each ROP was determined photogrammetrically in four time steps (autumn 2011, summer 2012, summer 2013 and summer 2014). BSC species were identified by morphological characteristics and classified to higher taxonomic levels. Higher BSC cover led to reduced sediment discharge and runoff volume due to its protection against splash energy, the adherence of soil particles and enhanced infiltration. Canopy ground cover and leaf area index had a positive effect on the development of BSC cover at this initial stage of the forest ecosystem. Moreover, BSC cover decreased with increasing slope, as we presume that developing BSCs are washed away more easily at steep gradients. Elevation and aspect did not show an influence. BSCs in this study were moss-dominated and 26 different moos species were found. Mean BSC cover on ROPs was 14 % in the 3rd year of the tree
Symeonakis, Elias; Higginbottom, Thomas
Accelerated soil erosion is the principal cause of soil degradation across the world. In Africa, it is seen as a serious problem creating negative impacts on agricultural production, infrastructure and water quality. Regarding the Mt Kenya region, specifically, soil erosion is a serious threat mainly due to unplanned and unsustainable practices linked to tourism, agriculture and rapid population growth. The soil types roughly correspond with different altitudinal zones and are generally very fertile due to their volcanic origin. Some of them have been created by eroding glaciers while others are due to millions of years of fluvial erosion. The soils on the mountain are easily eroded once exposed: when vegetation is removed, the soil quickly erodes down to bedrock by either animals or humans, as tourists erode paths and local people clear large swaths of forested land for agriculture, mostly illegally. It is imperative, therefore, that a soil erosion monitoring system for the Mt Kenya region is in place in order to understand the magnitude of, and be able to respond to, the increasing number of demands on this renewable resource. In this paper, we employ a simple regional-scale soil erosion modelling framework based on the Thornes model and suggest an operational methodology for quantifying and monitoring water runoff and soil erosion using multi-sensor and multi-temporal remote sensing data in a GIS framework. We compare the estimates of this study with general data on the severity of soil erosion over Kenya and with measured rates of soil loss at different locations over the area of study. The results show that the measured and estimated rates of erosion are generally similar and within the same order of magnitude. They also show that, over the last years, erosion rates are increasing in large parts of the region at an alarming rate, and that mitigation measures are needed to reverse the negative effects of uncontrolled socio-economic practices.
Huber, Thomas P.; Falkenmayer, Karen
Discusses the need for education about soil erosion and advocates the use of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) to show the impacts of human and natural action on the land. Describes the use of a computer simulated version of the USLE in several environmental and farming situations. (TW)
Soil erosion in agricultural watersheds is a systemic problem that has plagued mankind ever since the practice of agriculture began some 9,000 years ago. It is a worldwide problem, the severity of which varies from location to location depending on weather, soil type, topography, cropping practices,...
Metzger, Philip T.
Demonstrate feasibility of the simplest, lowest-mass method of measuring density of a cloud of lunar soil ejected by rocket exhaust, using new math techniques with a small baseline laser/camera system. Focus is on exploring the erosion process that occurs when the exhaust plume of a lunar rocket impacts the regolith. Also, predicting the behavior of the lunar soil that would be blasted from a lunar landing/launch site shall assist in better design and protection of any future lunar settlement from scouring of structures and equipment. NASA is gathering experimental data to improve soil erosion models and understand how lunar particles enter the plume flow.
Morin, Guillaume; France-Lanord, Christian; Gallo, Florian; Lupker, Maarten; Lavé, Jérôme; Gajurel, Ananta
In order to decipher river sediments provenance in terms of erosion processes, we characterized geochemical compositions of hillslope material coming from soils, glaciers and landslide, and compared them to rivers sediments. We focused our study on two South flank Himalayan catchments: (1) Khudi khola, as an example of small High Himalayan catchment (150 km2), undergoing severe precipitation, and rapid erosion ≈ 3.5 mm/yr [A] and (2) the Narayani-Gandak Transhimalayan basin (52000 km2) that drains the whole central Nepal. To assess the question, systematic samplings were conducted on hillslope material from different erosion processes in the basins. River sediment include daily sampling during the 2010 monsoon at two stations, and banks samples in different parts of the basins. Source rocks, soil and landslide samples, are compared to river sediment mobile to immobile element ratios, completed by hydration degree H2O+ analysis. Data show that soils are clearly depleted in mobile elements Na, K, Ca, and highly hydrated compared to source rocks and other erosion products. In the Khudi basin, the contrast between soil and river sediment signatures allow to estimate that soil erosion represents less than 5% of the total sediment exported by the river. Most of the river sediment therefore derives from landslides inputs and to a lesser extent by barren high elevation sub-basins. This is further consistent with direct observation that, during monsoon, significant tributaries of the Khudi river do not export sediments. Considering that active landslide zones represent less than 0.5% of the total watershed area, it implies that erosion distribution is highly heterogeneous. Landslide erosion rate could reach more than 50 cm/yr in the landslide area. Sediments of the Narayani river are not significantly different from those of the Khudi in spite of more diverse geomorphology and larger area of the basin. Only H2O+ and Total Organic Carbon concentrations normalised to Al
Wigmosta, Mark S.; Lane, Leonard J.; Tagestad, Jerry D.; Coleman, Andre M.
We developed a new, coupled, hydrologic-erosion modeling and a targeted field data-collection program to quantify soil erosion rates and sediment yield in arid regions. While the methodology has a wide range of actual and potential applications, we use military training activities as an example. The methodology is applied at the Yakima Training Center (YTC) in south-central Washington, USA where most erosion and transport occurs during extreme events of short duration, often associated with rapid rain-induced snowmelt on frozen soil. The distributed hydrologic and soil erosion modeling system is used to simulate continuous water balance and soil thermal state throughout all seasons of the year. We estimated surface runoff and sediment yield for relatively undisturbed areas as well as from roads, firebreaks, and vehicle tracks associated with training activities at the site. Field data were collected on over 100 hillslope profile transects across the YTC to parameterize, test, and evaluate the linked modeling system. We successfully validated the modeling system against measured sediment yield from twelve sedimentation ponds within the YTC. The simulation results are superior to those from two currently used models, which help to illustrate applicability of the new erosion prediction technology.
... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion... Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.13 Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to wind in the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) is E = f(IKCLV)....
... erosion. 610.12 Section 610.12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... ASSISTANCE Soil Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.12 Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to erosion for both the USLE and the RUSLE is A = R ×...
... erosion. 610.12 Section 610.12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... ASSISTANCE Soil Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.12 Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to erosion for both the USLE and the RUSLE is A = R ×...
... erosion. 610.12 Section 610.12 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... ASSISTANCE Soil Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.12 Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to erosion for both the USLE and the RUSLE is A = R ×...
... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion... Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.13 Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to wind in the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) is E = f(IKCLV)....
... 7 Agriculture 6 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion... Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.13 Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to wind in the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) is E = f(IKCLV)....
... 7 Agriculture 6 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion... Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.13 Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to wind in the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) is E = f(IKCLV)....
... 7 Agriculture 6 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion... Erosion Prediction Equations § 610.13 Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion. (a) The equation for predicting soil loss due to wind in the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) is E = f(IKCLV)....
In recent decades, soil erosion has increased in catchments of Iran. It is, therefore, necessary to understand soil erosion processes and sources in order to mitigate this problem. Geomorphic landforms play an important role in influencing water erosion. Therefore, ascribing hillslope components soil erosion to river sediment yield could be useful for soil and sediment management in order to decrease the off-site effects related to downstream sedimentation areas. The main objectives of this study were to apply radionuclide tracers and soil organic carbon to determine relative contributions of hillslope component sediment sources in two land use types (forest and crop field) by using a Bayesian-mixing model, as well as to estimate the uncertainty in sediment fingerprinting in a mountainous catchment of western Iran. In this analysis, (137)Cs, (40)K, (238)U, (226)Ra, (232)Th and soil organic carbon tracers were measured in 32 different sampling sites from four hillslope component sediment sources (summit, shoulder, backslope, and toeslope) in forested and crop fields along with six bed sediment samples at the downstream reach of the catchment. To quantify the sediment source proportions, the Bayesian mixing model was based on (1) primary sediment sources and (2) combined primary and secondary sediment sources. The results of both approaches indicated that erosion from crop field shoulder dominated the sources of river sediments. The estimated contribution of crop field shoulder for all river samples was 63.7% (32.4-79.8%) for primary sediment sources approach, and 67% (15.3%-81.7%) for the combined primary and secondary sources approach. The Bayesian mixing model, based on an optimum set of tracers, estimated that the highest contribution of soil erosion in crop field land use and shoulder-component landforms constituted the most important land-use factor. This technique could, therefore, be a useful tool for soil and sediment control management strategies.
Stanchi, S.; Falsone, G.; Bonifacio, E.
Erosion is a relevant soil degradation factor in mountain agrosilvopastoral ecosystems, and can be enhanced by the abandonment of agricultural land and pastures, then left to natural evolution. The on-site and off-site consequences of soil erosion at the catchment and landscape scale are particularly relevant and may affect settlements at the interface with mountain ecosystems. RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) estimates of soil erosion consider, among others, the soil erodibility factor (K), which depends on properties involved in structure and aggregation. A relationship between soil erodibility and aggregation is therefore expected. Erosion is however expected to limit the development of soil structure, hence aggregates should not only be related to erodibility but also mirror soil erosion rates. We investigated the relationships between aggregate stability and the RUSLE erodibility and erosion rate in a mountain watershed at the interface with settlements, characterized by two different land use types (pasture and forest). Soil erodibility was in agreement with the aggregate stability parameters, i.e. the most erodible soils in terms of K values also displayed weaker aggregation. However, estimating K from aggregate loss showed that forest soils always had negative residuals, while the opposite happened for pastures. A good relationship between RUSLE soil erosion rates and aggregate stability occurred in pastures, while no relationship was visible in forests. Several hypotheses for this behavior were discussed. A relevant effect of the physical protection of the organic matter by the aggregates that cannot be considered in K computation was finally hypothesized in the case of pastures, while in forests soil erodibility seemed to keep trace of past erosion and depletion of finer particles. In addition, in forests, the erosion rate estimate was particularly problematic likely because of a high spatial variability of litter properties. Considering the
Owens, David W.; Jopke, Peter; Hall, David W.; Balousek, Jeremy; Roa, Aicardo
Soil erosion from construction sites has long been identified as a significant source of sediment and other suspended solids in runoff in many parts of the United States (Hagman and others, 1980; Yorke and Herb, 1976: Becker and others, 1974). In some states, such as Wisconsin, sediment has been identified as the number one pollutant (by volume) of surface waters (Wisconsin Depart- ment of Natural Resources, 1994). Because numerous water-quality problems in streams are associated with excessive sedimentation, Federal and state regulations requiring erosion-control measures at construction sites larger than 5 acres have been developed and implemented from the 1970's to the present. During the 1990's, excessive erosion and sediment production associated with small residential and commercial sites of less than 5 acres has been increasingly recognized for its effects on streams not only erosion from individual sites but also erosion from discontinuous groups of sites within a stream basin.
Rivera-Ortiz, P.; Andrade-Limas, E.; De la Garza-Requena, F.; Castro-Meza, B.
REMONTANT EROSION IN DESERT SOILS OF TAMAULIPAS MÉXICO Rivera-Ortiz, P.1; Andrade-Limas, E.1; De la Garza-Requena, F.1 and Castro-Meza, B.1 1Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, México The degradation of soil reduces the capacity of soils to produce food and sustain life. Erosion is one of the main types of soil degradation. Hydric erosion of remontant type can occur in soils located close to the channel of a river through the expansion of a gully that begins as a fluvial incision over the ravine of one side of the river. The incision takes place at the point of greatest flow of runoff from areas adjacent to empty into the river. The depth of the incision causes the growth of the gully by collapse to move their heads back, upstream. The soil loss by remontant erosion on land use in agriculture and livestock was estimated in order to understand the evolution of gullies formed by this type of erosion. Through measurements on satellite images and GPS (Global Positioning System) two gullies, developed on alluvial soils which drain into the river Chihue, were studied. The investigation was conducted during 2003 to 2010 period in the municipality of Jaumave, Tamaulipas, in northeastern Mexico. Soil loss in gullies developed by remontant erosion was large and it was caused by soil collapse and drag of soil on the headers. The estimated loss of soil by remontant erosion was 3500 t in the deeper gully during 2010 and nearly 1200 t per year in the period 2003-2009. New sections of gully of about 20 m length, with more than 3 m deep and up to 13 m wide, were formed each year. This degradation has significantly reduced the productive surface of soil that for many years has been used to the cultivation of maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) as well as pasture production.
Degan, Francesca; Salvador-Banes, Sébastien; Cerdan, Olivier; Goulet, Etienne; Le Duc, Lionel
Many agricultural practices increase soil degradation processes. The measurement of the effects of such practices helps for the management of constraints and ensures the stability of agricultural production. In viticulture, soil is one of the components that define the specificity and quality of wine. Chemical and physical soil properties indeed exert a strong influence on vine performances. However, the precise influences of soil properties, such as rock fragments, clay or lime contents, soil depth or mineral content are subjected to debate. Actually, vine performances derive also from climate and vintage, viticulture and winemaking techniques and plant genetic. Nerveless, soil erosion can significantly change the root growing zone properties and therefore the vine responses. In fact viticulture is the agricultural production that is the most prone to erosion, with an average rate of 12 t.ha -1.yr-1 in the European context (Cerdan et al., 2010). The soil's capacities to support crop growth, without resulting in soil degradation, need to be brought under control, to improve environmental sustainability and minimize in-site and off-site impacts. The aim of this study is to better quantify the effect of soil erosion in vineyards on soil parameters (such as available water content) that exert a key role in the specificity of viticultural terroirs. Two study areas are considered in Corsica and in the Loire Valley. Our approach is divided into three steps. Firstly, the identification and the mapping of soil properties that have an impact over vine performances, using digital soil mapping techniques and pedotransfer functions. The soil characteristics are identified by field survey at two spatial resolutions: the field and landscape. In the same study areas, the erosion dynamics is assessed. Various techniques are employed such as: 137Cs activities, spatial distribution of copper and stock unearthing. In order to comprehend erosion dynamics and evolutions, the third step
Baxter, Craig; Rowan, John S.; McKenzie, Blair M.; Neilson, Roy
The application of environmental radionuclides in soil tracing and erosion studies is now well established in geomorphology. Sediment and erosion-tracing studies are undertaken for a range of purposes in the earth sciences but until now few studies have used the technique to answer biological questions. An experiment was undertaken to measure patterns of soil loss and gain over 50 years, effectively calculating a field-scale sediment budget, to investigate soil erosion relationships between physical and biological soil components. Soil nematodes were identified as a model organism, a ubiquitous and abundant group sensitive to disturbance and thus useful indicator taxa of biological and physico-chemical changes. A field site was selected at the James Hutton Institute's experimental Balruddery Farm in NE Scotland. 10 metre-resolution topographical data was collected with differential GPS. Based on these data, a regular 30 m-resolution sampling grid was constructed in ArcGIS, and a field-sampling campaign undertaken. 104 soil cores (~50 cm-deep) were collected with a percussion corer. Radio-caesium (137Cs) activity concentrations were measured using high-purity germainum gamma-ray spectroscopy, and 137Cs areal activities derived from these values. Organic matter content by loss on ignition and grain-size distribution by laser granulometry were also measured. Additional samples were collected to characterise the soil nematode community, both for abundance and functional (trophic) composition using a combination of low-powered microscopy and molecular identification techniques (dTRFLP). Results were analysed with ArcGIS software using the Spatial Analyst package. Results show that spatial relationships between physical, chemical and biological parameters were complex and interrelated. Previous field management was found to influence these relationships. The results of this experiment highlight the role that soil erosion processes play in medium-term restructuring of the
Du, P; Walling, D E
Information on the interaction between soil erosion and soil properties is an important requirement for sustainable management of the soil resource. The relationship between soil properties and the soil redistribution rate, reflecting both erosion and deposition, is an important indicator of this interaction. This relationship is difficult to investigate using traditional approaches to documenting soil redistribution rates involving erosion plots and predictive models. However, the use of the fallout radionuclide (137)Cs to document medium-term soil redistribution rates offers a means of overcoming many of the limitations associated with traditional approaches. The study reported sought to demonstrate the potential for using (137)Cs measurements to assess the influence of soil erosion and redistribution on soil properties (particle size composition, total C, macronutrients N, P, K and Mg, micronutrients Mn, Mo, Fe, Cu and Zn and other elements, including Ti and As). (137)Cs measurements undertaken on 52 soil cores collected within a 7 ha cultivated field located near Colebrooke in Devon, UK were used to establish the magnitude and spatial pattern of medium-term soil redistribution rates within the field. The soil redistribution rates documented for the individual sampling points within the field ranged from an erosion rate of -12.9 t ha(-1) yr(-1) to a deposition rate of 19.2 t ha(-1) yr(-1). Composite samples of surface soil (0-5 cm) were collected immediately adjacent to each coring point and these samples were analysed for a range of soil properties. Individual soil properties associated with these samples showed significant variability, with CV values generally lying in the range 10-30%. The relationships between the surface soil properties and the soil redistribution rate were analysed. This analysis demonstrated statistically significant relationships between some soil properties (total phosphorus, % clay, Ti and As) and the soil redistribution rate, but for
Soil erosion is not a continuous process but the result of isolated surface runoff events, whose erosional effects are determined by numerous temporally and spatially varying variables. Thus the monitoring of soil loss by direct observation is extremely limited with respect to space and time. Usually observation plots cover an area of less than 100 m2 and the observation period is less than 10 years. In order to estimate soil losses by water erosion for others than empirically observable conditions, mathematical models are needed, which are able to describe the interaction of the different physical mechanisms involved either statistically or on the basis of physical algorithms. Such models are absolutely essential for risk prognoses on catchment and regional scale. Besides the aspect of soil conservation the delivery of sediments and sediment bound pollutants into surface water bodies are of increasing relevance in this context. Based on an exemplary selection of existing water erosion models this contribution aims to give an overview over different mathematical approaches used for the description of particle detachment, transport and deposition of soil particles. According to the chronology in the development of soil erosion models empirical algorithms will be presented first based on the USLE approach. However, since purely empirical models like USLE are limited to the estimation of annual soil loss further attempts in soil erosion modelling are focussed on event based estimations considering the fact that soil erosion is not a continuous process but the result of isolated runoff events. One of the first models of this type was CREAMS using physically based algorithms in combination with empirical ones in order to describe the basic erosion processes. Today there are diverse soil erosion models available following in principle the CREAMS concept but using different algorithms in detail. Concerning particle detachment, transport and deposition alternative
Soil erosion is a major environmental concern with the potential to severely impact soil and water quality. Assessments of soil erosion are normally carried out using model predictions. Cesium-137 can be used to provide estimates of soil erosion at a landscape scale, and it remains the best tool to ...
Shi, Z. H.; Ai, L.; Li, X.; Huang, X. D.; Wu, G. L.; Liao, W.
There are strong ties between land cover patterns and soil erosion and sediment yield in watersheds. The spatial configuration of land cover has recently become an important aspect of the study of geomorphological processes related to erosion within watersheds. Many studies have used multivariate regression techniques to explore the response of soil erosion and sediment yield to land cover patterns in watersheds. However, many landscape metrics are highly correlated and may result in redundancy, which violates the assumptions of a traditional least-squares approach, thus leading to singular solutions or otherwise biased parameter estimates and confidence intervals. Here, we investigated the landscape patterns within watersheds in the Upper Du River watershed (8973 km2) in China and examined how the spatial patterns of land cover are related to the soil erosion and sediment yield of watersheds using hydrological modeling and partial least-squares regression (PLSR). The results indicate that the watershed soil erosion and sediment yield are closely associated with the land cover patterns. At the landscape level, landscape characteristics, such as Shannon’s diversity index (SHDI), aggregation index (AI), largest patch index (LPI), contagion (CONTAG), and patch cohesion index (COHESION), were identified as the primary metrics controlling the watershed soil erosion and sediment yield. The landscape characteristics in watersheds could account for as much as 65% and 74% of the variation in soil erosion and sediment yield, respectively. Greater interspersion and an increased number of patch land cover types may significantly accelerate soil erosion and increase sediment export. PLSR can be used to simply determine the relationships between land-cover patterns and watershed soil erosion and sediment yield, providing quantitative information to allow decision makers to make better choices regarding landscape planning. With readily available remote sensing data and rapid
Soil water and wind erosion (possibly tillage erosion) is the most significant soil degradation factor in the Czech Republic. Moreover, this phenomenon also affects seriously quality of water sources., About 50 % of arable land are endangered by water erosion and about 10 % of arable land are endangered wind erosion in the Czech Republic. These processes have been accelerated by human activity. Specific condition of agriculture land in the Czech Republic including highland relief and particularly size of land parcel and intensification of agriculture does not enable to reduce flow of runoff water. Insufficient protection against accelerated erosion processes is related to lack of landscape and hydrographic elements and large area of agricultural plots. Currently, this issue is solved at plot scale by field investigation or at regional scale using numerical and empirical erosion models. Nevertheless, these models enable only to predict the potential of soil erosion. Large scale assessment of actual degradation level of soils is based on expert knowledge. However, there are still many uncertainties in this issue. Therefore characterization of actual degradation level of soil is required especially for assessment of long-term impact of soil erosion on soil fertility. Soil degradation by erosion can be effectively monitored or quantified by modern tools of remote sensing with variable level of detail accessible. Aims of our study is to analyse the applicability of remote sensing for monitoring of actual soil degradation by erosion. Satellite and aerial image data (multispectral and hyperspectral), terrain attributes and data from field investigation are the main source for this analyses. The first step was the delimitation of bare soils using supervised classification of the set of Landsat scenes from 2000 - 2014. The most suitable period of time for obtaining spectral image data with the lowest vegetation cover of soil was determined. The results were verified by
Chartin, Caroline; Salvador-Blanes, Sébastien; Olivier, Evrard; Van Oost, Kristof; Hinschberger, Florent; Macaire, Jean-Jacques
deposition and erosion (>20 Mg.ha-1.yr-1), respectively, were observed. Land consolidation contributed to the local acceleration of topsoil erosion through the conversion of storing areas into sediment generating areas. Though the general patterns of Cs-137 inventories in the area were correctly reproduced by the model, this latter performed weakly with a r2 of 0.20. Important discrepancies were associated with sampling points located along current field borders where data suggests that tillage erosion processes cannot be described as elsewhere, i.e., as a diffusive process. These specific processes implied here should be characterised and implemented into erosion models for simulating rates and patterns of topsoil redistribution in fragmented cultivated landscapes. In addition, the use of a DEM of the present-day morphology leads to the underestimation of soil erosion and storing within linear landforms which morphology seems to have greatly evolved since 1967. This study highlights the importance of present and former field borders on the patterns and intensities of topsoil erosion and deposition processes at landscape scale. This is of particular interest concerning the improvement of our knowledge on soil organic carbon patterns and on estimation of SOC stocks.
Galilea Salvador, Ianire; Lana-Renault, Noemí; Ruiz Flaño, Purificación; Ángel Llorente Adán, Jose; Bellido, Nuria Pascual
La Rioja is a predominantly agricultural region located in the northwestern corner of the Ebro Basin in Spain. In this region, vineyards are a crop of historical and economical importance and large extension that traditionally has been relegated to marginal lands, mainly glacis, high fluvial terraces and slopes linking different levels of terraces and glacis. It is well known that vineyards are among the land uses affected by largest soil erosion losses. Surprisingly, many farmers still apply non-conservative practices that contribute to an increase of soil erosion. In spite of the environmental and economic consequences, very little research on this topic has been undertaken in the region. In this study, we assessed the impact of vineyards and soil management practices on soil erosion in La Sierra de Los Agudos, a heavily eroded area located on quaternary silt loam and clay glacis, where vineyards represent 30% of the agricultural land. For this purpose we used an adapted version of the RUSLE model: R was estimated using data from two nearby weather stations following the methodology of Arnoldus and Fournier for a lapse time of five years; K was assessed from 28 soil samples analyzed by the National Institute of Soil Erosion, and the edaphic map of La Rioja which includes 32 taxa; C was calculated from catastral data, the Information System of Land Occupation, and by a detailed study of each subfactor; LS was obtained from a 10 meters/pixel scale DTM from which the slope length and the percentage of inclination of the slopes was calculated; and P was established by observing different tillage practices in each of the plots. Low erosion values (<0,001-2 Mg ha-¹year-¹) were estimated for the 43 % of the area, while the 37% was affected by moderate (2-12 Mg ha-¹year-¹) and high erosion values (>12 Mg ha-¹year-¹) which exceed the soil loss tolerance (T value) established by Renard (1996). In this study we showed that the current support practices accelerate soil
Bryan, Rorke B.
The importance of the inherent resistance of soil to erosional processes, or soil erodibility, is generally recognized in hillslope and fluvial geomorphology, but the full implications of the dynamic soil properties that affect erodibility are seldom considered. In Canada, a wide spectrum of soils and erosional processes has stimulated much research related to soil erodibility. This paper aims to place this work in an international framework of research on water erosion processes, and to identify critical emerging research questions. It focuses particularly on experimental research on rill and interrill erosion using simulated rainfall and recently developed techniques that provide data at appropriate temporal and spatial scales, essential for event-based soil erosion prediction. Results show that many components of erosional response, such as partitioning between rill and interrill or surface and subsurface processes, threshold hydraulic conditions for rill incision, rill network configuration and hillslope sediment delivery, are strongly affected by spatially variable and temporally dynamic soil properties. This agrees with other recent studies, but contrasts markedly with long-held concepts of soil credibility as an essentially constant property for any soil type. Properties that determine erodibility, such as soil aggregation and shear strength, are strongly affected by climatic factors such as rainfall distribution and frost action, and show systematic seasonal variation. They can also change significantly over much shorter time scales with subtle variations in soil water conditions, organic composition, microbiological activity, age-hardening and the structural effect of applied stresses. Property changes between and during rainstorms can dramatically affect the incidence and intensity of rill and interrill erosion and, therefore, both short and long-term hillslope erosional response. Similar property changes, linked to climatic conditions, may also
Morris-Jones, D. R.; Morgan, K. M.; Kiefer, R. W.
The Universal Soil Loss Equation is a frequently used methodology for estimating soil erosion potential. The Universal Soil Loss Equation requires a variety of types of geographic information (e.g. topographic slope, soil erodibility, land use, crop type, and soil conservation practice) in order to function. This information is traditionally gathered from topographic maps, soil surveys, field surveys, and interviews with farmers. Remote sensing data sources and interpretation techniques provide an alternative method for collecting information regarding land use, crop type, and soil conservation practice. Airphoto interpretation techniques and medium altitude, multi-date color and color infrared positive transparencies (70mm) were utilized in this study to determine their effectiveness for gathering the desired land use/land cover data. Successful results were obtained within the test site, a 6136 hectare watershed in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Vrieling, Anton; Hoedjes, Joost C. B.; van der Velde, Marijn
Soil erosion by water occurs on sloped terrain when erosive rainfall and consequent surface runoff act on soils that are not well-protected by vegetation or other soil protective measures. Both rainfall erosivity and vegetation cover are highly variable through space and time. Joint accounting for the variability of these factors is required to effectively map and monitor soil erosion. However, most studies merely use average annual erosivity values, partly due to data paucity. This study analyses the variability of rainfall erosivity across Africa through the use of 3-hourly TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) precipitation data. We obtained average annual erosivity estimates from 15 yr of TMPA data (1998-2012) using intensity-erosivity relationships. Our estimates showed a positive correlation (r = 0.84) with long-term annual erosivity values of 37 stations obtained from literature. Our TMPA-analysis confirmed and mapped the large interannual variability, with maximum annual erosivity often exceeding two to three times the mean value, especially in semi-arid areas. Seasonal variability of erosivity was investigated from TMPA-based average monthly erosivity estimates, which resulted in similar seasonal patterns as those reported in literature. We conclude that (1) spatial and temporal variability of erosivity is important and needs to be accounted for in combination with vegetation cover when monitoring soil erosion; and (2) 3-hourly TMPA data allow for a good first estimate of the variability of erosivity in Africa, which could be improved by upcoming techniques that provide more accurate rainfall information at higher spatial and temporal resolutions.
Novara, Agata; Santoro, Antonino; Gristina, Luciano
Vineyards of Mediterranean regions are characterized by low organic matter level and high sediment and nutrient erosion rates, which are the main causes of soil degradation and low sustainability of vine production. Alternative soil management - cover crops, green manure of prune residues, buffer strip- has widely applied as soil management practices to reduce soil degradation processes. However, the effectiveness of innovative soil management should be evaluated in relation to climatic and soil conditions. Many studies have been carried out in Sicilian vineyards in order to improve the sustainability with particular attention to: reduction of erosion, increase of soil organic matter, managing of nitrogen content and prune residue input. Besides the ecosystem service and its related economic aspects of the different soil management has been evaluated to analyze the wine growers and researchers demands. The aim of this work is to describe the state of art of scientific results on different soil management in Sicilian vineyards in the last 15 years, highlighting criticisms and lack of knowledge.
Surface reconstruction using digital photogrammetry offers a great advantage for soil erosion research. The technology can be cumbersome for field application as it relies on the accurate measurement of control points often using a survey grade instruments. Also, even though digital photogrammetry h...
Surface reconstruction using digital photogrammetry offers a great advantage for soil erosion research. The technology can be cumbersome for field application as it relies on the accurate measurement of control points often using a survey grade instrument. Also, even though digital photogrammetry ha...
With the increased affordability of consumer grade cameras and the development of powerful image processing software, digital photogrammetry offers a competitive advantage as a tool for soil erosion estimation compared to other technologies. One bottleneck of digital photogrammetry is its dependency...
RUSLE2 is a robust and computationally efficient conservation planning tool that estimates soil, climate, and land management effects on sheet and rill erosion and sediment delivery from hillslopes, and also estimates the size distribution and clay enrichment of sediment delivered to the channel sys...
A driving force in soil erosion is the low electrolyte content of rain water. Various electrolyte sources have proven useful in serving as electrolyte sources such as phosphogypsum, lime and various salts, however, each has other potential problems. We performed a number of studies on low cost gypsu...
Erodibility is a key indicator to evaluate soil’s susceptibility to erosion and crucial for predicting and evaluating soil loss and its environmental effects. This review aims to synthesize almost a century’s worth of research progress on the concept, indicators, and spatio-temporal variations of so...
Stanchi, S.; Falsone, G.; Bonifacio, E.
Erosion is a relevant soil degradation factor in mountain agrosilvopastoral ecosystems that can be enhanced by the abandonment of agricultural land and pastures left to natural evolution. The on-site and off-site consequences of soil erosion at the catchment and landscape scale are particularly relevant and may affect settlements at the interface with mountain ecosystems. RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) estimates of soil erosion consider, among others, the soil erodibility factor (K), which depends on properties involved in structure and aggregation. A relationship between soil erodibility and aggregation should therefore be expected. However, erosion may limit the development of soil structure; hence aggregates should not only be related to erodibility but also partially mirror soil erosion rates. The aim of the research was to evaluate the agreement between aggregate stability and erosion-related variables and to discuss the possible reasons for discrepancies in the two kinds of land use considered (forest and pasture). Topsoil horizons were sampled in a mountain catchment under two vegetation covers (pasture vs. forest) and analyzed for total organic carbon, total extractable carbon, pH, and texture. Soil erodibility was computed, RUSLE erosion rate was estimated, and aggregate stability was determined by wet sieving. Aggregation and RUSLE-related parameters for the two vegetation covers were investigated through statistical tests such as ANOVA, correlation, and regression. Soil erodibility was in agreement with the aggregate stability parameters; i.e., the most erodible soils in terms of K values also displayed weaker aggregation. Despite this general observation, when estimating K from aggregate losses the ANOVA conducted on the regression residuals showed land-use-dependent trends (negative average residuals for forest soils, positive for pastures). Therefore, soil aggregation seemed to mirror the actual topsoil conditions better than soil
The Effects on Soil Erosion of Different Tillage Applications Kazım Gür1, Kazim Çarman2 and Wim M.Cornelis3 1Bahri Daǧdaş International Agricultural Research Instıtute, 42020 Konya, Turkey 2Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Machinery, University of Selçuk, 42031 Konya, Turkey 3Department of Soil Management, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 653 Coupure Links, 9000 Gent, Belgium Traditional soil cultivation systems, with excessive and inappropriate soil tillage, will generally lead to soil degradation and loss of soil by wind erosion. Continuous reduced tillage and no-till maintaining soil cover with plant residues called Conservation Agriculture that is considered as effective in reducing erosion. There exist a wide variety of practices using different tools that comply with reduced tillage principles. However, few studies have compared the effect of several of such tools in reducing wind erosion and related soil and surface properties. We therefore measured sediment transport rates over bare soil surfaces (but with under stubbles of wheat, Triticum aestivum L.) subjected to three tillage practices using two pulling type machines and one type of power takeoff movable machines and generated with a portable field wind tunnel. At 10 ms-1, sediment transport rates varied from 107 to 573 gm-1h-1, and from 176 to 768 gm-1h-1 at 13 ms-1. The lowest transport rates were observed for N(no-tillage) and the highest for Rr(L-type rototiller). After tillage, surface roughness, mean weighted diameter, wind erodible fraction, mechanical stability and soil water content were measured as well and varied from 5.0 to 15.9%, 6.9 to 13.8 mm, 14.3 to 29.7%, 79.5 to 93.4% and 8.6 to 15.1%, respectively, with again N is being the most successful practice. In terms of conservation soil tillage technique, it can be said that the applications compared with each other; direct sowing machine is more appropriate and cause to the less erosion.
Accelerator grid sputter erosion resulting from charge-exchange-ion impingement is considered to be a primary cause of failure for electrostatic ion thrusters. An experimental method was developed and implemented to measure erosion characteristics of ion-thruster accel-grids for two-grid systems as a function of beam current, accel-grid potential, and facility background pressure. Intricate accelerator grid erosion patterns, that are typically produced in a short time (a few hours), are shown. Accelerator grid volumetric and depth-erosion rates are calculated from these erosion patterns and reported for each of the parameters investigated. A simple theoretical volumetric erosion model yields results that are compared to experimental findings. Results from the model and experiments agree to within 10%, thereby verifying the testing technique. In general, the local distribution of erosion is concentrated in pits between three adjacent holes and trenches that join pits. The shapes of the pits and trenches are shown to be dependent upon operating conditions. Increases in beam current and the accel-grid voltage magnitude lead to deeper pits and trenches. Competing effects cause complex changes in depth-erosion rates as background pressure is increased. Shape factors that describe pits and trenches (i.e. ratio of the average erosion width to the maximum possible width) are also affected in relatively complex ways by changes in beam current, ac tel-grid voltage magnitude, and background pressure. In all cases, however, gross volumetric erosion rates agree with theoretical predictions.
Gristina, L.; Novara, A.; Saladino, S.; Santoro, A.
In vineyards, which are very common in Mediterranean area, cover crops are becoming increasingly used to reduce soil erosion. Cover crops reduce runoff by increasing infiltration and increasing roughness and then reducing the ovelandflow velocity. The aim of the present study was to quantify soil and water losses under different soil managements systems on vineyards. The study site was a Sauvignon blanc winegrape vineyard located in Southwestern Sicily. Vineyards were managed both traditionally (conventional tillage) and alternative management using cover crops: 1) Vicia faba ; 2) Vicia faba and Vicia sativa; 3) Trifolium subterraneum, Lolium perenne, Festuca rubra; 4)Trifolium subterraneum, Festuca rubra and Festuca ovina, 5) Triticum durum, 6) Triticum durum and Vicia sativa. To monitor water and sediment yield, a Gerlach trough was installed at each treatment on the vineyard inter-row, with the row vineyard used as a border (topographical border). Runoff was measured after each rainfall event (raingauge 0.2 mm accuracy) from November 2005 to April 2007. And sediments were measured after desiccation. The results show that runoff and erosion were reduced considerably under the treatments with Trifolium subterraneum, Lolium perenne, Festuca rubra and Trifolium subterraneum, Festuca rubra and Festuca ovina (treatments 3 and 4). The soil losses were reduced by 73% under treatment 4 compared to the tillage plot. Conventional tillage and alternative management using Vicia faba cover crop (treatment 1) result the most ineffective treatment to soil erosion. These results show that the use of a cover crop can be a simple soil and water conservation practice in Sicilian vineyards. Key words: soil erosion, cover crops, vineyard, Mediterranean area.
Larsen, Annegret; Heckmann, Tobias; Hans-Rudolf, Bork; Alexander, Fuelling
Agricultural societies around the world have caused accelerated soil erosion. Soil erosion and a decrease in soil fertility may also have caused the abandonment of entire landscapes and the collapse of civilizations. In central Europe, Medieval land-use is thought to have lead to the largest loss of top soil in history, which in turn lead to a malnutrition of the population and abandonment of agricultural land. However, this might be only part of the picture, as people are also able to adapt to changing environmental conditions, including the type of land-use they adopt. Within a catchment in the central European mountain belt, we were able to distinguish the evolution between three main types of land-use techniques between ~ 900 AD and 1950 AD: horticulture, agriculture and shifting cultivation. We were able to relate these techniques with different soil erosion rates, which differ by an order of magnitude, ranging from 0.83 ± 0.09 mm/yr to 1.62 ± 0.17 mm/yr. Using high-resolution surface data and chrono-stratigraphical methods in combination with soil charcoal analysis, we were able to reconstruct past land-use techniques on a local scale. This illustrates that less erosive and more sustainable techniques were developed through time, and hypothesize that people were able to adapt to the less favorable environmental conditions by changing the cultivation techniques. Although cultural adaptation to changing environmental conditions has been extensively discussed, this study is able to quantitatively demonstrate improved soil management with evolving land-use in central Europe.
Norton, K. P.; Larsen, I. J.
Weathering is one of the fundamental processes that sustain life on our planet. Physical weathering breaks down rock for soil production and chemical weathering is thought to operate as the ultimate long-term negative feedback on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. There remains, however, uncertainty as to the relationship between chemical and physical weathering at very fast rates. If chemical weathering becomes kinetically limited at rapid erosion rates, as has been shown in a number of locations around the globe, then the fastest erosion rates will be associated with reduced chemical weathering. This has led to a debate as to whether tectonically active mountain ranges or rolling plains are the main source of CO2 drawdown through silicate weathering. At the heart of this debate is the dearth of chemical weathering data at fast erosion rates. New cosmogenic nuclide-derived denudation rates from the West Coast of the New Zealand Southern Alps are among the fastest in the world and are linearly correlated with chemical weathering rates. The associated soil production rates reach an order of magnitude faster than previous estimates and far exceed the suggested maximum soil production rate. This suggests that very fast weathering and soil production is possible in such active landscapes and extreme climates. We investigate the controls on these rapid rates with a climate-driven soil production model. At the most basic level, soil production requires chemical weathering of primary minerals to secondary minerals. We apply soil production models with both exponential and hump-shaped dependencies on soil thickness. Mean annual temperature and precipitation are incorporated in the form of a modified Arrhenius equation that controls the maximum soil production rate. When applied to the Southern Alps, the model predicts very rapid soil production that matches the magnitude of the cosmogenic nuclide-derived rates. High annual precipitation in the Southern Alps supports rapid
The movement of sediment and associated pollutants over the landscape and into water bodies is of increasing concern with respect to pollution control, prevention of muddy floods and environmental protection. In addition, the loss of soil on site has implications for declining agricultural productiv...
Construction operations result in highly disturbed soil, vulnerable to erosion and excess runoff and sediment loads. Limited information exists about effects of erosion mitigation practices on soil and runoff properties in low fertility acidic sites. The current study evaluates the use of polyacry...
Herman, Frédéric; Seward, Diane; Valla, Pierre G; Carter, Andrew; Kohn, Barry; Willett, Sean D; Ehlers, Todd A
Climate influences the erosion processes acting at the Earth's surface. However, the effect of cooling during the Late Cenozoic era, including the onset of Pliocene-Pleistocene Northern Hemisphere glaciation (about two to three million years ago), on global erosion rates remains unclear. The uncertainty arises mainly from a lack of consensus on the use of the sedimentary record as a proxy for erosion and the difficulty of isolating the respective contributions of tectonics and climate to erosion. Here we compile 18,000 bedrock thermochronometric ages from around the world and use a formal inversion procedure to estimate temporal and spatial variations in erosion rates. This allows for the quantification of erosion for the source areas that ultimately produce the sediment record on a timescale of millions of years. We find that mountain erosion rates have increased since about six million years ago and most rapidly since two million years ago. The increase of erosion rates is observed at all latitudes, but is most pronounced in glaciated mountain ranges, indicating that glacial processes played an important part. Because mountains represent a considerable fraction of the global production of sediments, our results imply an increase in sediment flux at a global scale that coincides closely with enhanced cooling during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs.
Lai, Yen-Jen; Chang, Cheng-Sheng; Tsao, Tsung-Ming; Wey, Tsong-Huei; Chiang, Po-Neng; Wang, Ya-Nan
Taiwan has a fragile geology and steep terrain. The 921 earthquake, Typhoon Toraji, Typhoon Morakot, and the exploitation and use of the woodland by local residents have severely damaged the landscape and posed more severe challenges to the montane ecosystem. A land conservation project has been implemented by the Experimental Forest of National Taiwan University which reclaimed approximately 1,500 hectares of leased woodland from 2008 to 2010, primarily used to grow bamboo, tea trees, betel nut, fruit, and vegetable and about 1,298 hectares have been reforested. The process of forest restoration involves clear cutting, soil preparation and a six-year weeding and tending period which may affect the amount of soil erosion dramatically. This study tried to assess the impact of forest restoration from the perspective of soil erosion through leased-land recovery periods and would like to benefit the practical implementation of reforestation in the future. A new plantation reforested in the early 2013 and a nearby 29-year-old mature forest were chosen as experimental and comparison sites. A self-designed weir was set up in a small watershed of each site for the runoff and sediment yield observation. According to the observed results from May to August 2013, a raining season in Taiwan, the runoff and erosion would not as high as we expected, because the in-situ soil texture of both sites is sandy loam to sandy with high percentage of coarse fragment which increased the infiltration. There were around 200 kg to 250 kg of wet sand/soil yielded in mature forest during the hit of Typhoon Soulik while the rest of the time only suspended material be yielded at both sites. To further investigate the influence of the six-year weeding and tending period, long term observations are needed for a more completed assessment of soil erosion impact.
Nouira, A; Sayouty, E H; Benmansour, M
Accelerated erosion and soil degradation currently cause serious problems to the Oued El Maleh basin (Morocco). Furthermore, there is still only limited information on rates of soil loss for optimising strategies for soil conservation. In the present study we have used the (137)Cs technique to assess the soil erosion rates on an agricultural land in Oued el Maleh basin near Casablanca (Morocco). A small representative agricultural field was selected to investigate the soil degradation required by soil managers in this region. The transect approach was applied for sampling to identify the spatial redistribution of (137)Cs. The spatial variability of (137)Cs inventory has provided evidence of the importance of tillage process and the human effects on the redistribution of (137)Cs. The mean (137)Cs inventory was found about 842 Bq m(-2), this value corresponds to an erosion rate of 82 tha(-1) yr(-1) by applying simplified mass balance model in a preliminary estimation. When data on site characteristics were available, the refined mass balance model was applied to highlight the contribution of tillage effect in soil redistribution. The erosion rate was estimated about 50 tha(-1) yr(-1). The aspects related to the sampling procedures and the models for calculation of erosion rates are discussed.
Rabesiranana, Naivo; Rasolonirina, Martin; Fanantenansoa Solonjara, Asivelo; Nomenjanahary Ravoson, Heritiana; Mabit, Lionel
- Soil degradation is a major concern in Madagascar but quantitative information is not widely available. Due to its impact on the sustainability of agricultural production, there is a clear need to acquire data on the extent and magnitude of soil erosion/sedimentation under various agricultural practices in order to promote effective conservation strategies. Caesium-137 and 210Pbex fallout radionuclides (FRNs) possess particular characteristics that make them effective soil tracers for erosion studies. After fallout, 137Cs and 210Pbex are rapidly adsorbed onto fine soil particles. But to date, combined use of these FRNs has never been used to document soil erosion in Madagascar. The study area is located 40 km east of Antananarivo, in Madagascar highlands. Two adjacent cultivated fields have been selected (i.e. a sloped field and a terraced field) as well as an undisturbed reference site in the vicinity of these agricultural fields. Soil samples were collected along downslope transects using motorized corer. The 137Cs and 210Pb gamma analysis were performed at the Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires (INSTN-Madagascar) using a high resolution and low background N-type HPGe detector. Results showed that at the terraced field, 137Cs and 210Pbex inventories reached 145 Bq/m2 to 280 Bq/m2 and 2141 Bq/m2 to 4253 Bq/m2, respectively. At the sloped field, the 137Cs and 210Pbex inventories values ranged from 110 Bq/m2 to 280 Bq/m2 and from 2026 Bq/m2 to 4110 Bq/m2, respectively. The net soil erosion determined for the sloped field were 9.6 t/ha/y and 7.2 t/ha/y for 137Cs and 210Pbex methods, respectively. In contrast, at the terraced field, the net soil erosion rates reached only 3.4 t/ha/y and 3.8 t/ha/y, respectively. The preliminary results of this research highlighted that terraced agricultural practice provides an efficient solution to protect soil resources of the Malagasy highlands.
Chao, Zhenhua; Yang, Yongshun; Gao, Xiaohong
Huangyuan county is located in the eastern part of Qinghai province and is the transition zone of Loess Plateau and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. While the ecological environment in Huangyuan county is fragile and is mainly characterized as serous soil erosion, frequent natural disasters. It is very important to study the soil erosion. Hudan river basin was selected to study the soil erosion in Huangyuan county. The soil erosion information was extracted from Landsat 5 TM data in 1987, 2000 and 2010. To classify and grade soil erosion was according to the classification standard, Classification Standard for Soil Erosion, issued by the Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China. The types of soil erosion in the basin were classified as water erosion, freeze-thaw erosion and engineering erosion based on TM imagery, field survey and historical data. Water erosion was the most important part and accounted for more than 90% of the whole area. Weak water erosion increased significantly during the period, mainly distributing in the north of the basin. Slight-degree water erosion increased from 1987 to 2000, while there was a steep reduce during the period from 2000 to 2010. Freeze-thaw erosion distributed mainly in northern areas with high altitude. What Engineering erosion affected were narrow valley areas suitable for human settlements and agricultural production.
Nie, Xiaodong; Li, Zhongwu; Huang, Jinquan; Huang, Bin; Xiao, Haibing; Zeng, Guangming
Assessing the degree to which degraded soils can be recovered is essential for evaluating the effects of adopted restoration measures. The objective of this study was to determine the restoration of soil organic carbon under the impact of terracing and reforestation. A small watershed with four typical restored plots (terracing and reforestation (four different local plants)) and two reference plots (slope land with natural forest (carbon-depleted) and abandoned depositional land (carbon-enriched)) in subtropical China was studied. The results showed that soil organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon concentrations in the surface soil (10 cm) of restored lands were close to that in abandoned depositional land and higher than that in natural forest land. There was no significant difference in soil organic carbon content among different topographic positions of the restored lands. Furthermore, the soil organic carbon stocks in the upper 60 cm soils of restored lands, which were varied between 50.08 and 62.21 Mg C ha(-1), were higher than 45.90 Mg C ha(-1) in natural forest land. Our results indicated that the terracing and reforestation could greatly increase carbon sequestration and accumulation and decrease carbon loss induced by water erosion. And the combination measures can accelerate the restoration of degraded soils when compared to natural forest only. Forest species almost have no impact on the total amount of soil organic carbon during restoration processes, but can significantly influence the activity and stability of soil organic carbon. Combination measures which can provide suitable topography and continuous soil organic carbon supply could be considered in treating degraded soils caused by water erosion.
Liu, S.; Bliss, N.; Sundquist, E.; Huntington, T.G.
Soil erosion and deposition may play important roles in balancing the global atmospheric carbon budget through their impacts on the net exchange of carbon between terrestrial ecosystem and the atmosphere. Few models and studies have been designed to assess these impacts. In this study, we developed a general ecosystem model, Erosion-Deposition-Carbon-Model (EDCM), to dynamically simulate the influences of rainfall-induced soil erosion and deposition on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics in soil profiles. EDCM was applied to several landscape positions in the Nelson Farm watershed in Mississippi, including ridge top (without erosion or deposition), eroding hillslopes, and depositional sites that had been converted from native forests to croplands in 1870. Erosion reduced the SOC storage at the eroding sites and deposition increased the SOC storage at the depositional areas compared with the site without erosion or deposition. Results indicated that soils were consistently carbon sources to the atmosphere at all landscape positions from 1870 to 1950, with lowest source strength at the eroding sites (13 to 24 gC m-2 yr-1), intermediate at the ridge top (34 gC m-2 yr-1), and highest at the depositional sites (42 to 49 gC m-2 yr-1). During this period, erosion reduced carbon emissions via dynamically replacing surface soil with subsurface soil that had lower SOC contents (quantity change) and higher passive SOC fractions (quality change). Soils at all landscape positions became carbon sinks from 1950 to 1997 due to changes in management practices (e.g., intensification of fertilization and crop genetic improvement). The sink strengths were highest at the eroding sites (42 to 44 gC m-2 yr-1 , intermediate at the ridge top (35 gC m-2 yr-1), and lowest at the depositional sites (26 to 29 gC m-2 yr-1). During this period, erosion enhanced carbon uptake at the eroding sites by continuously taking away a fraction of SOC that can be replenished with enhanced plant residue
García Estríngana, Pablo; Dunkerley, David; Cerdà, Artemi
Shrublands and Soil Erosion. An State-of-the-Art Arid and semiarid regions occupy two-fifth of the continents (Reynolds et al., 2007). These regions are characterized by dry climatic conditions, recurrent droughts and a scant rainfall pattern with a marked seasonality and a high inter-annual variability which makes water to be a scant resource and vegetation to follow a high variability spatial distribution pattern (Breshears et al., 1998; Cecchi et al., 2006; Dunkerley, 2008). These conditions make these areas more sensitive to climate change (Rowell, 2005) and to land use change as a consequence of land abandonment (Poyatos et al., 2003; Delgado et al., 2010; García-Ruiz, 2010), increasing the risk of desertification (Puigdefábregas and Mendizabal, 1998; Geeson et al., 2002), in such a way that 65-70% of arid and semiarid areas are vulnerable to this degradation process (UNEP, 1991). Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensity or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant cover is the main factor that controls the soil erosion, controlling the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012; Haregeweyn, 2013). Soil erosion show non-sustainable rates under these regions, such as under Mediterranean conditions (Cerdà et al., 2010) and on agriculture land (Cerdà et al; 2007; 2009) due to climatic conditions, to parent material and to the roughed terrain (Romero Díaz et al., 2010). The traditional impact of grazing, of extremely intense fires, of ploughing and the widespread use of herbicides on agriculture, the increase of the road and railway embankments and the agricultural land abandonment cause vegetation removal. Canopy cover partitions rainfall reducing the amount of water reaching the soil and the kinetic energy of rainfall drops, protecting the soil against the impact of rainfall drops. Vegetation
Vermeire, Lance T; Wester, David B; Mitchell, Robert B; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D
Selective grazing of burned patches can be intense if animal distribution is not controlled and may compound the independent effects of fire and grazing on soil characteristics. Our objectives were to quantify the effects of patch burning and grazing on wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature in sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia Torr.) mixed prairie. We selected 24, 4-ha plots near Woodward, OK. Four plots were burned during autumn (mid-November) and four during spring (mid-April), and four served as nonburned controls for each of two years. Cattle were given unrestricted access (April-September) to burned patches (<2% of pastures) and utilization was about 78%. Wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature were measured monthly. Wind erosion varied by burn, year, and sampling height. Wind erosion was about 2 to 48 times greater on autumn-burned plots than nonburned plots during the dormant period (December-April). Growing-season (April-August) erosion was greatest during spring. Erosion of spring-burned sites was double that of nonburned sites both years. Growing-season erosion from autumn-burned sites was similar to nonburned sites except for one year with a dry April-May. Soil water content was unaffected by patch burn treatments. Soils of burned plots were 1 to 3 degrees C warmer than those of nonburned plots, based on mid-day measurements. Lower water holding and deep percolation capacity of sandy soils probably moderated effects on soil water content and soil temperature. Despite poor growing conditions following fire and heavy selective grazing of burned patches, no blowouts or drifts were observed.
Physical models were tested in a wind tunnel to determine optimum surface-ravel admixtures for protecting silt-loam soil from erosion by, wind and saltating, sand stresses. The tests were performed to support the development of a natural-material surface barrier for and waste sites. Plans call for a 2-m deep silt-loam soil reservoir to retain infiltrating water from rainfall and snowmelt. The objective of the study was to develop a gravel admixture that would produce an erosion-resistant surface layer during, periods of extended dry climatic stress. Thus, tests were performed using simulated surfaces representing dry, unvegetated conditions present just after construction, after a wildfire, or during an extended drought. Surfaces were prepared using silt-loam soil mixed with various grades of sand and Travel. Wind-induced surface shear stresses were controlled over the test surfaces, as were saltating, sand mass flow rates and intensities. Tests were performed at wind speeds that approximated and exceeded local 100-year peak gust intensities. Surface armors produced by pea gravel admixtures were shown to provide the best protection from wind and saltating sand stresses. Compared with unprotected silt-loam surfaces, armored surfaces reduced erosion rates by more than 96%. Based in part on wind tunnel results, a pea gravel admixture of 15% will be added to the top 1 in of soil in a prototype barrier under construction in 1994. Field tests are planned at the prototype site to provide data for comparison with wind tunnel results.
López-Vicente, Manuel; Kirkby, Mike
Soil erosion models allow mapping and quantifying rates of runoff depth and soil redistribution in a wide variety of environments for different land uses and climatic scenarios. Runoff generation, soil detachment, sediment delivery and river dynamic are non-linear processes that depend on many factors, and thus the development of accurate and broad models has being always a difficult task. Taking in mind this complexity, predicting models have evolved from the first empirical equations (1930's) to the current ambitious and GIS-based models. The first attempts were developed for small areas like the studies of Mockus (1949) and Andrews (1954) that constituted the basis of the runoff Curve Number (SCS-CN). The research of Wischmeier and Smith (1958 and 1978) in plots about the relationship between rainfall energy, soil erodibility and soil loss as well as the development of the Universal Soil Loss Equation became the RUSLE model (Renard et al., 1991) that has been one of the most applied models of rill and interrill erosion. A recent version of RUSLE is the WATEM/SEDEM (Van Rompaey et al., 2001) model that predicts spatially distributed rates of soil loss and deposition at catchment scale and also estimates tillage erosion. Other models simulated not only processes of surface runoff and soil erosion but processes of nutrients, pollutants and sediment delivery, such as CREAMS (Kinsel, 1980) and AGNPS (Young et al., 1987). The assistance of GIS techniques in the 1990's was a milestone that let scientists create advanced models such as the dynamic LISEM (De Roo et al., 1995) and the hydrological STREAM (Cerdan et al., 2002) models. In some cases the current models can be downloaded as executable files: the empirical RUSLE2 (Foster et al., 2000), the process-based WEPP (Adams et al., 2012) and DR2 (López-Vicente and Navas, 2012), the complex river basin SWAT (Arnold et al., 1998) and TETIS (Francés et al., 2007) and the reduced-complexity SedNet (Prosser et al., 2001
Pelletier, R. E.; Griffin, R. H.
The following paper is a summary of a number of techniques initiated under the AgRISTARS (Agriculture and Resources Inventory Surveys Through Aerospace Remote Sensing) project for the detection of soil degradation caused by water erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices for resource inventories. Discussed are methods to utilize a geographic information system to determine potential soil erosion through a USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) model; application of the Kauth-Thomas Transform to detect present erosional status; and the identification of conservation practices through visual interpretation and a variety of enhancement procedures applied to digital remotely sensed data.
Mohr, Christian H.; Coppus, Ruben; Iroumé, AndréS.; Huber, Anton; Bronstert, Axel
Timber harvesting by clear cutting is known to impose environmental impacts, including severe disturbance of the soil hydraulic properties which intensify the frequency and magnitude of surface runoff and soil erosion. However, it remains unanswered if harvest areas act as sources or sinks for runoff and soil erosion and whether such behavior operates in a steady state or evolves through time. For this purpose, 92 small-scale rainfall simulations of different intensities were carried out under pine plantation conditions and on two clear-cut harvest areas of different age. Nonparametrical Random Forest statistical models were set up to quantify the impact of environmental variables on the hydrological and erosion response. Regardless of the applied rainfall intensity, runoff always initiated first and yielded most under plantation cover. Counter to expectations, infiltration rates increased after logging activities. Once a threshold rainfall intensity of 20 mm/h was exceeded, the younger harvest area started to act as a source for both runoff and erosion after connectivity was established, whereas it remained a sink under lower applied rainfall intensities. The results suggest that the impact of microtopography on surface runoff connectivity and water-repellent properties of the topsoil act as first-order controls for the hydrological and erosion processes in such environments. Fast rainfall-runoff response, sediment-discharge-hystereses, and enhanced postlogging groundwater recharge at catchment scale support our interpretation. At the end, we show the need to account for nonstationary hydrological and erosional behavior of harvest areas, a fact previously unappreciated in predictive models.
Saadatpour, Motahareh; Afshar, Abbas; Afshar, Mohammad Hadi
In this paper a PSIAC-based multi-parameter fuzzy pattern recognition (MPFPR) model is proposed and applied for classifying and ranking the potential soil erosion (PSE). In this approach, standard value matrix is used to define the membership degrees of each catchment to each class and the feature values are used for alternative ranking. The characteristic of PSE for each class is expressed by linguistic variables. The proposed method is straightforward, easy to understand, very practical, and its results may easily be interpreted. To assess the performance of the model, the results of PSIAC MPFPR and original PSIAC method are interpreted and compared with the observed data. It is shown that the proposed approach reflects the fuzzy nature of the soil erosion more efficiently and is quite robust for application in real world cases.
González-Pelayo, Óscar; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Cerdà, Artemi
Soil erosion after forest fire is triggered by the lack of vegetation cover and the degradation of the physical, biological and chemical properties (Martí et al., 2012; Fernández et al., 2012; Guénon, 2013). Valencia region belongs to the west Mediterranean basin ("Csa", Köppen climate classification), with drought summer periods that enhance forest fire risk. The characteristics of the climate, lithology and land use history makes this region more vulnerable to soil erosion. In this area, fire recurrence is being increased since late 50s (Pausas, 2004) and post-fire erosion studies became more popular from 80's until nowadays (Cerdá and Mataix-Solera, 2009). Research in Valencia region has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the effect of spatial and temporal scale on runoff and sediment yield measurements. The main achievements concerns: a) direct measurement of erosion rates under a wide range of methodologies (natural vs simulated rainfall, open vs closed plots); from micro- to meso-plot and catchment scale in single (Rubio et al., 1994; Cerdà et al., 1995; Cerdà 1998a; 1998b; Llovet et al., 1998; Cerdà, 2001; Calvo-Cases et al., 2003; Andreu et al., 2001; Mayor et al., 2007; Cerdà and Doerr, 2008) and multiples fires (Campo et al., 2006; González-Pelayo et al., 2010a). Changes in soil properties (Sanroque et al., 1985; Rubio et al., 1997; Boix-Fayós, 1997; Gimeno-Garcia et al., 2000; Guerrero et al., 2001; Mataix-Solera et al., 2004; González-Pelayo et al., 2006; Arcenegui et al., 2008; Campo et al., 2008; Bodí et al., 2012), in post-fire vegetation patterns (Gimeno-García et al., 2007) and, studies on mitigation strategies (Bautista et al., 1996; Abad et al., 2000). b) Progress to understanding post-fire erosion mechanism and sediment movement (Boix-Fayós et al., 2005) by definition of thresholds for sediment losses; fire severity, slope angle, bedrock, rain characteristics, vegetation pattern and ecosystem resilience (Mayor
Peng, Xiaohang; Ruyten, Wilhelmus M.; Keefer, Dennis
A particle simulation model is developed to study the charge-exchange grid erosion in ion thrusters for both ground-based and space-based operations. Because the neutral gas downstream from the accelerator grid is different for space and ground operation conditions, the charge-exchange erosion processes are also different. Based on an assumption of now electric potential hill downstream from the ion thruster, the calculations show that the accelerator grid erosion rate for space-based operating conditions should be significantly less than experimentally observed erosion rates from the ground-based tests conducted at NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). To resolve this erosion issue completely, we believe that it is necessary to accurately measure the entire electric potential field downstream from the thruster.
Morris-Jones, D. R.; Kiefer, R. W.
A variety of remote sensing data sources and interpretation techniques has been tested in a 6136 hectare watershed with agricultural, forest and urban land cover to determine the relative utility of alternative aerial photographic data sources for gathering the desired land use/land cover data. The principal photographic data sources are high altitude 9 x 9 inch color infrared photos at 1:120,000 and 1:60,000 and multi-date medium altitude color and color infrared photos at 1:60,000. Principal data for estimating soil erosion potential include precipitation, soil, slope, crop, crop practice, and land use/land cover data derived from topographic maps, soil maps, and remote sensing. A computer-based geographic information system organized on a one-hectare grid cell basis is used to store and quantify the information collected using different data sources and interpretation techniques. Research results are compared with traditional Universal Soil Loss Equation field survey methods.
Dosseto, Anthony; Suresh, P. O.
Soil is a critical resource, especially in the context of a rapidly growing world's population. Thus, it is crucial to be able to quantify how soil resources evolve with time and how fast they become depleted. Over the past few years, the application of cosmogenic isotopes has permitted to constrain rates of soil denudation. By assuming constant soil thickness, it is also possible to use these denudation rates to infer soil production rates (Heimsath et al. 1997). However, in this case, it is not possible to discuss any imbalance between erosion and production, which is the core question when interested in soil resource sustainability. Recently, the measurement of uranium-series isotopes in soils has been used to quantify the residence time of soil material in the weathering profile and to infer soil production rates (Dequincey et al. 2002; Dosseto et al. 2008). Thus, the combination of U-series and cosmogenic isotopes can be used to discuss how soil resources evolve with time, whether they are depleting, increasing or in steady-state. Recent work has been undertaken in temperate southeastern Australia where a several meters thick saprolite is developed over a graniodioritc bedrock and underlains a meter or less of soil (Dosseto et al., 2008) and in tropical Puerto Rico, also in a granitic catchment. Results show that in an environment where human activity is minimal, soil and saprolite are renewed as fast as they are destroyed through denudation. Further work is investigating these processes at other sites in southeastern Australia (Frogs Hollow; Heimsath et al. 2001) and Puerto Rico (Rio Mameyes catchment; andesitic bedrock). Results will be presented and a review of the quantification of the rates of soil evolution using isotopic techniques will be given. Dequincey, O., F. Chabaux, et al. (2002). Chemical mobilizations in laterites: Evidence from trace elements and 238U-234U-230Th disequilibria. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66(7): 1197-1210. Dosseto, A., S. P
Arata, Laura; Meusburger, Katrin; Zehringer, Markus; Ketterer, Michael E.; Mabit, Lionel; Alewell, Christine
Improper land management and climate change has resulted in accelerated soil erosion rates in Alpine grasslands. To efficiently mitigate and control soil erosion and reduce its environmental impact in Alpine grasslands, reliable and validated methods for comprehensive data generation on its magnitude and spatial extent are mandatory. The use of conventional techniques (e.g. sediment traps, erosion pins or rainfall simulations) may be hindered by the extreme topographic and climatic conditions of the Alps. However, the application of the Fallout Radionuclides (FRNs) as soil tracers has already showed promising results in these specific agro-ecosystems. Once deposited on the ground, FRNs strongly bind to fine particles at the surface soil and move across the landscape primarily through physical processes. As such, they provide an effective track of soil and sediment redistribution. So far, applications of FRN in the Alps include 137Cs (half-life: 30.2 years) and 239+240Pu (239Pu [half-life = 24110 years] and 240Pu [half-life = 6561 years]). To investigate short term (4-5 years) erosion dynamics in the Swiss Alps, the authors applied a FRNs repeated sampling approach. Two study areas in the central Swiss Alps have been investigated: the Urseren Valley (Canton Uri), where significant land use changes occurred in the last centuries, and the Piora Valley (Canton Ticino), where land use change plays a minor role. Soil samples have been collected at potentially erosive sites along the valleys over a period of 4-5 years and measured for 137Cs and 239+240Pu activity. The inventory change between the sampling years indicates high erosion and deposition dynamics at both valleys. High spatial variability of 137Cs activities at all sites has been observed, reflecting the heterogeneous distribution of 137Cs fallout after the Chernobyl power plant accident in 1986. Finally, a new modelling technique to convert the inventory changes to quantitative estimates of soil erosion has
Ashiagbori, G; Forkuo, E K; Laari, P; Aabeyir, R
Soil erosion involves detachment and transport of soil particles from top soil layers, degrading soil quality and reducing the productivity of affected lands. Soil eroded from the upland catchment causes depletion of fertile agricultural land and the resulting sediment deposited at the river networks creates river morphological change and reservoir sedimentation problems. However, land managers and policy makers are more interested in the spatial distribution of soil erosion risk than in absolute values of soil erosion loss. The aim of this paper is to model the spatial distribution of soil erosion in Densu River Basin of Ghana using RUSLE and GIS tools and to use the model to explore the relationship between erosion susceptibility, slope and land use/land cover (LULC) in the Basin. The rainfall map, digital elevation model, soil type map, and land cover map, were input data in the soil erosion model developed. This model was then categorized into four different erosion risk classes. The developed soil erosion map was then overlaid with the slope and LULC maps of the study area to explore their effects on erosion susceptibility of the soil in the Densu River Basin. The Model, predicted 88% of the basin as low erosion risk and 6% as moderate erosion risk, 3% as high erosion risk and 3% as severe risk. The high and severe erosion areas were distributed mainly within the areas of high slope gradient and also sections of the moderate forest LULC class. Also, the areas within the moderate forest LULC class found to have high erosion risk, had an intersecting high erodibility soil group.
Wind erosion is a significant aeolian process that produces many effects on the soils and landscapes in dryland systems, comprising almost forty percent of the Earth’s land surface. Wind erosion often occurs when coarse-textured soils are bare, loose, dry and subjected to erosive winds. Although w...
Molla, Tegegne; Sisheber, Biniam
Soil erosion is one of the major factors affecting sustainability of agricultural production in Ethiopia. The objective of this paper is to estimate soil erosion using the universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) model and to evaluate soil conservation practices in a data-scarce watershed region. For this purpose, soil data, rainfall, erosion control practices, satellite images and topographic maps were collected to determine the RUSLE factors. In addition, measurements of randomly selected soil and water conservation structures were done at three sub-watersheds (Asanat, Debreyakob and Rim). This study was conducted in Koga watershed at upper part of the Blue Nile basin which is affected by high soil erosion rates. The area is characterized by undulating topography caused by intensive agricultural practices with poor soil conservation practices. The soil loss rates were determined and conservation strategies have been evaluated under different slope classes and land uses. The results showed that the watershed is affected by high soil erosion rates (on average 42 t ha-1 yr-1), greater than the maximum tolerable soil loss (18 t ha-1 yr-1). The highest soil loss (456 t ha-1 yr-1) estimated from the upper watershed occurred on cultivated lands of steep slopes. As a result, soil erosion is mainly aggravated by land-use conflicts and topographic factors and the rugged topographic land forms of the area. The study also demonstrated that the contribution of existing soil conservation structures to erosion control is very small due to incorrect design and poor management. About 35 % out of the existing structures can reduce soil loss significantly since they were constructed correctly. Most of the existing structures were demolished due to the sediment overload, vulnerability to livestock damage and intense rainfall. Therefore, appropriate and standardized soil and water conservation measures for different erosion-prone land uses and land forms need to be implemented in Koga
The primary source to meet global food and fiber demands is production agriculture, but accelerated soil erosion threatens its sustainability. Soil erosion is an important contributor to the normal soil formation process, but erosion becomes problematic when it is accelerated. Soil conservation prac...
Stacy, E. M.; Hart, S. C.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Johnson, D. W.; Berhe, A. A.
Lateral movement of organic matter (OM) due to erosion is now considered an important flux term in terrestrial carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) budgets, yet most published studies on the role of erosion focus on agricultural or grassland ecosystems. To date, little information is available on the rate and nature of OM eroded from forest ecosystems. We present annual sediment composition and yield, for water years 2005-2011, from eight catchments in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada, California. Sediment was compared to soil at three different landform positions from the source slopes to determine if there is selective transport of organic matter or different mineral particle size classes. Sediment export varied from 0.4 to 177 kg ha-1, while export of C in sediment was between 0.025 and 4.2 kg C ha-1 and export of N in sediment was between 0.001 and 0.04 kg N ha-1. Sediment yield and composition showed high interannual variation. In our study catchments, erosion laterally mobilized OM-rich litter material and topsoil, some of which enters streams owing to the catchment topography where steep slopes border stream channels. Annual lateral sediment export was positively and strongly correlated with stream discharge, while C and N concentrations were both negatively correlated with stream discharge; hence, C : N ratios were not strongly correlated to sediment yield. Our results suggest that stream discharge, more than sediment source, is a primary factor controlling the magnitude of C and N export from upland forest catchments. The OM-rich nature of eroded sediment raises important questions about the fate of the eroded OM. If a large fraction of the soil organic matter (SOM) eroded from forest ecosystems is lost during transport or after deposition, the contribution of forest ecosystems to the erosion-induced C sink is likely to be small (compared to croplands and grasslands).
Nadeu, Elisabet; Van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof
Over the last decades, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to assess the effect of soil management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks. At regional scales, biogeochemical models such as CENTURY or Roth-C have been commonly applied. These models simulate SOC dynamics at the profile level (point basis) over long temporal scales but do not consider the continuous lateral transfer of sediment that takes place along geomorphic toposequences. As a consequence, the impact of soil redistribution on carbon fluxes is very seldom taken into account when evaluating changes in SOC stocks due to agricultural management practices on the short and long-term. To address this gap, we assessed the role of soil erosion by water and tillage on SOC stocks under different agricultural management practices in the Walloon region of Belgium. The SPEROS-C model was run for a 100-year period combining three typical crop rotations (using winter wheat, winter barley, sugar beet and maize) with three tillage scenarios (conventional tillage, reduced tillage and reduced tillage in combination with additional crop residues). The results showed that including soil erosion by water in the simulations led to a general decrease in SOC stocks relative to a baseline scenario (where no erosion took place). The SOC lost from these arable soils was mainly exported to adjacent sites and to the river system by lateral fluxes, with magnitudes differing between crop rotations and in all cases lower under conservation tillage practices than under conventional tillage. Although tillage erosion plays an important role in carbon redistribution within fields, lateral fluxes induced by water erosion led to a higher spatial and in-depth heterogeneity of SOC stocks with potential effects on the soil water holding capacity and crop yields. This indicates that studies assessing the effect of agricultural management practices on SOC stocks and other soil properties over the landscape should
He, Xingyuan; Hu, Zhibi; Li, Yuehui; Hu, Yuanman
Based on TM and ETM imagines, and employing GIS technique and empirical Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model, this paper studied the dynamics of soil erosion at the upper reaches of Minjiang River during three typical periods, with the main affecting factors analyzed. The results showed that the soil erosion area was increased by 1.28%, 1.84 % and 1.70% in 1986, 1995 and 2000, respectively. The average erosion modulus was increased from 832.64 t x km(-2) x yr(-1) in 1986 to 1048.74 t x km(-2) yr(-2) in 1995 and reached 1362.11 t x km(-2) yr(-1) in 2000, and soil loss was mainly of slight and light erosion, companying with a small quantity of middling erosion. The area of soil erosion was small, and the degree was light. There was a significant correlation between slope and soil loss, which mainly happened in the regions with a slope larger than 25 degrees, and accounted for 93.65%, 93.81% and 92.71% of the total erosion in 1986, 1995 and 2000, respectively. As for the altitude, middling, semi-high and high mountains and dry valley were liable to soil erosion, which accounted for 98.21%, 97.63% and 99.27% of the total erosion in 1986, 1995 and 2000, respectively. Different vegetation had a significant effect on soil erosion, and shrub and newly restored forest were the main erosion area. Excessive depasture not only resulted in the degradation of pasture, but also led to slight soil erosion. Land use type and soil type also contributed to soil loss, among which, dry-cinnamon soil and calcic gray-cinnamon soil were the most dangerous ones needing more protection. Soil loss was also linearly increased with increasing population and households, which suggested that the increase of population and households was the driving factor for soil loss increase in this area.
Liu, Yu; Wu, Bing-Fang; Zeng, Yuan; Zhang, Lei
The integration of the effects of landscape pattern to the assessment of the impacts of soil erosion on eco-environmental is of practical significance in methodological prospect, being able to provide an approach for identifying water body's sediment source area, assessing the potential risks of sediment export of on-site soil erosion to the target water body, and evaluating the capacity of regional landscape pattern in preventing soil loss. In this paper, the RUSLE model was applied to simulate the on-site soil erosion rate. With the consideration of the soil retention potential of vegetation cover and topography, a quantitative assessment was conducted on the impacts of soil erosion in the water source region of the middle route for South-to-North Water Transfer Project on rivers and reservoirs by delineating landscape pattern at point (or cell) scale and sub-watershed level. At point (or grid cell) scale, the index of soil erosion impact intensity (I) was developed as an indicator of the potential risk of sediment export to the water bodies. At sub-watershed level, the landscape leakiness index (LI) was employed to indicate the sediment retention capacity of a given landscape pattern. The results revealed that integrating the information of landscape pattern and the indices of soil erosion process could spatially effectively reflect the impact intensity of in situ soil erosion on water bodies. The LI was significantly exponentially correlated to the mean sediment retention capacity of landscape and the mean vegetation coverage of watershed, and the sediment yield at sub-watershed scale was significantly correlated to the LI in an exponential regression. It could be concluded that the approach of delineating landscape pattern based on soil erosion process and the integration of the information of landscape pattern with its soil retention potential could provide a new approach for the risk evaluation of soil erosion.
Zhang, Changshun; Xie, Gaodi; Liu, Chunlan; Lu, Chunxia
Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), originally developed by the USDA for agricultural lands and then used throughout the world, was applied in mountainous forest terrain in China. The woodland area was divide into 100 m × 100 m grid cells. The ArcInfo 9.2 GIS software provided spatial input data was used to predict the spatial distribution of the average annual soil loss on grid basis. The average rainfall erositivity factor ( R) for national woodlands was found to be 21-1798 MJ·mm·ha-1·h-1·a-1. The soil erodibility factor ( K) with a magnitude of 0.043 t·ha·h· ha-1·MJ-1·mm-1 is the highest for Chinese woodland. Most of the slope length factors ( LS) were less than 5 for the national woodland. The highest and lowest values of cover and management factor ( C) were found out to be 0.0068 and 0.2550 respectively for coniferous woodland and orchard woodland. The value of conservation factor ( P) was assigned to be 1 for Chinese woodlands because of scarcity of conversation practice data at the national scale. The average annual soil loss of the national woodland areas was 3.82 t·km-2·a-1. About 99.89% of Chinese woodland area was found out to be under slight erosion class, whereas it only resulted in about 41.97% of soil loss under woodland area, and 58.03% of soil loss occurred under high erosion potential zone, namely more than 5 t·ha-1·a-1. Therefore, those zones need immediate attention from soil conservation point of view. The results here are consistent with many domestic and oversea previous researches under mountainous forests or hilly catchments, thus we showed that the USLE can be applied to estimations of soil erosion for Chinese woodlands at the national scale.
Yu, Bofu; Murphy, Brian; Vaze, Jai; Rawson, Andrew
Rainfall has shown considerable secular variation and statistically significant change on the time scale of decades in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The climate change predictions seem to suggest an increased rainfall intensity for the region. To assess the likely impact of climate change on rainfall erosivity for 13 sites in NSW, a daily rainfall erosivity model was used to compare rainfall erosivity values using historical rainfall data and adjusted rainfall data representing future climate scenarios. To use the rainfall erosivity model, 6-min rainfall intensity data from the 13 sites were used to calibrate the model. The historical rainfall data were available for the period of 112 years (1895 - 2006) for the 13 sites. Adjusted rainfall data for 112 years were provided based on output from Global Climate Models, namely CSIRO-MK3.0 (CSIRO, Australia), MIROC-M (Centre for Climate Research, Japan); MIUB (Meteorological Institute of the University of Bonn, Germany); MRI (Meteorological Research Institute, Japan). The rainfall erosivity model was run for each of the 13 sites, and mean annual, seasonal rainfall erosivity values were contrasted for the present and future climate scenarios. In addition, rainfall erosivity values were compared for average recurrence intervals of 2, 10, and 100 years so that changes to rainfall erosivity during extreme erosive events can be assessed. The results show rainfall erosivity would increase by about 4.6% on average, and the increase occurs mostly in summer (December-January-February). Output from all 4 models suggests that rainfall erosivity would decrease in winter months. Spatially, the change to rainfall erosivity is quite variable, with greater increase mostly occurring along the coast with a temperate climate. As mean annual soil loss is linearly proportional to rainfall erosion, impact on soil loss of a similar magnitude is therefore implied for the 13 sites in NSW.
Baxter, Craig; Rowan, John S.; McKenzie, Blair M.; Neilson, Roy
Arable agriculture presents a unique set of challenges, and one of the most important is soil erosion. Whilst policy and practice look towards sustainable intensification of production to ensure food security, fundamental gaps in our understanding still exist. The physical processes involved in the detachment, transport and deposition of soil are well characterised but further research considering chemical and nutrient transport, fertiliser and pesticide losses, and environmental impacts to downstream environments is still required. Furthermore the interaction between soil erosion and soil organisms have largely been ignored, even though soil organisms serve a myriad of functions essential in the provision of soil ecosystem goods and services. Here we present the findings of a field-scale experiment into soil biotic redistribution undertaken at the James Hutton Institute's Balruddery Farm, Scotland (Link Tramlines Project XDW8001). Farm vehicle-tyre wheelings left in arable fields (tramlines) to enable crop spraying during the crop growth cycle have been identified as key transport pathways for sediment and associated nutrients. We tested the hypothesis that soil organisms were also transported by tramline erosion. During the winter of 2012/13 an experiment was undertaken to measure soil organism export from unbound hillslope plots subject to four different tramline treatments set out in a randomised block design. We used soil nematodes as a model organism as they are ubiquitous and sensitive to disturbance and an established indicator taxa of biological and physico-chemical changes in soil. Tramline treatments included a control tyre (conventional tractor tyre), a control tyre with a sown tramline, a low pressure tyre with sown tramline, and a control tyre with a spiked harrow. Post-event sampling of rainfall events was undertaken, and a range of variables measured in the laboratory. The spiked harrow treatment produced the greatest overall reductions in nematode
Seal formation at the soil surface during rainstorms reduces rain infiltration and leads to runoff and erosion. An increase in soil sodicity increases soil susceptibility to crusting, runoff, and erosion. Surface application of dissolved polyacrylamide (PAM) mixed with gypsum was found to be very ef...
The Dust Bowl of the 1930's focused the attention of the US on soil erosion and land conservation. The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was the result of this effort and has remained one of the most widely used equations for soil erosion prediction world-wide. This empirical relationship has been...
Conservation tillage systems that prevent soil erosion and maintain or increase soil carbon offer long-term benefits for producers in the inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) USA. Our objective was to compare conventional tillage and no-till for runoff and soil erosion. Two neighboring drainages in the 13...
Saleh, I H; Abdel-Halim, A A
This study investigated the radioactivity behavior of (7)Be in surface soil, airborne and deposited dust along Alexandria region in Egypt. The results obtained were used to predict scavenging processes of (7)Be from surface soil to infer soil erosion and land vulnerable to accelerated sea-level rise. The areal activity concentrations of (7)Be in surface soil were investigated in 30 undisturbed sites and (7)Be inventories were determined via deposited dust in 10 locations. Results of the former were found to be ranged from 78 Bq/m(2) to 104 Bq/m(2). High levels were observed in western sites associated with high dust deposition rate. On the other hand, low levels were found in the eastern sites, those may be attributed to scavenging processes such as land erosion toward the direction to the sea. The effective removal rates of (7)Be were calculated using the box-model, showing a broad special trend of inventories generally decreasing eastwards. The scavenging rates were ranged between 3.13 yr(-1) in western sites to 5.34 yr(-1) in eastern ones which denote that the east of the city suffers from rapid soil erosion. The airborne (7)Be was monthly monitored along the period from October 2014 to September 2015 through one site located at the mid of the city. The results revealed lower values in winter and autumn than in summer and spring ranged between 6.2 mBq/m(3) and 10.5 mBq/m(3). These levels are comparable with that in other world regions and the seasonal variations are associated with the prevailing climatic conditions in Alexandria region.
Xin, Yan; Xie, Yun; Liu, Yuxin; Liu, Hongyuan; Ren, Xiaoyu
Residue cover is widely used in the Northeastern China Black Soil Region for soil erosion control due to the large annual production of crop residues. Quantitative evaluations of the residue cover effects on preventing soil loss and on the cumulative infiltration amount are thus desirable. Herein, rainfall simulation experiments were conducted using simulators and soil flumes to study the effects of residue cover on soil erosion and infiltration under various rainfall events. Laboratory experiments were designed utilizing five levels of residue cover (bare, 15%, 35%, 55% and 75%), four rainfall intensities (30 mm/h, 60 mm/h, 90 mm/h and 120 mm/h), two soil moistures (dry and wet run) and a fixed slope of 7%. The results indicated that residue cover strongly affects runoff, soil loss and infiltration. Equations for predicting the soil loss ratio and infiltration ratio (the ratio of residue cover soil to bare soil) are herein proposed based on nonlinear curve regression. An empirical approach presented as the infiltration ratios multiplied Philip's equation derived from bare soil was established for estimating the cumulative infiltration amounts under various residue covers. The equation was demonstrated to be suitable for infiltration prediction for black soil by the root mean square error value and 1:1 line method. In addition, the relationship between the residue cover and biomass of corn residues was provided in order to enable accurate measurement of the residue coverage. These derived equations could be used for soil erosion and infiltration prediction under no-till and residue cover management conditions in the black soil region.
Lemly, A. Dennis
Five single-treatment methods used to stabilize seeded areas at urban and highway construction sites (asphalt-tacked straw, jute netting, mulch blanket, wood chips, excelsior blanket) were tested for their ability to control erosion of red clay soils by comparisons with exposed sites and multiple treatments. Sediment in runoff from experimental plots was characterized during low and high intensity precipitation from natural rainfall episodes during April, May, and June. Reductions in the total sediment concentration of runoff ranged from 28 percent (asphalt-tacked straw, 50 percent slope) to 90 percent (multiple treatments, 40 percent slope), with ≥85 percent of the eroded material composed of particles <0.04 mm in diameter. Larger size fractions were effectively reduced by all treatments tested regardless of slope (≥70 percent decrease). Established grass cover exceeded 90 percent on all plots after 60 days, but sediment release remained similar, attributable to high intensity rainfall, poor establishment of root systems, and piping on plots treated with tacked straw or jute netting. Results indicate that current stabilization methods shift sediment compostion toward a smaller particle size, causing single treatments to be minimally effective for controlling erosion of the major component of red clay soils. Because small particles have the greatest direct effect on aquatic biota, certain impacts of sedimentation may not be measurably lessened by single treatments in regions where red clays predominate even though the total sediment load is reduced by as much as 75 percent. Clearly, a multiple-treatment approach offers significantly greater control of erosion on red clay soils, however, current economic and construction policy represents a substantial deterrent to implementation.
Kong, Bo; Yu, Huan
The freeze-thaw (FT) erosion is a type of soil erosion like water erosion and wind erosion. Limited by many factors, the grading evaluation of soil FT erosion quantities is not well studied. Based on the comprehensive analysis of the evaluation indices of soil FT erosion, we for the first time utilized the sensitivity of microwave remote sensing technology to soil moisture for identification of FT state. We established an estimation model suitable to evaluate the soil FT erosion quantity in Silingco watershed wetland of Northern Tibet using weighted summation method of six impact factors including the annual FT cycle days, average diurnal FT phase-changed water content, average annual precipitation, slope, aspect, and vegetation coverage. Finally, with the support of GIS, we classified soil FT erosion quantity in Silingco watershed wetland. The results showed that soil FT erosion are distributed in broad areas of Silingco watershed wetland. Different soil FT erosions with different intensities have evidently different spatial and geographical distributions.
The freeze-thaw (FT) erosion is a type of soil erosion like water erosion and wind erosion. Limited by many factors, the grading evaluation of soil FT erosion quantities is not well studied. Based on the comprehensive analysis of the evaluation indices of soil FT erosion, we for the first time utilized the sensitivity of microwave remote sensing technology to soil moisture for identification of FT state. We established an estimation model suitable to evaluate the soil FT erosion quantity in Silingco watershed wetland of Northern Tibet using weighted summation method of six impact factors including the annual FT cycle days, average diurnal FT phase-changed water content, average annual precipitation, slope, aspect, and vegetation coverage. Finally, with the support of GIS, we classified soil FT erosion quantity in Silingco watershed wetland. The results showed that soil FT erosion are distributed in broad areas of Silingco watershed wetland. Different soil FT erosions with different intensities have evidently different spatial and geographical distributions. PMID:23935427
Meng, Xu; Cardenas, Laura M.; Donovan, Neil; Zhang, Junling; Murray, Phil; Zhang, Fusuo; Dungait, Jennifer A. J.
Soil erosion is the most widespread form of soil degradation. Estimation of the impact of agricultural soil erosion on global carbon cycle is a topic of scientific debate, with opposing yet similar magnitude estimates of erosion as a net source or sink of atmospheric carbon. The transport and deposition of eroded agricultural soils affects not only the carbon cycle but other nutrient cycles as well. It has been estimated that erosion-induced lateral fluxes of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) could be similar in magnitude to those from fertilizer application and crop removal (Quinton et al., 2010). In particular, the dynamics of soil N in eroding slopes need to be considered because the management of soil N has profound influences on the functioning of soil microorganisms, which are generally considered as the main biotic driver of soil C efflux. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions tend to increase in deposition positions of eroded slopes, diminishing the sink potential of eroded soils C (. As the global warming potential of nitrous oxide (N2O) is 310 times relative to that of CO2, the sink potential of agricultural erosion could easily be negated with a small increase in N2O emissions. Therefore, an investigation of the potential emissions of greenhouse gases, and especially N2O from soils affected by agricultural erosion, are required. In the present study, a field experiment was established with contrasting cultivation techniques of a C4 crop (Zea mays; δ13C = -12.2‰) to introduce 13C-enriched SOC to a soil previously cropped with C3 plants (δ13C = -29.3‰). Soils sampled from the top, middle, bottom and foot slope positions along a distinct erosion pathway were analyzed using 13C-phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and incubated to investigate the responses of microorganisms and associated potential emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). The total C and N contents were greatest in soils at the top slope position, whereas soil mineral N (NO3--N and NH4+-N
Heathcote, Adam J; Filstrup, Christopher T; Downing, John A
Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1). Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2) yr(-1) in 1850 to 986 g m(-2) yr(-1) by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850) to 59 days mm(-1) at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation.
Armstrong, E.; Ling, A.; Kuhn, N. J.
Globally, between 0.57 and 1.33 Pg of soil organic carbon (SOC) may be affected by interrill processes. Also, a significant amount of phosphorus (P) is contained in the surface soil layer transformed by raindrop impact, runoff and crust formation. In the EU, the P content of a crusted (2 mm) surface layer corresponds to 4 to 40 kg ha-1 of P on arable land (1.094 mil km2). Therefore, the role of interrill processes for nutrient cycling and the global carbon cycle requires close attention. Interrill erosion is a complex phenomenon involving the detachment, transport and deposition of soil particles by raindrop impacted flow. Resistance to interrill erosion varies between soils depending on their physical, chemical and mineralogical properties. In addition, significant changes in soil resistance to interrill erosion occur during storms as a result of changes in surface roughness, cohesion and particle size. As a consequence, erosion on interrill areas is selective, moving the most easily detached small and/or light soil particles. This leads to the enrichment of clay, phosphorous (P) and carbon (C). Such enrichment in interrill sediment is well documented, however, the role of interrill erosion processes on the enrichment remains unclear. Enrichment of P and C in interrill sediment is attributed to the preferential erosion of the smaller, lighter soil particles. In this study, the P and organic C content of sediment generated from two Devon silts under conventional (CS) and organic (OS) soil management were examined. Artificial rainfall was applied to the soils using two rainfall scenarios of differing intensity and kinetic energy to determine the effects on the P and C enrichment in interrill sediment. Interrill soil erodibility was lower on the OS, irrespective of rainfall intensity. Sediment from both soils showed a significant enrichment in P and C compared to the bulk soil. However, sediment from the OS displayed a much greater degree of P enrichment. This shows
Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Chamizo, Sonia; Román, Raul; Roncero, Beatriz; Weber, Bettina; Jetten, Victor; Cantón, Yolanda
Since publication of the first Ecological Stides volume on biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in 2003, numerous studies have been conducted trying to understand the role of biocrusts in runoff generation and water erosion. Most of them considered these communities as one of the most important stabilizing factors dryland regions. However, these studies were concentrated only on patch or hillslope scales, and there is a lack of information on biocrust interactions with other surface components at catchment scale. Even on fine textured soils, where biocrusts increase water infiltration, they act as runoff source when compared to vegetation. Run-on from biocrusted areas may be harvested by downslope vegetation, but sometimes it may promote downslope erosion. Thus, to really understand the effect of biocrusts on soil erosion, studies on larger scales, preferably on a catchment scale are needed. For this we developed a new approach, based on field measurements and remote sensing techniques, to include biocrust effects in physically-based runoff and erosion modeling. Doing this we were able to analyze how runoff generated in biocrust areas is redistributed within the landscape and its effect on catchment water erosion. The Limburg Soil Erosion Model (LISEM) was used to parameterize and simulate the effects of biocrusts on soil erosion in a small badlands catchment, where biocrusts represent one of the main surface components. Biocrust stability and cohesion were measured in the field, their hydrological properties were obtained from runoff plots, and their cover and spatial distribution was estimated from a hyperspectral image by linear mixture analysis. Then, the model was run under different rainfall intensities and final runoff and erosion rates were compared with field data measured at the catchment outlet. Moreover, these results were compared with the hypothetical scenario in which biocrusts were removed, simulating human disturbances or climatic change effects on
Koppes, Michèle; Hallet, Bernard; Anderson, John
To contribute to the understanding of the influence of climate on glacial erosion and on orogenic processes, we report contemporary glacial erosion rates from a calving glacier in the Southern Andes and elucidate the influence of ice dynamics on erosion. Using seismic profiles of sediments collected in a proglacial fjord and a documented history of retreat, we determine the time-varying sediment flux of Glaciar Marinelli as a measure of basin-wide erosion rates, and compare these rates with the annual ice budget reconstructed using NCEP-NCAR reanalysis climate data from 1950 to 2005. The rate of erosion of the largest tidewater glacier in Tierra del Fuego averaged 39±16 mm a-1 during the latter half of the 20th century, with an annual maximum approaching 130 mm a-1 following a decade of rapid retreat. A strong correlation emerges between the variable rate of ice delivery to the terminus and the erosion rate, providing quantitative insight into the relationship between ice fluxes and glacial erosion rates. For Glaciar Marinelli, as for other calving glaciers for which suitable data exist, the marked retreat and thinning over the past 50 years have resulted in a period of accelerated basal sliding and unusually rapid erosion.
Klik, A.; Jester, W.; Muhar, A.; Peinsitt, A.; Rampazzo, N.; Mentler, A.; Staudinger, B.; Eder, M.
In a 40 ha agricultural used watershed in Austria, surface runoff, soil erosion and nutrient losses are measured spatially distributed with 12 small erosion plots. Crops during growing season 2002 are canola, corn, sunflower, winter wheat, winter barley, rye, sugar beets, and pasture. Canopy height and canopy cover are observed in 14-day intervals. Four times per year soil water content, shear stress and random roughness of the surface are measured in a 25 x 25 m grid (140 points). The same raster is sampled for soil texture analyses and content of different phosphorus fractions in the 0-10 cm soil depth. Spatially distributed data are used for geostatistical analysis. Along three transects hydrologic conditions of the hillslope position (top, middle, foot) are investigated by measuring soil water content and soil matrix potential. After erosive events erosion features (rills, deposition, ...) are mapped using GPS. All measured data will be used as input parameters for the Limburg Soil Erosion Model (LISEM).
Wind erosion is a key driver of land degradation in the world’s drylands. Soil loss and nutrient decline due to wind erosion increase the sensitivity of drylands to climate stressors. Better understanding the factors controlling wind erosion in drylands will provide a basis for identifying and testi...
Soil surface roughness is identified as one of the controlling factors governing runoff and soil loss, yet, most studies pay little attention to soil surface roughness. In this study, we analyzed the influence of random soil surface roughness on runoff and soil erosion rates. Bulk samples of a silt ...
Soil surface roughness is identified as one of the controlling factors governing runoff and soil loss yet, most studies pay little attention to soil surface roughness. In this study, we analyzed the influence of random soil surface roughness on runoff and soil erosion rates. Bulk samples of a silt l...
Duarte, L; Teodoro, A C; Gonçalves, J A; Soares, D; Cunha, M
Soil erosion is a serious environmental problem. An estimation of the expected soil loss by water-caused erosion can be calculated considering the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provide different tools to create categorical maps of soil erosion risk which help to study the risk assessment of soil loss. The objective of this study was to develop a GIS open source application (in QGIS), using the RUSLE methodology for estimating erosion rate at the watershed scale (desktop application) and provide the same application via web access (web application). The applications developed allow one to generate all the maps necessary to evaluate the soil erosion risk. Several libraries and algorithms from SEXTANTE were used to develop these applications. These applications were tested in Montalegre municipality (Portugal). The maps involved in RUSLE method-soil erosivity factor, soil erodibility factor, topographic factor, cover management factor, and support practices-were created. The estimated mean value of the soil loss obtained was 220 ton km(-2) year(-1) ranged from 0.27 to 1283 ton km(-2) year(-1). The results indicated that most of the study area (80 %) is characterized by very low soil erosion level (<321 ton km(-2) year(-1)) and in 4 % of the studied area the soil erosion was higher than 962 ton km(-2) year(-1). It was also concluded that areas with high slope values and bare soil are related with high level of erosion and the higher the P and C values, the higher the soil erosion percentage. The RUSLE web and the desktop application are freely available.
Soil piping has been attributed as a potential mechanism of instability for embankments, hillslopes, dams, and streambanks. In fact, deterministic models have been proposed to predict soil piping and internal erosion. However, limited research has been conducted under controlled conditions to evalua...
Kuhn, Nikolaus J.
The 2015 UN Year of Soils (IYS), implemented by the FAO, aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. The IYS has six specific objectives, ranging from raising the awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soils, to the development of policies supporting the sustainable use of the non-renewable soil resource. For scientists and academic teachers using experiments to study soil erosion processes, two objectives appear of particular relevance. First is need for the rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national). While at first glance, this objective appears to relate mostly to traditional mapping, sampling and monitoring, the threat of large-scale soil loss, at least with regards to their ecosystem services, illustrates the need for approaches of studying soils that avoids such irreversible destruction. Relying on often limited data and their extrapolation does not cover this need for soil information because rapid change of the drivers of change itself carry the risk of unprecedented soil reactions not covered by existing data sets. Experiments, on the other hand, offer the possibility to simulate and analyze future soil change in great detail. Furthermore, carefully designed experiments may also limit the actual effort involved in collecting the specific required information, e.g. by applying tests designed to study soil system behavior under controlled conditions, compared to field monitoring. For rainfall simulation, experiments should therefore involve the detailed study of erosion processes and include detailed recording and reporting of soil and rainfall properties. The development of a set of standardised rainfall simulations would widen the use data collected by such experiments. A second major area for rainfall simulation lies in the the education of the public about
Springer, E.P.; Cundy, T.W.
The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of only rainfall excess generation on erosion. We illustrate the effects of spatial variation in saturated hydraulic conductivity (K/sub s/) on the spatial and temporal distributions of erosion resulting from overland flow. We use this as a basis to demonstrate the potential for bias in parameters estimated from field data. Mathematical modeling of soil erosion must include surface runoff the dominant transport mechanism. Rainfall excess when routed over the surface, produces a distribution of velocities and depths in response to surface, roughness, surface form or microtopography, and available water. The spatial distribution of velocities and depths strongly affects sediment delivery as well as the re-distribution of soil on the hillslope. 23 refs., 12 figs., 3 tabs.
Ligotke, M.W.; Klopfer, D.C.
Protective barriers have been identified as integral components of plans to isolate defense waste on the Hanford Site. The use of natural materials to construct protective barriers over waste site is being considered. Design requirements for protective barriers include preventing exposure of buried waste, and restricting penetration or percolation of surface waters through the waste zone. Studies were initiated to evaluate the effects of wind erosion on candidate protective barrier surfaces. A wind tunnel was used to provide controlled erosive stresses and to investigate the erosive effects of wind forces on proposed surface layers for protective barriers. Mixed soil and gravel surfaces were prepared and tested for resistance to wind erosion at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory Aerosol Wind Tunnel Research Facility. These tests were performed to investigate surface deflation caused by suspension of soil from various surface layer configurations and to provide a comparison of the relative resistance of the different surfaces to wind erosion. Planning, testing, and analyzing phases of this wind erosion project were coordinated with other tasks supporting the development of protective barriers. These tasks include climate-change predictions, field studies and modeling efforts. This report provides results of measurements of deflation caused by wind forces over level surfaces. Section 2.0 reviews surface layer characteristics and previous relevant studies on wind erosion, describes effects of erosion, and discusses wind tunnel modeling. Materials and methods of the wind tunnel tests are discussed in Section 3.0. Results and discussion are presented in Section 4.0, and conclusions and recommendations Section 5.0. 53 refs., 29 figs., 7 tabs.
Nigel, Rody; Rughooputh, Soonil
This paper reports the mapping of monthly soil erosion risk on Mauritius which was carried out using GIS, decision rules and readily available data namely, monthly rainfall depth, soil types, slope and land cover. Slope and soil were first combined to produce soil erosion susceptibility followed by land cover to produce erosion sensitivity, and then rainfall to produce erosion risk. The high erosion areas of the Island have been extracted from the soil erosion risk maps, whereby these areas can face land degradation problems and can be responsible for sediment discharge into wetlands located at the outlet of drainage basins. As such, drainage basins have been delineated using automatic catchment delineation tools and their percentage of high erosion areas computed. Basins with the greatest percentage of high erosion areas and particularly those that directly have a wetland at the outlet can be given priority for soil and water conservation efforts. The mapping reported in this paper can be adapted to other countries which need an erosion assessment for the identification of high erosion areas and priority action areas.
Yoshimura, Kazuya; Onda, Yuichi; Kato, Hiroaki
Radiocaesium wash-off associated with soil erosion in different land use was monitored using USLE plots in Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Parameters and factors relating to soil erosion and (137)Cs concentration in the eroded soil were evaluated based on the field monitoring and presented. The erosion of fine soil, which is defined as the fraction of soil overflowed along with discharged water from a sediment-trap tank, constituted a large proportion of the discharged radiocaesium. This indicated that the quantitative monitoring of fine soil erosion is greatly important for the accurate evaluation of radiocaesium wash-off. An exponential relationship was found between vegetation cover and the amount of eroded soil. Moreover, the radiocaesium concentrations in the discharged soil were greatly affected by the land use. These results indicate that radiocaesium wash-off related to vegetation cover and land use is crucially important in modelling radiocaesium migration.
Xiong, Yan-Mei; Xia, Han-Ping; Li, Zhi-An; Cai, Xi-An
Plant roots play an important role in resisting the shallow landslip and topsoil erosion of slopes by raising soil shear strength. Among the models in interpreting the mechanisms of slope reinforcement by plant roots, Wu-Waldron model is a widely accepted one. In this model, the reinforced soil strength by plant roots is positively proportional to average root tensile strength and root area ratio, the two most important factors in evaluating slope reinforcement effect of plant roots. It was found that soil erosion resistance increased with the number of plant roots, though no consistent quantitative functional relationship was observed between them. The increase of soil erosion resistance by plant roots was mainly through the actions of fiber roots less than 1 mm in diameter, while fiber roots enhanced the soil stability to resist water dispersion via increasing the number and diameter of soil water-stable aggregates. Fine roots could also improve soil permeability effectively to decrease runoff and weaken soil erosion.
Magleby, R.; Sandretto, C.; Crosswhite, W.; Osborn, C.T.
Soil erosion on agricultural land in the United States does not pose an immediate threat to the Nation`s ability to produce food and fiber. However, erosion is impairing long-term soil productivity in some areas and is the largest contributor to nonpoint source pollution of the Nation`s waterways. Conservation and commodity programs are currently being coordinated to futher conservation objectives. This report provides background information on soil use, erosion, and conservation policies and programs; summarizes assessments of economic and environmental effects of erosion; and discusses policies and programs as well as options for their improvement.
Sharma, Arabinda; Tiwari, Kamlesh N; Bhadoria, P B S
Universal soil loss equation (USLE) was used in conjunction with a geographic information system to determine the influence of land use and land cover change (LUCC) on soil erosion potential of a reservoir catchment during the period 1989 to 2004. Results showed that the mean soil erosion potential of the watershed was increased slightly from 12.11 t ha(-1) year(-1) in the year 1989 to 13.21 t ha(-1) year(-1) in the year 2004. Spatial analysis revealed that the disappearance of forest patches from relatively flat areas, increased in wasteland in steep slope, and intensification of cultivation practice in relatively more erosion-prone soil were the main factors contributing toward the increased soil erosion potential of the watershed during the study period. Results indicated that transition of other land use land cover (LUC) categories to cropland was the most detrimental to watershed in terms of soil loss while forest acted as the most effective barrier to soil loss. A p value of 0.5503 obtained for two-tailed paired t test between the mean erosion potential of microwatersheds in 1989 and 2004 also indicated towards a moderate change in soil erosion potential of the watershed over the studied period. This study revealed that the spatial location of LUC parcels with respect to terrain and associated soil properties should be an important consideration in soil erosion assessment process.
Sharda, V N; Mandal, Debashis; Ojasvi, P R
Assessment of soil erosion risks, especially in the developing countries, is a challenging task mainly due to non-availability or insufficiency of relevant data. In this paper, the soil erosion risks have been estimated by integrating the spatial data on potential erosion rates and soil loss tolerance limits for conservation planning at state level in India. The erosion risk classes have been prioritized based upon the difference between the prevailing erosion rates and the permissible erosion limits. The analysis revealed that about 50% of total geographical area (TGA) of India, falling in five priority erosion risk classes, requires different intensity of conservation measures though about 91% area suffers from potential erosion rates varying from < 5 to > 40 t ha(-1) yr(-1). Statewise analysis indicated that Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan share about 75% of total area under priority Class 1 (6.4 M ha) though they account for only 19.4% of the total area (36.2 M ha) under very severe potential erosion rate category (> 40 t ha(-1)yr(-1)). It was observed that about 75% of total geographical area (TGA) in the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala and Punjab does not require any specific soil conservation measure as the potential erosion rates are well within the tolerance limits. The developed methodology can be successfully employed for prioritization of erosion risk areas at watershed, region or country level.
Evaluating the performance of a soil erosion prediction model depends on the ability to accurately measure the gain or loss of sediment in an area. Recent development in acquiring detailed surface elevation data (DEM) makes it feasible to assess soil erosion and deposition spatially. Digital photogr...
Quantifying changes in potential soil erosion under projections of changing climate is important for the sustainable management of land resources, especially for regions dominated by agricultural land use, as soil loss estimates will be helpful in identifying areas susceptible to erosion, targeting ...
Impacts of climate change on soil erosion and the potential need for additional conservation actions are typically estimated by applying a hydrologic and soil erosion model under present and future climate conditions defined by an emission scenario. Projecting future climate conditions harbors sever...
Soil erosion is a global threat to agricultural production, and results in off-site sediment and nutrient losses that negatively impact water and air quality. Models are mathematical equations used to estimate the amount of soil lost from a land air, due to the erosive forces of water or wind. Early...
The quality of spatially and temporally distributed weather information is critical in soil erosion model results because of the primary influence of rainfall on runoff and soil movement. Detailed climate data for the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model can be generated by a climate genera...
Soil erodibility is a key factor for estimating soil erosion using physically based models. In this study, a new parameterization approach for estimating erodibility was developed for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM). The approach uses empirical equations that were developed by apply...
Soil erosion prediction technology began over 70 years ago when Austin Zingg published a relationship between soil erosion (by water) and land slope and length, followed shortly by a relationship that expanded this equation to include conservation practices. But, it was nearly 20 years before this w...
Terraces in crop fields are one of the most important soil and water conservation measures that affect runoff and erosion processes in a watershed. In this paper, terrace effects on soil erosion and sediment transport in the upstream and middle sections of the Weihe River basin in the Loess Plateau ...
The potential for global climate changes to increase risk of soil erosion is clear, but quantitative analysis of this risk is limited due to high spatial and temporal variability in projected climate change scenarios. For accurate prediction of soil erosion risk under climate change, climate chang...
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a long history of development of soil erosion prediction technology, initially with empirical equations like the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), and more recently with process-based models such as the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP)...
The erosion rate of cohesive soils is commonly quantified using the excess shear stress equation, dependent on two major soil parameters: the critical shear stress and the erodibility coefficient. A submerged jet test (JET – Jet Erosion Test) is one method that has been developed for measuring thes...
Vanwalleghem, Tom; Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Infante Amate, Juan; González Molina, Manuel; Fernández, David Soto; Guzmán, Gema; Vanderlinden, Karl; Laguna, Ana; Giráldez, Juan Vicente
The rational use of soil requires the selection of management practices to take profit of the beneficial functions of plant growth, water and nutrient storage, and pollutants removal by filtering and decomposition without altering its properties. However, the first evidence of important and widespread erosion peaks can generally be found with the arrival of the first farmers all over the world. In areas with a long land-use history such as the Mediterranean, clear signs indicating the advanced degradation status of the landscape, such as heavily truncated soils, are visible throughout. Soil conservation practices are then aimed at reducing erosion to geological rates, in equilibrium with long-term soil formation rates, while maximizing agricultural production. The adoption of such practices in most areas of the world are as old as the earliest soil erosion episodes themselves. This work firstly reviews historical evidence linking soil management and soil erosion intensity, with examples from N Europe and the Mediterranean. In particular, work by the authors in olive orchards will be presented that shows how significant variations in soil erosion rates between could be linked to the historical soil management. The potential of historical documents for calibrating a soil erosion model is shown as the model, in this case RUSLE-based and combining tillage and water erosion, adequately represents the measured erosion rate dynamics. Secondly, results from present-day, long-term farm experiments in the EU are reviewed to evaluate the effect of different soil management practices on physical soil properties, such as bulk density, penetration resistance, aggregate stability, runoff coefficient or sediment yield. Finally, we reflect upon model and field data that indicate how future global climate change is expected to affect soil management and erosion and how the examples used above hold clues about sustainable historical management practices that can be used successfully
The effects of tillage and crop residue removal on erosion and associated macronutrient fluxes on erodible soils subjected to a high intensity simulated rain event (70 mm/h) were investigated in an experimental watershed in Ohio, USA. A set of plots which constitute two experiments at this site were...
Tests of wind erosion were performed in a controlled-environment wind tunnel to support the development of natural-material protective barriers for long-term isolation of radioactive waste. Barrier performance standards currently being developed for internal and external barrier performance are expected to mandate a surface layer that is resistant to wind erosion. The purpose of this study was to initiate a series of tests to determine suitable soil and gravel mixtures for such a barrier and to test worst-case surface layer conditions under the influence of high wind speeds. Six mixed soil and gravel surfaces were prepared, weathered to represent natural wind-blown desert areas, and subjected to controlled wind erosion forces in a wind tunnel. The applied erosive forces, including surface shear forces, were characterized to provide a means of relating wind tunnel results with actual field conditions. Soil particle losses from the surfaces caused by suspension, saltation, and surface creep were monitored by aerosol sample probes and mass balance measurements. 23 refs., 22 figs., 3 tabs.
Brazier, R. E.; Bilotta, G.
The general consensus from the relatively small amount of existing research into soil erosion and nutrient export from intensive grasslands suggests that they are not a significant source of either sediment or phosphorus (P) (Bilotta et al., 2006). Authors have often attributed the low rates of erosion on intensive grasslands to the effect of the high surface cover which acts to intercept raindrops and retard runoff, resulting in limited detachment and transport of soil particles and so low sediment and particulate-phosphorus losses from these environments. Consequently, researchers have proposed that the phosphorus transfer from intensive grasslands is dominated by soluble forms of phosphorus, arbitrarily defined as anything that passes through a 0.45 μm filter (Sharpley et al., 2000). Nevertheless, researchers studying surface water quality issues in areas that are dominated by intensive grasslands are finding problems associated with the delivery of sediment and sediment-bound contaminants (Heathwaite and Dils, 2000). Clearly there are some inconsistencies within the literature which need to be re-examined. Work presented here aims to question why these inconsistencies exist and presents results from a field experiment designed to further understanding of the response of grasslands in terms of sediment and phosphorus delivery from intensively managed grasslands. The field-based experiment comprises paired lysimeter studies, run as part of the Rowden Experimental Research Platform (RERP) at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Devon, UK. Six one-hectare Lysimeters are used to observe response to natural rainfall events in terms of overland flow, subsurface (or drained) flow, sediment flux, Total Phosphorus (TP) flux, conductivity, temperature and turbidity. Plots are equipped to monitor surface flow and drained flow in isolation, so that the effect of land drainage, common to intensively grazed land on heavy soils, can be assessed alongside
Irvine, Brian; Kirkby, Mike; Fleskens, Luuk
Soil erosion was the most frequently identified driver of land degradation across a selection of global research sites within the DESIRE-EU project. The PESERA model was adopted in the project to upscale field results and consider the potential biophysical impact both with and without stakeholder selected sustainable land management (SLM) technologies in place. The PESERA model was combined with the DESMICE economic model and focussed on forecasting the regional effects of combating desertification both in environmental and socio-economical terms. The PESERA-DESMICE approach is further developed in the WAHARA project to consider the potential of a range of water harvesting technologies to improve biophysical conditions. Modelling in the WAHARA project considers detail of water harvesting technologies at the study site scale through to a coarser application at the continental scale with the latter being informed by the detail provided by study site observations an approach adopted in DESIRE-EU. The PESERA-DESMICE approach considers the difference between a baseline scenario and a (water harvesting) technology scenario at both scales in terms of productivity, financial viability and scope for reducing erosion risk. This paper considers the continental scale and focuses on estimating the impact of in-situ water harvesting technologies across Africa under current and future agricultural and climate pressure. PESERA is adopted in this continental application as it implicitly considers the impact of land-use and climate and can be readily amended to simulate in-situ WHT. Input data for PESERA; land use, management (crop type and planting dates), soil data and topography are derived from global data resources. Climate data for present and future scenarios are available through the QUEST-GSI initiative, where future scenarios are based on the outputs of seven GCM's.
Ciampalini, Rossano; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves
The aim of this research is to test the benefit of the hyperspectral imagery in soil surface properties characterisation for soil erosion modelling purposes. The research area is the Lebna catchment located in the in the north of Tunisia (Cap Bon Region). Soil erosion is evaluated with the use of two different soil erosion models: PESERA (Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment already used for the soil erosion risk mapping for the European Union, Kirkby et al., 2008) and Mesales (Regional Modelling of Soil Erosion Risk developed by Le Bissonnais et al., 1998, 2002); for that, different sources for soil properties and derived parameters such as soil erodibility map and soil crusting map have been evaluated with use of four different supports: 1) IAO soil map (IAO, 2000), 2) Carte Agricole - CA - (Ministry of Agriculture, Tunisia), 3) Hyperspectral VIS-NIR map - HY - (Gomez et al., 2012; Ciampalini t al., 2012), and, 3) a here developed Hybrid map - CY - integrating information from Hyperspectral VIS-NIR and pedological maps. Results show that the data source has a high influence on the estimation of the parameters for both the models with a more evident sensitivity for Pesera. With regard to the classical pedological data, the VIS-NIR data clearly ameliorates the spatialization of the texture, then, the spatial detail of the results. Differences in the output using different maps are more important in Pesera model than in Mesales showing no-change ranges of about 15 to 41% and 53 to 67%, respectively.
Cerdà, Artemi; Antonio, Giménez-Morera; Félix Ángel, González-Peñaloza; María, Burguet; Paulo, Pereira; José Reyes, Ruiz
Mediterranean landscapes are man-made. Its human ecosystems are characterized by a high population density, a long history of human settlement and an intense exchange of goods and people (Cerdà et al., 2010). This was possible due to a dense road network, most of it created during the Roman Empire. Modern roads and railways increased drastically during the last 30 years in the Mediterranean. Spain is a clear example of the acceleration of the road and railway infrastructures (Bel, 2005), especially during the 1960s as the tourism started to become a big issue in this part of the World. The increase in road and railways during the last 30 years resulted in a new transport system in Spain, which is based on high-speed railways and motorways. The characteristic of these infrastructures is that they were built by means of embankments, and little is now about the erosional response of those embankments to rainfall. The objective of this research is to assess the soil losses measured in road and railway embankments. The Canyoles River watershed was selected as an example of a region with a dense and recently developed modern network of roads, motorways and railway. The Canyoles river watershed is the natural path between the Mediterranean coast and Central Spain, the capital of the country and the touristic regions. Two motorways and two railways were built or re-built during the last two years and this paper assesses their impact on soil and water losses. As soil erosion rates are dependent on the high intensity - low frequency rainfall events, rainfall simulation experiments (40 experiments) were conducted (1 m2 plots; 60 minutes duration; 78 mm h-1 intensity) were carried out over plots on 2 railway (n=10 + 10) and motorway (n=10 + 10) research sites in August 2011, under very dry conditions. Soil moisture was below 5 % in the top 2 cm soil layer. The vegetation cover was very low in the two road and two railway embankments as the average cover was 4.2 % ranging from
Bodí, Merche B.
Hillslopes were though to be most susceptible to enhanced hydro-geomorphological responses immediately following burning, with susceptibility declining during the first months or years depending on the soil and vegetation recovery. However, Cerdà (1998) found some indices in that immediately after the fire, the thin wettable ash layer that typically covers the ground could absorb rainfall and prevent or delay the onset of overland flow and associated erosion. Therefore the time lag while ash remains on the ground become of crucial importance to protect the soil after a wildfire. The effect of this ash layer was rarely been considered in detail because ash has often been reduced or redistributed by wind or water erosion before the onset of monitoring and thus the data collection typically begun some weeks or month after the fire. The first papers focussed only on ash and its hydrological effects were published by Cerdà and Doerr (2008) and by Woods and Balfour (2008). The results showed that the soil covered with ash indeed reduced and delayed surface runoff, reduced soil splash detachment and produced lower sediment yield compared to bare terrain. However, these findings arose more questions, as for instance: Why in other research there were indices that ash reduces infiltration? what is the mechanism by which why ash reduces overland flow? The research went further with Bodí PhD. First of all, it was crucial the agreement on the fact that the material "ash" is very variable depending on the original vegetation and the type and temperature of combustion. Therefore ash properties are different between wildfires even and within a fire. This is the main reason of its different effects and thus ash not always reduces runoff and sediment yield. In this way, depending on the nature of ash, it can increase overland flow if it is crusted (usually it contains a high content of calcium carbonate), it is water repellent (with high contents of organic carbon and specially
Dialynas, Yannis G.; Bastola, Satish; Bras, Rafael L.; Billings, Sharon A.; Markewitz, Daniel; Richter, Daniel deB.
Soil erosion, particularly that caused by agriculture, is closely linked to the global carbon (C) cycle. There is a wide range of contrasting global estimates of how erosion alters soil-atmosphere C exchange. This can be partly attributed to limited understanding of how geomorphology, topography, and management practices affect erosion and oxidation of soil organic C (SOC). This work presents a physically based approach that stresses the heterogeneity at fine spatial scales of SOC erosion, SOC burial, and associated soil-atmosphere C fluxes. The Holcombe's Branch watershed, part of the Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory in South Carolina, USA, is the case study used. The site has experienced some of the most serious agricultural soil erosion in North America. We use SOC content measurements from contrasting soil profiles and estimates of SOC oxidation rates at multiple soil depths. The methodology was implemented in the tRIBS-ECO (Triangulated Irregular Network-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator-Erosion and Carbon Oxidation), a spatially and depth-explicit model of SOC dynamics built within an existing coupled physically based hydro-geomorphic model. According to observations from multiple soil profiles, about 32% of the original SOC content has been eroded in the study area. The results indicate that C erosion and its replacement exhibit significant topographic variation at relatively small scales (tens of meters). The episodic representation of SOC erosion reproduces the history of SOC erosion better than models that use an assumption of constant erosion in space and time. The net atmospheric C exchange at the study site is estimated to range from a maximum source of 14.5 g m-2 yr-1 to a maximum sink of -18.2 g m-2 yr-1. The small-scale complexity of C erosion and burial driven by topography exerts a strong control on the landscape's capacity to serve as a C source or a sink.
He, Ji-Jun; Cai, Qiang-Guo; Tang, Ze-Jun
In recent years, high-molecular-weight anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) have been widely tested on a variety of soils, primarily in water erosion control. However, little information is available regarding the effectiveness of PAM on preventing soil loss from wind erosion. The research adopted room wind tunnel experiment, two kinds of soils were used which were from the agro-pastoral area of Inner Mongolia, the northwest of China, the clay content of soils were 22.0 and 13.7%, respectively. For these tests, all the treatments were performed under the condition of wind velocity of 14 m s(-1) and a blown angle of 8.75%, according to the actual situation of experimented area. The study results indicated that using PAM on the soil surface could enhance the capability of avoiding the wind erosion, at the same time, the effect of controlling wind soil erosion with 4 g m(-2) PAM was better than 2 g m(-2) PAM's. Economically, the 2 g m(-2) PAM used in soil surface can control wind erosion effectively in this region. The prophase PAM accumulated in soil could not improve the capability of avoiding the wind erosion, owing to the degradation of PAM in the soil and the continual tillage year after year. The texture of soil is a main factor influencing the capability of soil avoiding wind erosion. Soil with higher clay content has the higher capability of preventing soil from wind erosion than one with the opposite one under the together action of PAM and water.
The importance of vegetal cover on soil erosion processes has been recognized for a long time. However, the short and long term effects of faunal activity on soil erosion and soil development had been largely overlooked by geomorphologists. The study of runoff and erosion processes in the Negev desert indicated pronounced systematic differences in sediment concentration and soil erosion rates between rocky and colluvial surfaces. Erosion rates were always higher on the former than on the latter. Field observations drew attention to an intense burrowing and digging activity conducted mainly by Isopods and Porcupines. The monitoring of this activity, based on a grid system, which consists of rows 5 m wide, lasted ten consecutive years. Data obtained suggest the existence of a strong link between the spatial pattern of bioturbation and that of soil erosion. The study also examines, through feedback processes, the regulatory role of bioturbation on the spatial distribution of water availability; soil moisture and soil forming processes. Due to bioturbation two distinct environments were recognised. The rocky environment which is characterized by a positive feedback with a high water availability and low soil salinity; and the soil covered areas where a negative feedback results in low water availability and a high soil salinity.
Heckrath, G; Djurhuus, J; Quine, T A; Van Oost, K; Govers, G; Zhang, Y
Tillage erosion had been identified as a major process of soil redistribution on sloping arable land. The objectives of our study were to investigate the extent of tillage erosion and its effect on soil quality and productivity under Danish conditions. Soil samples were collected to a 0.45-m depth on a regular grid from a 1.9-ha site and analyzed for 137Cs inventories, as a measure of soil redistribution, soil texture, soil organic carbon (SOC) contents, and phosphorus (P) contents. Grain yield was determined at the same sampling points. Substantial soil redistribution had occurred during the past decades, mainly due to tillage. Average tillage erosion rates of 2.7 kg m(-2) yr(-1) occurred on the shoulderslopes, while deposition amounted to 1.2 kg m(-2) yr(-1) on foot- and toeslopes. The pattern of soil redistribution could not be explained by water erosion. Soil organic carbon and P contents in soil profiles increased from the shoulder- toward the toeslopes. Tillage translocation rates were strongly correlated with SOC contents, A-horizon depth, and P contents. Thus, tillage erosion had led to truncated soils on shoulderslopes and deep, colluvial soils on the foot- and toeslopes, substantially affecting within-field variability of soil properties. We concluded that tillage erosion has important implications for SOC dynamics on hummocky land and increases the risk for nutrient losses by overland flow and leaching. Despite the occurrence of deep soils across the study area, evidence suggested that crop productivity was affected by tillage-induced soil redistribution. However, tillage erosion effects on crop yield were confounded by topography-yield relationships.
Levavasseur, Florent; Bailly, Jean-Stéphane; Lagacherie, Philippe
Water erosion of cultivated soils is a threat to the sustainability of agriculture, especially in Mediterranean areas. For a long time, Mediterranean farmers have thus adopted some soil conservation practices. Actual ditch networks, which are generally associated with terraces, result from historical successive farmer settlements and are one of these soil conservation practices. By intercepting surface run-off, ditches decrease slope length and prevent soil erosion on downstream plots. However, since water erosion hazard and ditch network geometries are highly variable in vineyards landscape and since ditch building and maintaining are costly, the objective of this study was to identify and map the resulting efficiency of ditch networks in preventing soil erosion. For a given area, a ditch network efficiency is defined here as the balance between the network density, i.e. network cumulated length for a given area unit, and the erosion sensitivity over an area which measures the performance of the ditch network in limiting soil erosion. The erosion efficiency of ditch networks was thus identified using both i) computer generated ditch networks with various spatial configurations and ii) the stream power index as an erosion sensitivity indicator, computed from a DTM in which each ditch network was burned. The stream power index of the actual networks were compared with a set of generated networks whose density and topology were selected to maximize the performance in preventing soil erosion thanks to the use of a self-developed optimized stochastic network generator. For four 1 km² hillslopes, we showed that the performances of actual networks to prevent soil erosion was among the best that were obtained by simulated networks with even greater densities. Furthermore, we showed that the stream power index values that accounted for the actual ditch networks to prevent soil erosion hazard was both minimal and weakly variable in the whole study area (30 km²) at
Harper, R. J.; Gilkes, R. J.; Hill, M. J.; Carter, D. J.
The incidence of wind erosion and its affect on soil organic carbon content was assessed in a dryland farming system near Jerramungup, Western Australia, using remote sensing, ground observations and soil analysis. Relationships were found between the patterns of wind erosion, past geomorphic processes and an array of soil attributes. These associations can be used to identify those soils that are most susceptible to erosion and thus soil carbon loss. Despite strong evidence of relict aeolian activity associated with a previous more arid climate, the incidence of contemporary wind erosion was only partly related to past geomorphological processes. Quartzose dune sands were particularly susceptible to erosion (47% of total area eroded), whereas texture contrast soils formed on clayey, wind-formed lunettes (16%) and deeply weathered regolith were less eroded (34%). Soils formed on stripped regolith and on loamy surfaced lunettes and swales were not eroded. Wind erosion was strongly related to soil particle size distribution and surface horizon depth, only occurring on sandy surfaced soils, with <5% clay and <3% silt and >50 cm deep. The incidence of erosion markedly increased with small decreases in clay and silt contents below these thresholds. Wind erosion resulted in the loss of ˜3% of the total stock of carbon to 1 m depth or 3.6 t C ha -1 for the eroded soils. The consideration of wind erosion induced carbon loss, both from the standpoint of sustaining farmland productivity and also in producing accurate national carbon accounts, at both the project and national scales, requires resolution.
Wondzell, S. M.; Clifton, C. F.; Harris, R. M.; Ritchie, J. C.
We examined present day rates of erosion in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon to quantify background erosion rates to provide standards for assessing possible accelerated rates of erosion resulting from wild fire or from land-management activities such as prescribed fire. The Skookum Creek watersheds, where stream discharge and sediment yield have been recorded continuously since the watersheds were gauged in 1992, provided a watershed-scale estimate of erosion rates. We installed hillslope erosion plots on north- and south- facing slopes within the watersheds in 2002 and collected data for three years to estimate short-term, hillslope- scale erosion rates. We also collected soil samples and analyzed them for 137Cs to get a 40-yr time- integrated estimate of hillslope erosion rates. Our results showed large differences between whole-watershed sediment yields and hillslope erosion rates measured from plots, suggesting that episodic processes dominated sediment production and transport and therefore controlled watershed-scale sediment budgets. At the hillslope-scale, short-term erosion resulted primarily from digging by small mammals and trampling by elk. Visual observations at the plots suggested that annual down-slope sediment movement was usually less than one meter. There were no significant difference among slope positions, but erosion rates were significantly higher on south-facing aspects and positively correlated to the amount of bare ground. In contrast, the 137Cs data suggested that erosion rates differed with slope position. Higher erosion rates were measured in toe- and mid-slope positions, with little erosion occurring on upper slopes and ridge tops. We examine these results in light of the present-day pattern of surface soils resulting from redistribution of volcanic ash from upper- slope to lower-slope positions and the effects of disturbance, including wildfire and the preferential grazing of riparian and lower-slope positions by domestic livestock.
Lozano-García, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis
INTRODUCTION The increasing degradation of olive groves by effect of organic matter losses derived from intensive agricultural practices has promoted the use (by olive farmers) of olive mill wastes (olive leaves and alperujo) which contain large amounts of organic matter and are free of heavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms. In this work we compared the effects of these oil mill wastes on the decrease of soil erosion, also, we undertook the assessment of the organic carbon and nitrogen contents of soil, their distribution across the profile, the accumulation and Stratification ratios (SRs) of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN), and the C:N ratio, in Cambisols in Mediterranean olive groves treated with olive leaves and alperujo. MATERIALS AND METHODS The study area was a typical olive grove in southern Spain under conventional tillage (CT). Three plots were established. The first one was the control plot; the second one was treated with olive leaves (CTol) and the third one, with alperujo (CTa). 9 samples per plot were collected to examine the response of the soil 3 years after application of the wastes. Soil properties determined were: soil particle size, pH, bulk density, the available water capacity, SOC, TN and C:N ratio. SOC and N stock, expressed for a specific depth in Mg ha-1. Stratification ratios (SRs) (that can be used as an indicator of dynamic soil quality) for SOC and TN at three different depths were calculated. The erosion study was based on simulations of rain; that have been carried out in order to highlight differences in the phenomena of runoff and soil losses in the three plots considered. The effect of different treatments on soil properties was analyzed using a ANOVA, followed by an Anderson-Darling test. RESULTS Supplying the soil with the wastes significantly improved physical and chemical properties in the studied soils with respect to the control. C and N stocks increased, the SOC stock was 75.4 Mg ha-1 in CT, 91.5 Mg
Smetanova, Anna; Follain, Stéphane; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves
Soil erosion and land degradation can lead to irreversible changes and landscape degradation. In order to achieve the sustainability of agricultural landscapes, the land use scenarios might be developed and tested for their erosion mitigation effects. Despite the importance of the long-term scenarios (which are complicated by predictability of climate change in a small scale, its effect on change in soil properties and crops, and the societal behaviour of individual players), the management decision have to be applied already now. Therefore the short-term and medium term scenarios to achieve the most effective soil management and the least soil erosion footprint are necessary to develop. With increasing importance of individual large erosion events, the event-based models, considering soil properties and landscape structures appears to be suitable. The LandSoil model (Ciampalini et al., 2012) - a landscape evolution model operating at the field/small catchment scale, have been applied in order to analyse the effect of different soil erosion mitigation and connectivity management practices in two different Mediterranean catchments. In the soil erosion scenarios the proposed measures targeted soil erosion on field or on catchment scale, and the effect of different extreme events on soil redistribution was evaluated under different spatial designs. Anna Smetanová has received the support of the AgreenSkills fellowship (under grant agreement n°267196). R. Ciampalini, S. Follain, Y. Le Bissonnais, LandSoil: A model for analysing the impact of erosion on agricultural landscape evolution, Geomorphology, 175-176, 2012, 25-37.
Wernet, A. K.; Beighley, R. E.
Soil erosion is a power process that continuously alters the Earth's landscape. Human activities, such as construction and agricultural practices, and natural events, such as forest fires and landslides, disturb the landscape and intensify erosion processes leading to sudden increases in runoff sediment concentrations and degraded stream water quality. Understanding soil erosion and sediment transport processes is of great importance to researchers and practicing engineers, who routinely use models to predict soil erosion and sediment movement for varied land use and climate change scenarios. However, existing erosion models are limited in their applicability to constructions sites which have highly variable soil conditions (density, moisture, surface roughness, and best management practices) that change often in both space and time. The goal of this research is to improve the understanding, predictive capabilities and integration of treatment methodologies for controlling soil erosion and sediment export from construction sites. This research combines modeling with field monitoring and laboratory experiments to quantify: (a) spatial and temporal distribution of soil conditions on construction sites, (b) soil erosion due to event rainfall, and (c) potential offsite discharge of sediment with and without treatment practices. Field sites in southern California were selected to monitor the effects of common construction activities (ex., cut/fill, grading, foundations, roads) on soil conditions and sediment discharge. Laboratory experiments were performed in the Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (SERL), part of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at San Diego State University, to quantify the impact of individual factors leading to sediment export. SERL experiments utilize a 3-m by 10-m tilting soil bed with soil depths up to 1 m, slopes ranging from 0 to 50 percent, and rainfall rates up to 150 mm/hr (6 in/hr). Preliminary modeling, field and laboratory
In preparation for the Apollo program, Leonard Roberts of the NASA Langley Research Center developed a remarkable analytical theory that predicts the blowing of lunar soil and dust beneath a rocket exhaust plume. Roberts assumed that the erosion rate was determined by the excess shear stress in the gas (the amount of shear stress greater than what causes grains to roll). The acceleration of particles to their final velocity in the gas consumes a portion of the shear stress. The erosion rate continues to increase until the excess shear stress is exactly consumed, thus determining the erosion rate. Roberts calculated the largest and smallest particles that could be eroded based on forces at the particle scale, but the erosion rate equation assumed that only one particle size existed in the soil. He assumed that particle ejection angles were determined entirely by the shape of the terrain, which acts like a ballistic ramp, with the particle aerodynamics being negligible. The predicted erosion rate and the upper limit of particle size appeared to be within an order of magnitude of small-scale terrestrial experiments but could not be tested more quantitatively at the time. The lower limit of particle size and the predictions of ejection angle were not tested. We observed in the Apollo landing videos that the ejection angles of particles streaming out from individual craters were time-varying and correlated to the Lunar Module thrust, thus implying that particle aerodynamics dominate. We modified Roberts theory in two ways. First, we used ad hoc the ejection angles measured in the Apollo landing videos, in lieu of developing a more sophisticated method. Second, we integrated Roberts equations over the lunar-particle size distribution and obtained a compact expression that could be implemented in a numerical code. We also added a material damage model that predicts the number and size of divots which the impinging particles will cause in hardware surrounding the landing
Park, Soyoung; Oh, Cheyoung; Jeon, Seongwoo; Jung, Huicheul; Choi, Chuluong
SummarySoil erosion reduces crop productivity and water storage capacity, and, both directly and indirectly, causes water pollution. Loss of soil has become a problem worldwide, and as concerns about the environment grow, active research has begun regarding soil erosion and soil-preservation policies. This study analyzed the amount of soil loss in South Korea over a recent 20-year period and estimated future soil loss in 2020 using the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE). Digital elevation (DEM) data, detailed soil maps, and land cover maps were used as primary data, and geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) techniques were applied to produce thematic maps, based on RUSLE factors. Using the frequency ratio (FR), analytic hierarchy process (AHP), and logistic regression (LR) approaches, land suitability index (LSI) maps were developed for 2020, considering the already established Environmental Conservation Value Assessment Map (ECVAM) for Korea. Assuming a similar urban growth trend and 10-, 50-, and 100-year rainfall frequencies, soil loss in 2020 was predicted by analyzing changes in the cover-management factor and rainfall-runoff erosivity factor. In the period 1985-2005, soil loss showed an increasing trend, from 17.1 Mg/ha in 1985 to 17.4 Mg/ha in 1995, and to 20.0 Mg/ha in 2005; the 2005 value represents a 2.8 Mg/ha (16.6%) increase, compared with 1985 and is attributable to the increased area of grassland and bare land. In 2020, the estimated soil loss, considering the ECVAM, was 19.2-19.3 Mg/ha for the 10-year rainfall frequency, 36.4-36.6 Mg/ha for the 50-year rainfall frequency, and 45.7-46.0 Mg/ha for the 100-year rainfall frequency. Without considering the ECVAM, the amount of soil loss was about 0.4-1.6 Mg/ha larger than estimates that did consider the ECVAM; specifically, the values were 19.6-19.9 Mg/ha for the 10-year rainfall frequency, 37.1-37.8 Mg/ha for the 50-year frequency, and 46.7-47.5 Mg/ha for the 100-year
Guzmán, G.; Cañasveras, J. C.; Barrón, V.; Boulal, H.; Gómez, H.; Conde, E.; Fernández, M.; Gómez, J. A.
The characteristics of the ideal soil erosion have been defined by several authors, for example by Zhang et al. (2001). Despite intensive research on erosion tracers in the last decades there is not a single tracer fulfilling all these characteristics. That is why research on different soil erosion tracers remains as an active field. Two desirable characteristics in erosion tracers are that they should be relatively inexpensive (to purchase and analyze) and that they should be determined with high accuracy in soil or sediment. The availability of multiple tracers is another of the key requirements. In this communication we present our preliminary results on the use of two different sets of erosion tracers. One set are iron oxides with different magnetic and optical properties (Fe3O4, α-Fe2O3 and FeOOH) analyzed by NIRS and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The other set consists of five rare earth oxides (La2O3, Pr6O11, Nd2O3, Sm2O3 and Gd2O3) analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). These two groups were studied under controlled and natural conditions, through several water erosion experiments, in field plots with different soil management, crops and scale. In one experiment these tracers were used to determine the source of sediment within sprinkle irrigated fields planted with cotton on shoulders. For this purpose, rainfall simulations were performed under controlled conditions at two scales, one with a portable rainfall simulator at small scale (0.81m2) and with the sprinkler irrigation system in the whole cotton field (2450 m2). Furrows were tagged with both groups of tracers, keeping shoulders untagged (where cotton was planted). Soil samples before and after the rainfall simulations were collected as well as sediment samples. In another experiment four olive orchard plots (330 m2) with different soil managements (cover crop and conventional tillage) were also tagged with the two groups of tracers. Soil samples were taken at
Smith, S V; Bullock, S H; Hinojosa-Corona, A; Franco-Vizcaíno, E; Escoto-Rodríguez, M; Kretzschmar, T G; Farfán, L M; Salazar-Ceseña, J M
In topographically complex terrains, downslope movement of soil organic carbon (OC) can influence local carbon balance. The primary purpose of the present analysis is to compare the magnitude of OC displacement by erosion with ecosystem metabolism in such a complex terrain. Does erosion matter in this ecosystem carbon balance? We have used the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) erosion model to estimate lateral fluxes of OC in a watershed in northwestern Mexico. The watershed (4900 km2) has an average slope of 10 degrees +/- 9 degrees (mean +/- SD); 45% is >10 degrees, and 3% is >30 degrees. Land cover is primarily shrublands (69%) and agricultural lands (22%). Estimated bulk soil erosion averages 1350 Mg x km(-2) x yr(-1). We estimate that there is insignificant erosion on slopes < 2 degrees and that 20% of the area can be considered depositional. Estimated OC erosion rates are 10 Mg x km(-2) x yr(-1) for areas steeper than 2 degrees. Over the entire area, erosion is approximately 50% higher on shrublands than on agricultural lands, but within slope classes, erosion rates are more rapid on agricultural areas. For the whole system, estimated OC erosion is approximately 2% of net primary production (NPP), increasing in high-slope areas to approximately 3% of NPP. Deposition of eroded OC in low-slope areas is approximately 10% of low-slope NPP. Soil OC movement from erosional slopes to alluvial fans alters the mosaic of OC metabolism and storage across the landscape.
Lugato, Emanuele; Paustian, Keith; Panagos, Panos; Jones, Arwyn; Borrelli, Pasquale
The idea of offsetting anthropogenic CO2 emissions by increasing global soil organic carbon (SOC), as recently proposed by French authorities ahead of COP21 in the 'four per mil' initiative, is notable. However, a high uncertainty still exits on land C balance components. In particular, the role of erosion in the global C cycle is not totally disentangled, leading to disagreement whether this process induces lands to be a source or sink of CO2. To investigate this issue, we coupled soil erosion into a biogeochemistry model, running at 1 km(2) resolution across the agricultural soils of the European Union (EU). Based on data-driven assumptions, the simulation took into account also soil deposition within grid cells and the potential C export to riverine systems, in a way to be conservative in a mass balance. We estimated that 143 of 187 Mha have C erosion rates <0.05 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), although some hot-spot areas showed eroded SOC >0.45 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1). In comparison with a baseline without erosion, the model suggested an erosion-induced sink of atmospheric C consistent with previous empirical-based studies. Integrating all C fluxes for the EU agricultural soils, we estimated a net C loss or gain of -2.28 and +0.79 Tg yr(-1) of CO2 eq, respectively, depending on the value for the short-term enhancement of soil C mineralization due to soil disruption and displacement/transport with erosion. We concluded that erosion fluxes were in the same order of current carbon gains from improved management. Even if erosion could potentially induce a sink for atmospheric CO2, strong agricultural policies are needed to prevent or reduce soil erosion, in order to maintain soil health and productivity.
Channels regulate the sediment dynamics of tidal marshes, affect the capacity of marsh platforms to keep pace with sea level rise and can contribute to the loss of the low marsh, a critical area for nutrient cycling and ecosystem services. A puzzling aspect of marsh dynamics is the occurrence of slumping on the channel banks despite the absence of channel widening and migration. An apparently unrelated conundrum is why vertical accretion rates on the low marsh adjacent to channels are often higher than the rate of relative sea level rise: this sedimentation excess should not occur in a regime of equilibrium or in a regime of accelerated sea level rise. Here I suggest that bank erosion and sedimentation surplus are linked and can be explained by soil creep, the process by which soil is moved downslope by gravity. A novel model for a channel-platform cross section predicts an equilibrium state where the sedimentation surplus on the channel banks is transferred by creep toward the channel, where an erosional surplus and a suspend load transport toward the bank close the sediment budget. This model predicts that bank slumping can occur even if marshes are in equilibrium with sea level rise. As a consequence slumping is not an unequivocal indicator of ongoing marsh loss. The model also predicts that, at equilibrium, sedimentation rates adjacent to channels are higher than the rate of sea level rise. This implies that a sedimentation surplus is not a sign of resilience to sea level rise acceleration. The framework proposed by the model will affect how erosion and deposition measurements adjacent to marsh channels are interpreted.
Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Hou, Xiaolin; Pan, Shaoming
Surface and soil core samples from northeast China were analyzed for Pu isotopes. The measured 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios and 239 + 240Pu/137Cs activity ratios revealed that the global fallout is the dominant source of Pu and 137Cs at these sites. Migration behavior of Pu varying with land type and human activities resulted in different distribution of Pu in surface soils. A sub-surface maximum followed by exponential decline of 239 + 240Pu concentrations was observed in an undisturbed soil core, with a total 239 + 240Pu inventory of 86.9 Bq/m2 and more than 85% accumulated in 0 ~ 20 cm layers. While only half inventory of Pu was obtained in another soil core and no sub-surface maximum value occurred. Erosion of topsoil in the site should be the most possible reason for the significantly lower Pu inventory, which is also supported by the reported 137Cs profiles. These results demonstrated that Pu could be applied as an ideal substitute of 137Cs for soil erosion study in the future. PMID:24336360
Mamedov, A. I.; Huang, C.; Levy, G. J.
Water infiltration, seal formation, runoff and erosion depend on the soil's inherent properties and surface conditions. Most erosion models consider only soil inherent properties (mainly texture) in assessing infiltration and erosion without consideration of spatial and temporary variation in the surface condition, particularly the antecedent moisture content. We studied the interaction of two different surface conditions, i.e. antecedent moisture content (AMC) and aging (timing after wetting) on infiltration (IR), seal formation (runoff generation) and erosion in four soils varying from loam to clay. Soil samples were packed in erosion box and wetted with different amounts of water (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 16 mm) to obtain a wide moisture range (i.e., pF 0-6.2, or from air dry to full saturation). The boxes were put in plastic bags and allowed to age for 0.01, 1, 3, or 7 days. Then the soil in the erosion box exposed to 60 mm of rain. At no aging final IR of soils did not change significantly, but runoff volume (a measure for seal development) and soil loss increased with an increase in AMC mainly because of aggregate breakdown. For any given aging, the highest IR and smallest runoff volume and soil loss were obtained at the intermediate AMC levels (pF 2.4-4.2, between wilting point and field capacity). For instance, in the clay soil to which 3 mm of water (pF~2.7) was added, as aging increased from one to seven days, final IR increased from 5.3 to 7.9 mm h-1, while runoff and soil loss decreased from 34 mm to 22 mm, and from 630 to 360 g m2 respectively. At this AMC range, increasing aging time resulted in up to 40% increase in IR and decrease in runoff or soil loss. This tendency significantly more pronounced for clay soils because water-filled pores in the clay fabric were considered active in the stabilization process and the development of cohesive bonds between and within particles during the aging period. The results of this study are important for soil
Mendez, Mariano J.; Buschiazzo, Daniel E.
The effectiveness of wind erosion control by soil surface conditions and crop and weed canopy has been well studied in wind tunnel experiments. The aim of this study is to assess the combined effects of these variables under field conditions. Soil surface conditions, crop and weed coverage, plant residue, and non-erodible aggregates (NEA) were measured in the field between the fallow start and the growth period of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and corn (Zea mays). Both crops were planted on a sandy-loam Entic Haplustoll with conventional-(CT), vertical-(VT) and no-till (NT) tillage systems. Wind erosion was estimated by means of the spreadsheet version the Revised Wind Erosion Equation and the soil coverage was measured each 15 days. Results indicated that wind erosion was mostly negligible in NT, exceeding the tolerable levels (estimated between 300 and 1400 kg ha-1 year-1 by Verheijen et al. (2009)) only in an year with high climatic erosivity. Wind erosion exceeded the tolerable levels in most cases in CT and VT, reaching values of 17,400 kg ha-1. Wind erosion was 2-10 times higher after planting of both crops than during fallows. During the fallows, the soil was mostly well covered with plant residues and NEA in CT and VT and with residues and weeds in NT. High wind erosion amounts occurring 30 days after planting in all tillage systems were produced by the destruction of coarse aggregates and the burying of plant residues during planting operations and rains. Differences in soil protection after planting were given by residues of previous crops and growing weeds. The growth of weeds 2-4 weeks after crop planting contributed to reduce wind erosion without impacting in crops yields. An accurate weeds management in semiarid lands can contribute significantly to control wind erosion. More field studies are needed in order to develop management strategies to reduce wind erosion.
Thomsen, Line; Stolte, Jannes; Baartman, Jantiene; Starkloff, Torsten
This study compared five methods for measuring soil surface roughness, two contact methods: pinboard and roller chain, and three non-contact methods: laser scanner, stereophotogrammetry and the "Kinect". The latter is a 3D depth sensor originally developed for gaming consoles, which recently was proved to be applicable for high-resolution DEM. Roughness was in this study defined as irregularities in the surface related to soil type and tillage practice. The index random roughness (RR), calculated as the standard deviation of a number of elevation recordings, was used for comparison. The methods were compared in terms of accuracy, precision, resolution, ease of use and price. The obtained average random roughness values were used as input in a physical-based spatially-distributed erosion model, LISEM. Results showed that the various methods have different pros and cons and since the methods use different principles to obtain roughness data, they are prone to different errors. The "Kinect" proved to be a useful sensor, both in terms of obtainable resolution (~90 000 measurements per m2) as well as costs and ease of use. The erosion model was relatively sensitive to the roughness input data, with a 20% and 40% increase in RR yielding approximately 20% and 40% decrease in hydrograph peak discharge [l/s], respectively. Interestingly, roughness data obtained with different methods (laser scanner versus "Kinect"), which in statistical terms were not significantly different from each other did cause a ~50% change in hydrograph peak, indicating that the model sensitivity is not adjusted for the obtainable accuracy of measured roughness data. For improved model performance it is suggested to determine the required accuracy and precision as well as the preferred method of measured random roughness data when used as input to an erosion model like LISEM. Key words: soil surface roughness, random roughness, erosion modelling, LISEM, the Kinect, data accuracy
Many field observations have lead to speculation on the role of piping in embankment failures, landslides, and gully erosion. However, there has not been a consensus on the subsurface flow and erosion processes involved and inconsistent use of terms have exasperated the problem. One such piping proc...
Brown, Lester R.; Wolf, Edward C.
Although soil erosion is a natural process, it has increased to the point where it far exceeds the natural formation of new soil. However, with only occasional exceptions, national agricultural and population policies have failed to take soil depletion into account. Projections of world food production always incorporate estimates of future…
Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...
Seal formation at the surface of semi-arid soils during rainstorms reduces soil infiltration rate (IR) and causes runoff and erosion. Surface application of dry anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) with high molecular weight (MW) has been found to be effective in stabilizing soil aggregates, and decreasing ...
Soil tillage and wind erosion are a major source of particulate matter less than 2.5 and 10 µm (PM2.5 and PM10) emission from cultivated soil. Fifteen cultivated soils collected from 5 states were tested as crushed (<2.0 mm) and uncrushed (natural aggregation) at 8, 10, and 13 m s-1 wind velocity in...
Niziolomski, Joanna; Simmons, Robert; Rickson, Jane; Hann, Mike
Row crop production (including potatoes, onions, carrots, asparagus, bulbs and lettuce) is regarded as one of the most erosive agricultural cropping systems. This is a result of the many practices involved that increase erosion risk including: fine seedbed preparation, a typically short growing season where adequate ground cover protects the soil, permanent bare soil areas between crops, and often intensive harvesting methods that can damage soil structure and result in soil compaction. Sustained exposure of bare soil coupled with onsite compaction on slightly sloping land results in soil and water issues in asparagus production. Asparagus production is a growing British industry covering > 2000 ha and is worth approximately £30 million yr-1. However, no tried and tested erosion control measurements currently exist to manage associated problems. Research has recently been undertaken investigating the effectiveness of erosion control measures suitable for asparagus production systems. These consisted of surface applied wheat straw mulch and shallow soil disturbance (< 350 mm) using several tine configurations: a currently adopted winged tine, a narrow with two shallow leading tines, and a modified para-plough. These treatments were tested individually and in combination (straw mulch with each shallow soil disturbance tine configuration) using triplicated field plots situated on a working asparagus farm in Herefordshire, UK. Testing was conducted between May and November 2013. Rainfall-event based runoff and erosion measurements were taken including; runoff volume, runoff rate and total soil loss. Runoff and soil erosion was observed from all treatments. However, the surface application of straw mulch alone out performed each shallow soil disturbance practice. This suggests that runoff and erosion from asparagus production can be reduced using the simple surface application of straw.
Panagos, Panos; Karydas, Christos; Borrelli, Pasqualle; Ballabio, Cristiano; Meusburger, Katrin
Under the European Union's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment) has identified the mitigation of soil losses by erosion as a priority area. Policy makers call for an overall assessment of soil erosion in their geographical area of interest. They have asked that risk areas for soil erosion be mapped under present land use and climate conditions, and that appropriate measures be taken to control erosion within the legal and social context of natural resource management. Remote sensing data help to better assessment of factors that control erosion, such as vegetation coverage, slope length and slope angle. In this context, the data availability of remote sensing data during the past decade facilitates the more precise estimation of soil erosion risk. Following the principles of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), various options to calculate vegetative cover management (C-factor) have been investigated. The use of the CORINE Land Cover dataset in combination with lookup table values taken from the literature is presented as an option that has the advantage of a coherent input dataset but with the drawback of static input. Recent developments in the Copernicus programme have made detailed datasets available on land cover, leaf area index and base soil characteristics. These dynamic datasets allow for seasonal estimates of vegetation coverage, and their application in the G2 soil erosion model which represents a recent approach to the seasonal monitoring of soil erosion. The use of phenological datasets and the LUCAS land use/cover survey are proposed as auxiliary information in the selection of the best methodology.
Karamage, Fidele; Zhang, Chi; Kayiranga, Alphonse; Shao, Hua; Fang, Xia; Ndayisaba, Felix; Nahayo, Lamek; Mupenzi, Christophe; Tian, Guangjin
Soil erosion has become a serious problem in recent decades due to unhalted trends of unsustainable land use practices. Assessment of soil erosion is a prominent tool in planning and conservation of soil and water resource ecosystems. The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was applied to Nyabarongo River Catchment that drains about 8413.75 km² (33%) of the total Rwanda coverage and a small part of the Southern Uganda (about 64.50 km²) using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing technologies. The estimated total annual actual soil loss was approximately estimated at 409 million tons with a mean erosion rate of 490 t·ha(-1)·y(-1) (i.e., 32.67 mm·y(-1)). The cropland that occupied 74.85% of the total catchment presented a mean erosion rate of 618 t·ha(-1)·y(-1) (i.e., 41.20 mm·y(-1)) and was responsible for 95.8% of total annual soil loss. Emergency soil erosion control is required with a priority accorded to cropland area of 173,244 ha, which is extremely exposed to actual soil erosion rate of 2222 t·ha(-1)·y(-1) (i.e., 148.13 mm·y(-1)) and contributed to 96.2% of the total extreme soil loss in the catchment. According to this study, terracing cultivation method could reduce the current erosion rate in cropland areas by about 78%. Therefore, the present study suggests the catchment management by constructing check dams, terracing, agroforestry and reforestation of highly exposed areas as suitable measures for erosion and water pollution control within the Nyabarongo River Catchment and in other regions facing the same problems.
Karamage, Fidele; Zhang, Chi; Kayiranga, Alphonse; Shao, Hua; Fang, Xia; Ndayisaba, Felix; Nahayo, Lamek; Mupenzi, Christophe; Tian, Guangjin
Soil erosion has become a serious problem in recent decades due to unhalted trends of unsustainable land use practices. Assessment of soil erosion is a prominent tool in planning and conservation of soil and water resource ecosystems. The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was applied to Nyabarongo River Catchment that drains about 8413.75 km2 (33%) of the total Rwanda coverage and a small part of the Southern Uganda (about 64.50 km2) using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing technologies. The estimated total annual actual soil loss was approximately estimated at 409 million tons with a mean erosion rate of 490 t·ha−1·y−1 (i.e., 32.67 mm·y−1). The cropland that occupied 74.85% of the total catchment presented a mean erosion rate of 618 t·ha−1·y−1 (i.e., 41.20 mm·y−1) and was responsible for 95.8% of total annual soil loss. Emergency soil erosion control is required with a priority accorded to cropland area of 173,244 ha, which is extremely exposed to actual soil erosion rate of 2222 t·ha−1·y−1 (i.e., 148.13 mm·y−1) and contributed to 96.2% of the total extreme soil loss in the catchment. According to this study, terracing cultivation method could reduce the current erosion rate in cropland areas by about 78%. Therefore, the present study suggests the catchment management by constructing check dams, terracing, agroforestry and reforestation of highly exposed areas as suitable measures for erosion and water pollution control within the Nyabarongo River Catchment and in other regions facing the same problems. PMID:27556474
Short and long term effects of faunal activity on soil erosion and soil development had been largely overlooked by geomorphologists; especially in arid rocky area. A study of hillslope runoff and erosion processes in the Negev desert indicated systematic in sediment concentrations and erosion rates between rocky and colluvial surfaces. Erosion rates were always higher on the former than on the latter. Field observations drew attention to an intense burrowing and digging activity conducted by Isopods and Porcupines. The monitoring of this activity, based on a grid system,lasted ten years. Data obtained suggest a strong link between the spatial pattern of bioturbation and that of soil erosion. The study also examined the regulatory role of the spatial distribution of soil moisture on the biological activity and its long term effect on soil forming processes. TWo different environments have been recognized. The upper, rocky, hillslope areas are characterized by a positive feedback. High runoff and erosion rates remove salt from the soil, limiting salt accumulation. T the same time the colluvial slope section absorbs, at most rainstorms, all runoff generated over the upper rocky sections leading, over time, to soil salinization
Time-resolved, in situ measurements of the charge exchange ion erosion pattern on the downstream face of the accelerator grid have been made during an ongoin wear test of the NSTAR 30 cm ion thruster.
Martin, Yvonne; Johnson, Edward; Gallaway, Joan
Wildfires are generally thought to result in increased soil erosion in the immediate post-disturbance years, but many unanswered questions remain regarding the controls of erosional response in different regional settings. Post-fire soil erosion is most often studied and reported in regions where noteworthy erosion occurs. In many of these studies, it may be the case that the duff layer has been removed and a hydrophobic layer has developed, leading to significant soil erosion. However, results and inferences of such studies may not be representative of other regions. Rates of post-fire soil erosion often go unreported or are ignored when negligible amounts occur, meaning that the environmental scenarios leading to low soil erosion rates are often not documented. The field site for our study is located in a closed canopy, boreal forest in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada, that experienced a high-intensity crown fire in the summer of 2003. Soil erosion values in 2004 were very low, despite the occurrence of significant rainfall events. We postulate that a probable cause of our low erosion rates relative to higher rates often reported in the literature is the notable duff coverage (the duff layer includes the fermentation and humus soil organic layers) remaining after the wildfire at our field site. Our results show that significant duff coverage remained above the mineral soil following the wildfire, with somewhat higher duff coverage found on lower gradient slopes vs. steep slopes. Duff provides detention storage for rainfall input, and thus enhances the ability of water to infiltrate into the underlying mineral soil. Moreover, the duff layer provides a physical barrier to soil erosion. Duff may thus help to effectively buffer the soil against the effects of high rainfall intensities. Few studies have explicitly highlighted the role of duff coverage in influencing post-fire erosional response in different regions, even though it may be a very
La Spada, Carmelo; Capra, Antonina; Gelsomino, Antonio; Ollobarren del Barrio, Paul
Water erosion is the main cause of soil degradation on cultivated lands under Mediterranean climate. In this conditions, gully erosion is a major contributor to loss of soil productivity due to the big amounts of soil removed from the most productive top-layer. However, only few studies on the effects of gully erosion and artificial controlling measures on soil degradation are available. The study analyzes the effects of the ephemeral gully erosion and infilling by tillage operations on several physical-chemical soil properties influencing the soil productivity. The study area is located in the center of Sicily, in an agricultural context characterized by ephemeral gully erosion. Five fields with different crops and soil characteristics affected by this type of erosion were selected. Currently, local farmers adopt the artificial measure to gully filling activities to control gully erosion and continue the same agricultural management practice. Therefore, the studied ephemeral gullies show a cyclic behavior. They appear during the rainy season, are erased from July to October by soil infill from areas adjacent to the channel using ordinary tillage equipment, and, in most years, they reappear in the same position during the following rainy season. For each situation, 20 samples were taken, located on 5 transects in the direction perpendicular to the ephemeral gully, in specific positions: 2 outside the erosive channel (one in the valley-deposit area and one upstream of the basin in the undisturbed area), and 3 along the same. For each transect, the samples were collected in 4 different positions: one inside the ephemeral gully, the other 3 in external points spaced to represent the areas affected by the annual process of erosion and infilling of the gully. For each sample, a set of the main chemical and physical soil characteristics which influence the soil fertility were determined: particle size, pH, electrical conductivity, total content of carbonates, nitrates
Zhou, H. Y.; Pan, X. Y.; Zhou, W. Z.
Soil erosion is serious with rocky desertification areas appearing in mountainous Karst regions in southwest China due to a conspicuous contradiction between man and the land resource. Land use and land cover play significant roles in regional soil erosion by water. This paper aimed to quantify regional soil erosion and to explore relationships between soil erosion and land use/land cover in order to locate high risk areas requiring soil conservation. Based on GIS, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was employed for erosion assessment for a typical Karst region, Jinfo Mountain region in southwest China, using local parameters. Spatial distribution of topsoil erosion was analyzed and relationships between soil erosion and land use/land cover changes (LULC) were statistically explored and discussed for regional erosion control. The overall values were under 25 t.ha.a, with the medium erosion areas accounting for 12.7% and the intense and very intense erosion areas totalled about 6%. The relations between soil erosion and LULC are complicated in this Karst mountainous region. Generally, the amount of ground cover, soil conservation measures, and cultivation disturbance have played critical roles in topsoil loss in the Jinfo mountain region. The reduced ground cover levels accompanying greater cultivation disturbance lead to higher erosion intensity in each landscape, and vice versa.
Khare, Deepak; Mondal, Arun; Kundu, Sananda; Mishra, Prabhash Kumar
Correct estimation of soil loss at catchment level helps the land and water resources planners to identify priority areas for soil conservation measures. Soil erosion is one of the major hazards affected by the climate change, particularly the increasing intensity of rainfall resulted in increasing erosion, apart from other factors like landuse change. Changes in climate have an adverse effect with increasing rainfall. It has caused increasing concern for modeling the future rainfall and projecting future soil erosion. In the present study, future rainfall has been generated with the downscaling of GCM (Global Circulation Model) data of Mandakini river basin, a hilly catchment in the state of Uttarakhand, India, to obtain future impact on soil erosion within the basin. The USLE is an erosion prediction model designed to predict the long-term average annual soil loss from specific field slopes in specified landuse and management systems (i.e., crops, rangeland, and recreational areas) using remote sensing and GIS technologies. Future soil erosion has shown increasing trend due to increasing rainfall which has been generated from the statistical-based downscaling method.
Agricultural soil erosion is thought to perturb the global carbon cycle, but estimates of its effect range from a source of 1 Pg/year to a sink of the same magnitude. By using Caesium-137 and carbon inventory measurements from a large-scale survey, we found consistent evidence for an erosion-induced...
We chose the USDA-ARS-WEPP model (Water Erosion Prediction Project) to describe the soil erosion in the Urseren valley (Central Switzerland) as it seems to be one of the most promising models for steep mountain environments. Crucial model parameters were determined in the field (slope, plant species...
Soil erosion studies are usually implemented to collect data for specific processes, surface conditions or treatments. The ease of conducting the proposed erosion study, the associated quality of the data, and the confidence level of the findings, are generally related to the degree of the control o...
Bargiel, D; Herrmann, S; Jadczyszyn, J
Healthy soils are crucial for human well-being. Because soils are threatened worldwide, politicians recognize the need for soil protection. For example, the European Commission has launched the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection, which requests the European member states to identify high risk areas for soil degradation. Most states use the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) to assess soil erosion risk at the national scale. The USLE includes different factors, one of them is the vegetation cover and management factor (C factor). Modern satellite-based radar sensors now provide highly accurate vegetation cover data, enabling opportunities to improve the accuracy of the C factor. The presented study proves the suitability for C factor determination based on a multi-temporal classification of high-resolution radar images. Further USLE factors were derived from existing data sources (meteorological data, soil maps, digital elevation model) to conduct an USLE-based soil erosion assessment. The resulting map illustrates a qualitative assessment for soil erosion risk within a plot of about 7*12 km in an agricultural region in Poland that is very susceptible to soil erosion processes. A high erosion risk of more than 10 tonnes per ha and year was assessed to occur on 13.6% (646 ha) of the agricultural areas within the investigated plot. Further 7.8% (372 ha) of agricultural land is threaten by a medium risk of 5-10 tonnes per ha and year. Such a spatial information about areas of high or medium soil erosion risk are crucial for the development of strategies for the protection of soils.
A comprehensive procedure for computing soil erosion and sediment delivery metrics has been developed which utilizes a suite of automated scripts and a pair of processing-intensive executable programs operating on a personal computer platform.
Ciampalini, Rossano; Walker-Springett, Kate J.; Constantine, José Antonio; Hales, Tristram C.
Soil erosion by water cost in environmental damages across the Great Britain is estimated in over £200m (2014 GBP) each year and could increase for the effect of climate change. Assessing the potential for increased climate-driven soil erosion, due to the several water processes involved (e.g., infiltration excess, return flow, direct precipitation onto saturated soil),is recognizedas a complex task. Climate change can have a positive and direct effect on soil erosionsuch the case of increasing rainfall in amount and intensity, or an indirect effect through the variation of the atmospheric CO2 level, which can improve plant productivityandwater infiltration capacity of soil reducing the likelihood of soil erosion. Changes in vegetation patterns and typologies with a different protection effect can lead also the soil system to dramatic changes in soil erosion rates, potentially amplifying or ameliorating the direct effects of climate change.Climate, vegetation and soil erosion are thus connected and several feedback effects could be accounted in the study of global change. Understanding these interactions may be a primary goal for clarifying the impact of global change on soil erosion and its consequences on related soil functions such as water and organic carbon storage support to vegetation and agricultural production. In this research, focused on three UK catchments (i.e. Conwy, 627 km2, Wales; Ehen, 225 km2, England; and Dee, 2100 km2, Scotland), we simulated soil erosionapplying SRES climatic scenarios(IPCC, 2000) for different CO2 emission levels. We modelled using Pesera "The Pan European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment" (Kirkby et al., 2004), a model for vegetation growing and soil erosion evaluation at regional scale. For each catchment,we realised a sensitivity - analysis - like test investigating different increments in temperature and rainfall, then, we compared the results of the SRES scenarios with the issues of the parametric sensitivity analysis. The
Zhao, Jianlin; Govers, Gerard
Several studies have estimated regional soil erosion rates (rill and interrill erosion) on the Chinese loess plateau using an erosion model such as the RUSLE (e.g. Fu et al., 2011; Sun et al., 2013). However, the question may be asked whether such estimates are realistic: studies have shown that the use of models for large areas may lead to significant overestimations (Quinton et al., 2010). In this study, soil erosion rates on the Chinese loess plateau were reevaluated by using field measured soil erosion data from erosion plots (216 plots and 1380 plot years) in combination with a careful extrapolation procedure. Data analysis showed that the relationship between slope and erosion rate on arable land could be well described by erosion-slope relationships reported in the literature (Nearing, 1997). The increase of average erosion rate with slope length was clearly degressive, as could be expected from earlier research. However, for plots with permanent vegetation (grassland, shrub, forest) no relationship was found between erosion rates and slope gradient and/or slope length. This is important, as it implies that spatial variations of erosion on permanently vegetated areas cannot be modeled using topographical functions derived from observations on arable land. Application of relationships developed for arable land will lead to a significant overestimation of soil erosion rates. Based on our analysis we estimate the total soil erosion rate in the Chinese Loess plateau averages ca. 6.78 t ha-1 yr-1 for the whole loess plateau, resulting in a total sediment mobilisation of ca. 0.38 Gt yr-1. Erosion rates on arable land average ca. 15.10 t ha-1 yr-1. These estimates are 2 to 3 times lower than previously published estimates. The main reason why previous estimates are likely to be too high is that the values of (R)USLE parameters such as K, P and LS factor were overestimated. Overestimations of the K factor are due to the reliance of nomograph calculations, resulting
Kim, Min-Kyeong; Ko, Byong-Gu; Hur, Seung-Oh; Kim, Min-Young; Lee, Deog-Bae
Major impacts of climate change expect that soil erosion rate may increase during the 21st century. This study was conducted to assess the potential impacts of climate change on soil erosion by water in Korea. The soil loss was estimated for regions with the potential risk of soil erosion on a national scale. For computation, Universal soil loss equation (USLE) with rainfall and runoff erosivity factors (R), cover management factors (C), support practice factors (P) and revised USLE with soil erodibility factors (K) and topographic factors (LS) were used. RUSLE, the revised version of USLE, was modified for Korean conditions and re-evaluated to estimate the national-scale of soil loss based on the digital soil maps for Korea. The changes of precipitation for 2010 to 2090s were predicted under A1B scenarios made by National Institute of Meteorological Research in Korea. Future soil loss was predicted based on a change of R factor. As results, the predicted precipitations were increased by 6.7% for 2010 to 2030, 9.5% for 2040 to 2060s and 190% for 2070 to 2090s, respectively. The total soil loss from uplands in 2005 was estimated approximately 28ⅹ106 ton. Total soil losses were estimated as 31ⅹ106 ton in 2010 to 2030s, 31ⅹ106 ton in 2040 to 2060s and 33ⅹ106 ton in 2070 to 2090s, respectively. As precipitation increased by 17% in the end of 21st century, the total soil loss was increased by 12.9%. Overall, these results emphasize the significance of precipitation. However, it should be noted that when precipitation becomes insignificant, the results may turn out to be complex due to the large interaction among plant biomass, runoff and erosion. This may cause increase or decrease the overall erosion.
Degan, Francesca; Cerdan, Olivier; Salvador-Blanes, Sébastien; Gautier, Jean-Noël
Soil water erosion is one of the main degradation processes that affect soils through the removal of soil particles from the surface. The impacts for environment and agricultural areas are diverse, such as water pollution, crop yield depression, organic matter loss and reduction in water storage capacity. There is therefore a strong need to produce maps at the regional scale to help environmental policy makers and soil and water management bodies to mitigate the effect of water and soil pollution. Our approach aims to model and map soil erosion risk at regional scale (155 000 km²) and high spatial resolution (50 m) in the Brittany - Loire basin. The factors responsible for soil erosion are different according to the spatial and time scales considered. The regional scale entails challenges about homogeneous data sets availability, spatial resolution of results, various erosion processes and agricultural practices. We chose to improve the MESALES model (Le Bissonnais et al., 2002) to map soil erosion risk, because it was developed specifically for water erosion in agricultural fields in temperate areas. The MESALES model consists in a decision tree which gives for each combination of factors the corresponding class of soil erosion risk. Four factors that determine soil erosion risk are considered: soils, land cover, climate and topography. The first main improvement of the model consists in using newly available datasets that are more accurate than the initial ones. The datasets used cover all the study area homogeneously. Soil dataset has a 1/1 000 000 scale and attributes such as texture, soil type, rock fragment and parent material are used. The climate dataset has a spatial resolution of 8 km and a temporal resolution of mm/day for 12 years. Elevation dataset has a spatial resolution of 50 m. Three different land cover datasets are used where the finest spatial resolution is 50 m over three years. Using these datasets, four erosion factors are characterized and
Soil erosion models are valuable analysis tools that scientists and engineers use to examine observed data sets and predict the effects of possible future soil loss. In the area of water erosion, a variety of modeling technologies are available, ranging from solely qualitative models, to merely quan...
Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Brigitte; Heckrath, Goswin; Foster, Ian; Boardman, John; Meadows, Michael; Kuhn, Nikolaus
The rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa have experienced a number of environmental changes. With the settling of European farmers in the second half of the 18th century, agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing and probably representing a trigger to land degradation. Ongoing land-use change and shifting rainfall patterns resulted in the development of badlands on foot slopes of upland areas, and complex gully systems in valley bottoms. Many dams and small reservoirs have been constructed to provide drinking water for cattle or to facilitate irrigation during dry periods, as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Most of the dams soon in-filled with sediment and many were eventually breached. Such a process offers the potential to use these breached dams as an environmental archive to analyse land use changes as well as carbon (C) erosion and deposition during the last ca. 100 years. In this ongoing project, a combination of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping and sediment analysis have been employed to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in the reversion from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Firstly, drone imagery will be used to produce a high-resolution digital elevation model for areas especially prone to erosion and for determining the volume calculation of eroded sediment in the catchment area. Secondly, sediment deposits from the same silted-up reservoir were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to analyse and reconstruct erosional and depositional patterns. Total Carbon (TC) content was recorded and the sharp decrease in total C content with decreasing depth suggests that land degradation during and after post-European settlement probably led to accelerated erosion of the then relatively fertile surface soils. This presumably resulted in the rapid in-filling of reservoirs with carbon-rich surface material which is found at the base of
Liu, Ruimin; Men, Cong; Wang, Xiujuan; Xu, Fei; Yu, Wenwen
Soil and water conservation in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area of China is important, and soil erosion is a significant issue. In the present study, spatial Markov chains were applied to explore the impacts of the regional context on soil erosion in the Xiangxi River watershed, and Thematic Mapper remote sensing data from 1999 and 2007 were employed. The results indicated that the observed changes in soil erosion were closely related to the soil erosion levels of the surrounding areas. When neighboring regions were not considered, the probability that moderate erosion transformed into slight and severe erosion was 0.8330 and 0.0049, respectively. However, when neighboring regions that displayed intensive erosion were considered, the probabilities were 0.2454 and 0.7513, respectively. Moreover, the different levels of soil erosion in neighboring regions played different roles in soil erosion. If the erosion levels in the neighboring region were lower, the probability of a high erosion class transferring to a lower level was relatively high. In contrast, if erosion levels in the neighboring region were higher, the probability was lower. The results of the present study provide important information for the planning and implementation of soil conservation measures in the study area.
Stock, J. D.; Hanshaw, M. N.; Rosener, M.; Schmidt, K. M.; Brooks, B. A.; Tribble, G.; Jacobi, J.
In tropical watersheds, hillslope changes are producing increasing amounts of fine sediment that can be quickly carried to reefs by channels. Suspended sediment concentrations off the reefs of Molokai, Hawaii, chronically exceed a toxic level of 10 mg/L, threatening reef ecosystems. We hypothesize that historic conversion of watersheds from soil creep to overland flow erosion increased both magnitude and frequency of sediment flooding adjacent reefs. We combined surficial and ecological mapping, hillslope and stream gages, and novel sensors to locate, quantify and model the generation of fine sediments polluting the Molokai reef. Ecological and geomorphic mapping from LiDAR and multi-spectral imagery located a subset of overland flow areas with vegetation cover below a threshold value preventing erosion. Here, feral goat grazing exposed cohesive volcanic soils whose low matrix hydraulic conductivities (1-20 mm/hour) promote Horton overland flow erosion. We instrumented steep, barren hillslopes with soil moisture sensors, overland flow meters, Parshall flumes, ISCO sediment samplers, and a rain gage and conducted repeat Tripod LiDAR and infiltration tests. To characterize soil resistance here and elsewhere to overland flow erosion, we deployed a Cohesive Strength Meter (CSM) to simulate the stresses of flowing water. At the 13.5 km 2 watershed mouth we used a USGS stream gage and ISCO sediment sampler to estimate total load. Over 2 years, storms triggered overland flow during rainfall intensities above 10-15 mm/hr. Overland flow meters indicate such flows can be up to 3 cm deep, with a tendency to deepen downslope. CSM tests indicate that these depths are insufficient to erode soils where vegetation is dense, but far above threshold values of 2-3 mm depth for bare soil erosion. Sediment ratings curves for both hillslope and downstream catchment gages show strong clock-wise hysteresis during the first intense storms in the Fall, becoming linear later in the rainy
Short and long term effects of faunal activity on soil ersion and soil development had been largely overlooked by geomorphologists; especially in rocky arid areas. A study of hiillslope runoff and erosion processes, coducted in the Negev desert, indicated systematic differences in sediment concentration and erosion rates between rocky and colluvial surfaces.. Field observations drew attention to intense burrowing and digging activity of Porcupines and Isopods. Erosion rates were always higher over the rocky than over the colluvial areas. The monitoring of this activity, based on a grid system which consists of rows 5m wide, lasted ten years. Data obtained suggest a link between the spatial pattern of bioturbation and that of soil erosion. The study also examines, through feebback processes , the vregulatory role of bioturbation on soil erosion and soil forming processes. Due to bioturbation two distinct envirobments were recognized.The rocky, upper hilllsope areas, are characterized by a positive feedback process. High runoff and erosion rates remove salt from the soil, preventing thus salt accumulation. At the same time the colluviual slope sections absorb, at most storms, all runoff over the upper rocky slope sectioins leading, over time, tooil salinization
Panagos, Panos; Borrelli, Pasquale; Meusburger, Katrin; Poesen, Jean; Ballabio, Cristiano; Lugato, Emanuele; Montanarella, Luca; Alewell, Christine
Soil erosion by water is one of the most widespread forms of soil degradation in the Europe. On the occasion of the 2015 celebration of the International Year of Soils, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) published the RUSLE2015, a modified modelling approach for assessing soil erosion in Europe by using the best available input data layers. The objective of the recent assessment performed with RUSLE2015 was to improve our knowledge and understanding of soil erosion by water across the European Union and to accentuate the differences and similarities between different regions and countries beyond national borders and nationally adapted models. RUSLE2015 has maximized the use of available homogeneous, updated, pan-European datasets (LUCAS topsoil, LUCAS survey, GAEC, Eurostat crops, Eurostat Management Practices, REDES, DEM 25m, CORINE, European Soil Database) and have used the best suited approach at European scale for modelling soil erosion. The collaboration of JRC with many scientists around Europe and numerous prominent European universities and institutes resulted in an improved assessment of individual risk factors (rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, cover-management, topography and support practices) and a final harmonized European soil erosion map at high resolution. The mean soil loss rate in the European Union's erosion-prone lands (agricultural, forests and semi-natural areas) was found to be 2.46 t ha-1 yr-1, resulting in a total soil loss of 970 Mt annually; equal to an area the size of Berlin (assuming a removal of 1 meter). According to the RUSLE2015 model approximately 12.7% of arable lands in the European Union is estimated to suffer from moderate to high erosion(>5 t ha-1 yr-1). This equates to an area of 140,373 km2 which equals to the surface area of Greece (Environmental Science & Policy, 54, 438-447; 2015). Even the mean erosion rate outstrips the mean formation rate (<1.4 tonnes per ha annually). The recent RUSLE2015
Mehdizade, B.; Asadi, H.; Shabanpour, M.; Ghadiri, H.
This greenhouse research was carried out to study the effects of water and tillage erosion on agricultural productivity and soil quality in soil samples from a semiarid region of Iran. A factorial experiment of complete randomized block design was used to compare the effects of soil erosion (eroded and non-eroded soils), slope position, water stress and fertilizer (N-P-K) on yield and yield components of wheat as soil productivity index. The results showed that erosion ie water and tillage erosion has a significant effect (p<0.01) in decreasing soil productivity due to its negative impact on soil organic matter, nutrients (N and K) and hydraulic conductivity. Complete N-P-K fertilization and water stress had significant effects on increasing and decreasing of wheat yield, respectively. The effect of water stress in particular was so high that it could eclipse the erosion impact on yield reduction. Wheat dry matter and grain mass on foot and mid slopes were significantly higher than that on upslope positions where total N and available K were the lowest and equivalent calcium carbonate the highest. Saturated hydraulic conductivity and total nitrogen were found to be the most important soil properties as far as their correlations to wheat yield are concerned.
Gendugov, V. M.; Glazunov, G. P.; Larionov, G. A.; Nazarov, N. F.
It was shown that the soil loss equation for different types of erosion should and can be theoretically derived in a general form. An analogy was drawn between the detachment of soil particles by water or air flows, on the one hand, and the heat and mass exchange in the boundary layer on a plate flowed around by a flow, on the other hand, which allowed finding the thermodynamic parameters of the circumfluent flow analogous to the mechanical parameters of a flow eroding the soil. On this basis, the Clausius-Clapeyron equation for equilibrium sublimation was transformed into an equation describing the removal of soil by both water and wind. The validity of the obtained equation for the description of the soil loss rate as a function of the eroding flow parameters was confirmed using the data on the physical simulation of wind erosion in wind tunnels and water erosion in hydraulic flumes. The confirmed adequacy of the derived equation to the phenomena of soil erosion by water and wind provides the theoretical substantiation of the equations previously derived for soil loss by washing  and blowing  and forms the basis for the further development of the theory of soil erosion.
Manjoro, Munyaradzi; Kakembo, Vincent; Rowntree, Kate M
Woody shrub encroachment severely impacts on the hydrological and erosion response of rangelands and abandoned cultivated lands. These processes have been widely investigated at various spatial scales, using mostly field experimentation. The present study used remote sensing to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of soil erosion and encroachment by a woody shrub species, Pteronia incana, in a catchment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa between 1998 and 2008. The extreme categories of soil erosion and shrub encroachment were mapped with higher accuracy than the intermediate ones, particularly where lower spatial resolution data were used. The results showed that soil erosion in the worst category increased simultaneously with dense woody shrub encroachment on the hill slopes. This trend is related to the spatial patterning of woody shrub vegetation that increases bare soil patches--leading to runoff connectivity and concentration of overland flow. The major changes in soil erosion and shrub encroachment analysed during the 10-year period took place in the 5-9° slope category and on the concave slope form. Multi-temporal analyses, based on remote sensing, can extend our understanding of the dynamics of soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment. They may help benchmark the processes and assist in upscaling field studies.
Mohamoud, Yusuf M
Soil erosion by water is a major threat to sustainable food production systems in Africa. This study presents a qualitative soil erosion assessment method that links the number of broken ridges (NBRS) observed on a smallholder farmer's field after a rain event to factors of soil erosion (e.g., rainfall intensity, slope steepness, crop canopy height, and conservation practice) and to soil loss data measured from a runoff plot and receiving small streams. The assessment method consists of a rapid survey of smallholder farmers combined with field monitoring. Results show an indirect relationship between NBRS and factors of soil erosion. Results also show a direct relationship between NBRS and suspended sediment concentrations measured from an experimental runoff plot and receiving streams that drain the sub-watersheds where farmers' fields are located. Given the limited human and financial resources available to soil erosion research in developing countries, monitoring NBRS is a simple, cost-effective, and reliable erosion assessment method for regions where smallholder farmers practice contour ridging.
Abdullah, Meshal; Feagin, Rusty; Musawi, Layla
The central objective of this project was to utilize geographical information systems and remote sensing to compare soil erosion models, including Modified Pacific South-west Inter Agency Committee (MPSIAC), Erosion Potential Method (EPM), and Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), and to determine their applicability for arid regions such as Kuwait. The northern portion of Umm Nigga, containing both coastal and desert ecosystems, falls within the boundaries of the de-militarized zone (DMZ) adjacent to Iraq and has been fenced off to restrict public access since 1994. Results showed that the MPSIAC and EPM models were similar in spatial distribution of erosion, though the MPSIAC had a more realistic spatial distribution of erosion and presented finer level details. The RUSLE presented unrealistic results. We then predicted the amount of soil loss between coastal and desert areas and fenced and unfenced sites for each model. In the MPSIAC and EPM models, soil loss was different between fenced and unfenced sites at the desert areas, which was higher at the unfenced due to the low vegetation cover. The overall results implied that vegetation cover played an important role in reducing soil erosion and that fencing is much more important in the desert ecosystems to protect against human activities such as overgrazing. We conclude that the MPSIAC model is best for predicting soil erosion for arid regions such as Kuwait. We also recommend the integration of field-based experiments with lab-based spatial analysis and modeling in future research.
Neto Paixão, H. M.; Granja Martins, F. M.; Zavala, L. M.; Jordán, A.; Bellinfante, N.
Geomorphological processes can pose environmental risks to people and economical activities. Information and a better knowledge of the genesis of these processes is important for environmental planning, since it allows to model, quantify and classify risks, what can mitigate the threats. The objective of this research is to assess the soil erosion risk in Serra de Grândola, which is a north-south oriented mountain ridge with an altitude of 383 m, located in southwest of Alentejo (southern Portugal). The study area is 675 km2, including the councils of Grândola, Santiago do Cacém and Sines. The process for mapping of erosive status was based on the guidelines for measuring and mapping the processes of erosion of coastal areas of the Mediterranean proposed by PAP/RAC (1997), developed and later modified by other authors in different areas. This method is based on the application of a geographic information system that integrates different types of spatial information inserted into a digital terrain model and in their derivative models. Erosive status are classified using information from soil erodibility, slope, land use and vegetation cover. The rainfall erosivity map was obtained using the modified Fournier index, calculated from the mean monthly rainfall, as recorded in 30 meteorological stations with influence in the study area. Finally, the soil erosion risk map was designed by ovelaying the erosive status map and the rainfall erosivity map.
Wu, Yping; Chen, Ji
Soil erosion is a major global environmental problem that has caused many issues involving land degradation, sedimentation of waterways, ecological degradation, and nonpoint source pollution. Therefore, it is significant to understand the processes of soil erosion and sediment transport along rivers, and this can help identify the erosion prone areas and find potential measures to alleviate the environmental effects. In this study, we investigated soil erosion and identified the most seriously eroded areas in the East River Basin in southern China using a physically-based model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). We also introduced a classical sediment transport method (Zhang) into SWAT and compared it with the built-in Bagnold method in simulating sediment transport process along the river. The derived spatial soil erosion map and land use based erosion levels can explicitly illustrate the identification and prioritization of the critical soil erosion areas in this basin. Our results also indicate that erosion is quite sensitive to soil properties and slope. Comparison of Bagnold and Zhang methods shows that the latter can give an overall better performance especially in tracking the peak and low sediment concentrations along the river. We also found that the East River is mainly characterized by sediment deposition in most of the segments and at most times of a year. Overall, the results presented in this paper can provide decision support for watershed managers about where the best management practices (conservation measures) can be implemented effectively and at low cost. The methods we used in this study can also be of interest in sediment modeling for other basins worldwide.
Almagro, M.; Boix Fayos, C.; López, J.; Albaladejo, J.; Castillo, V.; Martínez-Mena, M.
The soil organic carbon (SOC) pool represents a dynamic equilibrium of gains and losses. Conversion of forest ecosystems into croplands causes depletion of the SOC pool by as much as 60% in soils of temperate regions. Alterations in the size of the soil C pool at a specific location are determined by the relative changes in the inputs (aboveground and belowground net primary production) and outputs (decomposition of plant material and soil organic matter, root respiration and erosion) of C over yearly and longer time scales. The total global area of lands with a Mediterranean-type climate is about 2.75 million km2 (Rambal 2001). Coupled General Circulation Models (GCM) and ecophysiological models such as GOTILWA predict 1°C warming and 15-20% lower soil water availability for the next three decades in Mediterranean ecosystems as a result of smaller annual amounts of precipitation and also changes in rain distribution (IPPC, 2001; Sabaté et al., 2002), which may alter soil carbon dynamics. There is an ongoing debate about the role of soil erosion in the global carbon budget. Thus, while several authors consider that soil erosion has a strong impact on the global C cycle, others do not consider this component while assessing the global carbon budget. In the present study we evaluate the effect of soil erosion on the annual carbon balance under three representative land uses in a dry Mediterranean ecosystem (,a typical Mediterranean semiarid shrubland with scattered Aleppo pines, (ii) a rainfed olive grove, and (iii) an abandoned agricultural field) and determine the effectof land use changes on the carbon pools and fluxes. To address the role of land use change in controlling C fluxes, and thereby soil C sequestration rates, we measured aboveground and belowground net primary production, soil respiration and soil C loss via water erosion for two years, in each of the land use selected. The three selected areas showed a similar pattern in the annual carbon balance
Shakesby, R. A.
Wildfires increased dramatically in frequency and extent in the European Mediterranean region from the 1960s, aided by a general warming and drying trend, but driven primarily by socio-economic changes, including rural depopulation, land abandonment and afforestation with flammable species. Published research into post-wildfire hydrology and soil erosion, beginning during the 1980s in Spain, has been followed by studies in other European Mediterranean countries together with Israel and has now attained a sufficiently large critical mass to warrant a major review. Although variations in climate, vegetation, soil, topography and fire severity cause differences in Mediterranean post-wildfire erosion, the long history of human landscape impact up to the present day is responsible for some its distinctive characteristics. This paper highlights these characteristics in reviewing wildfire impacts on hydrology, soil properties and soil erosion by water. The 'mosaic' nature of many Mediterranean landscapes (e.g. an intricate land-use pattern, abandoned terraces and tracks interrupting slopes) may explain sometimes conflicting post-fire hydrological and erosional responses at different sites and spatial scales. First-year post-wildfire soil losses at point- (average, 45-56 t ha - 1 ) and plot-scales (many < 1 t ha - 1 and the majority < 10 t ha - 1 in the first year) are similar to or even lower than those reported for fire-affected land elsewhere or other disturbed (e.g. cultivated) and natural poorly-vegetated (e.g. badlands, rangeland) land in the Mediterranean. The few published losses at larger-scales (hillslope and catchment) are variable. Thin soil and high stone content can explain supply-limited erosion preceding significant protection by recovering vegetation. Peak erosion can sometimes be delayed for years, largely through slow vegetation recovery and temporal variability of erosive storms. Preferential removal of organic matter and nutrients in the commonly thin
Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian
Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0-20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = -0.882, n = 10, p < 0.01). The change in soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15-20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0-5 cm to 5-10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha(-1) lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha(-1), and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha(-1). We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China.
Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian
Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0–20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = −0.882, n = 10, p < 0.01). The change in soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15–20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0–5 cm to 5–10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha−1 lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha−1, and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha−1. We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China. PMID:27426048
Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian
Soil erosion is a growing challenge for agricultural production in Northern China. To explore the effect of variation in stubble height and mulching biomass on soil erosion caused by wind, we conducted a field experiment using a quadratic rotation combination design. Results showed that the quantity of straw mulch was the dominant factor affecting soil erosion, and stubble height was of secondary importance. The soil water content in stubble and straw mulching treatments was higher than in a control treatment at 0–20 cm soil, and the tendency in the amount of soil water content was opposite to the amount of wind erosion (r = ‑0.882, n = 10, p < 0.01). The change in soil water content observed in the stubble and mulch treatments at the 15–20 cm depth was higher than the change from 0–5 cm to 5–10 cm. Combined, the influence of a stubble height of 34 cm and mulch quantity of 4260 kg·ha‑1 lowered the amount of erosion to 0.42 t·ha‑1, and increased the corn yield to 11900 kg·ha‑1. We determined that those were the most appropriate levels of stubble height and straw mulch for crop fields in the semi-arid regions of Northern China.
Todorovic, Gorana Rampazzo; Rampazzo, Nicola; Mentler, Axel; Blum, Winfried E. H.; Eder, Alexander; Strauss, Peter
Erosion processes can strongly influence the dissipation of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid applied with Roundup Max® in agricultural soils; in addition, the soil structure state shortly before erosive precipitations fall can be a key parameter for the distribution of glyphosate and its metabolite. Field rain simulation experiments showed that severe erosion processes immediately after application of Roundup Max® can lead to serious unexpected glyphosate loss even in soils with a high presumed adsorption like the Cambisols, if their structure is unfavourable. In one of the no-tillage-plot of the Cambisol, up to 47% of the applied glyphosate amount was dissipated with surface run-off. Moreover, at the Chernozem site with high erosion risk and lower adsorption potential, glyphosate could be found in collected percolation water transported far outside the 2x2 m experimental plots. Traces of glyphosate were found also outside the treated agricultural fields.
Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Pan, Shaoming; Hou, Xiaolin; Roos, Per; Cao, Liguo
Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental and agricultural problems faced by human society. Assessing intensity is an important issue for controlling soil erosion and improving eco-environmental quality. The suitability of the application of plutonium (Pu) as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China was investigated by comparing with that of 137Cs. Here we build on preliminary work, in which we investigated the potential of Pu as a soil erosion tracer by sampling additional reference sites and potential erosive sites, along the Liaodong Bay region in northeast China, for Pu isotopes and 137Cs. 240Pu/239Pu atomic ratios in all samples were approximately 0.18, which indicated that the dominant source of Pu was the global fallout. Pu showed very similar distribution patterns to those of 137Cs at both uncultivated and cultivated sites. 239+240Pu concentrations in all uncultivated soil cores followed an exponential decline with soil depth, whereas at cultivated sites, Pu was homogenously distributed in plow horizons. Factors such as planted crop types, as well as methods and frequencies of irrigation and tillage were suggested to influence the distribution of radionuclides in cultivated land. The baseline inventories of 239+240Pu and 137Cs were 88.4 and 1688 Bq m(-2) respectively. Soil erosion rates estimated by 239+240Pu tracing method were consistent with those obtained by the 137Cs method, confirming that Pu is an effective tracer with a similar tracing behavior to that of 137Cs for soil erosion assessment.
Karatzas, George; Varouchakis, Emmanouil
Riverbank erosion is a natural geomorphological process that affects the fluvial environment. The most important issue concerning riverbank erosion is the identification of the vulnerable locations. An alternative to the common hydrodynamic models to predict vulnerable locations is to quantify the probability of erosion occurrence. This can be achieved by identifying the underlying relations between riverbank erosion and the riverbank soil properties. Thus, riverbank erosion can be determined by a statistical methodology using independent variables that are considered to affect the erosion process. The impact of such variables may vary spatially, therefore, a non-stationary regression model is preferred instead of a stationary equivalent. Locally Weighted Logistic Regression (LWLR) is applied to predict the probability of presence or absence of erosion at the riverbanks of a river section. The erosion occurrence probability can be calculated in conjunction with the model deviance regarding the independent variables tested. The developed statistical model is applied to the Koiliaris River Basin on the island of Crete, Greece. The proposed statistical model is a useful tool that quantifies the erosion probability along the riverbanks and can be used to assist managing erosion and flooding events.
Chappell, Adrian; Baldock, Jeffrey A.
Improved management of agricultural land has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce atmospheric CO2 via soil carbon sequestration. However, SOC stocks are reduced by soil erosion which is commonly omitted from calculations of crop production, C cycling, C sequestration and C accounting. We used fields from the wind eroded dryland cropping region of Western Australia to demonstrate the global implications for C sequestration and C accounting of omitting soil erosion. For the fields we previously estimated mean net (1950s-1990) soil erosion of 1.2 ± 1.0 t ha-1 y-1. The mean net (1990-2013) soil erosion increased by nearly four times to 4.4 ± 2.1 t ha-1 y-1. Conservation agriculture has evidently not reduced wind erosion in this region. The mean net (1990-2013) SOC erosion was up to 0.2 t C ha-1 y-1 across all sampled fields and similar to measured sequestration rates in the region (up to 0.5 t C ha-1 y-1; 10 years) for many management practices recommended for building SOC stocks. The minimum detectable change (MDC; 10 years) of SOC without erosion was up to 0.2 t C ha-1 y-1 whilst the MDC of SOC with erosion was up to 0.4 t C ha-1 y-1. These results illustrate the generally applicable outcome: (i) if SOC erosion is equal to (or greater than) the increase in SOC due to management practices, the change will not be detectable (or a loss will be evident); (ii) without including soil erosion in SOC sequestration calculations, the monitoring of SOC stocks will lead to, at best the inability to detect change and, at worst the false impression that management practices have failed to store SOC. Furthermore, continued omission of soil erosion in crop production, C accounting and C sequestration will most likely undermine confidence in policy designed to encourage adoption of C farming and the attendant benefits for soil stewardship and food security.
Rodriguez, E.; Suárez, J. A.; Gascó, C.; Schmid, T.; Rodriguez, M.
Natural (210Pbunsupported, 226Ra, 210Po and 7Be) and artificial (239,240Pu, 137Cs) radionuclides are largely used as tools for studying and quantifying soil erosion. The global fallout of artificial radionuclides derived from weapons testing that took place during 1945's and 1960's was rapidly and firmly fixed in the soil surface, allowing to calculate further soil erosion by comparing inventories at individual sampling points with a reference inventory representing the local fallout input. This procedure is complemented with the 210Pbuns inventory calculation as indicator of the local average radionuclides deposition. Mathematical models, combining radionuclides inventories and soil properties, are lately applied to estimate the erosion rates. Spectroradiometry, is a further technique to determine soil erosion processes, by characterising soil surface reflectance values and relating these with soil properties such as structure, texture, mineral composition and organic matter content obtained from the laboratory analyses. The effect of erosion on these soils implies the presence of contrasting soil horizons emerging at the surface. In this case, surface reflectance measurements of soil samples are determined and associated to data obtained from the laboratory analyses. This technique uses spectral characteristics that can be extrapolated from the field scale to satellite coverage of an entire area. The aim of this work is to use both radionuclides determination and laboratory spectroradiometry techniques to evaluate soil erosion processes in well-developed soils (Alfisols) and its spatial distribution in an agricultural area near to Camarena within the Province of Toledo (Central Spain). The methodology includes the test of the sampling devices during the sampling campaign, the radionuclides analysis at different soil depths and the determination of their activity concentration levels by means of gamma spectrometry, complementing with alpha spectrometry to improve
Jaksik, Ondrej; Kodesova, Radka; Schmidtova, Zuzana; Kubis, Adam; Fer, Miroslav; Klement, Ales; Nikodem, Antonin
Knowledge of spatial distribution of soil aggregate stability as an indicator of soil degradation vulnerability is required for many scientific and practical environmental studies. The goal of our study was to assess predisposition of different soil types to change aggregate stability due to erosion. Five agriculture arable lands with different soil types were chosen. The common feature of these sites is relatively large slope and thus soils are impacted by water erosion. The first studied area was in Brumovice. The original soil type was Haplic Chernozem on loess, which was due to erosion changed into Regosol (steep parts) and Colluvial soil (base slope and the tributary valley). A similar process has been described at other four locations Vidim, Sedlcany, Zelezna and Hostoun, where the original soil types were Haplic Luvisol on loess and Haplic Cambisol on gneiss, Haplic Cambisol on shales, and Calcaric Cambisol on marlstone, respectively. The regular and semi-regular soil sampling grids were set at all five sites. The basic soil properties were measured and stability of soil aggregates (WSA index) was evaluated. In all cases, the higher aggregates stability was observed in soils, which were not (or only slightly) affected by water erosion and at base slope and the tributary valley (eroded soil particle accumulation). The lowest aggregate stability was measured at the steepest parts. When comparing individual sites, the highest WSA index, e.g. aggregate stability, was found in Sedlcany (Cambisol). Lower WSA indexes were measured on aggregates from Hostoun (Cambisol), Zelezna (Cambisol), Vidim (Luvisol) and the lowest values were obtained in Brumovice (Chernozem). The largest WSA indexes for Cambisols in comparison to Luvisols and Chernozem could be attributed to higher organic matter content and presence of iron oxides. Slightly higher aggregate stability of Luvisols in comparison to Chernozem, could be explained by the positive influence of clay (especially in
Roslan, Rasyikin; Che Omar, Rohayu; Nor Zuliana Baharuddin, Intan; Zulkarnain, M. S.; Hanafiah, M. I. M.
Land degradation in Malaysia due to water erosion and water logging cause of loss of organic matter, biodiversity and slope instability but also land are contaminated with heavy metals. Various alternative such as physical remediation are use but it not showing the sustainability in term of environmental sustainable. Due to that, erosion and soil contamination control using coconut flakes and plantation of Centella asiatica and Chrysopogon zizanioides are use as alternative approach for aid of sophisticated green technology known as phytoremediation and mycoremediation. Soil from cabonaceous phyllite located near to Equine Park, Sri Kembangan are use for monitoring the effect of phytoremediation and mycoremediation in reducing soil contamination and biotechnology for erosion control. Five laboratory scale prototypes were designed to monitor the effect of different proportion of coconut flakes i.e. 10%, 25%, 50% & 100% and plantation of Centella asiatica and Chrysopogon zizanioides to reduce the top soil from eroding and reduce the soil contamination. Prototype have been observe started from first week and ends after 12 weeks. Centella asiatica planted on 10% coconut flakes with 90% soil and Chrysopogon zizanioides planted on 25% coconut flakes with 75% soil are selected proportion to be used as phytoremediation and mycoremediation in reducing soil contamination and biotechnology for erosion control.
Brazier, R. E.; Parsons, A. J.; Wainwright, J.; Hutton, C.
Soil erosion - the entrainment, transport and deposition of soil particles - is an important phenomenon to understand; the quantity of soil loss determines the long term on-site sustainability of agricultural production (Pimental et al., 1995), and has potentially important off-site impacts on water quality (Bilotta and Brazier, 2008). The fundamental mechanisms of the soil erosion process have been studied at the laboratory scale, plot scale (Wainwright et al., 2000), the small catchment scale (refs here) and river basin scale through sediment yield and budgeting work. Subsequently, soil erosion models have developed alongside and directly from this empirical work, from data-based models such as the USLE (Wischmeier and Smith, 1978), to ‘physics or process-based' models such as EUROSEM (Morgan et al., 1998) and WEPP (Nearing et al., 1989). Model development has helped to structure our understanding of the fundamental factors that control soil erosion process at the plot and field scale. Despite these advances, however, our understanding of and ability to predict erosion and sediment yield at the same plot, field and also larger catchment scales remains poor. Sediment yield has been shown to both increase and decrease as a function of drainage area (de Vente et al., 2006); the lack of a simple relationship demonstrates complex and scale-dependant process domination throughout a catchment, and emphasises our uncertainty and poor conceptual basis for predicting plot to catchment scale erosion rates and sediment yields (Parsons et al., 2006b). Therefore, this paper presents a review of the problems associated with modelling soil erosion across spatial and temporal scales and suggests some potential solutions to address these problems. The transport-distance approach to scaling erosion rates (Wainwright, et al., 2008) is assessed and discussed in light of alternative techniques to predict erosion across spatial and temporal scales. References Bilotta, G.S. and
Conservationists are concerned that climate change in the Southern Great Plains may result in increased soil erosion. Effectiveness of soil conservation practices under a changing climate is assessed by application of the changed climate characteristics to a soil erosion model. The issue at hand is...
Cerdan, Olivier; Desprats, Jean-François; Fouché, Julien; Le Bissonnais, Yves; Cheviron, Bruno; Simonneaux, Vincent; Raclot, Damien; Mouillot, Florent
Hydric erosion is one of the major causes of soil degradation. It results from the interaction of several parameters which vary in space and time. Global warming and the land use changes expected during the 21st century are going to influence the soils deterioration and the erosion processes. In order to protect the soil resource under the current bioclimatic context and prevent the future consequences, it is essential to apprehend the erosion risk. Many studies developed the soil erosion risk modelling at various scales from regional to European scale. The MESOEROS project is the first which aims to understand the soil loss risk on the whole Mediterranean basin for the current climate context and also for the predicting climate changes expected for the 21st century. Two models are used: MESALES (expert rules model) and PESERA (physical based model). Both provide the soil erosion risk into five classes. Model inputs, soils properties (crusting and erodibility), climate data, DEM and land use data, come from the most recent and validated datasets, homogenised on the whole study area. After being calibrated with watersheds data and the PESERA modelling on Europe, the two modelling results are analysed. Both MESALES and PESERA present an erosion risk contrast around the Mediterranean basin. MESALES estimates Italia, Andalusia, Catalan and Aragon regions, western part of Greece and Balkan region as threatened areas while PESERA models the arable region of Castellan y Leon, Near East and the high atlas range in Morocco as subjected to an erosion risk. The two methods model parts of northern Morocco, centre and European part of Turkey, Lebanon and northern Portugal at risk while southern France, Libyan coasts and southern Greece are never threatened. Analyses of the parameter influences on the models and the modelling validation allow understanding the integration of climate change on modelling results. MESALES and PESERA point out an evolution of the soil erosion risk
Soil erosion threatens the environment and the sustainability of agricultural practices since the earliest societies started modifying their natural environment in the Neolithic. Almost all farming-based cultures in the world, from large civilizations to peasant groups on little islands, have suffered from soil erosion by water. The amounts of soil erosion varied largely through time and space, and extreme events have left a wide variety of imprints on the landscape over millennia. Eroded hillslopes and gullies, deposited sediments in sinks like lakes, footslopes, valleys, floodplains, and river deltas are geomorphic legacies that have been linked to changes in land use and climate by many studies during the last decades. However, a standardized analysis and interpretation of these geomorphic legacies is problematic because of the variety of methodological approaches and the nonlinearity between soil erosion, climate, and land use. Cascading effects, land use structures, soil management, soil conservation strategies, and long-term system changes have produced different signals over time. Historical records are crucial and an invaluable source to provide alternative proxies about soil erosion in the past. Direct observations of individual soil erosion events may restrict the deposition of a distinct sediment package to a certain time span. They also expand the range of alternative interpretations, particularly with respect to the long-term effects of soil erosion to ecosystem services and socioeconomic processes. However, historical records also need critical analyses regarding their origin, intention, and quality. They were often created in the context of personal interests or political issues rather than being based on scientific facts; and it is often unclear if they represent certain events, narratives, or vague assumptions. This presentation will present and discuss examples of geomorphic evidences and historical records of past soil erosion for the deciphering
Zhu, Wei; Xie, San-Tao; Ruan, Ai-Dong; Bian, Xun-Wen
Aiming at the technical difficulties such as the stability and water balance in the ecological rehabilitation of river flinty slope, a gravel mulch technology was proposed, with the effects of different gravel mulch treatments on the soil anti-erosion capacity, soil water retention property, and plant growth investigated by anti-erosion and pot experiments. The results showed that mulching with the gravels 1.5-2 cm in size could obviously enhance the soil anti-erosion capacity, soil water retention property and plant biomass, but no obvious differences were observed between the mulch thickness of 5 cm and 8 cm. It was indicated that mulching with the gravels 1.5-2 cm in size and 5 cm in thickness was an effective and economical technology for the ecological rehabilitation of river flinty slope.
Oliveira, Paulo Tarso S.; Nearing, Mark; Wendland, Edson
The Brazilian Cerrado is a large and important economic and environmental region that is experiencing major loss of its natural landscapes due to pressures of food and energy production, which has caused large increases in soil erosion. However the magnitude of the soil erosion increases in this region is not well understood, in part because scientific studies of surface runoff and soil erosion are scarce or nonexistent in undisturbed Cerrado vegetation. In this study we measured natural rainfall-driven rates of runoff and soil erosion for an undisturbed tropical woodland classified as "cerrado sensu stricto denso" and bare soil to compute the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) cover and management factor (C-factor) to help evaluate the likely effects of land use change on soil erosion rates. Replicated data on precipitation, runoff, and soil loss on plots (5 x 20 m) under bare soil and cerrado were collected for 55 erosive storms occurring in 2012 and 2013. The measured annual precipitation was 1247.4 mm and 1113.0 mm for 2012 and 2013, resulting in a rainfall erosivity index of 4337.1 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 and 3546.2 MJ mm ha-1 h-1, for each year respectively. The erosive rainfall represented 80concentrated in the wet season, which generally runs from October through March. In the plots on bare soil, the runoff coefficient for individual rainfall events (total runoff divided by total rainfall) ranged from 0.003 to 0.860 with an average value and standard deviation of 0.212 ± 0.187. Moreover, the runoff coefficient found for the bare soil plots (~20infiltration capacity. In forest areas the leaf litter and the more porous soil tend to promote the increase of infiltration and water storage, rather than rapid overland flow. Indeed, runoff coefficients ranged from 0.001 to 0.030 with an average of less than 1under undisturbed cerrado. The soil losses measured under bare soil and cerrado were 15.68 t ha-1yr-1 and 0.24 t ha-1 yr-1 in 2012, and 14.82 t ha-1 yr-1, 0.11 t ha-1
Disturbance on rangeland such as fire and tree encroachment can increase overland flow erosion rate by increasing the likelihood of concentrated flow formation on a more erodible surface. In this study, we made advancements to RHEM by developing a new version of the model to predict concentrated flo...
Ferreira, Vera; Panagopoulos, Thomas
The Alqueva reservoir created the largest artificial lake of Western Europe in 2010. Since then, the region has faced challenges due to land-use changes that may increase the risk of erosion and shorten the lifetime of the reservoir, increasing the need to promote land management sustainability. This paper investigates the aspect of seasonality of soil erosion using a comprehensive methodology that integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) approach, geographic information systems, geostatistics, and remote-sensing. An experimental agro-silvo pastoral area (typical land-use) was used for the RUSLE factors update. The study confirmed the effect of seasonality on soil erosion rates under Mediterranean conditions. The highest rainfall erosivity values occurred during the autumn season (433.6 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1)), when vegetation cover is reduced after the long dry season. As a result, the autumn season showed the highest predicted erosion (9.9 t ha(-1)), contributing 65 % of the total annual erosion. The predicted soil erosion for winter was low (1.1 t ha(-1)) despite the high rainfall erosivity during that season (196.6 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1)). The predicted annual soil loss was 15.1 t ha(-1), and the sediment amount delivery was 4,314 × 10(3) kg. Knowledge of seasonal variation would be essential to outline sustainable land management practices. This model will be integrated with World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies methods to support decision-making in that watershed, and it will involve collaboration with both local people and governmental institutions.
Johnson, J. P.; Delong, S.; Whipple, K. X.
One method for quantitatively predicting landscape sensitivity to changes in climate is to measure rates of landscape change (i.e., local erosion and deposition) over timescales of weather, and then to use these data to develop models that scale specific surface processes up to climate timescales. In order to implement this approach, we have quantified relations between hydrology and soil headwall erosion at two gully headwalls in a discontinuous arroyo network formed on predominantly Pleistocene alluvial fan surfaces near Oracle, Arizona. The field site is a semiarid rangeland, with low relief overall but deep and active arroyo incision. Since June 2008 we have intensively monitored rainfall, soil moisture, hillslope overland flow and channel discharge at 1-2 minute intervals, using more than 50 sensors. In addition, we have measured soil erosion and headwall retreat in these arroyos, using multiple complementary techniques including ground-based LiDAR, RTK GPS surveys, and time-lapse field photography. These photographs have been taken in stereo, and we are currently using photogrammetric techniques to measure erosion at hourly timescales over this two-year monitoring interval. We find that landscape sensitivity to weather is complex and arguably counterintuitive: erosion occurs due not only to intense runoff events during the summer monsoon season, but also due to mass wasting and headwall collapse from soil wetting and drying, which is more active during the wetter and cooler winter months. Plunge pool erosion at the headcut base maintains headwalls at approximately vertical, and the efficiency of plunge pool erosion is greatly enhanced by the soil surface wet-dry weathering. Therefore, our preliminary data suggest that the intensity of individual runoff events need not be the dominant control on arroyo incision rates. It remains to be seen if these observations and interpretations are applicable to other environments with active gully erosion, but which have
Ferreira, Vera; Panagopoulos, Thomas
The Alqueva reservoir created the largest artificial lake of Western Europe in 2010. Since then, the region has faced challenges due to land-use changes that may increase the risk of erosion and shorten the lifetime of the reservoir, increasing the need to promote land management sustainability. This paper investigates the aspect of seasonality of soil erosion using a comprehensive methodology that integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) approach, geographic information systems, geostatistics, and remote-sensing. An experimental agro-silvo pastoral area (typical land-use) was used for the RUSLE factors update. The study confirmed the effect of seasonality on soil erosion rates under Mediterranean conditions. The highest rainfall erosivity values occurred during the autumn season (433.6 MJ mm ha-1 h-1), when vegetation cover is reduced after the long dry season. As a result, the autumn season showed the highest predicted erosion (9.9 t ha-1), contributing 65 % of the total annual erosion. The predicted soil erosion for winter was low (1.1 t ha-1) despite the high rainfall erosivity during that season (196.6 MJ mm ha-1 h-1). The predicted annual soil loss was 15.1 t ha-1, and the sediment amount delivery was 4,314 × 103 kg. Knowledge of seasonal variation would be essential to outline sustainable land management practices. This model will be integrated with World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies methods to support decision-making in that watershed, and it will involve collaboration with both local people and governmental institutions.
Panagos, Panos; Borrelli, Pasquale; Meusburger, Katrin; Ballabio, Cristiano; Alewell, Christine
Modelling soil erosion in European Union is of major importance for agro-environmental policies. Soil erosion estimates are important inputs for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the implementation of the Soil Thematic Strategy. Using the findings of a recent pan-European data collection through the EIONET network, it was concluded that most Member States are applying the empirical Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) for the modelling soil erosion at National level. This model was chosen for the pan-European soil erosion risk assessment and it is based on 6 input factors. Compared to past approaches, each of the factors is modelled using the latest pan-European datasets, expertise and data from Member states and high resolution remote sensing data. The soil erodibility (K-factor) is modelled using the recently published LUCAS topsoil database with 20,000 point measurements and incorporating the surface stone cover which can reduce K-factor by 15%. The rainfall erosivity dataset (R-factor) has been implemented using high temporal resolution rainfall data from more than 1,500 precipitation stations well distributed in Europe. The cover-management (C-factor) incorporates crop statistics and management practices such as cover crops, tillage practices and plant residuals. The slope length and steepness (combined LS-factor) is based on the first ever 25m Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Europe. Finally, the support practices (P-factor) is modelled for first time at this scale taking into account the 270,000 LUCAS earth observations and the Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) that farmers have to follow in Europe. The high resolution input layers produce the final soil erosion risk map at 100m resolution and allow policy makers to run future land use, management and climate change scenarios.
Belnap, J.; Gillette, Dale A.
Biological soil crusts, consisting of cyanobacteria, green algae, lichens, and mosses, are important in stabilizing soils in semi-arid and arid lands. Integrity of these crusts is compromised by compressional disturbances such as foot, vehicle, or livestock traffic. Using a portable wind tunnel, we found threshold friction velocities (TFVs) of undisturbed crusts well above wind forces experienced at these sites; consequently, these soils are not vulnerable to wind erosion. However, recently disturbed soils or soils with less well-developed crusts frequently experience wind speeds that exceed the stability thresholds of the crusts. Crustal biomass is concentrated in the top 3 mm of soils. Sandblasting by wind can quickly remove this material, thereby reducing N and C inputs from these organisms. This loss can result in reduced site productivity, as well as exposure of unprotected subsurface sediments to wind and water erosion. Actions to reduce impacts to these crusts can include adjustments in type, intensity, and timing of use.
Zhou, Ji; Fu, Bojie; Gao, Guangyao; Lü, Yihe; Wang, Shuai
The stochasticity of soil erosion reflects the variability of soil hydrological response to precipitation in a complex environment. Assessing this stochasticity is important for the conservation of soil and water resources; however, the stochasticity of erosion event in restoration vegetation types in water-limited environment has been little investigated. In this study, we constructed an event-driven framework to quantify the stochasticity of runoff and sediment generation in three typical restoration vegetation types (Armeniaca sibirica (T1), Spiraea pubescens (T2) and Artemisia copria (T3)) in closed runoff plots over five rainy seasons in the Loess Plateau of China. The results indicate that, under the same rainfall condition, the average probabilities of runoff and sediment in T1 (3.8 and 1.6 %) and T3 (5.6 and 4.4 %) were lowest and highest, respectively. The binomial and Poisson probabilistic model are two effective ways to simulate the frequency distributions of times of erosion events occurring in all restoration vegetation types. The Bayes model indicated that relatively longer-duration and stronger-intensity rainfall events respectively become the main probabilistic contributors to the stochasticity of an erosion event occurring in T1 and T3. Logistic regression modelling highlighted that the higher-grade rainfall intensity and canopy structure were the two most important factors to respectively improve and restrain the probability of stochastic erosion generation in all restoration vegetation types. The Bayes, binomial, Poisson and logistic regression models constituted an integrated probabilistic assessment to systematically simulate and evaluate soil erosion stochasticity. This should prove to be an innovative and important complement in understanding soil erosion from the stochasticity viewpoint, and also provide an alternative to assess the efficacy of ecological restoration in conserving soil and water resources in a semi-arid environment.
Bahri, Haithem; Annabi, Mohamed; Chibani, Roukaya; Cheick M'Hamed, Hatem; Hermessi, Taoufik
Mediterranean countries are prone to soil erosion, therefore Tunisia, with Mediterranean climate, is threatened by water erosion phenomena. In fact, 3 million ha of land is threatened by erosion, and 50% is seriously affected. Soils under conservation agriculture (CA) have high water infiltration capacities reducing significantly surface runoff and thus soil erosion. This improves the quality of surface water, reduces pollution from soil erosion, and enhances groundwater resources. CA is characterized by three interlinked principles, namely continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversification of crop species grown in sequence or associations. Soil aggregate stability was used as an indicator of soil susceptibility to water erosion. Since 1999, In Tunisia CA has been introduced in rainfed cereal areas in order to move towards more sustainable agricultural systems. CA areas increased from 52 ha in 1999 to 15000 ha in 2015. The objective of this paper is to study the effect of CA on soil erosion in northern Tunisia. Soil samples were collected at 10 cm of depth from 6 farmers' fields in northern Tunisia. Conventional tillage (CT), CA during less than 5 years (CA<5 years) and CA during more than 5 years (CA>5 years) have been practiced in each farmers field experiment of wheat crop. Soil aggregate stability was evaluated according to the method described by Le Bissonnais (1996), results were expressed as a mean weight diameter (MWD); higher values of MWD indicate higher aggregate stability. Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined using the wet oxidation method of Walkley-Black. A significant increase in SOC content was observed in CA>5years (1.64 %) compared to CT (0.97 %). This result highlights the importance of CA to improve soil fertility. For aggregate stability, a net increase was observed in CA compared to CT. After 5 years of CA the MWD was increased by 16% (MWD=1.8 mm for CT and MWD=2.1 mm for CA<5years). No
Kouli, Maria; Soupios, Pantelis; Vallianatos, Filippos
Soil erosion is a growing problem in southern Greece and particularly in the island of Crete, the biggest Greek island with great agricultural activity. Soil erosion not only decreases agricultural productivity, but also reduces the water availability. In the current study, an effort to predict potential annual soil loss has been conducted. For the prediction, the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) has been adopted in a Geographical Information System framework. The RUSLE factors were calculated (in the form of raster layers) for the nine major watersheds which cover the northern part of the Chania Prefecture. The R-factor was calculated from monthly and annual precipitation data. The K-factor was estimated using soil maps available from the Soil Geographical Data Base of Europe at a scale of 1:1,000,000. The LS-factor was calculated from a 30-m digital elevation model. The C-factor was calculated using Remote Sensing techniques. The P-factor in absence of data was set to 1. The results show that an extended part of the area is undergoing severe erosion. The mean annual soil loss is predicted up to ˜200 (t/ha year-1) for some watersheds showing extended erosion and demanding the attention of local administrators.
Rodrigo Comino, J; Iserloh, T; Lassu, T; Cerdà, A; Keestra, S D; Prosdocimi, M; Brings, C; Marzen, M; Ramos, M C; Senciales, J M; Ruiz Sinoga, J D; Seeger, M; Ries, J B
The aim of this study was to enable a quantitative comparison of initial soil erosion processes in European vineyards using the same methodology and equipment. The study was conducted in four viticultural areas with different characteristics (Valencia and Málaga in Spain, Ruwer-Mosel valley and Saar-Mosel valley in Germany). Old and young vineyards, with conventional and ecological planting and management systems were compared. The same portable rainfall simulator with identical rainfall intensity (40mmh(-1)) and sampling intervals (30min of test duration, collecting the samples at 5-min-intervals) was used over a circular test plot with 0.28m(2). The results of 83 simulations have been analysed and correlation coefficients were calculated for each study area to identify the relationship between environmental plot characteristics, soil texture, soil erosion, runoff and infiltration. The results allow for identification of the main factors related to soil properties, topography and management, which control soil erosion processes in vineyards. The most important factors influencing soil erosion and runoff were the vegetation cover for the ecological German vineyards (with 97.6±8% infiltration coefficients) and stone cover, soil moisture and slope steepness for the conventional land uses.
Gogichaishvili, G. P.; Kirvalidze, D. R.; Gorjomeladze, O. L.
A hydromechanical model for predicting water (rain-induced) soil erosion was tested on the experimental plots of the Research Institute of Tea and Subtropical Crops in Zendidi village (the Ajara Autonomous Republic) and the Sabashvili Institute of Soil Science, Agrochemistry, and Melioration in Khevi and Kitskhi villages (Upper Imeretia, Western Georgia). A comparison of factual and predicted values of rain-induced erosion for the plots with permanent black fallow showed that the model overestimated the average annual soil loss for the yellow-brown strongly eroded soil in Zendidi village by 23.22 t/ha (133%). This value ranged in different years from 18 to 1052%. For the plots with corn, the predicted value of annual erosion was by 16.94 t/ha higher than the factual value (overestimation of 488%). A comparison of factual and predicted values of rainfall erosion for the plots under sprinkling irrigation also showed that the predicted soil loss was higher than the factual one by 4.14-30.40 t/ha for corn, 6.76-11.14 t/ha for winter wheat, and 15.75-24.12 t/ha for the plots with stubble of winter wheat and barley. Thus, the hydromechanical model for predicting water erosion inadequately describes it under the conditions of Western Georgia and has to be refined.
Sthiannopkao, S; Takizawa, S; Wirojanagud, W
The main objective of this paper is to simulate the effects of soil erosion on river water quality and on agricultural production as a result of the transformation of forestlands in the catchment of the upstream Phong River. Suspended solids carry down attached nutrients and agricultural chemicals causing water pollution in the downstream. There are four different types of land use in this simulation, namely forestlands, flatland and highland sugarcane plantation areas, and paddy fields. The highest mean annual amount of soil erosion is from paddy fields (585,700 tons/year), followed by highland (73,800 tons/year) and flatland (63,950 tons/year) sugarcane plantation areas and forestlands (41,800 tons/year), respectively. However, as most of paddy fields are located in a low land and are wet type cultivations, the soil erosion occurred has less impact on river water quality and its production compared to the soil erosion from the steeper slopes of highland plantation areas. Under the resource-based agriculture, the sugarcane production is mainly increased by expanding the plantation areas leading to a significant loss of topsoil and a considerable reduction of agricultural production. Soil erosion contributes to an increase in the average annual suspended solids concentration by 72 mg/l.
Marioti, J.; Padilha, J.; Bertol, I.; Barbosa, F. T.; Ramos, J. C.; Werner, R. S.; Vidal Vázquez, E.; Tanaka, M. S.
Water erosion is the main responsible factor of soil and water losses, thus also causing soil degradation, especially on agricultural land, and it is also one factor of degradation outside the place of the origin of erosion. No tillage agriculture has been practiced in the last few decades for the purposes of water erosion control in various regions of Brazil. However, it has been shown that no tillage does not adequately control water erosion unless other complementary conservationist practices such as contour tillage or terracement. Although the erosion problem is widely recognized, there are still difficulties in estimating their magnitude, the environmental impact and the economic consequences, especially when it occurs in a conservation system like no tillage. The aim of this study was to quantify runoff and soil losses by water erosion under five different soil tillage treatments at Santa Catarina State, Southern Brazil. A field study was carried out using a rotating-boom rainfall simulator with 64 mmh-1 rainfall intensity for 90 minutes. Four rainfall tests were applied over the experimental period, one in each of the successive soybean and maize crop stages. Both soil cover by surface crop residue and soil cover by soybean and maize plant canopy were measured immediately before each rainfall test. Soil and water losses were smaller when sowing in contour than when sowing downslope. Contouring has promoted an average reduction of 42% in soil losses and 20% in water losses. Maize crop has promoted an average reduction of 19% in soil losses and 12% in water losses, in relation to the soybean crop. Therefore runoff rates and soil losses were higher in the downslope plots and in the soybean crop. Soil cover by previous crop residue was an important factor for reducing soil losses. Runoff rates were influenced by the soil water content before each rainfall test (R2= 0.78). The highest runoff occurred during the third simulated rainfall test, with the 83% of the
Van Oost, Kristof; Quine, T.A.; Govers, G.; De Gryze, S.; Six, J.; Harden, J.W.; Ritchie, J.C.; McCarty, G.W.; Heckrath, G.; Kosmas, C.; Giraldez, J.V.; Marques Da Silva, J.R.; Merckx, R.
Agricultural soil erosion is thought to perturb the global carbon cycle, but estimates of its effect range from a source of 1 petagram per year -1 to a sink of the same magnitude. By using caesium-137 and carbon inventory measurements from a large-scale survey, we found consistent evidence for an erosion-induced sink of atmospheric carbon equivalent to approximately 26% of the carbon transported by erosion. Based on this relationship, we estimated a global carbon sink of 0.12 (range 0.06 to 0.27) petagrams of carbon per year-1 resulting from erosion in the world's agricultural landscapes. Our analysis directly challenges the view that agricultural erosion represents an important source or sink for atmospheric CO2.
Mohammadian Behbahani, Ali; Fister, Wolfgang; Heckrath, Goswin; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.
Wind erosion is a selective process, which promotes erosion of fine particles. Therefore, it can be assumed that increasing erosion rates are generally associated with increasing loss of dust sized particles and nutrients. However, this selective process is strongly affected by the orientation and respective trapping efficiency of tillage ridges and furrows. Since tillage ridges are often the only protection measure available on poorly aggregated soils in absence of a protective vegetation cover, it is very important to know which orientation respective to the dominant wind direction provides best protection. This knowledge could be very helpful for planning erosion protection measures on fields with high wind erosion susceptibility. The main objective of this study, therefore, was to determine the effect of tillage direction on dust and nutrient mobilization by wind, using wind tunnel simulations. In order to assess the relationship between the enrichment ratio of specific particle sizes and the amount of eroded nutrients, three soils with loamy sand texture, but varying amounts of sand-sized particles, were selected. In addition, a soil with slightly less sand, but much higher organic matter content was chosen. The soils were tested with three different soil surface scenarios - flat surface, parallel tillage, perpendicular tillage. The parallel tillage operation experienced the greatest erosion rates, independent of soil type. Particles with D50 between 100-155 μm showed the greatest risk of erosion. However, due to a greater loss of dust sized particles from perpendicularly tilled surfaces, this wind-surface arrangement showed a significant increase in nutrient enrichment ratio compared to parallel tillage and flat surfaces. The main reason for this phenomenon is most probably the trapping of larger particles in the perpendicular furrows. This indicates that the highest rate of soil protection does not necessarily coincide with lowest soil nutrient losses and
Li, Sheng; Lobb, David A; Tiessen, Kevin H D; McConkey, Brian G
The fallout radionuclide cesium-137 ((137)Cs) has been successfully used in soil erosion studies worldwide. However, discrepancies often exist between the erosion rates estimated using various conversion models. As a result, there is often confusion in the use of the various models and in the interpretation of the data. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the structural and parametrical uncertainties associated with four conversion models typically used in cultivated agricultural landscapes. For the structural uncertainties, the Soil Constituent Redistribution by Erosion Model (SCREM) was developed and used to simulate the redistribution of fallout (137)Cs due to tillage and water erosion along a simple two-dimensional (horizontal and vertical) transect. The SCREM-predicted (137)Cs inventories were then imported into the conversion models to estimate the erosion rates. The structural uncertainties of the conversion models were assessed based on the comparisons between the conversion-model-estimated erosion rates and the erosion rates determined or used in the SCREM. For the parametrical uncertainties, test runs were conducted by varying the values of the parameters used in the model, and the parametrical uncertainties were assessed based on the responsive changes of the estimated erosion rates. Our results suggest that: (i) the performance/accuracy of the conversion models was largely dependent on the relative contributions of water vs. tillage erosion; and (ii) the estimated erosion rates were highly sensitive to the input values of the reference (137)Cs level, particle size correction factors and tillage depth. Guidelines were proposed to aid researchers in selecting and applying the conversion models under various situations common to agricultural landscapes.
Prosdocimi, Massimo; Cerdà, Artemi; Tarolli, Paolo
Soil water erosion on cultivated lands is a severe threat to soil resources in the world (Leh et al., 2013; Zhao et al., 2013). In particular, Mediterranean areas deserve a particular attention because of their edaphic, topographic and climatic conditions. Among the cultivated lands, concerns have arisen about vineyards because, aside representing one of the most important crop in terms of income and employment, they also have proven to be the form of agricultural land that causes one of the highest soil losses (Tropeano et al., 1984; Leonard and Andrieux, 1998; Ferrero et al., 2005; Cerdà et al., 2007; Blavet et al., 2009; Casalí et al., 2009; Novara et al., 2011; Martínez Casasnovas et al., 2013; Ruiz Colmenero et al., 2013; Tarolli et al., 2014). Although the topic of soil water erosion on vineyards has been studied, it still raises uncertainties. These are due to the i) high complexity of processes involved, ii) different methodologies used to analyze them and iii) analyses carried out at different spatial and temporal scales. At this regard, this work aims to evaluate the impact of factors controlling erosion such as rainfall characteristics, topography, soil properties and soil and water conservation techniques. Data derived from experimental plots have been reviewed. At first, what emerges is the difficulty of comparing erosion rates obtained with different methodologies and at different spatial scales. Secondly, all the factors demonstrate to have a strong impact on soil erosion but a 'general rule' upon which to consider one factor always predominant over the others does not come out. Therefore, this work supports the importance of monitoring soil water erosion by field measurements to better understand the relationship between the factors. Variables like rainfall characteristics, topography and soil properties are much more difficult to modify than the soil and water management techniques. Hence, future researches are needed to both recommend the best
Lagos, L.E.; Gudavalli, R.K.
During the remediation of burial grounds at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site in Washington State, the dispersion of contaminated soil particles and dust is an issue that is faced by site workers on a daily basis. This contamination issue is even more of a concern when one takes into account the semi-arid characteristics of the region where the site is located. To mitigate this problem, workers at the site use a variety of engineered methods to minimize the dispersion of contaminated soil and dust particles. Once such methods is the use of water and/or suppression agents (fixatives) that stabilizes the soil prior to soil excavation, segregation, and removal activities. A primary contributor to the dispersion of contaminated soil and dust is wind soil erosion. The erosion process occurs when the wind speed exceeds a certain threshold value (threshold shear velocity), which depends on a number of factors including wind force loading, particle size, surface soil moisture, and the geometry of the soil. Thus under these circumstances the mobility of contaminated soil and generation and dispersion of particulate matter are significantly influenced by these parameters. Wind tunnel experiments were conducted at the Florida International University's Applied Research Center (FIU-ARC) to evaluate the effectiveness of three commercially available fixatives in controlling the mobility of soil particles on soil mounds when exposed to varying wind forces. The fixatives tested included: (1) a calcium chloride solution; (2) a petroleum hydrocarbon emulsion; and 3) a synthetic organic. As an initial step, approximately 500 lbs of uncontaminated soil was obtained from the Hanford Reservation in Washington State. Soil samples were placed in an open-loop, low speed wind tunnel and exposed to wind forces ranging from 10 to 30 miles per hour (mph). Wind erosion controlling capabilities of commercially available fixatives and soil moisture were tested at a laboratory
The application of biosolids to agricultural land has the potential to improve soil health and crop production. In addition, organic material contained in biosolids may enhance biological activity, retention of soil water, and soil aggregation. Thus, there is a likelihood that biosolids applied to s...
Sahat, S.; Yusop, Z.; Askari, M.; Ziegler, A. D.
Soil losses from hill slopes in oil palm plantation in Sedenak Estate, Johor were measured using runoff plot and rainfall simulator. The plot was designed to be removable but the size was fixed at 8 x 3.75m. Four types of surface covers were investigated for the plots, i.e. half bare soil and half grass cover (HGC), half bare soil and half dry frond (HDF), fully grass cover (FG), and fully bare soil (BS). The influence of initial soil moisture, saturated hydraulics conductivity, Ks, bulk density and slope on rates of soil loss were also evaluated. The rainfall simulator produced rainfall intensities between 90 and 160 mm/hr with durations from 45 to 60 min per run. BS plot exhibited the highest Ks value among all plots but the percentage of initial soil moisture on this surface was low. BS plot recorded the highest runoff coefficient (C) and soil loss values of 73.6 ± 4 percent and 5.26 ± 3.2 t/ha respectively, while the lowest was from plot FG with 41.7 ± 5.7 percent and soil loss of 2.85 ± 2.1 t/ha. Meanwhile, the results suggested that the ground cover had the ability to reduce soil loss by 67% and 17%, respectively for plots BS-HGC and BS-HDF. Overall, soil erosion control such as surface is effective measures in reducing level of runoff and soil erosion.
Prosdocimi, Massimo; Jordán, Antonio; Tarolli, Paolo; Cerdà, Artemi
Among the soil conservation practices that have been recently implemented, mulching has been successfully applied in different contexts (Jordán et al., 2011), such as agricultural lands (García-Orenes et al. 2009; Prosdocimi et al., 2016), fire-affected areas (Prats et al., 2014; Robichaud et al., 2013) and anthropic sites (Hayes et al., 2005), to reduce water and soil losses rates. In these contexts, soil erosion by water is a serious problem, especially in semi-arid and semi-humid areas of the world (Cerdà et al., 2009; Cerdan et al., 2010; Sadeghi et al., 2015). Although soil erosion by water consists of physical processes that vary significantly in severity and frequency according to when and where they occur, they are also strongly influenced by anthropic factors such as unsustainable farming practices and land-use changes on large scales (Cerdà, 1994; Montgomery, 2007). Although the beneficial effects of mulching are known, their quantification needs further research, especially in those areas where soil erosion by water represents a severe threat. In literature, there are still some uncertainties about how to maximize the effectiveness of mulching in the reduction of soil and water loss rates. First, the type of choice of the vegetative residues is fundamental and drives the application rate, cost, and consequently, its effectiveness. Second, it is important to assess application rates suitable for site-specific soil and environment conditions. The percentage of area covered by mulch is another important aspect to take into account, because it has proven to influence the reduction of soil loss. And third, the role played by mulching at catchment scale, where it plays a key role as barrier for breaking sediment and runoff connectivity. Given the seriousness of soil erosion by water and the uncertainties that still concern the correct use of mulching, this work aims to evaluate the effects of mulching on soil erosion rates and water losses in agricultural
Vrieling, Anton; Hoedjes, Joost C. B.; van der Velde, Marijn
Efforts to map and monitor soil erosion need to account for the erratic nature of the soil erosion process. Soil erosion by water occurs on sloped terrain when erosive rainfall and consequent surface runoff impact soils that are not well-protected by vegetation or other soil protective measures. Both rainfall erosivity and vegetation cover are highly variable through space and time. Due to data paucity and the relative ease of spatially overlaying geographical data layers into existing models like USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation), many studies and mapping efforts merely use average annual values for erosivity and vegetation cover as input. We first show that rainfall erosivity can be estimated from satellite precipitation data. We obtained average annual erosivity estimates from 15 yr of 3-hourly TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) data (1998-2012) using intensity-erosivity relationships. Our estimates showed a positive correlation (r = 0.84) with long-term annual erosivity values of 37 stations obtained from literature. Using these TMPA erosivity retrievals, we demonstrate the large interannual variability, with maximum annual erosivity often exceeding two to three times the mean value, especially in semi-arid areas. We then calculate erosivity at a 10-daily time-step and combine this with vegetation cover development for selected locations in Africa using NDVI - normalized difference vegetation index - time series from SPOT VEGETATION. Although we do not integrate the data at this point, the joint analysis of both variables stresses the need for joint accounting for erosivity and vegetation cover for large-scale erosion assessment and monitoring.
Li, Yong; Van Oost, Kristof; Quine, Tim; Govers, Gerard
Once the cradle of Chinese civilization, the Chinese loess plateau is now one of the most degraded ecosystems in the world and a wide range of ecological rehabilitation programs have been implemented since the 1950s that aim at facilitating synergies between soil conservation, food production and socio-economic welfare. More recently, the scope of vegetation restoration programs has been extended to include sequestration of C by soils and the reconversion of 4.8 million ha of cropland to forest and grassland has re-sequestered a substantial amount of C in soils between 2000 and 2008. Although this appears to represent a significant win-win, these estimates are associated with considerable uncertainty both due to the extrapolation and, significantly, because of the assumptions made about the pre-restoration state. Here, we argue that a full assessment of the C sequestration benefit of land rehabilitation programs requires quantification not only of the C uptake in vegetation and plants under the new land use regime (as has been undertaken), but also of the soil atmosphere C exchange associated with the elevated erosion rates that typify the pre-restoration state. We present the results of an intensive measurement campaign to characterize the erosional control on vertical carbon fluxes from degraded land, typical of the pre-restoration state. We report year-round soil respiration (in the absence of vegetation) measurements with high temporal resolution along an erosion gradient on cultivated sloping land in the Chinese Loess Plateau. At 14 sites along an eroding cultivated slope, we quantified the temporal dynamics of soil CO2 fluxes using an Automated Soil CO2 Flux System. This resulted in 13296 respiration measurements between April 2007 and September 2008. We investigate the factors controlling in-situ soil respiration, including soil temperature, moisture, soil erosion and SOC stock and quality. Soil and, by inference, C erosion and deposition since 1954 were
Khaledi Darvishan, Abdulvahed; Homayounfar, Vafa; Hamidreza Sadeghi, Seyed
The use of laboratory methods in soil erosion studies, rainfall simulation experiments, Gerlach troughs, and other measurements such as ring infiltrometer has been recently considered more and more because of many advantages in controlling rainfall properties and high accuracy of sampling and measurements. However, different stages of soil removal, transfer, preparation and placement in laboratory plots cause significant changes in soil structure and, subsequently, the results of runoff, sediment concentration and soil loss. Knowing the rate of changes in sediment concentration and soil loss variables with respect to the soil preparation for laboratory studies is therefore inevitable to generalize the laboratory results to field conditions. However, there has been little attention given to evaluate the effects of soil preparation on sediment variables. The present study was therefore conducted to compare sediment concentration and soil loss in natural and prepared soil. To achieve the study purposes, 18 field 1 × 1 m plots were adopted in an 18 % gradient slope with sandy-clay-loam soil in the Kojour watershed, northern Iran. A portable rainfall simulator was then used to simulate rainfall events using one or two nozzles of BEX: 3/8 S24W for various rainfall intensities with a constant height of 3 m above the soil surface. Three rainfall intensities of 40, 60 and 80 mm h-1 were simulated on both prepared and natural soil treatments with three replications. The sediment concentration and soil loss at five 3 min intervals after time to runoff were then measured. The results showed the significant increasing effects of soil preparation (p ≤ 0.01) on the average sediment concentration and soil loss. The increasing rates of runoff coefficient, sediment concentration and soil loss due to the study soil preparation method for laboratory soil erosion plots were 179, 183 and 1050 % (2.79, 2.83 and 11.50 times), respectively.
SooHoo, William M; Wang, Cuizhen; Li, Huixuan
Agricultural land use change, especially corn expansion since 2000s, has been accelerating to meet the growing bioenergy demand of the United States. This study identifies the environmentally sensitive lands (ESLs) in the U.S. Midwest using the distance-weighted Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) associated with bioenergy land uses extracted from USDA Cropland Data Layers. The impacts of soil erosion to downstream wetlands and waterbodies in the river basin are counted in the RUSLE with an inverse distance weighting approach. In a GIS-ranking model, the ESLs in 2008 and 2011 (two representative years of corn expansion) are ranked based on their soil erosion severity in crop fields. Under scenarios of bioenergy land use change (corn to grass and grass to corn) on two land types (ESLs and non-ESLs) at three magnitudes (5%, 10% and 15% change), this study assesses the potential environmental impacts of bioenergy land use at a basin level. The ESL distributions and projected trends vary geographically responding to different agricultural conversions. Results support the idea of re-planting native prairie grasses in the identified High and Severe rank ESLs for sustainable bioenergy management in this important agricultural region.
Khadse, Gajanan K; Vijay, Ritesh; Labhasetwar, Pawan K
Water and soil are the most essential natural resources for socioeconomic development and sustenance of life. A study of soil and water dynamics at a watershed level facilitates a scientific approach towards their conservation and management. Remote sensing and Geographic Information System are tools that help to plan and manage natural resources on watershed basis. Studies were conducted for the formulation of catchment area treatment plan based on watershed prioritization with soil erosion studies using remote sensing techniques, corroborated with Geographic Information System (GIS), secondary data and ground truth information. Estimation of runoff and sediment yield is necessary in prioritization of catchment for the design of soil conservation structures and for identifying the critical erosion-prone areas of a catchment for implementation of best management plan with limited resources. The Universal Soil Loss Equation, Sediment Yield Determination and silt yield index methods are used for runoff and soil loss estimation for prioritization of the catchments. On the basis of soil erosion classes, the watersheds were grouped into very high, high, moderate and low priorities. High-priority watersheds need immediate attention for soil and water conservation, whereas low-priority watershed having good vegetative cover and low silt yield index may not need immediate attention for such treatments.
Moody, J.A.; Dungan, Smith J.; Ragan, B.W.
 Increased erosion is a well-known response after wildfire. To predict and to model erosion on a landscape scale requires knowledge of the critical shear stress for the initiation of motion of soil particles. As this soil property is temperature-dependent, a quantitative relation between critical shear stress and the temperatures to which the soils have been subjected during a wildfire is required. In this study the critical shear stress was measured in a recirculating flume using samples of forest soil exposed to different temperatures (40??-550??C) for 1 hour. Results were obtained for four replicates of soils derived from three different types of parent material (granitic bedrock, sandstone, and volcanic tuffs). In general, the relation between critical shear stress and temperature can be separated into three different temperature ranges (275??C), which are similar to those for water repellency and temperature. The critical shear stress was most variable (1.0-2.0 N m-2) for temperatures 2.0 N m-2) between 175?? and 275??C, and was essentially constant (0.5-0.8 N m-2) for temperatures >275??C. The changes in critical shear stress with temperature were found to be essentially independent of soil type and suggest that erosion processes in burned watersheds can be modeled more simply than erosion processes in unburned watersheds. Wildfire reduces the spatial variability of soil erodibility associated with unburned watersheds by eliminating the complex effects of vegetation in protecting soils and by reducing the range of cohesion associated with different types of unburned soils. Our results indicate that modeling the erosional response after a wildfire depends primarily on determining the spatial distribution of the maximum soil temperatures that were reached during the wildfire. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Armstrong, Elisabeth; Conelly, Kathrin; Ling, Amy; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.
Globally, between 0.57 and 1.33 Pg of soil organic carbon (SOC) may be affected by interrill processes. Also, a significant amount of phosphorus (P) is contained in the surface soil layer transformed by raindrop impact, runoff and crust formation. In the EU, the P content of a crusted (2 mm) surface layer corresponds to 4 to 40 kg ha-1 of P on arable land (1.094 mil km2). Therefore, the role of interrill processes for nutrient cycling and the global carbon cycle require close attention. Interrill erosion is a complex phenomenon involving the detachment, transport and deposition of soil particles by raindrop impacted flow. Resistance to interrill erosion varies between soils depending on the physical, chemical and mineralogical properties. In addition, significant changes in soil resistance to interrill erosion occur during storms as a result of changes in surface roughness, cohesion and particle size. As a consequence, erosion on interrill areas is selective, moving the most easily detached small and/or light soil particles. This leads to the enrichment of clay, P and carbon (C). Such enrichment in interrill sediment is well documented, however, the role interrill erosion processes on the enrichment remains unclear. Enrichment of P and C in interrill sediment is attributed to the preferential erosion of the smaller, lighter soil particles (Withers et al., 2007). In this study, the P and organic C content of sediment generated from two Devon silts under conventional (CS) and organic (OS) soil management were examined. Artificial rainfall was applied to the soils using a high and a low rainfall intensity to determine the effects of rainfall kinetic energy on the P and C enrichment in interrill sediment. Interrill soil erodibility was lower on the OS, irrespective of rainfall intensity. Sediment from both soils showed a significant enrichment in P and C compared to the eroding soils. However, sediment from the OS displayed a much greater degree of P and C enrichment
Cerdà, Artemi; Jordán, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena; José Marqués, María; Novara, Agata
Soil erosion take place in degraded ecosystem where the lack of vegetation, drought, erodible parent material and deforestation take place (Borelli et al., 2013; Haregeweyn et al., 2013; Zhao et al., 2013). Agriculture management developed new landscapes (Ore and Bruins, 2012) and use to trigger non-sustainable soil erosion rates (Zema et al., 2012). High erosion rates were measured in agriculture land (Cerdà et al., 2009), but it is also possible to develop managements that will control the soil and water losses, such as organic amendments (Marqués et al., 2005), plant cover (Marqués et al., 2007) and geotextiles (Giménez Morera et al., 2010). The most successful management to restore the structural stability and the biological activity of the agriculture soil has been the organic mulches (García Orenes et al; 2009; 2010; 2012). The straw mulch is also very successful on bare fire affected soil (Robichaud et al., 2013a; 2013b), which also contributes to a more stable soil moisture content (García-Moreno et al., 2013). The objective of this research is to determine the impact of two mulches: wheat straw and chipped branches, on the soil erosion rates in a rainfed vineyard in Eastern Spain. The research site is located in the Les Alcusses Valley within the Moixent municipality. The Mean annual temperature is 13 ºC, and the mean annual rainfall 455 mm. Soil are sandy loam, and are developed at the foot-slope of a Cretaceous limestone range, the Serra Grossa range. The soils use to be ploughed and the features of soil erosion are found after each thunderstorm. Rills are removed by ploughing. Thirty rainfall simulation experiments were carried out in summer 2011 during the summer drought period. The simulated rainfall lasted during 1 hour at a 45 mmh-1 intensity on 1 m2 plots (Cerdà and Doerr, 2010; Cerdà and Jurgensen 2011). Ten experiments were carried out on the control plots (ploughed), 10 on straw mulch covered plots, and 10 on chipped branches covered
Chevigny, Emmanuel; Quiquerez, Amélie; Petit, Christophe; Curmi, Pierre
The Burgundy vineyards have been recognized for the high diversity of Terroirs, controlled by complex interactions between natural features, historical parameters and soil management practices. Vineyards are known to undergo substantial soil loss in comparison with other types of agricultural land. Hydric erosion on vineyards is controlled by complex interactions of natural and anthropogenic factors leading to intra-plot spatial heterogeneities of topsoil at a scale of a metre. Studying the relationship between soils and their degradation is crucial in this situation where soil sustainability is threatened. This study explores the relative influences of historical and present-day anthropogenic factors and geomorphological processes controlling soil erosion on vineyard hillslopes. The selected area was located in the Monthelie vineyard (Côte de Beaune, France) where intensive erosion occurred during high-intensity rainfall events. Soil erosion quantification was performed at a square-metre scale using dendrogeomorphology. This method is based on the measurement of the unearthing of the stock located on the vine plants, considered as a passive marker of soil-surface vertical displacement since the year of plantation. The obtained maps, together with various complementary datasets, such as geological and geomorphological data, but also historical documents (cadastral plans, cadastral matrices and old aerial photographs) allow landscape evolution to be assessed. The combination of all these data shows that spatial distribution and intensity of erosion are controlled mainly by lithology and slope value. However, our study highlights that the sediment dynamics in this vineyard plot is highly related to historical former plot limits and present-day management practices. Nonetheless, quantification of sediment dynamic for the last decade reveals that the impacts of historical structures are disappearing gradually, in response to present-day management practices and
Rusu, T.; Gus, P.; Bogdan, I.; Moraru, P.; Pop, A.; Clapa, D.; Pop, L.
The energetic function of the soil expressed through the potential energy accumulated through humus, the biogeochemical function (the circuit of the nutrient elements) are significantly influenced by its hydrophysical function and especially by the state of the bedding- consolidation, soil capacity of retaining an optimal quantity of water, and then its gradual disponibility for plant consumption. The understanding of soil functions and management including nutrient production, stocking, filtering and transforming minerals, water , organic matter, gas circuit and furnishing breeding material, all make the basis of human activity, Earth's past, present and especially future. The minimum tillage soil systems - paraplow, chisel or rotary grape - are polyvalent alternatives for basic preparation, germination bed preparation and sowing, for fields and crops with moderate loose requirements being optimized technologies for: soil natural fertility activation and rationalization, reduction of erosion, increasing the accumulation capacity for water and realization of sowing in the optimal period. By continuously applying for 10 years the minimum tillage system in a crop rotation: corn - soy-bean - wheat - potato / rape, an improvement in physical, hydro-physical and biological properties of soil was observed, together with the rebuilt of structure and increase of water permeability of soil. The minimum tillage systems ensure an adequate aerial-hydrical regime for the biological activity intensity and for the nutrients solubility equilibrium. The vegetal material remaining at the soil surface or superficially incorporated has its contribution to intensifying the biological activity, being an important resource of organic matter. The minimum tillage systems rebuild the soil structure, improving the global drainage of soil which allows a rapid infiltration of water in soil. The result is a more productive soil, better protected against wind and water erosion and needing less
Rusu, Dr.; Gus, Dr.; Bogdan, Dr.; Moraru, Dr.; Pop, Dr.; Clapa, Dr.; Pop, Drd.
The energetic function of the soil expressed through the potential energy accumulated through humus, the biogeochemical function (the circuit of the nutrient elements) are significantly influenced by its hydrophysical function and especially by the state of the bedding- consolidation, soil capacity of retaining an optimal quantity of water, and then its gradual disponibility for plant consumption. The understanding of soil functions and management including nutrient production, stocking, filtering and transforming minerals, water , organic matter , gas circuit and furnishing breeding material, all make the basis of human activity, Earth's past, present and especially future. The minimum tillage soil systems - paraplow, chisel or rotary grape - are polyvalent alternatives for basic preparation, germination bed preparation and sowing, for fields and crops with moderate loose requirements being optimized technologies for: soil natural fertility activation and rationalization, reduction of erosion, increasing the accumulation capacity for water and realization of sowing in the optimal period. By continuously applying for 10 years the minimum tillage system in a crop rotation: corn - soy-bean - wheat - potato / rape, an improvement in physical, hydro-physical and biological properties of soil was observed, together with the rebuilt of structure and increase of water permeability of soil. The minimum tillage systems ensure an adequate aerial-hydrical regime for the biological activity intensity and for the nutrients solubility equilibrium. The vegetal material remaining at the soil surface or superficially incorporated has its contribution to intensifying the biological activity, being an important resource of organic matter. The minimum tillage systems rebuild the soil structure, improving the global drainage of soil which allows a rapid infiltration of water in soil. The result is a more productive soil, better protected against wind and water erosion and needing less
Prats, Sergio Alegre; Martins, Martinho António Dos Santos; Malvar, Maruxa Cortizo; Ben-Hur, Meni; Keizer, Jan Jacob
For several years now, forest fires have been known to increase overland flow and soil erosion. However, mitigation of these effects has been little studied, especially outside the USA. This study aimed to quantify the effectiveness of two so-called emergency treatments to reduce post-fire runoff and soil losses at the microplot scale in a eucalyptus plantation in north-central Portugal. The treatments involved the application of chopped eucalyptus bark mulch at a rate of 10-12 Mg ha(-1), and surface application of a dry, granular, anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) at a rate of 50 kg ha(-1). During the first year after a wildfire in 2010, 1419 mm of rainfall produced, on average, 785 mm of overland flow in the untreated plots and 8.4 Mg ha(-1) of soil losses. Mulching reduced these two figures significantly, by an average 52 and 93%, respectively. In contrast, the PAM-treated plots did not differ from the control plots, despite slightly lower runoff but higher soil erosion figures. When compared to the control plots, mean key factors for runoff and soil erosion were different in the case of the mulched but not the PAM plots. Notably, the plots on the lower half of the slope registered bigger runoff and erosion figures than those on the upper half of the slope. This could be explained by differences in fire intensity and, ultimately, in pre-fire standing biomass.
Zheng, Yi; Luo, Xiaolin; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Xin; Zhang, Juan; Han, Feng
Soil contamination by mercury (Hg) is a global environmental issue. In watersheds with a significant soil Hg storage, soil erosion during rainfall-runoff events can result in nonpoint source (NPS) Hg pollution and therefore, can extend its environmental risk from soils to aquatic ecosystems. Nonetheless, transport mechanisms of soil-bound Hg in the erosion process have not been explored directly, and how different fractions of soil organic matter (SOM) impact transport is not fully understood. This study investigated transport mechanisms based on rainfall-runoff simulation experiments. The experiments simulated high-intensity and long-duration rainfall conditions, which can produce significant soil erosion and NPS pollution. The enrichment ratio (ER) of total mercury (THg) was the key variable in exploring the mechanisms. The main study findings include the following: First, the ER-sediment flux relationship for Hg depends on soil composition, and no uniform ER-sediment flux function exists for different soils. Second, depending on soil composition, significantly more Hg could be released from a less polluted soil in the early stage of large rainfall events. Third, the heavy fraction of SOM (i.e., the remnant organic matter coating on mineral particles) has a dominant influence on the enrichment behavior and transport mechanisms of Hg, while clay mineral content exhibits a significant, but indirect, influence. The study results imply that it is critical to quantify the SOM composition in addition to total organic carbon (TOC) for different soils in the watershed to adequately model the NPS pollution of Hg and spatially prioritize management actions in a heterogeneous watershed.
Goebes, Philipp; Seitz, Steffen; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas
Soil erosion is crucial for degradation of carbon (C) from their pools in the soil. If C of the eroded sediment and runoff are not only related to soil pools but also resulting additively from decomposition of litter cover, the system gets more complex. The role of these amounts for C cycling in a forest environment is not yet known properly and thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of leaf litter diversity, litter cover and soil fauna on C redistribution during interrill erosion. We established 96 runoff plots that were deployed with seven domestic leaf litter species resulting in none species (bare ground), 1-species, 2-species and 4-species mixtures. Every second runoff plot was equipped with a fauna extinction feature to investigate the role of soil meso- and macrofauna. Erosion processes were initiated using a rainfall simulator at two time steps (summer 2012 and autumn 2012) to investigate the role of leaf litter decomposition on C redistribution. C fluxes during 20 min rainfall simulation were 99.13 ± 94.98 g/m². C fluxes and C contents both were affected by soil fauna. C fluxes were higher with presence of soil fauna due to loosening and slackening of the soil surface rather than due to faster decomposition of leaves. In contrast, C contents were higher in the absence of soil fauna possibly resulting from a missing dilution effect in the top soil layer. Leaf litter diversity did not affect C fluxes, but indirectly affected C contents as it increased the soil fauna effect with higher leaf litter diversity due to superior food supply. Initial C contents in the soil mainly determined those of the eroded sediment. For future research, it will be essential to introduce a long-term decomposition experiment to get further insights into the processes of C redistribution.
Zhang, Shanghong; Fan, Weiwei; Li, Yueqiang; Yi, Yujun
It is very important to have a good understanding of the relation between soil erosion and landscape patterns so that soil and water conservation in river basins can be optimized. In this study, this relationship was explored, using the Liusha River Watershed, China, as a case study. A distributed water and sediment model based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was developed to simulate soil erosion from different land use types in each sub-basin of the Liusha River Watershed. Observed runoff and sediment data from 1985 to 2005 and land use maps from 1986, 1995, and 2000 were used to calibrate and validate the model. The erosion modulus for each sub-basin was calculated from SWAT model results using the different land use maps and 12 landscape indices were chosen and calculated to describe the land use in each sub-basin for the different years. The variations in instead of the absolute amounts of the erosion modulus and the landscape indices for each sub-basin were used as the dependent and independent variables, respectively, for the regression equations derived from multiple linear regression. The results indicated that the variations in the erosion modulus were closely related to changes in the large patch index, patch cohesion index, modified Simpson's evenness index, and the aggregation index. From the regression equation and the corresponding landscape indices, it was found that watershed erosion can be reduced by decreasing the physical connectivity between patches, improving the evenness of the landscape patch types, enriching landscape types, and enhancing the degree of aggregation between the landscape patches. These findings will be useful for water and soil conservation and for optimizing the management of watershed landscapes.
Ephemeral gully erosion (EGE) is a common type of shallow linear erosion that exerts a major threat to the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems. The objective was to evaluate the impact of EGE on soil physicochemical properties that determine soil quality. It was hypothesized that...
Gudiño, Napoleón; Kretzschmar, Thomas; Gray, Sarah
Human activities may increase soil erosion and the delivery of land-based sediment into coastal waters from steep sub-tropical islands. These changes may also affect water-rock interaction, which alters the geochemistry of storm-water and the clay mineralogy of eroded sediments. The purpose of this analysis is to compare storm-water, sediment geochemistry and modeled erosion rates between developed and undeveloped watersheds on Saint John, United States Virgin Islands (USVI). The saturation index was calculated by "The Geochemist's Workbench", supported by X-Ray diffraction on clay minerals. The Revised and Modified Universal Soil Loss Equations were used to estimate both annual mean (2010) and storm-event (Hurricane Otto) based erosion rates. Relative concentration of illite was higher in Coral Bay. Calculated RUSLE/MUSLE-based erosion rates were higher for the developed compared to the undeveloped watersheds. Results of this investigation suggest that rural/urban development of watersheds may increase the weathering, soil erosion and coastal sedimentation causing a negative effect on the marine ecosystem in St. John USVI.
van Mourik, Jan; Slotboom, Ruud
Mardel genesis. Mardels are small scale circular to elongated closed depressions (Ø > 50 m). They occur in Luxembourg on the Lias plateau in the Gutland, but also in other regions with landscapes, developed on Keuper and Lias deposits (as Lorraine). We can distinguish geogenetic and anthropogenic mardels. There are two types of genetic mardels, sink holes (controlled by diaclases in the Luxembourger sandstone and 'true mardels' or subsidence basins (controlled by dissolved gypsic lenses in marls of the Keuper deposits). These mardels developed during the Holocene. The age of the mardel sediments is Subatlantic; the sediments have been deposited on a palaeosol. Anthropogenic mardels are the result of historic clay excavation (Roman Time or younger). The age of these mardels is Subatlantic. The age of the sediments is also Subatlantic; the sediments have been deposited on a truncated soil in excavations. In all the genetic types of mardels, the sediments can consist of peat, peaty loam, or colluvic clayloam and the mardel sediments contain always valuable soil archives for the reconstruction of the impact of vegetation development, climatic oscillations and land use on soil erosion and deposition. Comparison of mardel deposits and valley deposits. - Pre-Holocene mardels have been eroded during the Weichselian. Geogenic mardels have been developed during the Holocene, anthropogenic mardels have been excavated since Roman Time. The age of the clastic (colluvic) deposits in mardels is Subatlantic - In the Late Glacial, valley bottoms were rather broad and covered with a gravelly bed load. Till the Subboreal river incision was active in primary valleys and peat accumulation took place on broad valley bottoms of secondary valleys. Since Celtic/Roman Time deforestation and extension of agriculture. During the Subatlantic colluvic/alluvic sedimentation took place on all the valley bottoms. The Subatlantic is a period of accelerated sedimentation of clastic sediments in
Cuomo, Sabatino; Della Sala, Maria
Due to heavy rainstorms, steep hillslopes may be affected by either shallow landslides or soil superficial erosion (Acharya et al., 2011), which originate different flow-like mass movements in adjacent or overlapping source areas (Cascini et al., 2013). Triggering analysis (Cascini et al., 2011) is a relevant issue for hazard assessment that is, in turn, the first step of risk analysis procedures (Fell et al., 2008). Nevertheless, the available approaches separately consider shallow landslides and soil erosion. Specifically, quantitative models for landslides triggering analysis allow simulating the physical processes leading to failure such as pore water pressure increase and soil shear mobilization and provide estimates of the amount of material potentially involved; however, success of quantitative methods must be carefully evaluated in complex geological setting as recently outlined (Sorbino et al., 2010) and further applications to real case histories are straightforward. On the other hand, a wide range of models exist for soil erosion analysis, which differ in terms of complexity, processes considered and data required for the model calibration and practical applications; in particular, quantitative models can estimate the source areas and the amount of eroded soil through empirical relationships or mathematical equations describing the main physical processes governing soil erosion (Merritt et al., 2003). In this work a spatially distributed analysis is proposed for testing the potentialities of two available models to respectively investigate the spatial occurrence of first-time shallow landslides and superficial soil erosion repeatedly occurring in a large test area of the Southern Italy. Both analyses take into account the seasonal variation of soil suction, rainfall characteristics and soil cover use (Cuomo and Della Sala, 2013). The achieved results show that the source areas of shallow landslides strongly depend on rainfall intensity and duration and
Mabit, L.,; Benmansour, M.,; Nouira, A.,
Despite the severity of land degradation in Morocco, only limited data are available on the actual magnitude of soil erosion rates. Most of the previous research used conventional measurements. Since the mid 1990's only a few studies reported the use of the 137-Cs approach and, excess lead-210 (210-Pbex) as soil tracer in Morocco. The site under investigation is a one hectare agricultural field dominated by cereals under conventional tillage (plough depth ~ 16 cm) and semiarid climate located in Marchouch 68 km south east from Rabat (Morocco). In this field, 50 soil core samples were collected along 5 parallel transects. The initial 137-Cs and 210-Pb fallout were assessed through 12 core samples collected in an undisturbed pasture located 3 km from the field studied. After γ-spectrometry analysis, the areal activities of 137-Cs and 210-Pbex were converted into soil redistribution rates using the convertion model Mass Balance Model II (MBM II). Soil redistribution rates obtained from both isotopes were analyzed using geostatistic approach and a classical interpolation concept (Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW)). Maps of soil redistribution were established and a sediment budget for the whole field was calculated. For the reference site, the vertical distribution associated with both radionuclides was similar and concentrated in the top 10 cm with a clear exponential decrease with depth. The reference inventories values were estimated at 3305 Bq m-2 (n = 12; CV of 30%) and 1445 Bq m-2 (n = 12; CV of 18%) for 210-Pbex and 137-Cs, respectively. For the cultivated site, experimental variograms of soil redistribution rate calculated from the data provided by the 137-Cs and 210-Pbex results were fitted. Following the optimization of variographic parameters and the cross-validation analysis, the geostatistical study of the data set reported a very weak autocorrelation. So, a simple spatialisation of the data set using IDW2 was used to spatialise the soil redistribution
Marshall, J. A.; Roering, J. J.
On hillslopes, abiotic and biotic processes advance conversion of bedrock to soil, accelerate exposure of newly created soil to weathering processes, and facilitate sediment transport. Despite recent gains in characterizing soil production laws in steady state landscapes, little empirical data exists on spatial variability in production styles or the relative importance of biotic and abiotic controls on bedrock to soil conversion on soil-mantled slopes. In settings subject to stochastic ‘macro’ disturbances, such as tree growth and turnover, local topography vs. soil-depth relationships provide limited insight into soil production mechanisms. Here we present soil depth data and observations on production mechanisms from hillslopes with slow, intermediate, and fast erosion rates (inferred by hilltop convexity or curvature). Due to the stochastic nature of soil production, we characterize the spatial pattern of soil depth over a broad ridgeline area assuming that the erosion rate does not vary significantly across the ridge. To test our hypothesis that bedrock to soil conversion is variable due to stochastic production mechanisms in rapidly eroding terrain and less variable in slower eroding catchments, we dug over 60 pits and quantified depth to bedrock and abiotic weathering mechanisms. Conjointly, we hypothesize that a number of factors control bedrock to soil conversion including: a) bedrock fracture-controlled tree spacing in very thin soils, b) presence or absence of pit and mound topography, c) root-bedrock interactions, and d) diverse abiotic physical weathering mechanisms. To quantify potential controls on variability, we measured: a) location and size of old growth Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) stumps, b) rooting depths, and c) clast dimension ratios (to distinguish between weathering mechanisms). We find a negative correlation between average soil depth and hillslope convexity, while the coefficient of variation increases with increasing
Zhu, Mingyong; Tan, Shuduan; Dang, Haishan; Zhang, Quanfa
A field experiment using rare earth elements (REEs) as tracers was conducted to investigate soil erosion processes on slope surfaces during rainfall events. A plot of 10m×2m×0.16m with a gradient of 20° (36.4%) was established and the plot was divided into two layers and four segments. Various REE tracers were applied to the different layers and segments to determine sediment dynamics under natural rainfall. Results indicated that sheet erosion accounted for more than 90% of total erosion when the rainfall amount and density was not large enough to generate concentrated flows. Sediment source changed in different sections on the slope surface, and the primary sediment source area tended to move upslope as erosion progressed. In rill erosion, sediment discharge mainly originated from the toe-slope and moved upwards as erosion intensified. The results obtained from this study suggest that multi-REE tracer technique is valuable in understanding the erosion processes and determining sediment sources.
De Alba, Saturnino; Alcazar, María; Ivón Cermeño, F.
In Europe, in the Mediterranean area, water erosion is very severe, moderately to seriously affecting 50% to 70% of the agricultural land. However, it is remarkable the lack of field data of water erosion rates for agricultural areas of semiarid Mediterranean climate. Moreover, this lack of field data is even more severe regarding the hydrological and erosive responses of soils managed with organic farming compared to those with conventional managements or others under conservation agriculture. This paper describes an experimental field station (La Higueruela Station) for the continuous monitoring of water erosion that was set up in 1992 in Central Spain (Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha). In the study area, the annual precipitation is around 450 mm with a very irregular inter-annual and seasonal distribution, which includes a strong drought in summer. The geology is characterised by non-consolidated Miocene materials, mostly arcosics. The area presents a low relief and gentle slopes, generally less than 15%. At the experimental field, the soil is a Typic Haploxeralf (USDA, 1990). The land-uses are rainfed crops mainly herbaceous crops, vineyard and olive trees. The hydrological response and soil losses by water erosion under natural rainfall conditions are monitored in a total of 28 experimental plots of the USLE type. The plots have a total area of 33.7 m2, (22.5 m long downslope and 3 m wide) and presented a slope gradient of 9%. Detailed descriptions of the experimental field facilities and the automatic station for monitoring runoff and sediment productions, as well as of the meteorological station, are presented. The land uses and treatments applied on the experimental plots are for different soil management systems for cereals crops (barley): 1) Organic farming, 2) Minimum tillage of moderate tillage intensity, 3) No-tillage, and 4) Conventional tillage; five alternatives of fallow: 1) Traditional fallow (white fallow) with conventional tillage, 2) Traditional
Chicas, S.; Omine, K.
Toledo, the southernmost district, is the hub of Belize's Mayan population, descendants of the ancient Mayan civilization. The Toledo District is primarily inhibited by Kekchi and Mopan Mayans whose subsistence needs are met by the Milpa slash-and-burn agricultural system and the extraction of forest resources. The poverty assessment in the country indicates that Toledo is the district with the highest percentage of household an individual indigence of 37.5 % and 49.7 % respectively. Forest cover change in the area can be attributed to rapid population growth among the Maya, together with increase in immigration from neighboring countries, logging, oil exploration and improvement and construction of roads. The forest cover change analysis show that from 2001 to 2011 there was a decrease of Lowland broad-leaved wet forest of 7.53 km sq, Shrubland of 4.66 km sq, and Wetland of 0.08 km sq. Forest cover change has resulted in soil erosion which is causing the deterioration of soils. The land cover types that are contributing the most to total erosion in the Rio Grande watershed are no-forest, lowland broad-leaved wet forest and submontane broad-leaved wet forest. In this study the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was employed in a GIS platform to quantify and assess forest cover change and soil erosion. Soil erosion vulnerability maps in Toledo's Rio Grande watershed were also created. This study provides scientifically sound information in order to understand and respond effectively to the impacts of soil erosion in the study site.
Yang, Xiaomei; Wang, Fei; Bento, Célia P M; Xue, Sha; Gai, Lingtong; van Dam, Ruud; Mol, Hans; Ritsema, Coen J; Geissen, Violette
Repeated applications of glyphosate may contaminate the soil and water and threaten their quality both within the environmental system and beyond it through water erosion related processes and leaching. In this study, we focused on the transport of glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) related to soil erosion at two slope gradients (10 and 20°), two rates of pesticide with a formulation of glyphosate (Roundup®) application (360 and 720 mg m(-2)), and a rain intensity of 1.0 mm min(-1) for 1 h on bare soil in hydraulic flumes. Runoff and erosion rate were significantly different within slope gradients (p<0.05) while suspended load concentration was relatively constant after 15 min of rainfall. The glyphosate and AMPA concentration in the runoff and suspended load gradually decreased. Significant power and exponent function relationship were observed between rainfall duration and the concentration of glyphosate and AMPA (p<0.01) in runoff and suspended load, respectively. Meanwhile, glyphosate and AMPA content in the eroded material depended more on the initial rate of application than on the slope gradients. The transport rate of glyphosate by runoff and suspended load was approximately 14% of the applied amount, and the chemicals were mainly transported in the suspended load. The glyphosate and AMPA content in the flume soil at the end of the experiment decreased significantly with depth (p<0.05), and approximately 72, 2, and 3% of the applied glyphosate (including AMPA) remained in the 0-2, 2-5, and 5-10 cm soil layers, respectively. The risk of contamination in deep soil and the groundwater was thus low, but 5% of the initial application did reach the 2-10 cm soil layer. The risk of contamination of surface water through runoff and sedimentation, however, can be considerable, especially in regions where rain-induced soil erosion is common.
Bug, Jan; Mosimann, Thomas
Since 2000 water erosion has been surveyed on 400 ha arable land in three different regions of Lower Saxony (Mosimann et al. 2009). The results of this long-term survey are used for the validation of the soil erosion models such as USLE and Erosion 3D. The validation of the physically-based model Erosion 3D (Schmidt & Werner 2000) is possible because the survey analyses the effects (soil loss, sediment yield, deposition on site) of single thunder storm events and also maps major factors of soil erosion (soil, crop, tillage). A 12.5 m Raster DEM was used to model the soil erosion events.Rainfalldata was acquired from climate stations. Soil and landuse parameters were derived from the "Parameterkatalog Sachsen"(Michael et al. 1996). During thirteen years of monitoring, high intensity storms fell less frequently than expected. High intensity rainfalls with a return period of five or ten years usually occurred during periods of maximum plant cover.Winter events were ruled out because dataon snow melt and rainfallwere not measured. The validation is therefore restricted to 80 events. The validation consists of three parts. The first part compares the spatial distribution of the mapped soil erosion with the model results. The second part calculates the difference in the amount of redistributed soil. The third part analyses off-site effects such as sediment yield and pollution of water bodies. The validation shows that the overall result of erosion 3D is quite good. Spatial hotspots of soil erosion and of off-site effects are predicted correctly in most cases. However, quantitative comparison is more problematic, because the mapping allows only the quantification of rillerosion and not of sheet erosion. So as a rule,the predicted soil loss is higher than the mapped. The prediction of rill development is also problematic. While the model is capable of predicting rills in thalwegs, the modelling of erosion in tractor tracks and headlands is more complicated. In order to
Tatárvári, Károly; Négyesi, Gábor
Wind erosion causes enormous problems in many parts of the world. It damages the fertile layer of soils, and eventually wind erosion can transport materials, pathogens and these may cause medical problems in the respiratory system. Numerous international and Hungarian surveys have proved, that wind erosion not only affects loose textured soils. During droughts wind erosion may cause great damage in bound soils of clay in case these are over-cultivated and dusty. As an effect of climate change the duration and frequency of drought periods shall grow. In our investigation samples were taken from the upper 10 cms of soils of 5 various types of mechanical compounds (according to physical characteristics sand, clay, clay loam, loam, sandy loam) in Györ-Moson-Sopron County Hungary. According to the map of Hungary of the areas potentially affected by wind erosion the sand physical soil type is strongly endangered by wind erosion, other areas are moderatly endangered. According to most recent international classification areas belonging to the sand physical soil type are categorized as "endangered by wind erosion", and others belong to the category "not endangered by wind erosion", but these data were not based on local trials. When selecting the sampling areas it was taken to account that opencast sand and gravel mines are in operation in the area. Because of these recently significant wind erosion related phenomena were observed. The area is the most windy in the country. The mechanical composition, CaCO3 content, pH value (H2O,Kcl), humus content of the samples were defined. The wind erosion experiments were conducted in the wind tunnel of the University of Debrecen. The threshold velocities of the soils were measured, and the quantity of the soil transported by the wind was analyzed at four wind velocity value ranges. The transported material intercepted at different wind velocities at the height of 0-10 cm and 10-35 cm. The As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn
A variety of modeling technologies exist for water erosion prediction each with specific parameters. It is of interest to scrutinize parameters of a particular model from the point of their compatibility with dataset of other models. In this research, functional relationships between soil erodibilit...
A comprehensive procedure for computing soil erosion and sediment delivery metrics has been developed using a suite of automated Arc Macro Language (AML ) scripts and a pair of processing- intensive ANSI C++ executable programs operating on an ESRI ArcGIS 8.x Workstation platform...
Soil surface application of dissolved linear polyacrylamide (PAM) of high molecular weight (MW) can mitigate seal formation, runoff and erosion, especially when added with a source of electrolytes (e.g., gypsum). Practical difficulties associated with PAM solution application prohibited commercial u...
Practices that combine GPS-based guidance for terrain contouring and tillage for runoff detention have potential to increase water infiltration and reduce runoff. The objective of this study was to investigate contour planting as a means to reduce soil erosion on steep slopes of the Columbia Platea...
Castillo, Carlos; James, Michael; Pérez, Rafael; Gómez, Jose Alfonso
3D photo-reconstruction (3D-PR) has been applied successfully to obtain elevation models using uncalibrated and nonmetric cameras for a range of geoscience applications (e.g. James and Robson, 2012), including gully erosion assessment (Castillo et al., 2012). However, its application in soil erosion studies is currently at the outset. The aim of this work is to compare 3D-PR with conventional techniques that have been employed traditionally for different purposes in soil erosion studies. In this preliminary work, we tested three applications that involve volume calculations: estimation of soil bulk density (BD), quantification of soil erosion at road banks (RB) and sedimentation rates behind check dams (CD). For each analysis, a PR field survey was carried out simultaneously with a conventional method (volume of water was used for BD, and total station surveys for RB and CD). For the 3D-PR technique, the accuracy as a function of the number of pictures taken was evaluated. In this study we explore the difference in the volume estimates between 3D-PR and conventional techniques as well as the time requirements for each method in order to compare their performance and optimal field of application.
Methods of recording soil erosion using photographs are common but they are not commonly considered in scientific studies. Digital images may hold an expressive amount of information that can be extracted quickly in different manners. One of these manners might be through the quantification of sever...
Ouyang, Wei; Hao, Fanghua; Skidmore, Andrew K; Toxopeus, A G
Soil erosion is a significant concern when considering regional environmental protection, especially in the Yellow River Basin in China. This study evaluated the temporal-spatial interaction of land cover status with soil erosion characteristics in the Longliu Catchment of China, using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. SWAT is a physical hydrological model which uses the RUSLE equation as a sediment algorithm. Considering the spatial and temporal scale of the relationship between soil erosion and sediment yield, simulations were undertaken at monthly and annual temporal scales and basin and sub-basin spatial scales. The corresponding temporal and spatial Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) information was summarized from MODIS data, which can integrate regional land cover and climatic features. The SWAT simulation revealed that the annual soil erosion and sediment yield showed similar spatial distribution patterns, but the monthly variation fluctuated significantly. The monthly basin soil erosion varied from almost no erosion load to 3.92 t/ha and the maximum monthly sediment yield was 47,540 tones. The inter-annual simulation focused on the spatial difference and relationship with the corresponding vegetation NDVI value for every sub-basin. It is concluded that, for this continental monsoon climate basin, the higher NDVI vegetation zones prevented sediment transport, but at the same time they also contributed considerable soil erosion. The monthly basin soil erosion and sediment yield both correlated with NDVI, and the determination coefficients of their exponential correlation model were 0.446 and 0.426, respectively. The relationships between soil erosion and sediment yield with vegetation NDVI indicated that the vegetation status has a significant impact on sediment formation and transport. The findings can be used to develop soil erosion conservation programs for the study area.
Liu, Fu-quan; Liu, Jing; Nao, Min; Yao, Xi-jun; Zheng, Yong-gang; Li, You-fang; Su, Yu; Wang, Chen-jia
This paper took four kinds of common soil and water conservation plants of the study area, Caragana microphylla, Salix psammophila, Artemisia sphaerocephala and Hippophae rhamnides at ages of 4 as the research object. Thirteen indicators, i.e., single shrub to reduce wind velocity ration, shelterbelt reducing wind velocity ration, community reducing wind velocity ration, taproot tensile strength, representative root constitutive properties, representative root elasticity modulus, lateral root branch tensile strength, accumulative surface area, root-soil interface sheer strength, interface friction coefficient, accumulative root length, root-soil composite cohesive, root-soil composite equivalent friction angle, reflecting the characteristics of windbreak and roots, were chose to evaluate the differences of foliage-root coupling soil-reinforcement and anti-erosion among four kinds of plants by analytic hierarchy process (AHP) under the condition of spring gale and summer rainstorm, respectively. The results showed the anti-erosion index of foliage-root coupling was in the sequence of S. psammophila (0.841) > C. microphylla (0.454) > A. sphaerocephala (-0.466) > H. rhamnides (-0.829) in spring gale, and C. microphylla (0.841) > S. psammophila (0. 474) > A. sphaerocephala (-0.470) > H. rhamnides (-0.844) in summer rainstorm. S. psammophila could be regarded as one of the most important windbreak and anti-erosion species, while C. microphylla could be the most valuable soil and water conservation plant for the study area.
Price, Kevin Paul
Pinyon-Juniper woodlands dominate approximately 24.3 million hectares (60 million acres) in the western United States. The overall objective was to test the sensitivity of the LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) spectral data for detecting varying degrees of soil erosion within the Pinyon-Juniper woodlands. A second objective was to assess the potential of the spectral data for assigning the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) crop management (C) factor values to varying cover types within the woodland. Thematic Mapper digital data for June 2, 1984 on channels 2, 3, 4, and 5 were used. Digital data analysis was performed using the ELAS software package. Best results were achieved using CLUS, an unsupervised clustering algorithm. Fifteen of the 40 Pinyon-Juniper signatures were identified as being relatively pure Pinyon-Juniper woodland. Final analysis resulted in the grouping of the 15 signatures into three major groups. Ten study sites were selected from each of the three groups and located on the ground. At each site the following field measurements were taken: percent tree canopy and percent understory cover, soil texture, total soil loss, and soil erosion rate estimates. A technique for measuring soil erosion within Pinyon-Juniper woodlands was developed. A theoretical model of site degradation after Pinyon-Juniper invasion is presented.
Zadorova, Tereza; Penizek, Vit; Jaksik, Ondrej; Kodesova, Radka; Jirku, Veronika; Fer, Miroslav
Intensive water and tillage erosion and consequent accumulation are the most important processes affecting the agroecosystems in loess regions and changing soil properties, e.g. organic carbon content, carbonate content or structure stability, and general distribution of soil units in the landscape. South Moravian loess belt, formerly covered mostly by Haplic Chernozem, is now formed by a highly diversified soil mosaic. At a morphologically heterogenous study plot (6 ha), a study on relationship between soil properties and terrain characteristics was held. DTM analysis, detailed terrain survey and laboratory analysis were the main methods adopted in the study. Three main soil units were identified: Haplic Chernozem, calcareous Regosol and Colluvial soil. The distribution of each soil unit correlates with different terrain attributes. Regosols are significatly connected to the steep slope, while their correlation with the curvature or hydrological indexes is lower. On the contrary, the Colluvial soils distribution depends mainly on values of curvature and topographical wetness index and is independent on the slope. Chernozem is related to a specific terrain position more than to any of the terrain attributes. Soil depth and humus horizon thickness vary extremelly - from 0.2 m at the erosionally exposed slopes to more than 2.5 m at the concave parts and the toeslope. Soil depth is significantly correlated with all of the tested terrain attributes except of the slope - the strongest correlation was proved in case of mean curvature, topographical wetness index and catchment area. Different degree of changes in particular soil properties results from the specificity of both erosion process and parent material character. Organic carbon content in the topsoil varies significantly. Humus is practically absent in the steepest parts of the slope where the loess is exposed. High amounts of Corg were identified in the undisturbed A horizons of the Chernozem unit. In the
We draw conclusions on the research output and findings from a 4-year multidisciplinary USDA-CBG collaborative program in sustainable integrated monitoring of soil organic carbon (SOC) loss prediction via erosion. The underlying method uses the state-of-the-art stable isotope science of sediment tracing under uncertain hydrologic influences. The research finds are rooted in the (i) application of Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo statistical models to assess the relationship between rainfall-runoff and soil erosion in space and time, (ii) capture of the episodic nature of rainfall events and its role in the spatial distribution of SOC loss from water erosion, (iii) stable isotope composition guided fingerprinting (source and quantity) of eroded soil, and (iv) the creation of an integrated watershed scale statistical soil loss monitoring model driven by spatial and temporal correlation of flow and stable isotope composition. The research theme was successfully applied on the urbanized Buffalo Bayou Watershed in Houston, Texas. The application brought to light novel future research conceptual outlines which will also be discussed in this deliverable to the AGU meeting. These include but not limited to: regional rainfall cluster research, physics of muddy river-bank soil and suspended sediment interaction, and friction & mobility that together make up the plasticity of soil aggregates that control erosion processes and landscape changes in a riparian corridor. References: Ahmed, I., Karim, A., Boutton, T.W., and Strom, K.B. (2013a). "Monitoring Soil Organic Carbon Loss from Erosion Using Stable Isotopes." Proc., Soil Carbon Sequestration, International Conference, May 26-29, Reykjavik, Iceland. Ahmed, I, Bouttom, T.W., Strom, K. B., Karim, A., and Irvin-Smith, N. (2013b). "Soil carbon distribution and loss monitoring in the urbanized Buffalo Bayou watershed, Houston, Texas." Proc., 4th Annual All Investigators Meeting of the North American Carbon Program, February 4
Izaurralde, R Cesar C.; Williams, Jimmy R.; Post, W. M.; Thomson, Allison M.; Mcgill, William B.; Owens, Lloyd; Lal, Rattan
The soil C balance is determined by the difference between inputs (e.g. litter, crop residues, decaying roots, organic amendments, depositional C) and outputs (e.g. soil respiration, dissolved organic C leaching and eroded C). Two competing hypotheses suggest erosion may either increase or decrease output. One hypothesis states that C from eroded fields becomes “sequestered” in depressional areas and thus is rendered unavailable for decomposition. An alternative hypothesis argues that due to aggregate breakdown during erosion events, physically-protected C becomes accessible, thereby increasing oxidation of C and emission of CO2. This study applied the EPIC (Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator) model to evaluate the role of erosion-deposition processes on the C balance at the small watershed scale. The experimental records of three small watersheds (~1 ha) from the USDA North Appalachian Experimental Watershed facility north of Coshocton, OH were used in the study. Predominant silt loam soils in the area have developed from loess-like deposits over residual bedrock. Soil and crop management in the three watersheds has changed over time. Currently, watershed 118 (W118) is under a corn (Zea mays L.) - soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) no till rotation, W128 is under conventional till continuous corn, and W188 is under no till continuous corn. Predictions of sediment C yields were made through simulation of an entire range of ecosystem processes including plant growth, runoff, and water erosion. A simulated sediment C yield of 39 kg C ha-1 y-1 compared well against an observed value of 31 kg C ha-1 y-1 in W118. EPIC overpredicted the soil C stock in the top 30-cm soil depth in W188 by 21% of the measured value (36.8 Mg C ha-1). Predictions of soil C stocks in the other two watersheds (42.3 Mg C ha-1 in W128 and 50.4 Mg C ha-1 in W188) were off by <1 Mg C ha-1. Although these results do not directly answer any of the two prevailing hypotheses, they do provide
Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel
- The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7
Van Oost, Kristof; Verstraeten, Gert; Doetterl, Sebastian; Notebaert, Bastiaan; Wiaux, François; Broothaerts, Nils; Six, Johan
Carbon exchange associated with accelerated erosion following land cover change is an important component of the global C cycle. In current assessments, however, this component is not accounted for. Here, we integrate the effects of accelerated C erosion across point, hillslope, and catchment scale for the 780-km(2) Dijle River catchment over the period 4000 B.C. to A.D. 2000 to demonstrate that accelerated erosion results in a net C sink. We found this long-term C sink to be equivalent to 43% of the eroded C and to have offset 39% (17-66%) of the C emissions due to anthropogenic land cover change since the advent of agriculture. Nevertheless, the erosion-induced C sink strength is limited by a significant loss of buried C in terrestrial depositional stores, which lagged the burial. The time lag between burial and subsequent loss at this study site implies that the C buried in eroded terrestrial deposits during the agricultural expansion of the last 150 y cannot be assumed to be inert to further destabilization, and indeed might become a significant C source. Our analysis exemplifies that accounting for the non-steady-state C dynamics in geomorphic active systems is pertinent to understanding both past and future anthropogenic global change.
Lauber, Christian L; Metcalf, Jessica L; Keepers, Kyle; Ackermann, Gail; Carter, David O; Knight, Rob
Carrion decomposition is an ecologically important natural phenomenon influenced by a complex set of factors, including temperature, moisture, and the activity of microorganisms, invertebrates, and scavengers. The role of soil microbes as decomposers in this process is essential but not well understood and represents a knowledge gap in carrion ecology. To better define the role and sources of microbes in carrion decomposition, lab-reared mice were decomposed on either (i) soil with an intact microbial community or (ii) soil that was sterilized. We characterized the microbial community (16S rRNA gene for bacteria and archaea, and the 18S rRNA gene for fungi and microbial eukaryotes) for three body sites along with the underlying soil (i.e., gravesoils) at time intervals coinciding with visible changes in carrion morphology. Our results indicate that mice placed on soil with intact microbial communities reach advanced stages of decomposition 2 to 3 times faster than those placed on sterile soil. Microbial communities associated with skin and gravesoils of carrion in stages of active and advanced decay were significantly different between soil types (sterile versus untreated), suggesting that substrates on which carrion decompose may partially determine the microbial decomposer community. However, the source of the decomposer community (soil- versus carcass-associated microbes) was not clear in our data set, suggesting that greater sequencing depth needs to be employed to identify the origin of the decomposer communities in carrion decomposition. Overall, our data show that soil microbial communities have a significant impact on the rate at which carrion decomposes and have important implications for understanding carrion ecology.
Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is investigating the use of a rock armoring blanket (riprap) to mitigate wind and water erosion of an earthen radon-suppression cover applied to uranium-mill tailings. The mechanics of wind erosion, as well as of soil deposition, are discussed in this report. Several wind erosion models are reviewed to determine if they can be used to estimate the erosion of soil from a mill-tailings cover. One model, developed by W.S. Chepil, contains the most-important factors that describe variables that influence wind erosion. Particular features of other models are also discussed, as well as the application of Chepil's model to a particular tailings pile. For this particular tailings pile, the estimated erosion was almost one inch per year for an unprotected tailings soil surface. Wide variability in the deposition velocity and lack of adequate deposition models preclude reliable estimates of the rate at which airborne particles are deposited.
Betanzos Arroyo, L. I.; Prol Ledesma, R. M.; da Silva Pinto da Rocha, F. J. P.
The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), which is considered to be a contemporary approach in soil loss assessment, was used to assess soil erosion hazard in the Zacatecas mining district. The purpose of this study is to produce erosion susceptibility maps for an area that is polluted with mining tailings which are susceptible to erosion and can disperse the particles that contain heavy metals and other toxic elements. USLE method is based in the estimation of soil loss per unit area and takes into account specific parameters such as precipitation data, topography, soil erodibility, erosivity and runoff. The R-factor (rainfall erosivity) was calculated from monthly and annual precipitation data. The K-factor (soil erodibility) was estimated using soil maps available from the CONABIO at a scale of 1:250000. The LS-factor (slope length and steepness) was determined from a 30-m digital elevation model. A raster-based Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to interactively calculate soil loss and map erosion hazard. The results show that estimated erosion rates ranged from 0 to 4770.48 t/ha year. Maximum proportion of the total area of the Zacatecas mining district have nil to very extremely slight erosion severity. Small areas in the central and south part of the study area shows the critical condition requiring sustainable land management.
Dotterweich, Markus; Ivester, Andrew H.; Hanson, Paul R.; Daniel, Larsen; Dye, David H.; Foster, Thomas H., II
The significance of soil erosion due to pre-historic land use and possible feedback mechanisms had been hardly recognized in the Southeastern USA. Here, the agricultural practices only began in the second half of the Holocene. Sedentary hunters and gatherers started to domesticate squash and sunflowers. Associated with the expansion of maize cultivation in the Mississippian period between AD 800 and 1100, significant forest clearings took place on the river floodplains. During this time, central settlements with up to 30,000 residences existed and the surrounding ridge and furrow fields extended to up to 30 ha. It is still open to question why these groups already declined in the 14/15th centuries already before the arrival of the Europeans. However, around AD 1540 the conquistador de Soto still reports extended fields with intensive cultivation of maize in the uplands of Northern Mississippi. Despite of this intensive land use by Native Americans, current research gives no indication that these activities had any significant impact on river channel form. Also, no clear evidence exists for distinct channel change occurring in response to any sort of middle Holocene Hypsithermal, Medieval warm period, or the Little Ice Age. We will present results of a project which aims to explore erosion forms, colluvial sediments and buried soils in selected 0-order and 1st-order watersheds in the southeastern USA in order to gain, solidify, and evaluate general data on soil erosion during the Native American land use period and its respective long-term effects on the environment. This will be achieved by 1) recording the stratigraphy of colluvial and alluvial sediments and buried soils, 2) mapping the extent of erosional and colluvial forms, 3) analyzing chemical and physical soil and sediment properties, 4) establishing chronological control using various dating techniques including radiocarbon and OSL dating, and 5) quantifying soil erosion using hillslope sediments. The
Fister, Wolfgang; Marzen, Miriam; Iserloh, Thomas; Seeger, Manuel; Heckrath, Goswin; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Ries, Johannes B.
The influence of wind on falling raindrops and its potential to alter soil erosion rates was already proposed during the 1960s, but never really reached broad awareness in the soil erosion research community. Laboratory investigations over the last 15 years confirmed earlier findings and have proven that wind modifies the characteristics of falling raindrops in many ways. Most importantly, the impact angles and impact frequencies, as well as the drop velocities, drop sizes and hence the kinetic energy are modified. Consequently, the results of laboratory experiments on highly disturbed, loose, and mostly sandy substrates indicate that soil detachment and transport/splash distances of particles increase under the influence of wind. However, these experiments cannot reflect the complexity of naturally developed soils and a direct transfer of these findings to field conditions is therefore limited. So far, only a few field studies have reported increased erosion rates due to splash drift or increased runoff by wind-driven rain. Because of the lack of simultaneous reference measurements without the influence of wind, these studies were not able to discriminate between the different processes and thus couldn not clearly prove the relevance of wind-driven rainfall. Despite all these findings, the awareness of this phenomenon is, in our opinion, still limited. Almost all rainfall simulations exclude the factor of wind as a disturbance to reach more representative rainfall conditions on the plot. We think, that among other reasons, this underestimation of the influence of wind could be due to the absence of an adequate measurement device to simulate these processes and additionally, due to the fact that the relevance of wind-driven rain in a landscape context has not yet been proven. To overcome this lack of a useful device, and to take the research from the laboratory to the field on real soils again, the first portable wind and rainfall simulator was developed within
Yassoglou, N. J. (Principal Investigator)
The author has identified the following significant results. The results of analyses show that it is possible to obtain information of practical significance as follows: (1) A quick and accurate estimate of the proper use of the valuable land can be made on the basis of temporal and spectral characteristics of the land features. (2) A rather accurate delineation of the major forest formations in the test areas was achieved on the basis of spatial and spectral characteristics of the studied areas. The forest stands were separated into two density classes; dense forest, and broken forest. On the basis of ERTS-1 data and the existing ground truth information a rather accurate mapping of the major vegetational forms of the mountain ranges can be made. (3) Major soil formations are mapable from ERTS-1 data: recent alluvial soils; soil on quarternary deposits; severely eroded soil and lithosol; and wet soils. (4) An estimation of cost benefits cannot be made accurately at this stage of the investigation. However, a rough estimate of the ratio of the cost for obtaining the same amount information from ERTS-1 data and from conventional operations would be approximately 1:6 to 1:10, in favor of the ERTS-1.
Ciampalini, Rossano; Kendon, Elizabeth; Constantine, José Antonio; Schindewolf, Marcus; Hall, Ian
Twenty-first century climate change simulations for Great Britain reveal an increase in heavy precipitation that may lead to widespread soil loss and reduced soil carbon stores by increasing the likelihood of surface runoff. We find the quality and resolution of the simulated rainfall used to drive soil loss variation can widely influence the results. Hourly high definition rainfall simulations from a 1.5km resolution regional climate model are used to examine the soil erosion response in two UK catchments. The catchments have different sensitivity to soil erosion. "Rother" in West Sussex, England, reports some of the most erosive events that have been observed during the last 50 years in the UK. "Conwy" in North Wales, is resilient to soil erosion because of the abundant natural vegetation cover and very limited agricultural practises. We modelled with Erosion3D to check variations in soil erosion as influenced by climate variations for the periods 1996-2009 and 2086-2099. Our results indicate the Rother catchment is the most erosive, while the Conwy catchment is confirmed as the more resilient to soil erosion. The values of the reference-base period are consistent with the values of those locally observed in the previous decades. A soil erosion comparison for the two periods shows an increasing of sediment production (off-site erosion) for the end of the century at about 27% in the Rother catchment and about 50% for the Conwy catchment. The results, thanks to high-definition rainfall predictions, throw some light on the effect of climatic change effects in Great Britain.
Bochet, Esther; García-Fayos, Patricio
Semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems are experiencing major alterations as a result of the complex interactions between climatic fluctuations and disturbances caused by human activities. Future scenarios of global change forecast a rapid degradation of these ecosystems, with a reduction of their functionality, as a result of changes in relevant vegetation and soil properties. Some theoretical models indicate that these ecosystems respond non-linearly to regular variations in the external conditions, with an abrupt shift when conditions approach a certain critical level or threshold. Considering these predictions, there is an urgent need to know the effects that these alterations might have on semi-arid ecosystems and their components. In this study, we aim at analyzing the consequences of climate change and increasing soil erosion on soil and vegetation properties and the functional dynamics of semiarid Mediterranean shrublands. We predict that the combined effect of both drivers will be additive or synergistic, increasing the negative effects of each one. We compared vegetation and soil properties of flat areas (low erosion) and steep hillslopes (high erosion) in two climatic areas (484 mm and 10.3°C, and 368mm and 11.9°C, respectively) that reproduce the predicted climate change in temperature and precipitation for the next 40 years. Species richness, vegetal cover, plant life-form composition were determined in 20 m2 plots and soil was sampled in the same plots to determine bulk density, aggregate stability, fertility and water holding capacity. All soil and vegetation properties were negatively affected by soil erosion and climate change. However, contrary to our hypothesis, the joined effect of both drivers on all soil and vegetation properties was antagonistic, except for the vegetal cover that showed an additive response to their interaction. Our results evidence that soil erosion affects more negatively the soil and vegetation properties in the cooler and
Clegg, Ryan N.; Metzger, Philip T.; Huff, Stephen; Roberson, Luke B.
To develop a lunar outpost, we must understand the blowing of soil during launch and landing of the new Altair Lander. For example, the Apollo 12 Lunar Module landed approximately 165 meters from the deactivated Surveyor Ill spacecraft, scouring its surfaces and creating numerous tiny pits. Based on simulations and video analysis from the Apollo missions, blowing lunar soil particles have velocities up to 2000 m/s at low ejection angles relative to the horizon, reach an apogee higher than the orbiting Command and Service Module, and travel nearly the circumference of the Moon [1-3]. The low ejection angle and high velocity are concerns for the lunar outpost.
Romaniuk, Romina; Lidia, Giuffre; Alejandro, Costantini; Norberto, Bartoloni; Paolo, Nannipieri
Soil quality assessment is needed to evaluate the soil conditions and sustainability of soil and crop management properties, and thus requires a systematic approach to select and interpret soil properties to be used as indicators. The aim of this work was to evaluate and compare different indexing methods to assess quality of an undisturbed grassland soil (UN), a degraded pasture soil (GL) and a no tilled soil (NT) with four different A horizon depths (25, 23, 19 and 14 cm) reflecting a diverse erosion. Twenty four soil properties were measured from 0 to10 (1) and 10 to 20 cm. (2) and a minimum data set was chosen by multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) considering all measured soil properties together (A), or according to their classification in physical, chemical or microbiological (B) properties. The measured soil properties involved either inexpensive or not laborious standard protocols, to be used in routine laboratory analysis (simple soil quality index - SSQI), or a more laborious, time consuming and expensive protocols to determine microbial diversity and microbial functionality by methyl ester fatty acids (PLFA) and catabolic response profiles (CRP), respectively (complex soil quality index - CSQI). The selected properties were linearly normalized and integrated by the weight additive method to calculate SSQI A, SSQI B, CSQI A and CSQI B indices. Two microbiological soil quality indices (MSQI) were also calculated: the MSQI 1 only considered microbiological properties according to the procedure used for calculating SQI; the MSQI 2 was calculated by considering microbial carbon biomass (MCB), microbial activity (Resp) and functional diversity determined by CPR (E). The soil quality indices were SSQI A = MCB 1 + Particulate Organic Carbon (POC)1 + Mean Weight Diameter (MWD)1; SSQI B = Saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) 1 + Total Organic Carbon (TOC) 1 + MCB 1; CSQI A = MCB 1 + POC 1 + MWD 1; CSQI B = K 1+ TOC 1+ 0.3 * (MCB 1+ i/a +POC 1) + 0
López, I; López, M; Aragonés, L; García-Barba, J; López, M P; Sánchez, I
One of the main problems that coasts around the world present, is the regression and erosion of beaches. However, the factors involved in these processes are unclear. In this study, the influence of sediment erosion on beach regression has been analysed. In order to do that, a three-step investigation has been carried out. Firstly, coastline variations of four Spanish beaches have been analysed. Secondly, a study on sediment position along the beach profile has been developed. Finally, the process that beach sediments undergo along the surf zone when they are hit by the incident waves has been simulated by an accelerated particle weathering test. Samples of sand and shells were subjected to this accelerated particle weathering test. Results were supplemented with those from carbonate content test, XRD, SEM and granulometric analysis. Results shows a cross-shore classification of sediments along the beach profile in which finer particles move beyond offshore limit. Besides, it was observed that sediment erosion process is divided into three sages: i) particles wear due to crashes ii) dissolution of the carbonate fraction, and iii) breakage and separation of mineral and carbonate parts of particles. All these processes lead to a reduction of particle size. The mechanism responsible of beach erosion would consist of multiples and continuous particle location exchanges along the beach profile as a consequence of grain-size decrease due to erosion.
Miranda, J. P.; Silva, L. M.; Lima, R. L.; Donagemma, G. K.; Bertolino, A. V. A.; Fernandes, N. F.; Correa, F. M.; Polidoro, J. C.; Tato, G.
Soil tillage plays a major role in changing physical and hydrological properties of soils through time, and in consequence, in the dynamics of infiltration, soil water and erosion. In the hilly landscape of southeastern Brazil, many areas originally occupied by the Atlantic Forest (one the most threatened biomes on the planet) have been continuously transformed in the last decades into agricultural systems, usually associated with small farming properties. Traditionally, the agricultural activities in these areas incorporate rotational systems which include a fallow period, where previously farmed areas repose for at least five years. In some areas, vegetation grows so fast that after 7 or 8 years these sites may be considered by regulator agencies as forests, impeding their use again for farming. As a consequence, farmers tend to decrease the amount of time used fallow impeding the recovery of original soil properties, reducing in consequence the infiltration rate, and increasing the runoff and erosion. Currently, the Brazilian laws allow that the farmers use the fallow system for 10 years in areas where this technique has been used traditionally. So, a major issue here is for how long the farming plots should be left reposing. Therefore, this study aims both to characterize the effects of continuous farming on soil physical and hydrological properties, as well as to define the impacts of different fallow periods on the improvement of soil properties and in the reduction of runoff and erosion. The experiments were carried out in a cultivation site located at Bom Jardim city, close to Rio de Janeiro city. The area is situated at about 800m of elevation in the hilly steep topography of the Serra do Mar, a coast range in southeastern Brazil, with an average total annual rainfall of 2000 mm. In this study, carried out in a typical farm of the area, we compared the effects of 5 different soil usages on soil properties: banana, coffee, F2 (2-year fallow), F5 (5-year
Bertolino, A. V. F. A.; Fernandes, N. F.; Souza, A. P.; Miranda, J. P.; Rocha, M. L.
Conventional tillage usually imposes a variety of modifications on soil properties that can lead to important changes in the type and magnitude of the hydrological processes that take place at the upper portion of the soil profile. Plough pan formation, for example, is considered to be an important consequence of conventional tillage practices in southeastern Brazil, decreasing infiltration rates and contributing to soil erosion, especially in steep slopes. In order to characterize the changes in soil properties and soil hydrology due to the plough pan formation we carried out detailed investigations in two experimental plots in Paty do Alferes region, located in the hilly landscape of Serra do Mar in southeastern Brazil, close to Rio de Janeiro city. Farming activities are very important in this area, in particular the ones related to the tomato production. The local hilly topography with short and steep hillslopes, as well as an average annual rainfall of almost 2000 mm, favor surface runoff and the evolution of rill and gully erosion. The two runoff plots are 22m long by 4m wide and were installed side by side along a representative hillslope, both in terms of soil (Oxisol) and steepness. At the lower portion of each plot there is a collecting trough connected by a PVC pipe to a 500 and 1000 liters sediment storage boxes. Soil tillage treatments used in the two plots were: Conventional Tillage (CT), with one plowing using disc-type plow (about 18 cm depth) and one downhill tractor leveling, in addition to burning residues from previous planting; and Minimum Tillage (MT), which did not allow burning residues from previous planting and preserved a vegetative cover between plantation lines. Runoff and soil erosion measurements were carried out in both plots immediately after each rainfall event. In order to characterize soil water movements under the two tillage systems (CT and MT), 06 nests of tensiometers and 04 nests of Watermark sensors were installed in each
Topographic factors and soil loss estimates that were derived from thee data sources (STATSGO, 30-m DEM, and 3-arc second DEM) were compared. Slope magnitudes derived from the three data sources were consistently different. Slopes from the DEMs tended to provide a flattened sur...
Hales, T. C.; Scharer, K. M.; Wooten, R. M.
Understanding the dynamics of sediment generation and transport on hillslopes provides important constraints on the rate of sediment output from orogenic systems. Hillslope sediment fluxes are recorded by organic material found in the deposits infilling unchanneled convergent topographic features called hollows. This study describes the first hollow infilling rates measured in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Infilling rates (and bedrock erosion rates) were calculated from the vertical distribution of radiocarbon ages at two sites in the Coweeta drainage basin, western North Carolina. At each site we dated paired charcoal and silt soil organic matter samples from five different horizons. Paired radiocarbon samples were used to bracket the age of the soil material in order to capture the range of complex soil forming processes and deposition within the hollows. These dates constrain hillslope erosion rates of between 0.051 and 0.111 mm yr - 1 . These rates are up to 4 times higher than spatially-averaged rates for the Southern Appalachian Mountains making creep processes one of the most efficient erosional mechanisms in this mountain range. Our hillslope erosion rates are consistent with those of forested mountain ranges in the western United States, suggesting that the mechanisms (dominantly tree throw) driving creep erosion in both the western United States and the Southern Appalachian Mountains are equally effective.
Hales, T.C.; Scharer, K.M.; Wooten, R.M.
Understanding the dynamics of sediment generation and transport on hillslopes provides important constraints on the rate of sediment output from orogenic systems. Hillslope sediment fluxes are recorded by organic material found in the deposits infilling unchanneled convergent topographic features called hollows. This study describes the first hollow infilling rates measured in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Infilling rates (and bedrock erosion rates) were calculated from the vertical distribution of radiocarbon ages at two sites in the Coweeta drainage basin, western North Carolina. At each site we dated paired charcoal and silt soil organic matter samples from five different horizons. Paired radiocarbon samples were used to bracket the age of the soil material in order to capture the range of complex soil forming processes and deposition within the hollows. These dates constrain hillslope erosion rates of between 0.051 and 0.111mmyr-1. These rates are up to 4 times higher than spatially-averaged rates for the Southern Appalachian Mountains making creep processes one of the most efficient erosional mechanisms in this mountain range. Our hillslope erosion rates are consistent with those of forested mountain ranges in the western United States, suggesting that the mechanisms (dominantly tree throw) driving creep erosion in both the western United States and the Southern Appalachian Mountains are equally effective. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Ghafrani, Hassan; Hssaine, Ali Ait
Soil erosion is a phenomenon of global order. Similarly, it affects the soils around the Mediterranean, by removing considerable amounts of arable land and reducing their fertility. Thus, it reduces their agricultural productivity. In the Maghrebian countries, the erosion continues to degrade soils despite the techniques adopted by farmers and state efforts initiated since the 1940s in the field of erosion control. The negative impacts of this phenomenon increase by the combination of natural (climate, topography, lithology and soils) and anthropogenic factors (forest clearance, overgrazing, inappropriate and artificial development). The sedimentary fan of Taroudant (in the south of the High Atlas) is in a morphological imbalance. Therefore, the recent morphological activity leads to a threat of the agricultural development. The resulting forms are leading to a large wadi. Around the Wadi El Ouaar, there are currently situated both types of oppositional farms, traditional and modern ones. Indeed, traditional agriculture is still practiced by the majority of the inhabitants of the 11 population groups (douars) installed in this area. Modern agriculture is installed there since 1960, but since the 1990s, the number of farms is exploding. Clearing for farming purposes and pastoralism, combined with climatic conditions and soil formation mainly of silt have accelerated the phenomenon of gullies formed by erosion in this area. Thus, in the occasion of each precipitation event, gully growth is triggered enormously. In addition, farmers and residents are feared to lose their land. In this context, farmers are fighting hard against the gullies to protect their property. A survey of farmers conducted in the region of Taroudant shows that gully growth requires them to spend a high portion of their profits to constantly fight against the erosion. Despite the diversity of the used resources (concrete, gabion, vegetation, etc.) to prevent the arable land from soil erosion
Hoffmann, Mathias; Augustin, Jürgen; Sommer, Michael
Agriculture in the hummocky ground moraine landscape of NE-Germany is characterized by an increase in energy crop cultivation, like maize or sorghum. Both enhance lateral C fluxes by erosion and induce feedbacks on C dynamics of agroecosystems as a result of the time limited land cover and the vigorous crop growth. However, the actual impact of these phenomena on the CO2-sink/-source function of agricultural landscapes, is still not clear. Therefore we established the interdisciplinary project 'CarboZALF' in 2009. In our field experiment CarboZALF-D we are monitoring CO2 fluxes for soil-plant systems, which cover all landscape relevant soil states in respect to erosion and deposition, like Albic Cutanic Luvisol, Calcic Cutanic Luvisol, Calcaric Regosol and Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol. Furthermore, we induced erosion / deposition in a manipulation experiment. Automated chamber systems (2.5 m, basal area 1 m2, transparent) are placed at the manipulated sites as well as at one site neither influenced by erosion, nor by deposition. CO2 flux modelling of high temporal resolution includes ecosystem respiration (Reco), gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) based on parallel and continuous measurements of the CO2 exchange, soil and air temperatures as well as photosynthetic active radiation (PAR). Modelling includes gap filling which is needed in case of chamber malfunctions and abrupt disturbances by farming practice. In our presentation we would like to show results of the CO2 exchange measurements for one year. Differences are most pronounced between the non-eroded and the colluvial soil: The Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol showed higher flux rates for Reco and NEE compared to the Albic Cutanic Luvisol. The eroded soil (Calcic Cutanic Luvisol) demonstrated CO2fluxes intermediate between the non-affected and depositional site. Site-specific consequences for the soil C stocks will be also discussed in the presentation.
Dunbar, R. B.; Fleitmann, D.; McCulloch, M.; Mudelsee, M.; Vuille, M.; McClanahan, T.; Cole, J.; Eggins, S.
Soil erosion threatens the food security of 2.6 billion people worldwide. The situation is particularly dire in East and Sub-Saharan Africa where per capita food production has declined over the past 45 years. Erosion and the resultant loss of fertile soil is a key socio-economic and ecological problem in Kenya, affecting all sectors of its economy and damaging marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The temporal pattern of soil erosion is almost unknown and currently only sparse and rather anecdotal information exists. To aid in filling this gap of knowledge, we present a 300-year long Barium record from two Kenyan coral colonies (Porites sp., 3°15'S, 40°9' E; Malindi Marine National Park) that documents a dynamic history of soil erosion in the Sabaki river drainage basin. To reconstruct Sabaki River sediment flux to the Malindi coral reef Ba/Ca ratios were measured in the skeleton of two Porites colonies (Mal 96-1 and Mal 95-3). Well-developed annual bands allow us to develop annually precise chronologies. Ba/Ca ratios were measured in core Mal 96-1 at continuous 40 μm intervals (~400 to 500 samples yr-1) using laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA- ICP-MS). To test for reproducibility and accuracy of the Mal 96-1 Ba/Ca profile, coral core Mal 95-3 was analyzed at lower resolution (1 to 12 samples yr-1) using discrete micro-drill sampling and isotope dilution ICP-MS. The close similarity between both coral Ba/Ca profiles, in absolute values as well as general pattern, underscores the accuracy of the LA-ICP-MS technique and adds confidence to our interpretation of the 300 year long Mal 96-1 Ba/Ca profile. The Ba/Ca coral proxy record shows that while the sediment flux from the Sabaki River is nearly constant between 1700 and 1900, a continuous rise in sediment flux is observed since 1900, reflecting steadily increasing demographic pressure on land use. The peak in suspended sediment load and hence soil erosion recorded at the Malindi reef
Peter, K. D.; Ries, J. B.; Marzolff, I.; d'Oleire-Oltmanns, S.
The Souss basin is characterised by high population dynamics and changing land use. Extensive plantations of citrus fruits, bananas and vegetables in monocropping, mainly for the European market, replace the traditional mixed agriculture with small-area olive orchards and cereal fields. A precipitation of around 200 mm enforces the irrigation of cultivation by deep wells. The spatial vicinity of highly engineered irrigation areas, which are often created by land-levelling measures, and housing estates with highly active gully systems and rapid badland development presents a risk to both the agro-industrial land use and the population settlements. It is investigated whether the levelling measures influence surface runoff and soil erosion and thereby affect the further gully development. The influences of surface characteristics on runoff and soil erosion are analysed. Therefore 91 rainfall simulation experiments using a small portable rainfall simulator and 33 infiltrations by means of a single ring infiltrometer are carried out on seven test sites nearby the city of Taroudant. The rainfall simulations (30 minutes, 40 mm h-1) show an average runoff coefficient of between 54 and 59 % on test sites with land-levelling measures and average runoff coefficients ranging between 36 and 48 % on mostly non-levelled test sites. The average of soil erosion lies on levelled test sites between 52.1 and 81.8 g m-2, on non-levelled test-sites between 13.2 und 23.2 g m-2 per 30 minutes. Accordingly, all the test sites have a rather low infiltration capacity. This can also be confirmed by the low average infiltration depth of only 15.5 cm on levelled test sites. There is often a clear borderline at horizons with a high bulk density caused by compaction. In contrast, on non-levelled test sites, the average infiltration depth reaches 22.2 cm. Reinforcing factors for runoff and soil erosion are slope and soil crusts. Vegetation cover has a reducing influence on surface process activity
García-Ruiz, José M.; Beguería, Santiago; Nadal-Romero, Estela; González-Hidalgo, José C.; Lana-Renault, Noemí; Sanjuán, Yasmina
Over the last century extraordinary efforts have been devoted to determining soil erosion rates (in units of mass per area and time) under a large range of climatic conditions and land uses, and involving various measurement methods. We undertook a meta-analysis of published data from more than 4000 sites worldwide. The results show that there is extraordinarily high variability in erosion rates, with almost any rate apparently possible irrespective of slope, climate, scale, land use/land cover and other environmental characteristics. However, detailed analysis revealed a number of general features including positive relationships of erosion rate with slope and annual precipitation, and a significant effect of land use, with agricultural lands yielding the highest erosion rates, and forest and shrublands yielding the lowest. Despite these general trends, there is much variability that is not explained by this combination of factors, but is related, at least partially, to the experimental conditions. Our analysis revealed a negative relationship between erosion rate and the size of the study area involved; significant differences associated with differing measurement methods, with direct sediment measurement yielding the lowest erosion rates, and bathymetric, radioisotope and modeling methods yielding the highest rates; and a very important effect of the duration of the experiment. Our results highlight that, when interpreting erosion rates, the experimental conditions involved must be taken into account. Even so, the data suggest that only order of magnitude approximations of erosion rates are possible, and these retain a very large degree of uncertainty. Consequently, for practical purposes such as calculation of global sediment budgets, empirical equations are not a substitute for direct measurements. Our results also show that a large proportion of the experiments have been short-term (less than 3 years), which reduces dramatically the reliability of the
Zhang, Xuelei; Zhou, Qinqian; Chen, Weiwei; Wang, Yiyong; Tong, Daniel Q.
As the nation's bread basket, Northeastern China has experienced dramatic land use changes in the past decades, with much natural land being converted into cropland to feed the growing population. The long dormant season, coupled with frequent cold fronts and strong spring winds, makes the exposed cropland vulnerable to wind erosion. However, the rates and spatial-temporal characteristics of wind erosion in this particular soil type have been poorly studied. The present study aimed to measure and simulated the wind erosion characteristics from black soil cropland in the Dehui region of Northeastern China. Our results showed that wind-blown erosion was positively correlated with wind speed and negatively linked to soil moisture, vegetation and soil roughness in this region. The measured threshold friction velocity was 4.47 m/s at 2 m height, corresponding to 0.37 m/s at the surface ground. Based on WRF-CMAQ-FENGSHA model, we localized the parameters and simulated a significant wind erosion event in the Dehui region on May 31, 2013. The relationships between modeled dust flux and ground measurement were correlated (R2 = 0.78). In addition, the modeled aerosol optical depths were also captured by satellite observations (MODIS and CALIPSO). Our results indicate that the bare farmland areas over Northeastern China are important dust sources over this region, and should not be neglected in regional air quality models. The use of protective farming techniques, protection of grassland and plowing in autumn for cropland areas should be considered to combat dust emission.
Brings, Christine; Bielen, Rainer; Willger, Heribert; Engels, Bastienne; Seeger, Manuel; Ries, Johannes B.
Knowledge of erosion rates under real conditions is of great concern regarding sustainability of land-use and off-site effects. Long term observations showed that the vineyards of the Rhenish Slate Mountains are generally stable. But the soil erosion may increase in several orders of magnitude with the occurrence of extreme rainfall events or under the influence of soil and vineyard management. The test site was located in Hunsrueck in West Germany. Geologically, it is part of the Rhenish Slate Mountains and therefore it is composed of devonian shales. The v-shaped valley was created by the river called Ruwer. In 2008, an old vineyard was abandoned and exposed. For erosion control reasons he was terraced. After that, it lied fallow for two years, in spring 2012 it was reshaped. The slope was steepened and filled up again. In the autumn of 2012, the rows were attached and the slope was replanting with grapes. Since these slopes are cultivated with caterpillars, the line spacing is much higher than in traditional management. For quantification of surface runoff and soil erosion in the comparison between an old and traditionally farmed vineyard and a new applied and with modern methods farmed vineyard, three test plots with application of sediment traps were installed on south-west exposed slope. Each test plot consists of two sediment traps, some of the traps are separated. In addition, a precipitation collector was established. The maximum runoff values of the old vineyards reached 36.42 L in 2011 and 36.68 L in 2012. Highest soil erosion values were measured in the summer (248.04 g 2011 and 187.98 g 2012), while the highest sediment concentrations were reached in October (233.95 gL-1 2011 und 812.29 gL-1 2012).
Li, Changbin; Qi, Jiaguo; Feng, Zhaodong; Yin, Runsheng; Guo, Biyun; Zhang, Feng; Zou, Songbing
Land degradation due to erosion is one of the most serious environmental problems in China. To reduce land degradation, the government has taken a number of conservation and restoration measures, including the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP), which was launched in 1999. A logical question is whether these measures have reduced soil erosion at the regional level. The objective of this article is to answer this question by assessing soil erosion dynamics in the Zuli River basin in the Loess Plateau of China from 1999 to 2006. The MMF (Morgan, Morgan and Finney) model was used to simulate changes in runoff and soil erosion over the period of time during which ecological restoration projects were implemented. Some model variables were derived from remotely sensed images to provide improved land surface representation. With an overall accuracy rate of 0.67, our simulations show that increased ground vegetation cover, especially in forestlands and grasslands, has reduced soil erosion by 38.8% on average from 1999 to 2006. During the same time period, however, the change in rainfall pattern has caused a 13.1% +/- 4.3% increase in soil erosion, resulting in a net 25.7% +/- 8.5% reduction in soil erosion. This suggests that China's various ecological restoration efforts have been effective in reducing soil loss.
Schnitzer, S.; Seitz, F.; Eicker, A.; Güntner, A.; Wattenbach, M.; Menzel, A.
For the estimation of soil loss by erosion in the strongly affected Chinese Loess Plateau we applied the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) using a number of input data sets (monthly precipitation, soil types, digital elevation model, land cover and soil conservation measures). Calculations were performed in ArcGIS and SAGA. The large-scale soil erosion in the Loess Plateau results in a strong non-hydrological mass change. In order to investigate whether the resulting mass change from USLE may be validated by the gravity field satellite mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), we processed different GRACE level-2 products (ITG, GFZ and CSR). The mass variations estimated in the GRACE trend were relatively close to the observed sediment yield data of the Yellow River. However, the soil losses resulting from two USLE parameterizations were comparatively high since USLE does not consider the sediment delivery ratio. Most eroded soil stays in the study area and only a fraction is exported by the Yellow River. Thus, the resultant mass loss appears to be too small to be resolved by GRACE.
Butzen, Verena; Seeger, Manuel; Scherer, Ulrike; Casper, Markus; Ries, Johannes B.
The physically-based hydrological and soil erosion model CATFLOW-SED has been developed with data from a loess area in Germany (Maurer, 1997; Scherer, 2008) and covers the principal processes detachment, transport and deposition. The catchment is divided into slopes on the basis of topography as well as soil and land-use maps. The slopes are further divided into slope segments and the flow-routing is abstractly modeled as slope cross sections connected by a drainage network. In many process-based soil erosion models, soil erosion is calculated by an interaction of the forces of flowing water and rainfall. In CATFLOW-SED the detachment process is divided into the pulse current of precipitation and the sheer stress of flowing water. The most important parameter concerning detachment is the erosion resistance parameter fcrit. The described model is parameterized for a small catchment in the Central Spanish Pyrenees with experimental field data from this study area. The mean annual precipitation amount of 1120 mm is rather high but as it is typical of a Mediterranean climate the summer months show a deficit in water balance. Accordingly, a seasonal variation in dominating overland flow generation and soil erosion processes, can be observed particularly for wetland areas that regularly dry out in summer. The spatial and temporal pattern of overland-flow generation and erosion processes and their intensity in the study area is assessed by means of small plot-scale rainfall experiments in the field. The gained data are the amounts of overland flow and eroded material for intervals of five minutes duration. The gained results are used for the parameterization of the soil specific parameter fcrit in CATFLOW-SED. In order to cover the seasonal variation in dominating runoff processes, rainfall simulations that were carried out under dry soil moisture conditions in September as well as measurements that were done under moist conditions in March are used for parameterization
Gao, Qiong; Yu, Mei; Liu, Yinghui; Xu, Hongmei; Xu, Xia
The balance between erosion-induced soil carbon loss and the reduction in heterotrophic respiration caused by carbon removal in semiarid ecosystems that suffer from severe soil erosion is still largely uncertain. In this paper, we revised and applied a simulation model to analyze responses of ecosystem processes in the crop-pasture belt region of northern China to impacts of soil erosion and climate shift. The revised model includes a new module that calculates runoff-induced soil erosion and soil carbon and nutrient losses. The model was validated against long-term field observations on plant productivity at several sites, and sediment yields of experiments with various vegetation covers and slopes. Simulation with historical climate data without considering erosion showed that the average net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (RHE), agricultural harvest (HAV), and net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) were 210.1 ± 26.9, 169.8 ± 7.7, 35.9 ± 4.1, and 4.4 ± 22.5 gC m-2 a-1, respectively. In contrast, simulation with soil erosion gave an average erosion-induced loss of soil organic carbon (ECL) of 11.0 ± 2.8 gC m-2 a-1, and decreased average NPP, RHE, and HAV by 3.3 ± 0.7, 14.5 ± 0.3, and 0.2 ± 0.0 gC m-2 a-1, respectively. Given NPP maintained by crop fertilization and irrigation for crop fields, the erosion-induced soil carbon loss is thus counterbalanced by the decrease in heterotrophic respiration, resulting in an invariant NECB with respect to soil erosion.
Vlacilova, Marketa; Krasa, Josef; Kavka, Petr
Soil degradation by erosion can be effectively monitored or quantified by modern tools of remote sensing with variable level of detail accessible. The presented study deals with rill erosion assessment using stereoscopic images and orthophotos obtained by UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Advantages of UAVs are data in high resolution (1-10 cm/pixel), flexibility of data acquisition and price in comparison with standard aerial photography. Location attacked by intensive rainfall event in the spring 2013 was selected for this study of volumetric assessment of soil degradation by erosion. After the storm, rills and ephemeral gullies in different scales were detected on several fields in the target area. The study was focused on a single parcel catchment (12.5 ha) which attach to the main ephemeral gully in the monitored field. DEM of the location was obtained from UAV stereo images and official LIDAR data. At the same time, in-situ monitoring was effected for comparison and validation of methodology. The field measurement consisted of soil sampling and taking detailed stereo photographs of erosion rills. The photographs were processed by PhotoModeler Scanner software to obtain detailed surface data (TIN) of particular rills. The model for automatic and precise volumetric assessment of single rills was developed within ArcGIS. The whole study area DEM obtained from UAV was also analysed in ArcGIS using similar methodology for computation of rill volumes. The UAV DEM detected most rill bottoms and shapes however the level of detail was too low for actual sediment transport volume estimate. Therefore the volume obtained from UAV DEM was calibrated by the detailed models of single rills acquired by field measurement. Prior the calibration the UAV DEM volume was underestimated by 40-85% based on the rill size. Afterwards the target area was split into twelve separated regions defined by intensity and form of soil degradation (orthophoto-classified rill density). Equally, at
Yue, Yao; Ni, Jinren; Ciais, Philippe; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Tao; Huang, Mengtian; Borthwick, Alistair G. L.; Li, Tianhong; Wang, Yichu; Chappell, Adrian; Van Oost, Kristof
Soil erosion by water impacts soil organic carbon stocks and alters CO2 fluxes exchanged with the atmosphere. The role of erosion as a net sink or source of atmospheric CO2 remains highly debated, and little information is available at scales larger than small catchments or regions. This study attempts to quantify the lateral transport of soil carbon and consequent land-atmosphere CO2 fluxes at the scale of China, where severe erosion has occurred for several decades. Based on the distribution of soil erosion rates derived from detailed national surveys and soil carbon inventories, here we show that water erosion in China displaced 180 ± 80 Mt Cṡy-1 of soil organic carbon during the last two decades, and this resulted a net land sink for atmospheric CO2 of 45 ± 25 Mt Cṡy-1, equivalent to 8-37% of the terrestrial carbon sink previously assessed in China. Interestingly, the “hotspots,” largely distributed in mountainous regions in the most intensive sink areas (>40 g Cṡm-2ṡy-1), occupy only 1.5% of the total area suffering water erosion, but contribute 19.3% to the national erosion-induced CO2 sink. The erosion-induced CO2 sink underwent a remarkable reduction of about 16% from the middle 1990s to the early 2010s, due to diminishing erosion after the implementation of large-scale soil conservation programs. These findings demonstrate the necessity of including erosion-induced CO2 in the terrestrial budget, hence reducing the level of uncertainty.
Yue, Yao; Ni, Jinren; Ciais, Philippe; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Tao; Huang, Mengtian; Borthwick, Alistair G L; Li, Tianhong; Wang, Yichu; Chappell, Adrian; Van Oost, Kristof
Soil erosion by water impacts soil organic carbon stocks and alters CO2 fluxes exchanged with the atmosphere. The role of erosion as a net sink or source of atmospheric CO2 remains highly debated, and little information is available at scales larger than small catchments or regions. This study attempts to quantify the lateral transport of soil carbon and consequent land-atmosphere CO2 fluxes at the scale of China, where severe erosion has occurred for several decades. Based on the distribution of soil erosion rates derived from detailed national surveys and soil carbon inventories, here we show that water erosion in China displaced 180 ± 80 Mt C⋅y(-1) of soil organic carbon during the last two decades, and this resulted a net land sink for atmospheric CO2 of 45 ± 25 Mt C⋅y(-1), equivalent to 8-37% of the terrestrial carbon sink previously assessed in China. Interestingly, the "hotspots," largely distributed in mountainous regions in the most intensive sink areas (>40 g C⋅m(-2)⋅y(-1)), occupy only 1.5% of the total area suffering water erosion, but contribute 19.3% to the national erosion-induced CO2 sink. The erosion-induced CO2 sink underwent a remarkable reduction of about 16% from the middle 1990s to the early 2010s, due to diminishing erosion after the implementation of large-scale soil conservation programs. These findings demonstrate the necessity of including erosion-induced CO2 in the terrestrial budget, hence reducing the level of uncertainty.
Yue, Yao; Ni, Jinren; Ciais, Philippe; Piao, Shilong; Wang, Tao; Huang, Mengtian; Borthwick, Alistair G. L.; Li, Tianhong; Wang, Yichu; Chappell, Adrian; Van Oost, Kristof
Soil erosion by water impacts soil organic carbon stocks and alters CO2 fluxes exchanged with the atmosphere. The role of erosion as a net sink or source of atmospheric CO2 remains highly debated, and little information is available at scales larger than small catchments or regions. This study attempts to quantify the lateral transport of soil carbon and consequent land−atmosphere CO2 fluxes at the scale of China, where severe erosion has occurred for several decades. Based on the distribution of soil erosion rates derived from detailed national surveys and soil carbon inventories, here we show that water erosion in China displaced 180 ± 80 Mt C⋅y−1 of soil organic carbon during the last two decades, and this resulted a net land sink for atmospheric CO2 of 45 ± 25 Mt C⋅y−1, equivalent to 8–37% of the terrestrial carbon sink previously assessed in China. Interestingly, the “hotspots,” largely distributed in mountainous regions in the most intensive sink areas (>40 g C⋅m−2⋅y−1), occupy only 1.5% of the total area suffering water erosion, but contribute 19.3% to the national erosion-induced CO2 sink. The erosion-induced CO2 sink underwent a remarkable reduction of about 16% from the middle 1990s to the early 2010s, due to diminishing erosion after the implementation of large-scale soil conservation programs. These findings demonstrate the necessity of including erosion-induced CO2 in the terrestrial budget, hence reducing the level of uncertainty. PMID:27247397
Pham, A. T.; Gomi, T.; Takahisa, F.; Phung, K. V.
We examined soil erosion and nutrient accumulations in the Xuanmai area located in the low mountainous region of Northern Vietnam, based on field investigations and remote sensing approaches. The study area had been degraded by land-use change from forest to agriculture in the last 20 years. In contrast, around the study area, the Vietnam government promoted reforestation projects. Such changes in land-use conditions, which may or may not be associated with vegetation ground cover conditions, potentially alter soil erosion and nutrient accumulation. We selected 10 dominant land-use types including forested land (e.g., Pinus massoniana and Acacia mangium plantation) agriculture land (e.g., Cassava), and bare land. We established three 1 x 1 m plots in each land-use type in September 2010. Vegetation biomass, litter cover, soil erosion (height of soil pedestal), and soil physical (soil bulk density and particle size distribution) and chemical properties (Total soil carbon, nitrate, and phosphorus) were measured. Height of soil pedestal can be a record of soil erosion by rain splash during rainy periods from April to August (prior to our field study). We also conducted remote sensing analysis using Landsat TM images obtained in 1993, 2000, and 2007 for identifying temporal patterns of land-use types. We found that the intensity of soil erosion depended primary on current vegetation ground cover condition with no regard of land-use. Hence, nutrient accumulation varied among vegetation ground cover and soil erosion. Remote sensing analysis suggested that shrub and bare lands had been altered from forested land more recently. Our finding suggested that variability of soil nutrient conditions can be associated with long-term soil erosion and production processes. Findings of our study are that: (1) current vegetation and litter ground cover affected the amount of surface soil erosion, and (2) legacy of land-use can be more critical for soil nutrient accumulation. Both
Beniston, J.; Shipitalo, M.; Lal, R.; Dayton, E. A.; Hopkins, D.; Jones, F. S.; Joynes, A.; Dungait, J.
Erosion by water is a principal process of soil degradation in agricultural lands. Soil erosion influences the storage and fluxes of C and key macronutrients N and P in soil surface layers. No till (NT) crop management significantly reduces erosion on susceptible landscapes. The selective removal of crop residues for bio-energy production from no-till systems has been suggested as a secondary crop, but the effect of this practice on the conservation benefits of NT has not been quantified. Therefore, this study was initiated in spring 2012 to examine the effects of soil management practices on erosion and associated macronutrient fluxes on erodible soils subjected to a high intensity simulated rain storm at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) in Coshocton, OH, U.S.A. The soil management practices evaluated included: long term no-till with 100% crop residue (NT100) , no-till with 50% crop reside (NT50), NT with complete crop residue removal (NT0), long term conventional tillage (CT), and long term no-tillage plots that were cultivated (TNT) with a rototiller before the rainfall application. A field rainfall simulator was utilized to apply rainfall at an intensity of 7 cm hr-1 to a 4 m2 area of each plot for 30 minutes. Total runoff from the NT0 plots (22.1 mm) was almost double compared with the NT 50% (13.3 mm), CT (12.8 mm) and TNT (12.8 mm) plots and was more than 5 times greater than the NT100 plots (4.4mm). CT and NT0 plots produced 40 (2.7 Mg ha-1) and 20 times (1.4 Mg ha-1) more soil loss, respectively, than NT100 plots (0.07 Mg ha-1). Tillage of the no-till (TNT) soil produced the largest sediment-bound fluxes of C and N, while sediment-bound P fluxes were largest in the CT soils. Natural abundance δ13C and δ15N values were distinct between eroded sediments and the source topsoils and suggested enhanced loss of older (>28 yrs) C residues in CT plots. All observations suggest NT management provides greater resilience to soils than CT during
Lakew, Walle; Baartman, Jantiene; Ritsema, Coen
There has been little effort to systematically document the experiences and perceptions of farmers on soil erosion and soil and water conservation (SWC) even though a wealth of SWC knowledge and information exists, and there is a great demand to access it. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) has largely evolved through local traditional practices than being adopted on basis of scientific evidence. This research aimed to document the experiences of farmers on soil erosion and conservation, and to increase awareness and participation of the local community in SWC. Participatory stakeholders' workshops were undertaken at local level focused on experiences and perceptions of farmers. The workshops included group discussion and field monitoring of sheet erosion indicators, profiles of rills and gullies and impacts of SWC strategies. Systematic descriptions of the status of soil erosion, soil fertility and yield were used to assess the performances of SWC strategies. Results show that farmers were aware of the harmful effects of ongoing soil erosion and impacts of mitigation strategies on their farms. Sheet erosion was found to be the most damaging form of erosion while rill damage was critical on cereal cultivated farms on steep slopes. Farmers perceived that the desired impacts of SWC practices were attained in general: runoff and soil loss rates decreased, while soil fertility and production increased. The performance of SWC measures were found to be highly affected by the design quality and management strategies on the farm. Comparatively graded stone-faced soil bunds revealed maximum desired impacts and were liked by farmers whereas all level bunds caused water logging and traditional ditches begun incising and affected production of cereals. Bund maintenance practices were low and also distracted the stability of bunds. This calls for further improvement of design of SWC technologies and their maintenance. Further research should integrate the local knowledge for
Gabet, Emmanuel J.; Mudd, Simon M.
In 1877, G. K. Gilbert reasoned that bedrock erosion is maximized under an intermediate soil thickness and declines as soils become thinner or thicker. Subsequent analyses of this “humped” functional relationship proposed that thin soils are unstable and that perturbations in soil thickness would lead to runaway thinning or thickening of the soil. To explore this issue, we developed a numerical model that simulates the physical weathering of bedrock by root fracture and tree throw. The coupled biogeomorphic model combines data on conifer population dynamics, rootwad volumes, tree throw frequency, and soil creep from the Pacific Northwest (USA). Although not hardwired into the model, a humped relationship emerges between bedrock erosion and soil thickness. The magnitudes of the predicted bedrock erosion rates and their functional dependency on soil thickness are consistent with independent field measurements from a coniferous landscape in the region. Imposed perturbations of soil erosion during model runs demonstrate that where bedrock weathering is episodic and localized, hillslope soils do not exhibit runaway thinning or thickening. The pit-and-mound topography created by tree throw produces an uneven distribution of soil thicknesses across a hillslope; thus, although episodes of increased erosion can lead to temporary soil thinning and even the exposure of bedrock patches, local areas of thick soils remain. These soil patches provide habitat for trees and serve as nucleation points for renewed bedrock erosion and soil production. Model results also suggest that where tree throw is a dominant weathering process, the initial mantling of bedrock is not only a vertical process but also a lateral process: soil mounds created by tree throw flatten over time, spreading soil over bedrock surfaces.
Camera, Corrado; Djuma, Hakan; Zoumides, Christos; Eliades, Marinos; Bruggeman, Adriana; Abate, Dante; Faka, Marina; Hermon, Sorin
Terraces retained by dry-stone walls are very common features in mountainous Mediterranean environments. These structures provide accessible agricultural land on steep slopes, favoring water infiltration and reducing water runoff and soil erosion. However, during the last decades, an increasing trend of agricultural land abandonment has resulted in a lack of maintenance of the terrace walls and the onset of a general process of land degradation. The objective of this study is the quantification of soil erosion in a small terraced catchment (10,000 m2), located on the north-eastern slope of the Troodos Mountains (Cyprus), at an elevation of 1,300 m a.s.l. The catchment is cultivated with vineyards and it is representative of the main agricultural land use in the Troodos region. Soil erosion is measured by sediment traps and laser scans are made to assess changes in terrace geometry. In addition, a weather station measuring rainfall, temperature and relative humidity has been installed in the catchment, along with 18 soil moisture sensors, to relate soil erosion processes with climate and (sub)surface hydrology. A total of 10 sediment traps, five pairs, have been installed in the study site, catching five well-maintained sections of a dry-stone wall and five degraded (collapsed) sections. Each trap is 1 m wide. In detail, two terraces, 11 and 14 m long, located at the same elevation and separated by a strip of natural vegetation, are monitored with four and six traps, respectively. To get a complete picture of the erosion processes occurring on the selected area, the trap pairs collect sediment from both the collapsed and the well maintained wall sections of the two terraces. In addition, terrace area of two traps is delineated by metal borders (1x4 m2) to relate erosion rates to a known drainage area. The sediment traps are emptied after all rainfall events. At the beginning and end of the rainy season, a laser scanning survey of a terrace located uphill of the ones
Werban, U.; Dreibrodt, S.; Rabbel, W.; Bork, H.; Al Hagrey, S.
Since the GPR method is suitable to differentiate soil layers with different water content based on the dielectric contrast, we apply it to solve landscape genetic and geomorphological questions. Historical and recent soil erosion events, caused by surface runoff, are documented in sequences of soil colluvia. These depositional areas called geoarchives often contain dateable objects, such as artifacts (potsherd or bricks) and charcoal. Geoarchives, e.g. colluvial fans and trench in-fills, are used as a source of information about past environmental conditions and for determination of land use impacts caused by human activities. Large exposures are common to characterize soil colluvia stratigraphy, and additional drillings are needed to correlate the layers and horizons found in different exposures. Often, soil colluvia sequences are characterized by a well defined layering and consecutive layers show different grain size. These layers have different saturation-suction relationships (pF-curve) and varied moisture contents. Our research focuses on radar mapping and characterizing these layers of soil colluvia in consideration of different moisture distributions. We present measurements with 200 MHz and 400 MHz antennas determined in a catchment area in northern Germany. Common offset measurements were used to map the distribution of accumulated sediments. GPR travel times were depth migrated to correlate them with the exposure survey. The velocity distribution with depth was determined with multi offset measurements and analysis of reflections of a metal rod in a known depth. TDR measurements in different layers within the exposure are used to verify the moisture distribution with depth. We mapped the boundary between soil colluvium and the underlying parent material (weichselian till, glaciofluviatil sand) and differentiated layers within the soil colluvia. Consequently a more detailed balancing of erosion and accumulation rates to quantify historical soil losses is
López-Vicente, M.; Quijano, L.; Gaspar, L.; Machín, J.; Navas, A.
Fertile soil loss by raindrop impact and runoff processes in croplands presents significant variations at temporal and spatial scales. The combined use of advanced GIS techniques and detailed databases allows high resolution mapping of runoff and soil erosion processes. In this study the monthly values of soil loss are calculated in a medium size field of rain-fed winter barley and its drainage area located in the Central Spanish Pre-Pyrenees. The field is surrounded by narrow strips of dense Mediterranean vegetation (mainly holm oaks) and grass. Man-made infrastructures (paved trails and drainage ditches) modify the overland flow pathways and the study site appears hydrologically closed in its northern and western boundaries. This area has a continental Mediterranean climate with two humid periods, one in spring and a second in autumn and a dry summer with rainfall events of high intensity from July to October. The average annual rainfall is 495 mm and the average monthly rainfall intensity ranges from 1.1 mm / h in January to 7.4 mm / h in July. The predicted rates were obtained after running the RMMF model (Morgan, 2001) with the enhancements made to this model by Morgan and Duzant (2008) to the topographic module, and by López-Vicente and Navas (2010) to the hydrological module. A total of 613 soil samples were collected and all input and output maps were generated at high spatial resolution (1 x 1 m of cell size) with ArcMapTM 10.0. A map of effective cumulative runoff was calculated for each month of the year with a weighted multiple flow algorithm and four sub-catchments were distinguished within the field. The average soil erosion in the cultivated area is 1.32 Mg / ha yr and the corresponding map shows a high spatial variability (s.d. = 7.52 Mg / ha yr). The highest values of soil erosion appear in those areas where overland flow is concentrated and slope steepness is higher. The unpaved trail present the highest values of soil erosion with an average
Wilken, Florian; Sommer, Michael; Fiener, Peter
The most important process initiating interrill erosion is the detachment of soil particles via splash processes. Splash erosion intensity is depending on soil and rainfall characteristics. Rainfall characteristics are essentially determined by the drop size and fall velocity, leading to a specific kinetic energy of rainfall. In consequence, the kinetic energy of rain events is often directly or indirectly included in erosion models to calculate splash erosion. Therefore, rainfall kinetic energy is commonly derived by empirical functions (e.g. RUSLE; Renard et al. 1997) from available rainfall intensity measurements. The aim of this study is to analyze the event type-specific uncertainties inherent in these empirical functions purely based on rainfall intensity measurements. Therefore, we compare rainfall energies calculated from rainfall intensities measured with a standard tipping bucket rain gauge to rainfall energy measurements taken by laser distrometers. These allow to calculate rainfall kinetic energy from a spectrum of measured drop sizes and fall velocities. The study was carried out in NE-Germany in a test area with an average annual precipitation of approximately 500 mm dominated by intense convective precipitation. We compare one year of data from two laser distrometers and two tipping buckets installed at two locations about 1 km apart. Our results show distinct differences for high intensity events between the measuring techniques. We found notably higher rainfall kinetic energy for high intensity events measured by the laser distrometer compared to the tipping bucked derived kinetic energy. This points to a measurement bias of high erosive rainfall events which would be of particular relevance for erosion studies.
Lü, Mao-Kui; Xie, Jin-Sheng; Zhou, Yan-Xiang; Zeng, Hong-Da; Jiang, Jun; Chen, Xi-Xiang; Xu, Chao; Chen, Tan; Fu, Lin-Chi
By the method of spatiotemporal substitution and taking the bare land and secondary forest as the control, we measured light fraction and particulate organic carbon in the topsoil under the Pinus massoniana woodlands of different ages with similar management histories in a red soil erosion area, to determine their dynamics and evaluate the conversion processes from unprotected to protected organic carbon. The results showed that the content and storage of soil organic carbon increased significantly along with ages in the process of vegetation restoration (P < 0.01). The unprotected soil organic carbon content and distribution proportion to the total soil organic carbon increased significantly (P < 0.05) after 7-11 years' restoration but stabilized after 27 and 30 years of restoration. It suggested that soil organic carbon mostly accumulated in the form of unprotected soil organic carbon during the initial restoration period, and reached a stable level after long-term vegetation restoration. Positive correlations were found between restoration years and the rate constant for C transferring from the unprotected to the protected soil pool (k) in 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm soil layers, which demonstrated that the unprotected soil organic carbon gradually transferred to the protected soil organic carbon in the process of vegetation restoration.
Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Fantappiè, Maria; Costantini, Edoardo
Most of the challenges in designing land use policies that address sustainability issues are inherent to the concept of Agro-Environmental Measures (AEM). Researchers, farmers and mainly policy makers need to evaluate the impact of new and existing policies for soil protection. In Europe, farmers commit themselves, for a minimum period of at least five years, to adopt environmentally-friendly farming techniques that undergone legal obligations. On the other hand, farmers receive payments that provide compensation for additional costs and income foregone resulting from applying those environmentally friendly farming practices in line with the stipulations of agri-environment contracts. In this context we prospect scenarios on soil erosion variations in a detailed case study after the application of Agro-Environmental Measures (AEM). The study area is located in the South part of Sicily. In a district area of 11,588 ha, 35.5 % is devoted to vineyard cultivation, 32.2 % is arable land and only 11.1 % cultivated to olive grow. 2416 ha are urbanized areas and other less important crops. A paired-site approach was chosen to study the difference in soil organic carbon stocks after AEM adoption, following criteria based on Conteh (1999) also applied in several research studies. For the purpose of comparison, the members of a paired site were selected to be similar with respect to the type of soil, slope, elevation, and drainage, but not to AEM. The comparisons were made between adjacent patches of land with different AEM, and a known history of land use and management. 100 paired sites (two adjacent plots) were chosen and three soil samples (0-30 cm depth) were collected in each plot (600 soil samples). The rainfall erosivity (R) factor (Mj mm ha-1 hour-1 year-1) was estimated with the formula specifically proposed for Sicily by Ferro and coauthors in 1999. The soil erodibility factor (K, in tons hour MJ-1 mm-1) was mapped on the base of soil texture and soil organic
Soil erosion represents a geomorphological and geological hazard that may cause environmental damage (land degradation), property damage, loss of livelihoods and services as well as social and economic disruption. Erosion not only lowers the quality of our soils on site, resulting in a drastic reduction of their ecosystem functions that play a vital role in daily life, but causes also significant sediment-related problems off site. To curb soil erosion problems, a range of soil conservation techniques and strategies have been designed and are being applied. Worldwide, ca. 62 000 research papers on soil erosion and 116 000 on soil conservation have been published (Web of Science, Dec. 2015). The number of such papers dealing with the Global South represents less than 20 % of all papers, despite the fact that many regions in this part of the world face significant soil erosion problems, aggravated by a rapidly growing population and major environmental changes. Given the large number of research papers on this topic, one might therefore conclude that we now know almost everything about the various soil erosion processes and rates, their factors and consequences as well as their control so that little new knowledge can still be added to the vast amount of available information. We refute this conclusion by pointing to some major research gaps that still need to be addressed if we want to use our soils in a more sustainable way. More specifically the following topics need more research attention: 1) improved understanding of both natural and anthropogenic soil erosion processes and their interactions, 2) scaling up soil erosion processes and rates in space and time, and 3) innovative techniques and strategies to prevent or reduce erosion rates. This will be illustrated with case studies from the Global South. If future research focuses on these research gaps, we will 1) better understand processes and their interactions operating at a range of spatial and temporal
Hseu, Zeng-Yei; Jien, Shih-Hao; Chien, Wei-Hsin; Liou, Ruei-Cheng
Food demand and soil sustainability have become urgent issues recently because of the global climate changes. This study aims to evaluate the application of a biochar produced by rice hull, on changes of physiochemical characteristics and erosion potential of a degraded slopeland soil. Rice hull biochar pyrolized at 400°C was incorporated into the soil at rates of 2.5%, 5%, and 10% (w/w) and was incubated for 168 d in this study. The results indicated that biochar application reduced the Bd by 12% to 25% and the PR by 57% to 92% after incubation, compared with the control. Besides, porosity and aggregate size increased by 16% to 22% and by 0.59 to 0.94 mm, respectively. The results presented that available water contents significantly increased in the amended soils by 18% to 89% because of the obvious increase of micropores. The water conductivity of the biochar-amended soils was only found in 10% biochar treatment, which might result from significant increase of macropores and reduction of soil strength (Bd and PR). During a simulated rainfall event, soil loss contents significantly decreased by 35% to 90% in the biochar-amended soils. In conclusion, biochar application could availably raise soil quality and physical properties for tilth increasing in the degraded mudstone soil.
Chien, Wei-Hsin; Liou, Ruei-Cheng
Food demand and soil sustainability have become urgent issues recently because of the global climate changes. This study aims to evaluate the application of a biochar produced by rice hull, on changes of physiochemical characteristics and erosion potential of a degraded slopeland soil. Rice hull biochar pyrolized at 400°C was incorporated into the soil at rates of 2.5%, 5%, and 10% (w/w) and was incubated for 168 d in this study. The results indicated that biochar application reduced the Bd by 12% to 25% and the PR by 57% to 92% after incubation, compared with the control. Besides, porosity and aggregate size increased by 16% to 22% and by 0.59 to 0.94 mm, respectively. The results presented that available water contents significantly increased in the amended soils by 18% to 89% because of the obvious increase of micropores. The water conductivity of the biochar-amended soils was only found in 10% biochar treatment, which might result from significant increase of macropores and reduction of soil strength (Bd and PR). During a simulated rainfall event, soil loss contents significantly decreased by 35% to 90% in the biochar-amended soils. In conclusion, biochar application could availably raise soil quality and physical properties for tilth increasing in the degraded mudstone soil. PMID:25548787
Anders, Niels; Keesstra, Saskia; Seeger, Manuel
Photogrammetry is a widely used tool for generating high-resolution digital surface models. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), equipped with a Red Green Blue (RGB) camera, have great potential in quickly acquiring multi-temporal high-resolution orthophotos and surface models. Such datasets would ease the monitoring of geomorphological processes, such as local soil erosion and rill formation after heavy rainfall events. In this study we test a photogrammetric setup to determine data requirements for soil erosion studies with UAVs. We used a rainfall simulator (5 m2) and above a rig with attached a Panasonic GX1 16 megapixel digital camera and 20mm lens. The soil material in the simulator consisted of loamy sand at an angle of 5 degrees. Stereo pair images were taken before and after rainfall simulation with 75-85% overlap. Acquired images were automatically mosaicked to create high-resolution orthorectified images and digital surface models (DSM). We resampled the DSM to different spatial resolutions to analyze the effect of cell size to the accuracy of measured rill depth and soil loss estimations, and determined an optimal cell size (thus flight altitude). Furthermore, the high spatial accuracy of the acquired surface models allows further analysis of rill formation and channel initiation related to e.g. surface roughness. We suggest implementing near-infrared and temperature sensors to combine soil moisture and soil physical properties with surface morphology for future investigations.
Hancock, G R; Lowry, J B C; Dever, C; Braggins, M
Pigs (Sus scrofa) are recognised as having significant ecological impacts in many areas of the world including northern Australia. The full consequences of the introduction of pigs are difficult to quantify as the impacts may only be detected over the long-term and there is a lack of quantitative information on the impacts of feral pigs globally. In this study the effect of feral pigs is quantified in an undisturbed catchment in the monsoonal tropics of northern Australia. Over a three-year period, field data showed that the areal extent of pig disturbance ranged from 0.3-3.3% of the survey area. The mass of material exhumed through these activities ranged from 4.3 t ha(-1) yr(-1) to 36.0 t ha(-1) yr(-1). The findings demonstrate that large introduced species such as feral pigs are disturbing large areas as well as exhuming considerable volumes of soil. A numerical landscape evolution and soil erosion model was used to assess the effect of this disturbance on catchment scale erosion rates. The modelling demonstrated that simulated pig disturbance in previously undisturbed areas produced lower erosion rates compared to those areas which had not been impacted by pigs. This is attributed to the pig disturbance increasing surface roughness and trapping sediment. This suggests that in this specific environment, disturbance by pigs does not enhance erosion. However, this conclusion is prefaced by two important caveats. First, the long term impact of soil disturbance is still very uncertain. Secondly, modelling results show a clear differentiation between those from an undisturbed environment and those from a post-mining landscape, in which pig disturbance may enhance erosion.
Wind erosion tests were performed in a wind tunnel in support of the development of long-term protective barriers to cap stabilized waste sites at the Hanford Site. Controlled wind and saltating sand erosive stresses were applied to physical models of barrier surface layers to simulate worst-case eolian erosive stresses. The goal of these tests was to provide information useful to the design and evaluation of the surface layer composition of an arid-region waste site barrier concept that incorporates a deep fine-soil reservoir. A surface layer composition is needed that will form an armor resistant to eolian erosion during periods of extreme dry climatic conditions, especially when such conditions result in the elimination or reduction of vegetation by water deprivation or wildfire. Because of the life span required of Hanford waste barriers, it is important that additional work follow these wind tunnel studies. A modeling effort is planned to aid the interpretation of test results with respect to the suitability of pea gravel to protect the finite-soil reservoir during long periods of climatic stress. It is additionally recommended that wind tunnel tests be continued and field data be obtained at prototype or actual barrier sites. Results wig contribute to barrier design efforts and provide confidence in the design of long-term waste site caps for and regions.
In the context of shallow flows, the spatial distribution of the flow is highly influenced by the micro-topography. For instance, local oriented depressions may exist in which the flow depth and velocity may exceed the threshold for soil erosion initiation. If a mean uniform flow shear stress is used to characterize the area, it would be smaller and therefore may not initiate erosion. However, management of water and sediment fluxes requires analysis and modeling at the watershed scale in order to integrate the relations between upstream and downstream areas. At this scale, high resolution information on the microtopography is usually not always available and would anyway require too extensive computation resources to be explicitly integrated in modelling attempt. Moreover, in agricultural context, this information is likely to change during the year depending on the agricultural practices. In this context, the objective of this study is to propose a parameterisation of the influence of microtopography on erosion into the framework of the shallow water equation. For each cell, the proportion of wetted area is used as a microtopography indicator. For the case of erosion, the system is coupled to the sediment transport equations. In such context, an additional equation describing the micro-topography evolution caused by erosion is introduced. Different case study will be presented to investigate the potential of the approach.
Soil loss is commonly estimated using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Since RUSLE is an empirically based soil loss model derived from surveys on plots, the high spatial and temporal variability of erosion in Mediterranean environments and scale effects provo...
Soil loss is commonly estimated using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Since RUSLE is an empirically based soil loss model derived from surveys on plots, the high spatial and temporal variability of erosion in Mediterranean environments and scale effects provoke...
Cerdà, Artemi; Ángel González Peñaloza, Félix; Pereira, Paulo; Reyes Ruiz Gallardo, José; García Orenes, Fuensanta; Burguet, María
Soil Erosion is a natural process that shapes the Earth. Due to the impact of agriculture, soil erosion rates increase, landforms show gullies and rills, and soils are depleted. In the Mediterranean, wheat, olive and vineyards were the main agriculture products, but new plantations are being found in sloping terrain due to the drip-irrigation. This new strategy results in the removal of the traditional terraces in order to make suitable for mechanization the agriculture plantation. Citrus is a clear example of the impact of the new chemical agriculture with a high investment in herbicides, pesticides, mechanisation, land levelling and drip computer controlled irrigation systems. The new plantation of citrus orchards is found in the Mediterranean, but also in California, Florida, China and Brazil. Chile, Argentina, and South Africa are other producers that are moving to an industrial production of citrus. This paper shows how the citrus plantations are found as one of the most aggressive plantation due to the increase in soil erosion, and how we can apply successful control strategies. The research into the high erosion rates of citrus orchard built on the slopes are mainly found in China (Wu et al., 1997; Xu et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2011; Wu et al., 2011; Liu et al., 2011; Lü et al., 2011; Xu et al., 2012) and in the Mediterranean (Cerdà and Jurgensen, 2008; 2009; Cerdà et al., 2009a; 2009b; Cerdà et al., 2011; 2012) Most of the research done devoted to the measurements of the soil losses but also some research is done related to the soil properties (Lu et al., 1997; Lü et al., 2012; Xu et al., 2012) and the impact of cover crops to reduce the soil losses (Lavigne et al., 2012; Le Bellec et al., 2012) and the use of residues such as dried citrus peel in order to reduce the soil losses. There are 116 million tonnes of citrus produced yearly, and this affects a large surface of the best land. The citrus orchards are moving from flood irrigated to drip
Adhikari, Bhim; Nadella, Karthik
The economics of land degradation has received relatively little attention until recent years. Although a number of studies have undertaken valuation of ecosystem services ranging from the global to the micro level, and quite a few studies have attempted to quantify the costs of soil erosion, studies that address the full costs of land degradation are still scarce. In this review, we attempt to analyze different land resource modeling and valuation techniques applied in earlier research and the type of data used in these analyses, and to assess their utility for different forms of land resource and management appraisal. We also report on the strengths and weaknesses of different valuation techniques used in studies on the economics of soil erosion, and the relevance of these valuation techniques. We make a case for the need for more appropriate models that can make the analysis more robust in estimating the economic costs of land degradation while recognizing the spatial heterogeneity in biophysical and economic conditions.
Rodrigo Comino, Jesús; Iserloh, Thomas; Morvan, Xavier; Malam Issa, Oumarou; Naisse, Christophe; Keesstra, Saskia; Cerdà, Artemi; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Arnáez, José; Lasanta, Teodoro; Concepción Ramos, María; José Marqués, María; Ruiz Colmenero, Marta; Bienes, Ramón; Damián Ruiz Sinoga, José; Seeger, Manuel; Ries, Johannes B.
Small portable rainfall simulators are considered as a useful tool to analyze soil erosion processes in cultivated lands. European research groups of Spain (Valencia, Málaga, Lleida, Madrid and La Rioja), France (Reims) or Germany (Trier) have used different rainfall simulators (varying in drop size distribution and fall velocities, kinetic energy, plot forms and sizes, and field of application)to study soil loss, surface flow, runoff and infiltration coefficients in different experimental plots (Valencia, Montes de Málaga, Penedès, Campo Real and La Rioja in Spain, Champagne in France and Mosel-Ruwer valley in Germany). The measurements and experiments developed by these research teams give an overview of the variety in the methodologies with rainfall simulations in studying the problem of soil erosion and describing the erosion features in different climatic environments, management practices and soil types. The aim of this study is: i) to investigate where, how and why researchers from different wine-growing regions applied rainfall simulations with successful results as a tool to measure soil erosion processes; ii) to make a qualitative comparison about the general soil erosion processes in European terroirs; iii) to demonstrate the importance of the development a standard method for soil erosion processes in vineyards, using rainfall simulators; iv) and to analyze the key factors that should be taken into account to carry out rainfall simulations. The rainfall simulations in all cases allowed knowing the infiltration capacity and the susceptibility of the soil to be detached and to generate sediment loads to runoff. Despite using small plots, the experiments were useful to analyze the influence of soil cover to reduce soil erosion and to make comparison between different locations or the influence of different soil characteristics.
Wang, Xiang; Cammeraat, Erik L H; Romeijn, Paul; Kalbitz, Karsten
A better process understanding of how water erosion influences the redistribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) is sorely needed to unravel the role of soil erosion for the carbon (C) budget from local to global scales. The main objective of this study was to determine SOC redistribution and the complete C budget of a loess soil affected by water erosion. We measured fluxes of SOC, dissolved organic C (DOC) and CO2 in a pseudo-replicated rainfall-simulation experiment. We characterized different C fractions in soils and redistributed sediments using density fractionation and determined C enrichment ratios (CER) in the transported sediments. Erosion, transport and subsequent deposition resulted in significantly higher CER of the sediments exported ranging between 1.3 and 4.0. In the exported sediments, C contents (mg per g soil) of particulate organic C (POC, C not bound to soil minerals) and mineral-associated organic C (MOC) were both significantly higher than those of non-eroded soils indicating that water erosion resulted in losses of C-enriched material both in forms of POC and MOC. The averaged SOC fluxes as particles (4.7 g C m(-2) yr(-1)) were 18 times larger than DOC fluxes. Cumulative emission of soil CO2 slightly decreased at the erosion zone while increased by 56% and 27% at the transport and depositional zone, respectively, in comparison to non-eroded soil. Overall, CO2 emission is the predominant form of C loss contributing to about 90.5% of total erosion-induced C losses in our 4-month experiment, which were equal to 18 g C m(-2). Nevertheless, only 1.5% of the total redistributed C was mineralized to CO2 indicating a large stabilization after deposition. Our study also underlines the importance of C losses by particles and as DOC for understanding the effects of water erosion on the C balance at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Ozsoy, Gokhan; Aksoy, Ertugrul
This paper integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with a GIS model to investigate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss and identify areas of soil erosion risk in the Uluabat sub-watershed, an important agricultural site in Bursa Province, Turkey. The total soil loss from water erosion was 473,274 Mg year(-1). Accordingly, 60.3% of the surveyed area was classified into a very low erosion risk class while 25.7% was found to be in high and severe erosion risk classes. Soil loss had a close relationship with land use and topography. The most severe erosion risk typically occurs on ridges and steep slopes where agriculture, degraded forest, and shrubs are the main land uses and cover types. Another goal of this study was to use GIS to reveal the multi-year urbanization status caused by rapid urbanization that constitutes another soil erosion risk in this area. Urbanization has increased by 57.7% and the most areal change was determined in class I lands at a rate of 80% over 25 years. Urbanization was identified as one of the causes of excessive soil loss in the study area.
Salls, W. B.; O'Geen, T. T.
Soil loss constitutes a multi-faceted problem for agriculture: in addition to reducing soil fertility and crop yield, it compromises downstream water quality. Sediment itself is a major issue for aquatic ecosystems, but also serves as a vector for transporting nutrients, pesticides, and pathogens. Rangelands are thought to be a contributor to water quality degradation in California, particularly in the northern Coast Range. Though total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) have been imposed in some watersheds, and countless rangeland water quality outreach activities have been conducted, the connection between grazing intensity recommendations and changes in water quality is poorly understood at the state level. This disconnect gives rise to poorly informed regulations and discourages adoption of best management practices by ranchers. By applying the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) at a statewide scale, we highlighted areas most prone to erosion. We also investigated how two different grazing intensity scenarios affect modeled soil loss. Geospatial data layers representing the USLE parameters—rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, and cover—were overlaid to model annual soil loss. Monitored suspended sediment data from a small North Coast watershed with grazing as the predominant land use was used to validate the model. Modeled soil loss values were nearly one order of magnitude higher than monitored values; average soil loss feeding the downstream-most site was modeled at 0.329 t ha-1 yr-1, whereas storm-derived sediment passing the site over two years was calculated to be 0.037 t ha-1 yr-1. This discrepancy may stem from the fact that the USLE models detached sediment, whereas stream monitoring reflects sediment detached and subsequently transported to the waterway. Preliminary findings from the statewide map support the concern that the North Coast is particularly at risk given its combination of intense rain, erodible soils, and
Pereira, P.; Gimeìnez-Morera, A.; Novara, A.; Keesstra, S.; Jordán, A.; Masto, R. E.; Brevik, E.; Azorin-Molina, C.; Cerdà, A.
Road and railway infrastructure increased in the Mediterranean region during the last three decades. This included the building of embankments, which are assumed to be a~large source of sediments and runoff. However, little is known about soil erosion rates, the factors that control them, and the processes that contribute to detachment, transport and deposition of sediments from road and railway embankments. The objective of this study was therefore to assess the impacts of road and railway embankments as a source of sediment and water, and compare them to other land use types (citrus plantations and shrublands) representative of the Cànyoles watershed to evaluate the importance of road embankments as a~source of water and sediment under high magnitude low frequency rainfall events. Sixty rainfall experiments (1 m2 plots; 60 min duration; 78 mm h-1 rainfall intensity) were carried out on these land use types: 20 on two railway embankments (10 + 10), 20 on two road embankments (10 + 10), and 10 on citrus and 10 on shrubland. Road and railway embankments were characterized by bare soils with low organic matter and high bulk density. Erosion processes were more active in road, railway and citrus plots, and null in the shrublands. The non-sustainable soil erosion rates of 3 Mg ha-1 y-1 measured on the road embankments were due to the efficient runoff connectivity plus low infiltration rates within the plot as the runoff took less than one minute to reach the runoff outlet. Road and railway embankments are both an active source of sediments and runoff, and soil erosion control strategies must be applied. The citrus plantations also act as a~source of water and sediments (1.5 Mg ha-1 y-1), while shrublands are sediment sinks, as no overland flow was observed due to the high infiltration rates.
Rende, Wang; Zhongling, Guo; Chunping, Chang; Dengpan, Xiao; Hongjun, Jiang
The rapid and accurate estimation of soil loss by wind erosion still remains challenge. This study presents an improved scheme for estimating the soil loss by wind erosion of farmland. The method estimates the soil loss by wind erosion based on a comparison of the relative contents of erodible and non-erodible particles between the surface and sub-surface layers of the farmland ploughed layer after wind erosion. It is based on the features that the soil particle-size distribution of the sampling soil layer (approximately 2 cm) is relatively uniform, and that on the surface layer, wind erosion causes the relative numbers of erodible and non-erodible particles to decrease and increase, respectively. Estimations were performed using this method for the wind erosion periods (WEP) from Oct. of 2012 to May of 2013 and from Oct. of 2013 to April of 2014 and a large wind-erosion event (WEE) on May 3, 2014 in the Bashang area of Hebei Province. The results showed that the average soil loss of farmland by wind erosion from Oct. of 2012 to May of 2013 was 2852.14 g/m2 with an average depth of 0.21 cm, while soil loss by wind from Oct. of 2013 to April of 2014 was 1199.17 g/m2 with a mean depth of 0.08 cm. During the severe WEE on May 3, 2014, the average soil loss of farmland by wind erosion was 1299.19 g/m2 with an average depth of 0.10 cm. The soil loss by wind erosion of ploughed and raked fields (PRF) was approximately twice as large as that of oat-stubble fields (OSF). The improved method of particle-size distribution comparison (IPSDC) has several advantages. It can not only calculate the wind erosion amount, but also the wind deposition amount. Slight changes in the sampling thickness and in the particle diameter range of the non-erodible particles will not obviously influence the results. Furthermore, the method is convenient, rapid, simple to implement. It is suitable for estimating the soil loss or deposition by wind erosion of farmland with flat surfaces and high
Peng, Xiaohang; Ruyten, Wilhelmus M.; Keefer, Dennis
Further numerical results are presented of earlier particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo calculations of accelerator grid erosion in an ion thruster. A comparison between numerical and experimental results suggests that the accelerator grid impingement is primarily due to ions created far downstream from the accelerator grid. In particular, for the same experimental conditions as those of Monheiser and Wilbur at Colorado State University, it is found that a downstream plasma density of 2 x 10 exp 14/cu m is required to give the same ratio of accelerator grid impingement current to beam current (5 percent). For this condition, a potential hill is found in the downstream region of 2.5 V.
The session on "Soil erosion and sediment control with vegetation and bioengineering on severely eroded terrain" pays special attention to the severe soil erosion suffered on steep slopes and erodible parent materials and soils. Within the last 20 years, in the Mediterranean lands, the citrus orchards were reallocated on steep slopes due to the urban development and better climatic and management conditions of the new plantations. The lack of vegetation cover on the new slope plantations of citrus resulted in high erosion rates. Those non-sustainable soil losses were measured by means of rainfall simulation experiments, Gerlach collectors, geomorphological transect and topographical measurements. The October 2007 and October 2008 rainy periods resulted in sheet, rill and gully erosion. Some recently planted orchards (2005) had the first pruning season in 2008. The pruned chipped branches reduced the soil losses to 50 % of the expected, although the litter (pruned branches) covered 4.67 % of the soil. This is why a research was developed by means of simulated rainfall experiments to determine the vegetation cover (litter, mainly leaves) to protect the soil to reach a sustainable erosion rate. Rainfall simulation experiments at 43 mm h-1 where performed on 1 m2 plots covered with 0, 3, 7, 15, 30, 45, 60, 80 and 100 % litter cover (pruned chipped branches) to determine the sustainable litter cover to avoid the soil losses. The results show that more that 45 % litter cover almost reduces the soil losses to negligible rates. The results confirm that 4 % of vegetation cover reduces the soil losses to 50 %. Key words: Agriculture land, erodible terrain, land management, citrus, erosion, Spain, Valencia, herbicides. Acknowledgements, We thanks the financial support of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación by means of the project CGL2008-02879/BTE, "PERDIDA DE SUELO EN NUEVAS EXPLOTACIONES CITRICOLAS EN PENDIENTE. ESTRATEGIAS PARA EL CONTROL DE LA EROSION HIDRICA"
Zhao, Chun-Hong; Gao, Jian-En; Xu, Zhen
By adopting the method of simulated precipitation and from the viewpoint of slope hydrodynamics, in combining with the analysis of soil resistance to erosion, a quantitative study was made on the mechanisms of grass in controlling the slope erosion in the cross area of wind-water erosion in Loess Plateau of Northwest China under different combinations of rainfall intensity and slope gradient, aimed to provide basis to reveal the mechanisms of vegetation in controlling soil erosion and to select appropriate vegetation for the soil and water conservation in Loess Plateau. The grass Astragalus adsurgens with the coverage about 40% could effectively control the slope erosion. This grass had an efficiency of more than 70% in reducing sediment, and the grass root had a greater effect than grass canopy. On bare slope and on the slopes with the grass plant or only the grass root playing effect, there existed a functional relation between the flow velocity on the slopes and the rainfall intensity and slope gradient (V = DJ(0.33 i 0.5), where V is flow velocity, D is the comprehensive coefficient which varies with different underlying surfaces, i is rainfall intensity, and J is slope gradient). Both the grass root and the grass canopy could markedly decrease the flow velocity on the slopes, and increase the slope resistance, but the effect of grass root in decreasing flow velocity was greater while the effect in increasing resistance was smaller than that of grass canopy. The effect of grass root in increasing slope resistance was mainly achieved by increasing the sediment grain resistance, while the effect of canopy was mainly achieved by increasing the slope form resistance and wave resistance. The evaluation of the soil resistance to erosion by using a conceptual model of sediment generation by overland flow indicated that the critical shear stress value of bare slope and of the slopes with the grass plant or only the grass root playing effect was 0.533, 1.672 and 0
Teixeira Guerra, A. J.; Rodrigues Bezerra, J. F.; da Mota Lima, L. D.; Silva Mendonça, J. K.; Vieira Souza, U. D.; Teixeira Guerra, T.
The aim of this paper is to assess the stages of rehabilitation of a degraded site by erosion, in Salina/Sacavém district, São Luís City, considering geomorphologic characteristics and soil bioengineering techniques. This technique has been applied in different situations to rehabilitate degraded areas, with positive results from the use of biodegradable materials (e.g. vegetal fibres, wooden stakes and re-vegetation). These techniques stabilize the soil at low cost and improve the environment. Bioengineering involves the planned and strategic application of selected materials, involving biodegradable materials, often in combination with 'hard engineering' structures constructed from stone, concrete and steel. The settlement of São Luís was established in 1612 and has evolved in distinct phases. Rapid urban growth was associated with industrialization in the second half of the 18th Century. Rapid population and urban growth has intensified problems, compounded by poor planning and improper soil use. São Luís, like many other Brazilian cities, has experienced rapid population growth in recent decades, which has created a series of socio-economic and environmental problems, including accelerated soil erosion. Sacavém is one of these communities where natural and human factors contribute to the severe gully erosion. The local lithology is mainly Tertiary sandstones and, to a lesser extent, shales, argillites and siltstones, all of which belong to the Barreiras Formation. Weathering on these rocks produces erodible soils, including lithosols, latosols, concretionary red/yellow clay soils and concretionary plinthosols. Thus, erodible soils and regolith are subject to high erosion rates, especially on steeper slopes subject to additional human interventions. Furthermore, although regional slopes are quite gentle, there is localized high relative relief. Sacavém vegetation, in the gullied area, consists of brushwood. Secondary mixed forest and brushwood are the
Fer, Miroslav; Kodesova, Radka; Klement, Ales
The aim of this work was to describe an impact of erosion and deposition processes on soil properties and consequently on a microbial activity and CO2 emission. Study was performed on morphologically diverse study site in loess region of Southern Moravia, Czech Republic. The original soil type is Haplic Chernozem, which was due to erosion changed into Regosol (steep parts) and Colluvial soil (base slope and the tributary valley). The grab soil samples were taken from topsoil at 5 positions of the selected elevation transect and also from the parent material (loess). The basic soil properties were measured in the laboratory: bulk density, pH_KCl, pH_H2O, oxidizable organic carbon content, CaCO3 content and salinity. CFU (Colony-forming units) were analyzed to describe microbial activity. The net CO2 exchange rate soil (NCER) was measured in the laboratory on the undisturbed soil samples using LCi-SD portable photosynthesis system with Soil Respiration Chamber. In general, the microbial activity and CO2 emission increased with increasing organic matter content. The largest values were measured on topsoil at the upper part of the transect, which was only slightly impacted by erosion. The lowest values were obtained on topsoil at the steepest and heavily eroded parts of the transect and on the parent material. Results showed close correlation between the microbial activity (CFU) and all soil properties and less close correlation between the maximum value of NCER and soil properties. The positive correlation was found between CFU and the oxidizable carbon content R2=0.92 or salinity R2=0.81. The negative correlation was found between CFU and pH_KCl (R2=0.94), pH_H2O (R2=0.90), CaCO3 (R2=0.78) or bulk density (R2=0.81). The positive correlation was found between NCER and the oxidizable carbon content R2=0.63 or salinity R2=0.43. The negative correlation was found between NCER and pH_KCl (R2=0.66), pH_H2O (R2=0.55), CaCO3 (R2=0.45) or bulk density (R2=0.77). Finally the
Blake, Will; Taylor, Alex; Abdelli, Wahid; Gaspar, Leticia; Barri, Bashar Al; Ryken, Nick; Mabit, Lionel
Soil erosion remains a major concern for the international community and there is a growing need to improve the sustainability of agriculture to support future food security. High resolution soil erosion data are a fundamental requirement for underpinning soil conservation and management strategies but representative data on soil erosion rates are difficult to achieve by conventional means without interfering with farming practice and hence compromising the representativeness of results. Fallout radionuclide (FRN) tracer technology offers a solution since FRN tracers are delivered to the soil surface by natural processes and, where irreversible binding can be demonstrated, redistributed in association with soil particles. While much work has demonstrated the potential of short-lived 7Be (half-life 53 days), particularly in quantification of short-term inter-rill erosion, less attention has focussed on sources of uncertainty in derived erosion measurements and sampling strategies to minimise these. This poster outlines and discusses potential sources of uncertainty in 7Be-based soil erosion estimates and the experimental design considerations taken to quantify these in the context of a plot-scale validation experiment. Traditionally, gamma counting statistics have been the main element of uncertainty propagated and reported but recent work has shown that other factors may be more important such as: (i) spatial variability in the relaxation mass depth that describes the shape of the 7Be depth distribution for an uneroded point; (ii) spatial variability in fallout (linked to rainfall patterns and shadowing) over both reference site and plot; (iii) particle size sorting effects; (iv) preferential mobility of fallout over active runoff contributing areas. To explore these aspects in more detail, a plot of 4 x 35 m was ploughed and tilled to create a bare, sloped soil surface at the beginning of winter 2013/2014 in southwest UK. The lower edge of the plot was bounded by
Teo, James A.; Ray, Chittaranjan; El-Swaify, Samir A.
In recent years, high-molecular-weight anionic polyacrylamides (PAMs) have been tested on a variety of soils, primarily in temperate climates. However, little information is available regarding the effectiveness of PAM for preventing soil loss through runoff in tropical settings. Screening tests were performed using three negatively charged PAMs and one positively charged PAM on five Hawaii soils (two Oxisols, one Vertisol, and two Aridisols) to determine erosion loss, sediment settling, and aggregate stability. A laboratory-scale rainfall simulator was used to apply erosive rainfall at intensities from 5 to 8.5 cm h-1 at various PAM doses applied in both dry and solution forms. Soil detachment due to splash and runoff, as well as the runoff and percolate water volumes, were measured for initial and successive storms. The impact of PAM on particle settling and aggregate stability was also evaluated for selected soil-treatment combinations. Among the PAMs, Superfloc A-836 was most effective, and significantly reduced runoff and splash sediment loss for the Wahiawa Oxisol and Pakini Andisol at rates varying between 10 and 50 kg ha-1. Reduced runoff and splash sediment loss were also noted for PAM Aerotil-D when applied in solution form to the Wahiawa Oxisol. Significant reductions in soil loss were not noted for either the Lualualei Vertisol or the Holomua Oxisol. It is believed that the high montmorillonite content of the Lualualei Vertisol and the low cation-exchange capacity of the Holomua Oxisol diminished the effectiveness of the various PAMs tested. The polymers were also found to enhance sediment settling of all soils and helped improve their aggregate stability. This screening study shows the potential use of PAM for tropical soils for applications such as infiltration enhancement, runoff reduction, and enhanced sedimentation of detention ponds.
Wind erosion refers to the detachment, transport and deposition of sediment by wind. It is a dynamic, physical process where loose, dry, bare soils are transported by strong winds. Wind erosion is a soil degrading process that affects over 500 million ha of land worldwide and creates between 500 an...
Ferro, A. M.; Sims, R. C.; Bugbee, B.
We investigated the effects of vegetation on the fate of pentachlorophenol (PCP) in soil using a novel high-flow sealed test system. Pentachlorophenol has been widely used as a wood preservative, and this highly toxic biocide contaminates soil and ground water at many sites. Although plants are known to accelerate the rates of degradation of certain soil contaminants, this approach has not been thoroughly investigated for PCP. The fate of [14C]PCP, added to soil at a concentration of 100 mg/kg, was compared in three unplanted and three planted systems. The plant used was Hycrest, a perennial, drought-tolerant cultivar of crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fischer ex Link) Schultes]. The flow-through test system allowed us to maintain a budget for 14C-label as well as monitor mineralization (breakdown to 14CO2) and volatilization of the test compound in a 155-d trial. In the unplanted systems, an average of 88% of the total radiolabel remained in the soil and leachate and only 6% was mineralized. In the planted system, 33% of the radiolabel remained in the soil plus leachate, 22% was mineralized, and 36% was associated with plant tissue (21% with the root fraction and 15% with shoots). Mineralization rates were 23.1 mg PCP mineralized kg-1 soil in 20 wk in the planted system, and for the unplanted system 6.6 mg PCP kg-1 soil for the same time period. Similar amounts of volatile organic material were generated in the two systems (1.5%). Results indicated that establishing crested wheatgrass on PCP-contaminated surface soils may accelerate the removal of the contaminant.
Hartl, Wilfried; Guettler, Hans; Auer, Karl; Erhart, Eva
Cover crops are the basis for an erosion-free soil management in orchards and vineyards. The soil cover provided by the foliage and the intensive root formation counteract erosion. Cover crops provide the soil microfauna with fresh organic matter which improves soil structure and porosity. The water demand of cover crops, however, may pose problems for the water supply of the trees and vines in dry seasons. Therefore it is necessary to adjust the growth of the cover crops to the actual water conditions. In years with ample precipitation cover crops may be allowed lush vegetative growth till flowering and formation of seeds. In dry years, the growth of the cover crop must be restricted to stop the competition for water, sometimes even by cutting off the cover crop roots. The course of the weather is incalculable and rainfall may be very variable during the year, so it is sometimes necessary to adust the cover crop management several times a year. A new special equipment, which can perform all the tasks necessary for the flexible cover crop management has been developed together with the agricultural machinery manufacturers Bodenwerkstatt Ertl-Auer GmbH and Güttler GmbH. The GreenManager® device consists of three modules, namely a specific type of cultivator, a harrow and a prismatic roller with seeding equipment, which can be used separately or in combination. The GreenManager® can reduce cover crops by flattening the plants in the whole row middle, by bringing down the cover crops with the harrow, or by horizontally cutting the cover crop roots a few centimetres beneath the soil surface in the central part of the row middle or in the whole row middle. These measures reduce the water competition by cover crops without generating further losses of soil moisture through intensive soil cultivation. At the same time the risk of soil erosion is kept to a minimum, because the soil remains covered by dead plant biomass. In one passage the GreenManager® can direct
Benmansour, M; Mabit, L; Nouira, A; Moussadek, R; Bouksirate, H; Duchemin, M; Benkdad, A
In Morocco land degradation - mainly caused by soil erosion - is one of the most serious agroenvironmental threats encountered. However, only limited data are available on the actual magnitude of soil erosion. The study site investigated was an agricultural field located in Marchouch (6°42' W, 33° 47' N) at 68 km south east from Rabat. This work demonstrates the potential of the combined use of (137)Cs, (210)Pb(ex) as radioisotopic soil tracers to estimate mid and long term erosion and deposition rates under Mediterranean agricultural areas. The net soil erosion rates obtained were comparable, 14.3 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and 12.1 ha(-1) yr(-1) for (137)Cs and (210)Pb(ex) respectively, resulting in a similar sediment delivery ratio of about 92%. Soil redistribution patterns of the study field were established using a simple spatialisation approach. The resulting maps generated by the use of both radionuclides were similar, indicating that the soil erosion processes has not changed significantly over the last 100 years. Over the previous 10 year period, the additional results provided by the test of the prediction model RUSLE 2 provided results of the same order of magnitude. Based on the (137)Cs dataset established, the contribution of the tillage erosion impact has been evaluated with the Mass Balance Model 3 and compared to the result obtained with the Mass Balance Model 2. The findings highlighted that water erosion is the leading process in this Moroccan cultivated field, tillage erosion under the experimental condition being the main translocation process within the site without a significant and major impact on the net erosion.
Alewell, Christine; Meusburger, Katrin; Juretzko, Gregor; Mabit, Lionel; Ketterer, Michael E
Anthropogenic radionuclides have been distributed globally due to nuclear weapons testing, nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons fabrication, and nuclear fuel reprocessing. While the negative consequences of this radioactive contamination are self-evident, the ubiquitous fallout radionuclides (FRNs) distribution form the basis for the use as tracers in ecological studies, namely for soil erosion assessment. Soil erosion is a major threat to mountain ecosystems worldwide. We compare the suitability of the anthropogenic FRNs, 137Cs and 239+240Pu as soil erosion tracers in two alpine valleys of Switzerland (Urseren Valley, Canton Uri, Central Swiss Alps and Val Piora, Ticino, Southern Alps). We sampled reference and potentially erosive sites in transects along both valleys. 137Cs measurements of soil samples were performed with a Li-drifted Germanium detector and 239+240Pu with ICP-MS. Our data indicates a heterogeneous deposition of the 137Cs, since most of the fallout origins from the Chernobyl April/May 1986 accident, when large parts of the European Alps were still snow-covered. In contrast, 239+240Pu fallout originated mainly from 1950s to 1960s atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, resulting in a more homogenous distribution and thus seems to be a more suitable tracer in mountainous grasslands. Soil erosion assessment using 239+240Pu as a tracer pointed to a huge dynamic and high heterogeneity of erosive processes (between sedimentation of 1.9 and 7 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and erosion of 0.2-16.4 t ha(-1) yr(-1) in the Urseren Valley and sedimentation of 0.4-20.3 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and erosion of 0.1-16.4 t ha(-1) yr(-1) at Val Piora). Our study represents a novel and successful application of 239+240Pu as a tracer of soil erosion in a mountain environment.
Fang, Hai-Yan; Sheng, Mei-Ling; Sun, Li-Ying; Cai, Qiang-Guo
Soil cores were collected from a 28.5 hm2 slope farmland in the black soil region of Northeast China. Based on the sampled data of 137Cs, 210Pb(ex) and SOC, the potentials of applying 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) for assessing SOC redistribution were evaluated, aimed to approach the impact of soil erosion on soil organic carbon (SOC) in black soil region. At both planar and vertical directions, the 137Cs, 210Pb(ex) and SOC in the farmland had similar distribution patterns. Although there were large planar variations in the 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) areal activities and the SOC stock as affected by soil erosion and deposition, the 137Cs, 210Pb(ex) and SOC had similar changing trends over the landscape. Two depth distribution profiles were also used to study the relations of 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) with SOC. At eroded site, the radioactivities of 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) and the SOC mass fraction did not show large variations in 0-25 cm soil layer, but decreased sharply below 25 cm. For the deposition sample, the radioactivities of 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) in 0-100 cm soil increased firstly and then decreased. The SOC mass fraction also had similar depth distribution pattern in this soil layer. The 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) presented positive linear correlations with the SOC, indicating that 137Cs, 210Pb(ex) and SOC moved with the same physical mechanism in the farmland, and fallout 137Cs and 210Pb(ex) could be used to study spatio-temporal distribution characteristics of SOC in the black soil region under the condition of soil erosion.
Stubblefield, A. P.; Matissoff, G.; Ketterer, M. E.; Whiting, P. J.
Soil inventories of the radionuclides Cs137 and Pb210 have been used in a variety of environments as indicators for erosion and depositional processes. Development of sediment budgets for entire watersheds from radionuclide data has been somewhat constrained because limited sample numbers may not adequately characterize the wide range of geomorphic conditions and land uses found in heterogeneous environments. The measurement of Pu239+240 shows great potential for developing quantitative watershed sediment budgets. With inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, hundreds of samples may be processed in dramatically shorter times than the gamma spectrometry method used for Cs137 or alpha spectrometry method used for Pb210. We collected surface soil samples from Murder Creek in the Piedmont region of Georgia, USA, to compare Pu239+240 inventories with Cs137 and Pb210 inventories for a range of land uses in a predominantly forested watershed. Excellent correlations were found for radionuclide inventories (r2 =0.88, n = 38) and high resolution (4 mm) depth profiles. The second objective was to generate a sediment budget using the full Pu239+240 dataset (n = 309). Average Pu239+240 inventories were 70.0 Bq/m2 for hardwood forest, 60.0 Bq/m2 for pine plantation, 65.1 Bq/m2 for pine forest, 66.7 Bq/m2 for row crop agriculture and 67.9 Bq/m2 for pasture. The sediment budget will be constructed by converting inventories into site-specific