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...
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.
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.
Soil erodibility is a measure of a soil’s resistance against erosive forces and is affected by both intrinsic (or inherent) soil property and the extrinsic condition at the time erodibility measurement is made. Since soil erodibility is usually calculated from results obtained from erosion experimen...
Soil erosion is one of the major problems facing the mountainous agricultural lands in Lebanon. In order to assess the land factors acting on soil erosion; a study was conducted in the upper watershed of Ibrahim River in the spring months of April, May and June. Water and bed load sediments from six locations alimented by six sub-basins were sampled. Four sub-basins (1, 2, 3 and 6) were dominated by agricultural lands while lands in sub-basins 4 and 7 were occupied by grassland and bare soils. The highest quantities of suspended sediments were found in waters originating from watersheds dominated by agricultural lands, such as Location 2 (713.72 mg L-1 in April 2012). Low clay content and the combination of land occupation (orchards = 71%) and slope (20.7 degrees) caused this ecosystem disturbance. Locations 1, 2, 3 and 6 were alimented by runoff water due to the melting of the snow. For this, the concentrations of sediments decreased by 4 fold between April and May in sub-basin 1 and by 11-14 fold in sub-basins 2, 3 and 6. Globally, some 1669.4 tons of sediments were delivered in the upper river during April. Bed load sediments were separated into 4 classes according to their size. The size of the particles found in the bed load reflected to a large extent the type of soils surrounding the watershed. The range of sand in the regions surrounding locations 6 and 7 was 64% and 82%, while the average in the bed load was 80.9% and 78.25% respectively. The silt content in locations 2, 3 and 5 was well reflected in the concentrations of silt in the bed load. In bed load samples, the exchangeable potassium ranged from 70-250 mg kg-1 in sub-basins dominated by agricultural lands against 20-50 mg kg-1 in sub-basins dominated by grassland and bare rocks. Further quantitative studies need to be conducted especially during the first rains to fully estimate the water load sediments after a prolonged dry season, characterizing the east Mediterranean. Action must be taken for
Guoxiao, Wei; Yibo, Wang; Yan Lin, Wang
Characteristics of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (total N) are important for determining the overall quality of soils. Studies on spatial and temporal variation in SOC and total N are of great importance because of global environmental concerns. Soil erosion is one of the major processes affecting the redistribution of SOC and total N in the test fields. To characterize the distribution and dynamics of SOC and N in the intensively eroded soil of the headwaters of the Yangtze River, China, we measured profiles of soil organic C, total N stocks, and (137)Cs in a control plot and a treatment plot. The amounts of SOC, (137)Cs of sampling soil profiles increased in the following order, lower>middle>upper portions on the control plot, and the amounts of total N of sampling soil profile increase in the following order: upper>middle>lower on the control plot. Intensive soil erosion resulted in a significant decrease of SOC amounts by 34.9%, 28.3% and 52.6% for 0-30cm soil layer at upper, middle and lower portions and (137)Cs inventory decreased by 68%, 11% and 85% at upper, middle and lower portions, respectively. On the treatment plot total N decreased by 50.2% and 14.6% at the upper and middle portions and increased by 48.9% at the lower portion. Coefficients of variation (CVs) of SOC decreased by 31%, 37% and 30% in the upper, middle and lower slope portions, respectively. Similar to the variational trend of SOC, CVs of (137)Cs decreased by 19.2%, 0.5% and 36.5%; and total N decreased by 45.7%, 65.1% and 19% in the upper, middle and lower slope portions, respectively. The results showed that (137)Cs, SOC and total N moved on the sloping land almost in the same physical mechanism during the soil erosion procedure, indicating that fallout of (137)Cs could be used directly for quantifying dynamic SOC and total N redistribution as the soil was affected by intensive soil erosion.
Akbarzadeh, Ali; Ghorbani-Dashtaki, Shoja; Naderi-Khorasgani, Mehdi; Kerry, Ruth; Taghizadeh-Mehrjardi, Ruhollah
Understanding the occurrence of erosion processes at large scales is very difficult without studying them at small scales. In this study, soil erosion parameters were investigated at micro-scale and macro-scale in forests in northern Iran. Surface erosion and some vegetation attributes were measured at the watershed scale in 30 parcels of land which were separated into 15 fire-affected (burned) forests and 15 original (unburned) forests adjacent to the burned sites. The soil erodibility factor and splash erosion were also determined at the micro-plot scale within each burned and unburned site. Furthermore, soil sampling and infiltration studies were carried out at 80 other sites, as well as the 30 burned and unburned sites, (a total of 110 points) to create a map of the soil erodibility factor at the regional scale. Maps of topography, rainfall, and cover-management were also determined for the study area. The maps of erosion risk and erosion risk potential were finally prepared for the study area using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) procedure. Results indicated that destruction of the protective cover of forested areas by fire had significant effects on splash erosion and the soil erodibility factor at the micro-plot scale and also on surface erosion, erosion risk, and erosion risk potential at the watershed scale. Moreover, the results showed that correlation coefficients between different variables at the micro-plot and watershed scales were positive and significant. Finally, assessment and monitoring of the erosion maps at the regional scale showed that the central and western parts of the study area were more susceptible to erosion compared with the western regions due to more intense crop-management, greater soil erodibility, and more rainfall. The relationships between erosion parameters and the most important vegetation attributes were also used to provide models with equations that were specific to the study region. The results of this
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.
He, Wenqing; Zhao, Caixia; Gao, Wangsheng; Chen, Yuanquan; Qin, Hongling; Fan, Xiurong
Field investigation, laboratory analysis and wind tunnel simulation showed that in Wuchuan County of Inner Mongolia, low precipitation, frequent and high wind velocity, coarse soil texture, and thawing and freezing were the main causes of soil wind erosion happened very easily in spring. In late winter and early spring, the vegetation coverage was in order of shrub-land>natural grassland>rainfed farmland, and thus, increasing the surface cover of rainfed farmland should be an urgent need to control the wind erosion in Wuchuan County. The soil wind erosion rate decreased exponentially with increasing soil moisture content, and 6% soil moisture content was a turning point from severe to light. The topsoil moisture content under different land use patterns was in order of natural grassland> rainfed farmland >shrub-land. With increasing wind velocity, soil wind erosion rate increased by power function, and 18 m x s(-1) wind velocity was a switching point to aggravate the wind erosion.
Xie, Hui-Hui; Fan, Jun; Qi, Li-Bin; Hao, Ming-De
By the soil respiration system, the characteristics of soil respiration were investigated to explore the correlations between soil respiration and soil temperature, soil water and soil nutrient under different land use patterns in the water-wind erosion crisscross region of the Loess Plateau. The results indicated that the seasonal changing characteristics of soil respiration were distinguished significantly among different vegetations, and soil water content and temperature were the main influencing factors. Soil respiration seasonal changing ranges, such as bare land, crop land, Medicago sativa land, Caragana korshinskii land, abandoned wild grass land, Stipa bungeana land, wild grass land, degraded Medicago sativa land, sloping Medicago sativa land, sloping abandoned wild grass land, sloping crop land and terraced crop land, were 0.32-0.82, 0.41-2.83, 0.74-2.81, 0.76-3.07, 0.67-2.79, 0.51-2.12, 0.56-2.05, 0.59-1.66, 0.42-2.09, 0.31-1.86, 0.32-1.93 and 0.41-3.17 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1). Comparing seasonal changing magnitudes of soil respiration, crop land was the biggest (167% - 203%), abandoned wild grass land (117% -154%), Caragana korshinskii land (134%), Stipa bungeana land (129%), Medicago sativa land (119%-120%) and bare land (94%) followed crop land. The smallest was degraded Medicago sativa land (92%). Bare land and degraded Medicago sativa land had small seasonal variation during the study period. Monthly average values of soil carbon flux (soil respiration) of Medicago sativa land and Caragana korshinskii land were maximal, but the maximum values under crop land were observed in July and August. Besides Q10 of crop land was also maximal, which reached 1.86. There were significant correlations between soil respiration and soil organic matter and available K. Moreover, soil respiration was affected by soil organic matter and total nitrogen in July and August when the water and heat condition were plentiful, but soil ammonium nitrogen had negative impact
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).
Vieira, D. C. S.; Fernández, C.; Vega, J. A.; Keizer, J. J.
Soil burn severity has been widely used to describe the impacts of fire on soils and is increasingly being recognised as a decisive factor controlling post-fire erosion rates. However, there is no unique definition of the term and the relationship between soil burn severity and post-fire hydrological and erosion response has not yet been fully established. The objective of this work was to review the existing literature on the role of soil burn severity on post-fire runoff and erosion ratios. To this end, a meta-analysis was carried out of the runoff and inter-rill erosion data from field rainfall simulation experiments (RSE's) that compared burnt and unburnt conditions. In this study, 109 individual observations were analysed that covered a wide geographical range, various types of land cover (forest, shrubland, and grassland) and two types of fire types (wildfire and prescribed fire). The effect size of the post-fire runoff and erosion response was determined for four key factors: (i) soil burn severity; (ii) time-since-fire; (iii) rainfall intensity; and (iv) bare soil cover. Statistical meta-analysis showed that fire occurrence had a significant effect on the hydrological and erosive response. However, this effect was only significantly higher with increasing soil burn severity for inter-rill erosion, and not for runoff. This study furthermore highlighted the incoherencies between existing burn severity classifications, and proposed an unambiguous classification.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
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
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
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 ...
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.
Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale run-off plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species and tree species richness as well as functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 Mg ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion differently, while tree species richness did not affect interrill erosion in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing soil erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced interrill erosion in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased it. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, the remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on interrill erosion. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary, and a wide range of functional tree traits should be considered in future research.
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.
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
Gabelmann, Petra; Wienhöfer, Jan; Zehe, Erwin
Erosion is a severe environmental problem in agro-ecosystems with highly erodible loess soils. It is controlled by various factors, e.g. rainfall intensity, initial wetness conditions, soil type, land use and tillage practice. Furthermore slope form and gradient have been shown to influence erosion amounts to a large extent. Within the last fifty years, various erosion models have been developed to describe the erosion process, estimate erosion amounts and identify erosion-prone areas. These models differ in terms of complexity, the processes which are considered, and the data required for model calibration and they can be categorised into empirical or statistical, conceptual, and physically-based models. CATFLOW-SED is a process-based hydrology and erosion model that can operate on catchment and hillslope scales. Soil water dynamics are described by the Richards equation including effective approaches for preferential flow. Evapotranspiration is simulated using an approach based on the Penman-Monteith equation. The model simulates overland flow using the diffusion wave equation. Soil detachment is related to the attacking forces of rainfall and overland flow, and the erosion resistance of soil. Sediment transport capacity and sediment deposition are related to overland flow velocity using the equation of Engelund and Hansen and the sinking velocity of grain sizes respectively. We performed a study to analyse the erosion process on different virtual hillslopes, with varying slope gradient and slope form, using the CATFLOW-SED model. We explored the role of landform on erosion and sedimentation, particularly we look for forms that either maximise or minimise erosion. Results indicate the importance to performing the process implementation within physically meaningful limits and choose appropriate model parameters respectively.
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.
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...
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.
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.
García Estríngana, Pablo; Dunkerley, David; Cerdà, Artemi
distribution controls the exposure of soils to rainfall drops affecting soil erosion (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). The lost of vegetation can trigger Desertification (Izzo et al., 2013) because soil erosion is highly dependent on the effective rainfall striking soil particles (Cerdà and Lasanta, 2005; Haile and Fetene; 2012; Miao et al., 2012, Prokop and Poręba, 2012). Shrubs are the most characteristic vegetation type in semiarid and arid ecosystems all over the world (Tomaselli, 1981; Kummerrow, 1989), typical of intermediate stages of most vegetation succession series, being the first in terms of dominant vegetation coverage, occupying 24% of drylands, followed by crop vegetation with 20% (Reynolds et al., 2007). Moreover, shrub vegetation covers the soil permanently, being able to adapt to very unfavourable conditions like droughts, frosts, non-fertile soils,… improving the soil quality due to their capacity to activate organic matter cycles supplying greater amounts of litter (Alegre et al., 2004). Shrubs have complex root systems, inducing changes in soil properties and increasing soil macroporosity (indirect effects) that increase infiltration reducing runoff and the soil loss (Garcia-Estringana et al., 2010). Shrubs improve the infiltration capacity of soils (Cerdà, 1997), even in the most difficult conditions (Marques et al., 2005), the water retention capacity (Ruiz Sinoga et al., 2010) and the runoff and sediment redistribution. Shrub vegetation has been seen as a key vegetation cover in semiarid lands to control the soil and water losses (Francis and Thornes, 1990; Barea et al., 1996; Romero Díaz, 2003; Cerdà and Doerr, 2007). But the majority of revegetation programmes in arid and semiarid regions still ignores the great potential of this type of vegetation. Romero Díaz et al. (2010) indicated that 99% of revegetation programmes carried out by public authorities in Spain used fast growing tree vegetation (Pinus sp. and
González-Pelayo, Óscar; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Cerdà, Artemi
31, 219-236. Boix-Fayos, C., Martínez-Mena, M., Calvo-Cases, A., Castillo, V.M., Albadalejo, J. 2005. Concise review of interrill erosion studies in SE Spain (Alicante and Murcia): erosion rates and progress of knowledge from the 1980s. Land Degradation and Developement 16, 517-528. Calvo-Cases, A., Boix-Fayós, C., Imeson, A.C. 2003. Runoff generation, sediment movement and soil water behaviour on calcareous (limestone) slopes of some Mediterranean environments in southeast Spain. Geomorphology 50, 269-291. Campo, J., Andreu, V., Gimeno-García, E., González-Pelayo, O., Rubio, J.L. 2008. Aggregation of under canopy and bare soils in a Mediterranean environment affected by different fire intensities. Catena 74 (3), 212-218. Campo, J., Andreu, V., Gimeno-García, E., González, O., Rubio, J.L. 2006. Occurrence of soil erosion after repeated experimental fires in a Mediterranean environment. Geomorphology 82, 376-387. Cerdà A. 2001. Erosión hídrica del suelo en el territorio Valenciano. El estado de la cuestión a través de la revisión bibliográfica. Geoforma Ediciones: Logronho. A. 2001. Cerdá, A, Mataix-Solera, J. 2009. Incendios forestales en España. Ecosistemas terrestres y suelos. En: Cerdá y Mataix-Solera (Eds.), Efectos de los incendios forestales sobre los suelos en España. Universidad de Valencia, 2009. Cerdà, A. 1998a. Postfire dynamics of erosional processes under mediterranean climatic conditions. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, 42 (3) 373-398. Cerdà, A. 1998b. Changes in overland flow and infiltration after a rangeland fire in a Mediterranean scrubland. Hydrological Processes, 12, 1031-1042. Cerdà, A., Doerr, S.H. 2008. The effect of ash and needle cover on surface runoff and erosion in the immediate post-fire period. Catena, 74 , 256- 263. doi:10.1016/S0341-8162(02)00027-9 Cerdà, A., Imeson, A.C., Calvo, A. 1995. Fire and aspect induced differences on the erodibility and hydrology of soils at La Costera, Valencia, Southeast Spain. Catena
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
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.
Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale runoff plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species richness and identity as well as tree functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 t ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion, but higher tree species richness did not mitigate soil losses in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced soil losses in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased them. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on soil loss. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary and a wide range of functional tree traits should be taken into consideration in future research.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Majumder, S. Sen; Fox, D. M.; Chakrabari, S.; Bhandari, G.
Bank erosion process of the Ganga River created a serious livelihood risk for the villagers situated on left bank of the river in Malda district of the State of West Bengal, India since last four decades. Due to the erosion of agriculture land by the river, most of the villagers having agriculture as their only means of livelihood became jobless suddenly. Presently they are living in a miserable condition. One of the main objectives of this paper is to find out an alternative means of livelihood for the victims to improve their miserable socio-economic condition. It has been found from field survey that some erosion affected villagers have started to live and practice agriculture temporarily on the riverine islands (large and stable since thirteen years) as these islands have very fertile soil. If the re-emerged land plots can again be demarcated on the newly formed islands and distributed among the landless people to practice agriculture over there, then it will be a useful alternative livelihood strategy for the victims. The demarcation of re-emerged plots can be achieved by georeferencing the cadastral maps and then overlaying the plots on the present river course. In the present study area geo-referencing process of the cadastral maps became a serious issue as the study area has been very dynamic in terms of land cover and land use. Most of the villages were lost into the river course. Thus the common permanent features, required for geo-referencing, shown in the cadastral maps (surveyed during 1954-1962) were not found in the present satellite images. The second important objective of the present study is to develop a proper methodology for geo-referencing the cadastral maps of this area. The Spatial Adjustment Transformation and Automatic Digitization tools of Arc GIS were used to prepare geo-referenced plot maps. In Projective Transformation method the geometrically corrected block maps having village boundaries were used as source file. Then the
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
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
... 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.
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...
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.
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
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 ...
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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...
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...
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
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.
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.
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
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
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...
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.
Chartin, Caroline; Salvador-Blanes, Sébastien; Olivier, Evrard; Van Oost, Kristof; Hinschberger, Florent; Macaire, Jean-Jacques
Soil erosion plays an important role in sediment and carbon storage within, and exports from, catchments. In cultivated landscapes, field borders can improve the temporary storage of eroded soil particles and associated carbon, by impeding lateral soil fluxes. These local soil accumulations can lead to the development of linear landforms (such as headlands and lynchets) which will keep evolving after field border removal. A recent study performed in a representative cultivated hillslope of the SW Parisian Basin showed that 39% of the area corresponds to landforms resulting from soil accumulation induced by former and present field borders. This study demonstrated that field borders influence greatly the landscape morphology, but also the spatial distribution of soil thickness, and locally the A-horizon thickness, which are essential parameters for the prediction of SOC stocks. This study aims at characterizing and quantifying the effect of field borders and their removal on medium term topsoil erosion and deposition rates in a cultivated hillslope of the SW Parisian Basin, consolidated in 1967. Here, we used the Cs-137 technique to assess recent patterns of soil redistribution. We measured the Cs-137 inventories of 68 soil cores sampled along transects covering the area and, more specifically, linear landforms identified along present and past field borders (i.e., lynchet and undulation landforms, respectively). Then, we used a spatially-distributed Cs-137 conversion model that simulates and discriminates soil redistribution induced by water and tillage erosion processes over the last fifty years. Finally, observations and model outputs were confronted. Our results show that tillage erosion dominate the soil redistribution in the study area for the 1954-2009 period and generated about 95% (i.e., 4.50 Mg.ha-1.yr-1) of the total gross erosion. Soil redistribution was largely affected by the presence of current and former field borders, where hotspots areas of
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.
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
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
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
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.
Prosdocimi, Massimo; Pradetto Sordo, Nicoletta; Burguet, Maria; Di Prima, Simone; Terol Esparza, Enric; Tarolli, Paolo; Cerdà, Artemi
Throughout the world, soil erosion by water is a serious problem, especially in semi-arid and semi-humid areas (Cerdà et al., 2009; Cerdan et al., 2010; García-Ruiz, 2010). 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 land-use changes on large scales and unsustainable farming practices (Boardman et al., 1990; Cerdà 1994; Montgomery, 2007). Tillage operations, combined with weather conditions, are recognized to primarily influence soil erosion rates. If, on one hand, tillage operations cause uniform changes based on the tool used, on the other, weather conditions, such as rainfalls, produce more random changes, less easily traceable (Snapir et al., 2014). Within this context, remote-sensing technologies can facilitate the detection and quantification of these topographic changes. In particular, a real opportunity and challenge is offered by the low-cost and flexible photogrammetric technique, called 'Structure-from-Motion' (SfM), combined with the use of smartphones (Micheletti et al., 2014; Prosdocimi et al., 2015). This represents a significant advance compared with more expensive technologies and applications (e.g. Terrestrial Laser Scanner - TLS) (Tarolli, 2014). This work wants to test the Structure from Motion to obtain high-resolution topography for the detection of topographic changes in agricultural lands affected by erosion processes. Two case studies were selected: i) a tilled plot characterized by bare soil and affected by rill erosion located in the hilly countryside of Marche region (central Italy), and ii) a Mediterranean vineyard located within the province of Valencia (south eastern Spain) where rainfall simulation experiments were carried out. Extensive photosets were obtained by using one standalone reflex digital camera and one smartphone built-in digital camera. Digital
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Irrigation is essential for global food production. However, irrigation erosion can limit the ability of irrigation systems to reliably produce food and fiber in the future. The factors affecting soil erosion from irrigation are the same as rainfall—water detaches and transports sediment. However, t...
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.
Paroissien, Jean-Baptiste; Darboux, Frédéric; Couturier, Alain; Devillers, Benoît; Mouillot, Florent; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves
Global climate and land use changes could strongly affect soil erosion and the capability of soils to sustain agriculture and in turn impact regional or global food security. The objective of our study was to develop a method to assess soil sustainability to erosion under changes in land use and climate. The method was applied in a typical mixed Mediterranean landscape in a wine-growing watershed (75 km(2)) within the Languedoc region (La Peyne, France) for two periods: a first period with the current climate and land use and a second period with the climate and land use scenarios at the end of the twenty-first century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change A1B future rainfall scenarios from the Météo France General circulation model was coupled with four contrasting land use change scenarios that were designed using a spatially-explicit land use change model. Mean annual erosion rate was estimated with an expert-based soil erosion model. Soil life expectancy was assessed using soil depth. Soil erosion rate and soil life expectancy were combined into a sustainability index. The median simulated soil erosion rate for the current period was 3.5 t/ha/year and the soil life expectancy was 273 years, showing a low sustainability of soils. For the future period with the same land use distribution, the median simulated soil erosion rate was 4.2 t/ha/year and the soil life expectancy was 249 years. The results show that soil erosion rate and soil life expectancy are more sensitive to changes in land use than to changes in precipitation. Among the scenarios tested, institution of a mandatory grass cover in vineyards seems to be an efficient means of significantly improving soil sustainability, both in terms of decreased soil erosion rates and increased soil life expectancies.
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
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
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
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
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
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...
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
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
Decontamination of FUSRAP sites could result in the generation of large volumes (in excess of 400,000 m/sup 3/) of low-activity radioactive wastes (primarily contaminated soil and building materials) requiring subsequent disposal. It is likely that near-surface burial will be seriously considered as an option for disposal of these materials. A number of factors - including soil erosion - could adversely affect the long-term stability of a near-surface waste-burial site. The majority of FUSRAP sites are located in the humid eastern United States, where the principal cause of erosion is the action of water. This report examines the effect of soil erosion by water on burial-site stability based on analysis of four hypothetical near-surface burial sites. The Universal Soil Loss Equation was employed to estimate average annual soil loss from burial sites and the 1000-year effects of soil loss on the soil barrier (burial trench cap) placed over low-activity wastes. Results suggest that the land use of the burial site and the slope gradient of the burial trench cap significantly affect the rate of soil erosion. The development of measures limiting the potential land use of a burial site (e.g., mixing large rocks into the burial trench cap) may be required to preserve the integrity of a burial trench for long periods of time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dirda Gupita, Diwyacitta; Sigit Heru Murti, B. S.
Soil erosion in caused by five factors: rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope and slope length, crop management, and land conservation practices. In theory, vegetation as one of the affecting factors has inversed correlation with soil erosion. This research is aimed to: (1) model RUSLE using pixel-based GIS, and (2) prove whether or not vegetation really has the said correlation with the soil erosion that occurs in Gesing Watershed. The method used in this research is divided into two: the use of RUSLE to estimate the soil erosion rate; and the use of fractional vegetation cover (FVC) formula to estimate the vegetation density in the area. Both methods used Landsat-8 OLI imagery, which is used to extract the RUSLE parameters as well as to derive the vegetation density through NDVI, and pixel-based GIS. The mapping of soil erosion rate distribution done in this research demonstrated that pixel-based modeling is able to represent a much more detailed and logical distribution of a phenomenon. The distribution of soil erosion rate in Gesing Watershed showed that the erosion rate in this area is relatively minor. About 1425.99 hectares and 1587.57 hectares of the total area have erosion rate of 0 – 15 tons/ha/yr (very mild) and 15 – 60 tons/ha/yr (mild) respectively.
Alexakis, Dimitrios; Seiradakis, Kostas; Tsanis, Ioannis
This article presents a remote sensing approach for spatio-temporal monitoring of both soil erosion and roughness using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Soil erosion by water is commonly known as one of the main reasons for land degradation. Gully erosion causes considerable soil loss and soil degradation. Furthermore, quantification of soil roughness (irregularities of the soil surface due to soil texture) is important and affects surface storage and infiltration. Soil roughness is one of the most susceptible to variation in time and space characteristics and depends on different parameters such as cultivation practices and soil aggregation. A UAV equipped with a digital camera was employed to monitor soil in terms of erosion and roughness in two different study areas in Chania, Crete, Greece. The UAV followed predicted flight paths computed by the relevant flight planning software. The photogrammetric image processing enabled the development of sophisticated Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and ortho-image mosaics with very high resolution on a sub-decimeter level. The DTMs were developed using photogrammetric processing of more than 500 images acquired with the UAV from different heights above the ground level. As the geomorphic formations can be observed from above using UAVs, shadowing effects do not generally occur and the generated point clouds have very homogeneous and high point densities. The DTMs generated from UAV were compared in terms of vertical absolute accuracies with a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) survey. The developed data products were used for quantifying gully erosion and soil roughness in 3D as well as for the analysis of the surrounding areas. The significant elevation changes from multi-temporal UAV elevation data were used for estimating diachronically soil loss and sediment delivery without installing sediment traps. Concerning roughness, statistical indicators of surface elevation point measurements were estimated and various
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
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
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.
fallow) and forest. For each case, 12 soil samples were collected at 4 depths: 0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-30cm, with 3 repetitions, leading to a total of 60 soil samples, where the following properties were characterized: porosity (micro, macro and total), bulk density and aggregate stability. Besides, in situ measurements of saturated hydraulic conductivity were conducted with a Guelph permeameter. The results obtained in this study attested that all the soil properties analyzed were affected by soil usage, especially at shallow depths, in particular macroporosity and total porosity, which have major influences on infiltration rates, runoff and soil erosion. Besides, the results suggested that the 5-year fallow (F5) was able to recover from 72% to 100% of total porosity for the 0-10cm depth layer (considering forest values as reference), while in the 2-year fallow (F2) this recovery was lower, ranging from 66 to 80%. A similar trend was observed for macroporosity, showing recovering values from 60% to 90% and from 50% to 76%, for F5 and F2, respectively. However, aggregate stability values did not show significant variations between the two fallows. Saturated hydraulic conductivity, on the other hand, presented the lowest recovering values for all the studied properties: between 13% and 58% for F5 and between 6% and 33% for F2. Comparing to the natural forest (reference value), the coffee plantations presented the worst soil conditions in terms of soil hydrology and erosion. The results presented here attested important improvements in soil physical and hydrological properties after a 5-year fallow, leading to decrease in surface runoff and soil erosion in the area.
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...
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.
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.
Altaf, Sadaff; Meraj, Gowhar; Romshoo, Shakil Ahmad
Complex mountainous environments such as Himalayas are highly susceptibility to natural hazards particular those that are triggered by the action of water such as floods, soil erosion, mass movements and siltation of the hydro-electric power dams. Among all the natural hazards, soil erosion is the most implicit and the devastating hazard affecting the life and property of the millions of people living in these regions. Hence to review and devise strategies to reduce the adverse impacts of soil erosion is of utmost importance to the planners of watershed management programs in these regions. This paper demonstrates the use of satellite based remote sensing data coupled with the observational field data in a multi-criteria analytical (MCA) framework to estimate the soil erosion susceptibility of the sub-watersheds of the Rembiara basin falling in the western Himalaya, using geographical information system (GIS). In this paper, watershed morphometry and land cover are used as an inputs to the MCA framework to prioritize the sub-watersheds of this basin on the basis of their different susceptibilities to soil erosion. Methodology included the derivation of a set of drainage and land cover parameters that act as the indicators of erosion susceptibility. Further the output from the MCA resulted in the categorization of the sub-watersheds into low, medium, high and very high erosion susceptibility classes. A detailed prioritization map for the susceptible sub-watersheds based on the combined role of land cover and morphometry is finally presented. Besides, maps identifying the susceptible sub-watersheds based on morphometry and land cover only are also presented. The results of this study are part of the watershed management program in the study area and are directed to instigate appropriate measures to alleviate the soil erosion in the study area.
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
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.
Moffet, C A; Zartman, R E; Wester, D B; Sosebee, R E
Land application of biosolids is a beneficial-use practice whose ecological effects depend in part on hydrological effects. Biosolids were surface-applied to square 0.5-m2 plots at four rates (0, 7, 34, and 90 dry Mg ha(-1)) on each of three soil-cover combinations in Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland. Infiltration and erosion were measured during two seasons for three biosolids post-application ages. Infiltration was measured during eight periods of a 30-min simulated rain. Biosolids application affected infiltration rate, cumulative infiltration, and erosion. Infiltration increased with increasing biosolids application rate. Application of biosolids at 90 dry Mg ha(-1) increased steady-state infiltration rate by 1.9 to 7.9 cm h(-1). Most of the measured differences in runoff among biosolids application rates were too large to be the result of interception losses and/or increased hydraulic gradient due to increased roughness. Soil erosion was reduced by the application of biosolids; however, the extent of reduction in erosion depended on the initial erodibility of the site. Typically, the greatest marginal reductions in erosion were achieved at the lower biosolids application rates (7 and 34 dry Mg ha(-1)); the difference in erosion between 34 and 90 dry Mg ha(-1) biosolids application rates was not significant. Surface application of biosolids has important hydrological consequences on runoff and soil erosion in desert grasslands that depend on the rate of biosolids applied, and the site and biosolids characteristics.
Ehigiator, O A; Anyata, B U
This work reports runoff and soil loss from each of 14 sub-watersheds in a secondary rain forest in south-western Nigeria. The impact of methods of land clearing and post-clearing management on runoff and soil erosion under the secondary forest is evaluated. These data were acquired eighteen years after the deforestation of primary vegetation during the ' West bank' project of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). These data are presented separately for each season; however, statistical analyses for replicates were not conducted due to differences in their past management. Soil erosion was affected by land clearing and tillage methods. The maximum soil erosion was observed on sub-watersheds that were mechanically cleared with tree-pusher/root-rake attachments and tilled conventionally. A high rate of erosion was observed even when graded-channel terraces were constructed to minimize soil erosion. In general there was much less soil erosion on manually cleared than on mechanically cleared sub-watersheds (2.5 t ha(-1) yr(-1) versus 13.8 t ha(-1) yr(-1)) and from the application of no-tillage methods than from conventionally plowed areas (6.5 t ha(-1) yr(-1) versus 12.1 t ha(-1) yr(-1)). The data indicate that tillage methods and appropriate management of soils and crops play an important role in soil and water conservation and in decreasing the rate of decline of soil quality.
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
Martin, Y. E.; Johnson, E. A.; Gallaway, J.
is not the case for all ecosystems. For example, earlier research in the boreal forest of Canada has shown that duff consumption during high-intensity crown fires results in patchy yet notable post-fire duff coverage, similar to the post-fire duff coverage found at our field site. To assess how the duff layer might affect soil hydrology in post-fire environments, we undertake a numerical modelling exercise. Model runs are undertaken for a series of different soil types (sandy loam etc.), some with an overlying duff layer and some without an overlying duff layer. Model results suggest that the presence of a duff layer does affect the soil infiltration process and the time required for ponding to occur. It is recommended that researchers and land managers consider the extent of post-fire duff coverage in different regional settings to allow for better assessment of the potential for notable, post-fire soil 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).
Klein, S. B.
Twenty states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands enacted erosion and sediment control legislation during the past decade to provide for the implementation or the strengthening of statewide erosion and sediment control plans for rural and/or urban lands. That legislation and the state programs developed to implement these laws are quoted and reviewed. The natural resource data requirements of each program are also extracted. The legislation includes amendments to conservation district laws, water quality laws, and erosion and sediment control laws. Laws which provides for legislative review of administrative regulations and LANDSAT applications and/or information systems that were involved in implementing or gathering data for a specific soil erosion and sediment control program are summarized as well as principal concerns affecting erosion and sediment control laws.
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.
Schindewolf, Marcus; Arevalo, Annika; Saathoff, Ulfert; Käpermann, Philipp; Schmidt, Jürgen
Since soil erosion is one of the most important issues of global soil degradation, great effort was put into the application of erosion models for the assessment and prevention of on-site damages. Beside the primary impact of soil loss in decreasing soil fertility, erosion can cause significant impacts if transported sediments are entering downslope ecosystems, settlements, infrastructure or traffic routes. These off-site damages can be very costly, affect a lot of people and contaminate water-resources. The analysis of these problems is intensified by the requirements of new legislation, such as the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), providing new challenges for planning authorities in order to combat off-site damage. Hence there is strong public and scientific interest in understanding the processes of sediment as well as particle attached nutrient and pollutant transport. Predicting the frequency, magnitude and extent of off-site impacts of water erosion is a necessary precondition for adequate risk assessments and mitigation measures. Process based models are increasingly used for the simulation of soil erosion. Regarding the requirements of the WFD, these models need to deliver comparable estimates from the regional scale to the level of mitigation measures. This study aims on the application of the process based model EROSION 3D for off-site risk assessment on different scales for the German federal state of Saxony using available geo data, data base applications and GIS-routines. Following issues were investigated: - Where are the expected sediment deposition areas? - Which settlements, infrastructures and traffic routes are affected by sediment fluxes? - Which river sections are affected by sediment inputs? - Which river sections are affected by nutrient and heavy metal inputs? The model results identify the Saxon loess belt as highly endangered by off-site damages although hotspots can be found in the northern flatlands and the southern mountain range as
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.
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.
Vaezi, Ali Reza; Ahmadi, Morvarid; Cerdà, Artemi
Soil erosion by water is a three-phase process that consists of detachment of soil particles from the soil mass, transportation of detached particles either by raindrop impact or surface water flow, and sedimentation. Detachment by raindrops is a key component of the soil erosion process. However, little information is available on the role of raindrop impact on soil losses in the semi-arid regions where vegetation cover is often poor and does not protect the soil from rainfall. The objective of this study is to determine the contribution of raindrop impact to changes in soil physical properties and soil losses in a semiarid weakly-aggregated agricultural soil. Soil losses were measured under simulated rainfalls of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70mmh(-1), and under two conditions: i) with raindrop impact; and, ii) without raindrop impact. Three replications at each rainfall intensity and condition resulted in a total of 42 microplots of 1m×1.4m installed on a 10% slope according to a randomized complete block design. The contribution of raindrop impact to soil loss was computed using the difference between soil loss with raindrop impact and without raindrop impact at each rainfall intensity. Soil physical properties (aggregate size, bulk density and infiltration rate) were strongly damaged by raindrop impact as rainfall intensity increased. Soil loss was significantly affected by rainfall intensity under both soil surface conditions. The contribution of raindrop impact to soil loss decreased steadily with increasing rainfall intensity. At the lower rainfall intensities (20-30mmh(-1)), raindrop impact was the dominant factor controlling soil loss from the plots (68%) while at the higher rainfall intensities (40-70mmh(-1)) soil loss was mostly affected by increasing runoff discharge. At higher rainfall intensities the sheet flow protected the soil from raindrop impact.
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...
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
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
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.
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
Setiawan, M. A.; Stoetter, J.; Sartohadi, J.; Christanto, N.
Many types of soil erosion modeling have been developed worldwide; each of models has its own advantage and assumption based on the originated area. Ironically, in the tropical countries where the rainfall intensity is higher than other area, the soil erosion problem gain less attention. As in Indonesia, due the inadequate supporting data and method to dealing with, the soil erosion management appears to be least prior in the policy decision. Hence, there is increasing necessity towards the initiation and integration of risk management model in the soil erosion, to prevent further land degradation problem in Indonesia. The main research objective is to generate a model which can analyze the dynamic system of soil erosion problem. This model will comprehensively consider four main aspects within the dynamic system analysis, i.e.: soil erosion rate modeling, the tolerable soil erosion rate, total soil erosion cost, and soil erosion management measures. The generating model will involve some sub-software i.e. the PC Raster to maintain the soil erosion modeling, Powersim Constructor Ver. 2.5 as the tool to analyze the dynamic system and Python Ver. 2.6.1 to build the main Graphical User Interface model. The first step addressed in this research is figuring the most appropriate soil erosion model to be applied in Indonesia based on landscape, climate, and data availability condition. This appropriate model must have the simplicity aspect in input data but still deal with the process based analysis. By using the soil erosion model result, the total soil erosion cost will be calculated both on-site and off-site effect. The total soil erosion cost will be stated in Rupiah (Indonesian currency) and Dollar. That total result is then used as one of input parameters for the tolerable soil erosion rate. Subsequently, the tolerable soil erosion rate decides whether the soil erosion rate has exceeded the allowed value or not. If the soil erosion rate has bigger value than the
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.
Biddoccu, Marcella; Ferraris, Stefano; Opsi, Francesca; Cavallo, Eugenio
on water and soil conservation. The monitoring activities at the Cannona Experimental Site are currently carried out and implemented in order to improve the understanding of the soil management effects on soil hydrology, erosion and compaction in sloping vineyards. Land use and soil management strongly influence the hydrologic processes in the soil. In Italy vines are widely cultivated on hills and mountain slopes, within areas which are frequently affected by landslides. Such natural events are strictly related to hydrologic behavior of the soil, that drives the runoff formation on slopes and the consequent sediment delivery to water courses. Data from the CDB could be used in a multidisciplinary approach to investigate interactions among land use/ soil management and natural processes at different scales.
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
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...
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...
This paper presents a global synopsis about the geomorphic evidence of soil erosion in humid and semihumid areas since the beginning of agriculture. Historical documents, starting from ancient records to data from the mid-twentieth century and numerous literature reviews form an extensive assortment of examples that show how soil erosion has been perceived previously by scholars, land surveyors, farmers, land owners, researchers, and policy makers. Examples have been selected from ancient Greek and Roman Times and from central Europe, southern Africa, North America, the Chinese Loess Plateau, Australia, New Zealand, and Easter Island. Furthermore, a comprehensive collection on the development of soil erosion research and soil conservation has been provided, with a particular focus on Germany and the USA. Geomorphic evidence shows that most of the agriculturally used slopes in the Old and New Worlds had already been affected by soil erosion in earlier, prehistoric times. Early descriptions of soil erosion are often very vague. With regard to the Roman Times, geomorphic evidence shows seemingly opposing results, ranging from massive devastation to landscapes remaining stable for centuries. Unfortunately, historical documentation is lacking. In the following centuries, historical records become more frequent and more precise and observations on extreme soil erosion events are prominent. Sometimes they can be clearly linked to geomorphic evidence in the field. The advent of professional soil conservation took place in the late eighteenth century. The first extensive essay on soil conservation known to the Western world was published in Germany in 1815. The rise of professional soil conservation occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Soil remediation and flood prevention programs were initiated, but the long-term success of these actions remains controversial. In recent years, increasing interest is to recover any traditional knowledge of soil
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
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.
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
Htwe, Thin Nwe; Brinkmann, Katja; Buerkert, Andreas
Myanmar is one of Southeast Asia's climatically most diverse countries, where sheet, rill, and gully erosion affect crop yields and subsequently livelihood strategies of many people. In the unique wetland ecosystem of Inle Lake, soil erosion in surrounding uplands lead to sedimentation and pollution of the water body. The current study uses the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to identify soil erosion risks of the Inle Lake region in space and time and to assess the relationship between soil erosion and degradation for different agricultural zones and cropping systems. Altogether, 85% of soil losses occurred on barren land along the steep slopes. The hotspot of soil erosion risk is situated in the western uplands characterized by unsustainable land use practices combined with a steep topography. The estimated average soil losses amounted to 19.9, 10.1, and 26.2 t ha(-1) yr(-1) in 1989, 2000, and 2009, respectively. These fluctuations were mainly the results of changes in precipitation and land cover (deforestation (-19%) and expansion of annual cropland (+35%) from 1989 to 2009). Most farmers in the study area have not yet adopted effective soil protection measures to mitigate the effects of soil erosion such as land degradation and water pollution of the lake reservoir. This urgently needs to be addressed by policy makers and extension services.
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.
Wang, Jian-guo; Fan, Jun; Wang, Quan-jiu; Wang, Li
Field investigations were conducted in Liudaogou small watershed in late September 2009 to study the differences of vegetation above-ground biomass, soil moisture content, and soil nutrient contents under different land use patterns, aimed to approach the vegetation above-ground biomass level and related affecting factors in typical small watershed in water/wind erosion crisscross region on Loess Plateau. The above-ground dry biomass of the main vegetations in Liudaogou was 177-2207 g x m(-2), and that in corn field, millet field, abandoned farmland, artificial grassland, natural grassland, and shrub land was 2097-2207, 518-775, 248-578, 280-545, 177-396, and 372-680 g x m(-2), respectively. The mean soil moisture content in 0-100 layer was the highest (14.2%) in farmlands and the lowest (10.9%) in shrub land. The coefficient of variation of soil moisture content was the greatest (26. 7% ) in abandoned farmland, indicating the strong spatial heterogeneity of soil moisture in this kind of farmland. The mean soil water storage was in the order of farmland > artificial grassland > natural grassland > shrub land. Soil dry layer was observed in alfalfa and caragana lands. There was a significant positive correlation (r = 0.639, P < 0.05) between above-ground dry biomass and 0-100 cm soil water storage, and also, a very significant positive correlation between above-ground fresh biomass and vegetation height. The above-ground biomass of the higher vegetations could potentially better control the wind and water erosion in the water/wind erosion crisscross region. Vegetation above-ground biomass was highly correlated with soil moisture and nutrient contents, but had no significant correlations with elevation, slope gradient, slope aspect, and soil bulk density.
Haselman, L.C.; Winer, K.A.
It has been observed in various experiments with shaped charge jets penetrating high explosives that the erosion of the jet can be considerably greater than that expected from analytical theory or from two dimensional hydrodynamic computer simulations. In a previous study, we found that the initial penetration of the jet agreed with theory, and that the erosion of the jet happened subsequent to the initial penetration. This additional erosion can be the dominant factor in the total length of jet that is eroded. We also found that in one experiment the jet did not show any excess erosion and that the penetration could be predicted from theory. We also found a rough correlation of the amount of excess erosion with the diameter of the jet, with larger jet diameters giving less erosion. A problem with previous experiments was that a wide variety of shaped charges, target shapes, and target thicknesses were used. This made it difficult to isolate the effect of a particular parameter. For the current study we chose to isolate the effects of scale and target thickness. For this purpose we used well characterized jets and carefully chosen targets. We also did computer calculations to help elucidate the underlying mechanisms of the excess erosion.
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
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.
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
Dobrynin, Mikhail; Razumov, Sergey; Brovkin, Victor; Ilyina, Tatiana; Grigoriev, Mikhail
Driving factors of seabed and coastal erosion in the Arctic can be classified as thermal and mechanical. Thermal factors such as air and ocean temperatures affect the seabed and coastal ground temperatures. Mechanical factors such as ocean currents and surface gravity waves contribute to the seabed and costal erosion due to shear stress. Due to polar amplification, the Arctic experiences strong increase in air and water temperature, sea-ice loss and changes in the ocean and atmospheric circulation, temperature and wind distribution. These climatic changes lead to changes in factors driving seabed and coastal erosion, which is expected to accelerate in the shallow Arctic regions such as the Laptev sea and East Siberian sea. In these regions, the coastal line to a large extent consists of frozen rocks, sediments and organic soils including ground ice. The increase of erosion rate of the coastal line will increase the release of organic and inorganic matter from thawed permafrost. Dynamics of thermal and mechanical drivers of seabed and coastal erosion in the present and future climate change (RCP8.5 scenario) simulated by the CMIP5 version of the MPI Earth system model and wave model WAM will be presented. Special attention will be given to changes in the air temperature, wind dynamics and development of new waves system in the ``ice-free'' Arctic and its role in the seabed and coastal erosion.
Li, Xiang; Niu, Jianzhi; Xie, Baoyuan
The role of leaf litter in hydrological processes and soil erosion of forest ecosystems is poorly understood. A field experiment was conducted under simulated rainfall in runoff plots with a slope of 10%. Two common types of litter in North China (from Quercus variabilis, representing broadleaf litter, and Pinus tabulaeformis, representing needle leaf litter), four amounts of litter, and five rainfall intensities were tested. Results revealed that the litter reduced runoff and delayed the beginning of runoff, but significantly reduced soil loss (p<0.05). Average runoff yield was 29.5% and 31.3% less than bare-soil plot, and for Q. variabilis and P. tabulaeformis, respectively, and average sediment yield was 85.1% and 79.9% lower. Rainfall intensity significantly affected runoff (R = 0.99, p<0.05), and the efficiency in runoff reduction by litter decreased considerably. Runoff yield and the runoff coefficient increased dramatically by 72.9 and 5.4 times, respectively. The period of time before runoff appeared decreased approximately 96.7% when rainfall intensity increased from 5.7 to 75.6 mm h-1. Broadleaf and needle leaf litter showed similarly relevant effects on runoff and soil erosion control, since no significant differences (p≤0.05) were observed in runoff and sediment variables between two litter-covered plots. In contrast, litter mass was probably not a main factor in determining runoff and sediment because a significant correlation was found only with sediment in Q. variabilis litter plot. Finally, runoff yield was significantly correlated (p<0.05) with sediment yield. These results suggest that the protective role of leaf litter in runoff and erosion processes was crucial, and both rainfall intensity and litter characteristics had an impact on these processes.
Li, Xiang; Niu, Jianzhi; Xie, Baoyuan
The role of leaf litter in hydrological processes and soil erosion of forest ecosystems is poorly understood. A field experiment was conducted under simulated rainfall in runoff plots with a slope of 10%. Two common types of litter in North China (from Quercus variabilis, representing broadleaf litter, and Pinus tabulaeformis, representing needle leaf litter), four amounts of litter, and five rainfall intensities were tested. Results revealed that the litter reduced runoff and delayed the beginning of runoff, but significantly reduced soil loss (p<0.05). Average runoff yield was 29.5% and 31.3% less than bare-soil plot, and for Q. variabilis and P. tabulaeformis, respectively, and average sediment yield was 85.1% and 79.9% lower. Rainfall intensity significantly affected runoff (R = 0.99, p<0.05), and the efficiency in runoff reduction by litter decreased considerably. Runoff yield and the runoff coefficient increased dramatically by 72.9 and 5.4 times, respectively. The period of time before runoff appeared decreased approximately 96.7% when rainfall intensity increased from 5.7 to 75.6 mm h−1. Broadleaf and needle leaf litter showed similarly relevant effects on runoff and soil erosion control, since no significant differences (p≤0.05) were observed in runoff and sediment variables between two litter-covered plots. In contrast, litter mass was probably not a main factor in determining runoff and sediment because a significant correlation was found only with sediment in Q. variabilis litter plot. Finally, runoff yield was significantly correlated (p<0.05) with sediment yield. These results suggest that the protective role of leaf litter in runoff and erosion processes was crucial, and both rainfall intensity and litter characteristics had an impact on these processes. PMID:25232858
Pardini, Giovanni; Gispert, Maria; Dunjó, Gemma
environment, indicating that reforestation followed by insufficient forest management may negatively affect both soil properties and response to the erosive action of rainfall.
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
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
Arata, Laura; Meusburger, Katrin; Bissig, Nicole; Mabit, Lionel; Alewell, Christine
Over the past decades, radioactive fallout 137Cs has been used as a tracer to provide information on soil erosion and sedimentation rates. However, the method may produce relatively large uncertainties in Alpine grasslands. The latter difficulties are caused by a combination of (i) the heterogeneous distribution of atmospheric 137Cs Chernobyl fallout, (ii) the partly snow covered ground in Alpine areas during the fallout event in April 1986, which results in inhomogeneous 137Cs distribution during snow melt and (iii) uncertainties in finding undisturbed references sites in the geomorphological and anthropogenic highly active slopes of the Alps. To overcome these difficulties, our aim is to replace the classical 137Cs approach, where an undisturbed reference site is compared to erosional sites, with a re-sampling approach, where we re-sample sites which have already been measured for 137Cs inventories in the past. Thus, we use temporal instead of spatial reference. The study area is located in the Central Swiss Alps in the Urseren Valley. Potential erosional sites have been sampled in 2007 and re-sampled in 2012. Two different grassland types were investigated: hayfield (2 sites) and pasture without dwarf shrubs (3 sites). For each site, 4 to 9 sampling points have been defined, and at each point two soil samples have been collected. To reduce the random error, the two soil samples were bulked prior to gamma-analysis. 137Cs inventories of the two sampling years were calculated and used to assess recent soil erosion in the experimental sites. Our results show that within the 5 years measurable soil erosion and deposition processes have occurred within the sites, as indicated by the relevant difference between the 137Cs inventories of 2007 and 2012. 64% of the sites exhibit a decrease in 137Cs inventories, 20% of the sites an increase, and the remaining 16% no significant difference. In particular, hayfield sites have been affected by erosion processes, mostly due to
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.
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
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.
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.
López-Vicente, M.; Navas, A.; Machín, J.; Gaspar, L.
Distributed erosion models are potential tools for identifying soil sediment sources. However, the uncertainty of model predictions has yet to be resolved. This work presents a new approach to estimate how terraces and geomorphic structures (sinks and scarps) modify overland flow connectivity and thus affects the assessment of soil erosion rates. This target is achieved by using geographic information systems (GIS), detailed maps of topography, geomorphic elements and land-uses in a small mountain catchment (La Coloma, Spanish Pre-Pyrenees). Overland flow per raster cell and soil erosion was estimated with the revised Morgan, Morgan and Finney (RMMF) model. Cumulative runoff was calculated with a combined algorithm of flow accumulation and the trap-efficiencies of human and geomorphic structures were calculated from the basis of the recently published work of Schäuble et al. (2008) [Computers & Geosciences 34: 635-646]. All maps were derived and the models were run at a spatial resolution of 5 x 5 meters. A total of 16 soil samples were collected in order to obtain a database of different soil properties. Results underline the complexity of runoff connectivity in the study area due to the presence of sinks, stone bunds and terraces. These natural and anthropogenic structures are characterized by high values of trap-efficiency and create areas of temporal accumulation of overland flow and eroded particles. Moreover, karstic processes of limestone dissolution explain the presence of clogging soils where no erosion is expected. The highest rates of soil erosion were obtained in cultivated areas at the bottom of the catchment and in areas under low canopy cover. Areas with high values of flow length also present high values of runoff and soil erosion. This work has proved the usefulness of adding information of terraces and geomorphic structures to improve the assessment of overland flow at catchment scale. Moreover, values of spatially distributed soil erosion showed
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
Haregeweyn, Nigussie; Tsunekawa, Atsushi; Poesen, Jean; Tsubo, Mitsuru; Meshesha, Derege Tsegaye; Fenta, Ayele Almaw; Nyssen, Jan; Adgo, Enyew
In the drought-prone Upper Blue Nile River (UBNR) basin of Ethiopia, soil erosion by water results in significant consequences that also affect downstream countries. However, there have been limited comprehensive studies of this and other basins with diverse agroecologies. We analyzed the variability of gross soil loss and sediment yield rates under present and expected future conditions using a newly devised methodological framework. The results showed that the basin generates an average soil loss rate of 27.5tha(-1)yr(-1) and a gross soil loss of ca. 473Mtyr(-1), of which, at least 10% comes from gully erosion and 26.7% leaves Ethiopia. In a factor analysis, variation in agroecology (average factor score=1.32) and slope (1.28) were the two factors most responsible for this high spatial variability. About 39% of the basin area is experiencing severe to very severe (>30tha(-1)yr(-1)) soil erosion risk, which is strongly linked to population density. Severe or very severe soil erosion affects the largest proportion of land in three subbasins of the UBNR basin: Blue Nile 4 (53.9%), Blue Nile 3 (45.1%), and Jema Shet (42.5%). If appropriate soil and water conservation practices targeted ca. 77.3% of the area with moderate to severe erosion (>15tha(-1)yr(-1)), the total soil loss from the basin could be reduced by ca. 52%. Our methodological framework identified the potential risk for soil erosion in large-scale zones, and with a more sophisticated model and input data of higher spatial and temporal resolution, results could be specified locally within these risk zones. Accurate assessment of soil erosion in the UBNR basin would support sustainable use of the basin's land resources and possibly open up prospects for cooperation in the Eastern Nile region.
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
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.
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.
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
Ali, Hamada E; Reineking, Björn
Soil erosion is a widespread problem in agricultural landscapes, particularly in regions with strong rainfall events. Vegetated field margins can mitigate negative impacts of soil erosion off-site by trapping eroded material. Here we analyse how local management affects the trapping capacity of field margins in a monsoon region of South Korea, contrasting intensively and extensively managed field margins on both steep and shallow slopes. Prior to the beginning of monsoon season, we equipped a total of 12 sites representing three replicates for each of four different types of field margins ("intensive managed flat", "intensive managed steep", "extensive managed flat" and "extensive managed steep") with Astroturf mats. The mats (n = 15/site) were placed before, within and after the field margin. Sediment was collected after each rain event until the end of the monsoon season. The effect of management and slope on sediment trapping was analysed using linear mixed effects models, using as response variable either the sediment collected within the field margin or the difference in sediment collected after and before the field margin. There was no difference in the amount of sediment reaching the different field margin types. In contrast, extensively managed field margins showed a large reduction in collected sediment before and after the field margins. This effect was pronounced in steep field margins, and increased with the size of rainfall events. We conclude that a field margin management promoting a dense vegetation cover is a key to mitigating negative off-site effects of soil erosion in monsoon regions, particularly in field margins with steep slopes.
Razafindrabe, Bam H N; He, Bin; Inoue, Shoji; Ezaki, Tsugio; Shaw, Rajib
The role of forest stand density in controlling soil erosion was investigated in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. The main objective was to compare soil erosion under different forest conditions including forest type, species composition, and stand density as influenced by thinning operations. Relative yield index (Ry) was used as an indicator of stand density to reflect the degree of management operations in the watershed. Eleven treatments were established based on the above forest conditions. Soil loss was collected in each of the 11 treatments after each rainfall event for a period of 1 year. The paper presents summary data on soil loss as affected by forest conditions and rainfall patterns. Findings showed that an appropriate forest management operation, which can be insured by stand density control, is needed to reduce soil loss. The present study plays an important role in clarifying technical processes related to soil erosion, while it helps linking these elements to current Japanese forestry issues and bringing new inputs to reducing sediment-related disasters in Japan.
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...
Fang, Haiyan; Li, Qiuyan; Sun, Liying; Cai, Qiangguo
Understanding the spatial pattern of soil organic carbon (SOC) is of great importance because of global environmental concerns. Soil erosion and its subsequent redistribution contribute significantly to the redistribution of SOC in agricultural ecosystems. This study investigated the relationships between (137)Cs and SOC over an agricultural landscape, and SOC redistribution was conducted for an agricultural catchment of the black soil region in Northeast China. The spatial patterns of (137)Cs and SOC were greatly affected by the established shelterbelts and the developed ephemeral gullies. (137)Cs were significantly correlated with SOC when (137)Cs were >2000 Bq m(-2), while no relation was observed between them when (137)Cs were <2000 Bq m(-2). Factors other than soil erosion such as vegetative productivity, mineralization of SOC, landscape position and management induced their spatial difference of (137)Cs and SOC. Using (137)Cs technique to directly study SOC dynamics must be cautious in the black soils. The net SOC loss rate across the entire catchment during 1954-2010 was 92.8 kg ha(-1) yr(-1), with around 42% of the eroded SOC being redeposited within the catchment. Such information can help guide shelterbelt establishment or other land management to reduce SOC loss in the agricultural ecosystems.
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
Ahn, S.; Hamlett, C. A.; Doerr, S.; Bryant, R.; Shirtcliffe, N.; McHale, G.; Newton, M.
Wildfires remove vegetation and litter cover and expose soil surfaces to particle detachment by rain splash. This can serve as an agent of initial soil modification and erosion in the post-fire period. Splash behavior is mainly determined by the kinetic energy delivered by impacting water drops (erosivity), and the detachability (erodibility) of surface particles, affected by their size, aggregate stability and shear strength. Soil detachability may also be affected by water repellency (hydrophobicity). This soil characteristic is influenced by wildfire and may affect splash behavior by reducing capillary forces between particles. Previous work on splash behavior using cumulative drop impact reported larger ejection droplets and lower and shorter trajectories of ejections for water repellent soil compared with wettable soil (Terry and Shakesby 1993). A water film generated by delayed infiltration on water repellent soil was suggested to account for the difference. This study compares the trajectories of ejected wettable and hydrophobic model soil particles from single water drop impacts in order to isolate the effect of soil particle wettability on splash erosion behavior. Acid-washed (wettable) and hydrophobized (water repellent) glass beads used as model soil particles were held in an array within a squat cylinder of 1.5 cm diameter in the centre of a 20 cm diameter disk covered with a viscous adhesive film. A distilled water drop (20μL) was released 40 cm above the centre of the array and the resultant impact was recorded at 976 frames per second using a high speed video camera. The populations of, and distances travelled by, the particles were measured for three arrays of bead sizes within the range (180-400 μm). Three to five replications were made for each test. The trajectory of each ejected particle was traced on video frames and corrected for the actual distance and direction of travel measured from the adhesive film. The initial velocity and ejecting
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
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
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Li, Yujin; Jiao, Juying; Wang, Zhijie; Cao, Binting; Wei, Yanhong; Hu, Shu
Background: The Loess Plateau, an ecologically vulnerable region, has long been suffering from serious soil erosion. Revegetation has been implemented to control soil erosion and improve ecosystems in the Loess Plateau region through a series of ecological recovery programs. However, the increasing atmospheric CO2 as a result of human intervention is affecting the climate by global warming, resulting in the greater frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as storms that may weaken the effectiveness of revegetation and cause severe soil erosion. Most research to date has evaluated the effectiveness of revegetation on soil properties and soil erosion of different land use or vegetation types. Here, we study the effect of revegetation on soil organic carbon (SOC) storage and erosion-induced carbon loss related to different plant communities, particularly under extreme rainstorm events. Materials and methods: The erosion-pin method was used to quantify soil erosion, and soil samples were taken at soil depths of 0–5 cm, 5–10 cm and 10–20 cm to determine the SOC content for 13 typical hillside revegetation communities in the year of 2013, which had the highest rainfall with broad range, long duration and high intensity since 1945, in the Yanhe watershed. Results and discussion: The SOC concentrations of all plant communities increased with soil depth when compared with slope cropland, and significant increases (p < 0.05) were observed for most shrub and forest communities, particularly for natural ones. Taking the natural secondary forest community as reference (i.e., soil loss and SOC loss were both 1.0), the relative soil loss and SOC loss of the other 12 plant communities in 2013 ranged from 1.5 to 9.4 and 0.30 to 1.73, respectively. Natural shrub and forest communities showed greater resistance to rainstorm erosion than grassland communities. The natural grassland communities with lower SOC content produced lower SOC loss even with higher soil
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.
Carkovic, Athena B; Pastén, Pablo A; Bonilla, Carlos A
Water erosion is a leading cause of soil degradation and a major nonpoint source pollution problem. Many efforts have been undertaken to estimate the amount and size distribution of the sediment leaving the field. Multi-size class water erosion models subdivide eroded soil into different sizes and estimate the aggregate's composition based on empirical equations derived from agricultural soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate these equations on soil samples collected from natural landscapes (uncultivated) and fire-affected soils. Chemical, physical, and soil fractions and aggregate composition analyses were performed on samples collected in the Chilean Patagonia and later compared with the equations' estimates. The results showed that the empirical equations were not suitable for predicting the sediment fractions. Fine particles, including primary clay, primary silt, and small aggregates (<53 μm) were over-estimated, and large aggregates (>53 μm) and primary sand were under-estimated. The uncultivated and fire-affected soils showed a reduced fraction of fine particles in the sediment, as clay and silt were mostly in the form of large aggregates. Thus, a new set of equations was developed for these soils, where small aggregates were defined as particles with sizes between 53 μm and 250 μm and large aggregates as particles>250 μm. With r(2) values between 0.47 and 0.98, the new equations provided better estimates for primary sand and large aggregates. The aggregate's composition was also well predicted, especially the silt and clay fractions in the large aggregates from uncultivated soils (r(2)=0.63 and 0.83, respectively) and the fractions of silt in the small aggregates (r(2)=0.84) and clay in the large aggregates (r(2)=0.78) from fire-affected soils. Overall, these new equations proved to be better predictors for the sediment and aggregate's composition in uncultivated and fire-affected soils, and they reduce the error when estimating soil loss in
Campo, Julian; Cammeraat, Erik; Gimeno-García, Eugenia; Andreu, Vicente
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated a higher degree of confidence that meteorological conditions associated to climate change will be propitious to increasing extreme events manifested, among others, in bigger and more frequent wildfires (IPCC, 2014). Wildfires contribute to shaping the landscape, and also the geomorphological and hydrological processes that operate on soil are affected (Bento-Gonçalves et al., 2012). Whereas, it is well documented that wildfires produce significant changes on erosion processes, the associated fate of soil organic carbon (SOC) has received less attention. This research assesses this gap by studying the loss, redistribution, and stabilization of SOC in a Mediterranean forest hill-slope burned the 28-08-2014, with high severity fire, at the Natural Park of Sierra de Espadán, Spain (39°50'45.11"N, 0°22'20.52"W). To this end, soil was sampled (19-9-2014) in the foot's slope (depositional), middle part (transport) and top (eroding) at two depths (<2 cm, 2-5 cm), and in two environments (under canopy soil: UC; bare soil: BS). Sediments were collected from four sediment fences constructed at the foot's slope, and together with soil samples, analysed with regard to SOC content and aggregate stability (AS). The main objective is to increase the understanding on the fate of SOC in Mediterranean burned areas experiencing soil erosion, transport and deposition, with special attention to the role of aggregation and disaggregation in redistribution processes. Immediately after the fire, SOC content was high (≈50 gC kg-1) as well as the AS (water drop test>146 drops). Significant differences (ANOVA, p<0.05) in SOC contents were observed between environments (UC>BS) and soil depths (topsoil>subsoil). However, no significant differences were observed among eroding (58.8+20.8 gC kg-1), transport (67.3+34.4 gC kg-1), and depositional zones (62.0+31.3 gC kg-1), which is not in agreement with other SOC redistribution studies
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.
Pérez-Rodríguez, Raquel; Marques, Maria Jose; Bienes, Ramón
The rate of soil erosion in pine forests (Pinus halepensis) located in the Southeast of Madrid has been estimated using dendrochronological analysis based on the change in ring-growth pattern from concentric to eccentric when the root is exposed. Using 49 roots spread across five inclined areas, it has been found that the length and direction of the hillsides, as well as their vegetation cover affect the rate of erosion, while the slope itself does not. The erosion rates found for the different areas studied vary between 3.5 and 8.8 mm year(-1), that is between 40 and 101 t ha(-1) year(-1) respectively. These values are between 2 and 3 times greater than those predicted by USLE, for which this equation underestimates soil loss for Central Spain's Mediterranean conditions. Nonetheless, both methods (using dendrochronology to determine actual soil loss and theoretical prediction with USLE) are able to establish the same significant differences among the areas studied, allowing for the comparative estimate of the severity of the area's erosion problem.
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
Sabatier, Pierre; Poulenard, Jérôme; Fanget, Bernard; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Develle, Anne-Lise; Wilhelm, Bruno; Ployon, Estelle; Pignol, Cécile; Naffrechoux, Emmanuel; Dorioz, Jean-Marcel; Montuelle, Bernard; Arnaud, Fabien
Agricultural pesticide use has increased worldwide during the last several decades, but the long-term fate, storage, and transfer dynamics of pesticides in a changing environment are poorly understood. Many pesticides have been progressively banned, but in numerous cases, these molecules are stable and may persist in soils, sediments, and ice. Many studies have addressed the question of their possible remobilization as a result of global change. In this article, we present a retro-observation approach based on lake sediment records to monitor micropollutants and to evaluate the long-term succession and diffuse transfer of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide treatments in a vineyard catchment in France. The sediment allows for a reliable reconstruction of past pesticide use through time, validated by the historical introduction, use, and banning of these organic and inorganic pesticides in local vineyards. Our results also revealed how changes in these practices affect storage conditions and, consequently, the pesticides' transfer dynamics. For example, the use of postemergence herbicides (glyphosate), which induce an increase in soil erosion, led to a release of a banned remnant pesticide (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT), which had been previously stored in vineyard soil, back into the environment. Management strategies of ecotoxicological risk would be well served by recognition of the diversity of compounds stored in various environmental sinks, such as agriculture soil, and their capability to become sources when environmental conditions change. PMID:25313074
Sabatier, Pierre; Poulenard, Jérôme; Fanget, Bernard; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Develle, Anne-Lise; Wilhelm, Bruno; Ployon, Estelle; Pignol, Cécile; Naffrechoux, Emmanuel; Dorioz, Jean-Marcel; Montuelle, Bernard; Arnaud, Fabien
Agricultural pesticide use has increased worldwide during the last several decades, but the long-term fate, storage, and transfer dynamics of pesticides in a changing environment are poorly understood. Many pesticides have been progressively banned, but in numerous cases, these molecules are stable and may persist in soils, sediments, and ice. Many studies have addressed the question of their possible remobilization as a result of global change. In this article, we present a retro-observation approach based on lake sediment records to monitor micropollutants and to evaluate the long-term succession and diffuse transfer of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide treatments in a vineyard catchment in France. The sediment allows for a reliable reconstruction of past pesticide use through time, validated by the historical introduction, use, and banning of these organic and inorganic pesticides in local vineyards. Our results also revealed how changes in these practices affect storage conditions and, consequently, the pesticides' transfer dynamics. For example, the use of postemergence herbicides (glyphosate), which induce an increase in soil erosion, led to a release of a banned remnant pesticide (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT), which had been previously stored in vineyard soil, back into the environment. Management strategies of ecotoxicological risk would be well served by recognition of the diversity of compounds stored in various environmental sinks, such as agriculture soil, and their capability to become sources when environmental conditions change.
Sabatier, Pierre; Poulenard, Jérôme; Fanget, Bernard; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Develle, Anne-Lise; Wilhelm, Bruno; Ployon, Estelle; Pignol, Cécile; Naffrechoux, Emmanuel; Dorioz, Jean-Marcel; Montuelle, Bernard; Arnaud, Fabien
Agricultural pesticide use has increased worldwide during the last several decades, but the long-term fate, storage, and transfer dynamics of pesticides in a changing environment are poorly understood. Many pesticides have been progressively banned, but in numerous cases, these molecules are stable and may persist in soils, sediments, and ice. Many studies have addressed the question of their possible remobilization as a result of global change. In this article, we present a retro-observation approach based on lake sediment records to monitor micropollutants and to evaluate the long-term succession and diffuse transfer of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticide treatments in a vineyard catchment in France. The sediment allows for a reliable reconstruction of past pesticide use through time, validated by the historical introduction, use, and banning of these organic and inorganic pesticides in local vineyards. Our results also revealed how changes in these practices affect storage conditions and, consequently, the pesticides' transfer dynamics. For example, the use of postemergence herbicides (glyphosate), which induce an increase in soil erosion, led to a release of a banned remnant pesticide (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT), which had been previously stored in vineyard soil, back into the environment. Management strategies of ecotoxicological risk would be well served by recognition of the diversity of compounds stored in various environmental sinks, such as agriculture soil, and their capability to become sources when environmental conditions change.
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.
Vujacic, Dusko; Barovic, Goran; Mijanovic, Dragica; Spalevic, Velibor; Curovic, Milic; Tanaskovic, Vjekoslav; Djurovic, Nevenka
The objective of this research was to study soil erosion processes in one of Northern Montenegrin watersheds, the Krivacki Potok Watershed of the Polimlje River Basin, using modeling techniques: the River Basins computer-graphic model, based on the analytical Erosion Potential Method (EPM) of Gavrilovic for calculation of runoff and soil loss. Our findings indicate a low potential of soil erosion risk, with 554 m³ yr-1 of annual sediment yield; an area-specific sediment yield of 180 m³km-2 yr-1. The calculation outcomes were validated for the entire 57 River Basins of Polimlje, through measurements of lake sediment deposition at the Potpec hydropower plant dam. According to our analysis, the Krivacki Potok drainage basin is with the relatively low sediment discharge; according to the erosion type, it is mixed erosion. The value of the Z coefficient was calculated on 0.297, what indicates that the river basin belongs to 4th destruction category (of five). The calculated peak discharge from the river basin was 73 m3s-1 for the incidence of 100 years and there is a possibility for large flood waves to appear in the studied river basin. Using the adequate computer-graphic and analytical modeling tools, we improved the knowledge on the soil erosion processes of the river basins of this part of Montenegro. The computer-graphic River Basins model of Spalevic, which is based on the EPM analytical method of Gavrilovic, is highly recommended for soil erosion modelling in other river basins of the Southeastern Europe. This is because of its reliable detection and appropriate classification of the areas affected by the soil loss caused by soil erosion, at the same time taking into consideration interactions between the various environmental elements such as Physical-Geographical Features, Climate, Geological, Pedological characteristics, including the analysis of Land Use, all calculated at the catchment scale.
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.
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.
Zemke, Julian J.
In the course of forestry operations such as pruning and harvesting, a dense network of forest roads and skid trails has to be established. Due to mostly insufficient soil protective measures, the frequent overpassing of previously undisturbed topsoil with heavy forestry equipment on skid trails generates severe soil compaction. On persistent forest roads, the constructional layout and fortification also cause an increase of soil density. As a result of soil compaction, infiltration capacities are significantly reduced. Therefore, the affected areas tend to generate overland flow much quicker than undisturbed soil and differ considerably from the adjacent forest topsoil. As a consequence, decentral water retention on the watershed scale can be affected, if the road network is too dense and/or covers too much of the catchment's surface. Another consequence is the increase of soil erosion rates caused by erosive overland flows and the removal of vegetation cover on roads and skid trails. Again, the road and path surfaces differ significantly from adjacent forest soils where soil erosion rates normally tend to be equal or less than the soil renewal rates. To quantify the influence of forest roads and skid trails on runoff generation and soil erosion rates in a forested catchment area, rainfall simulations were carried out. A small scale rainfall simulator with a plot area of 0,64 m2 was used to simulate rainfall events with an intensity of 45 mm/h, a duration of 3 x 30 minutes and a kinetic energy of 4,6 J/m2*mm. Overland flow and eroded material were collected in a high temporal resolution of 1 minute. The sampled roads and skid trails were differentiated and categorized according to their constructional layout. Beyond that, rutted and unrutted road areas were distinguished. To obtain a benchmark for natural soil characteristics, undisturbed forest soils were also examined. The results show a significant influence of traffic induced soil compaction on the
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.
Wainwright, John; Parsons, Anthony; Cooper, James; Long, Edward; Hargrave, Graham; Kitchener, Ben; Hewett, Caspar; Onda, Yuichi; Furukawa, Tomomi; Obana, Eiichiro; Hayashi, Hirofumi; Noguchi, Takehiro
Erosion is a particle-based phenomenon, yet most of current understanding and modelling of this process is based on bulk measurements rather than the movement of individual particles. Difficulties with measuring particle motions in dynamically changing conditions are being overcome with the application of two new technologies - particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) and radio frequency identification (RFID). It is thus possible to evaluate the entrainment, transport and deposition of individual particles and these data can be used to parameterize and to test particle-based modelling of the particle-based process. Both PIV and RFID tagging have been used in laboratory experiments to evaluate the detachment process by raindrops on bare surfaces and in shallow flows using rainfall simulation. The results suggest that the processes are more complex than hitherto thought with multiple detachment and transfer mechanisms. Because both mechanisms affect travel distance, they affect the ways in which estimates of soil erosion can be scaled from plot to hillslope and catchment scales. To evaluate movements at larger scales, we have also used RFID-tagged particles in field settings to look at sediment transfers following the Fukushima accident in Japan, 2011. A marker-in-cell model (MAHLERAN-MiC) has been developed to enable the laboratory results to be upscaled and tested in a field setting. Markers (representing sediment particles), containing sediment-property information, are initially distributed on a cellular grid. A cellular model is used to set up the boundary conditions and determine the hydrology and hydraulics on the hillslope. The markers are then moved through the grid according to these properties. This technique combines the advantages of Eulerian and Lagrangian methods while avoiding the shortcomings of each (computational efficiency vs. accuracy). The model simulates all the processes of detachment and transport; raindrop detachment and transport, interrill
Williams, C. J.; Pierson, F. B.; Al-Hamdan, O. Z.
Fire is an inherent component of sagebrush steppe rangelands in western North America and can dramatically affect runoff and erosion processes. Post-fire flooding and erosion events pose substantial threats to proximal resources, property, and human life. Yet, prescribed fire can serve as a tool to manage vegetation and fuels on sagebrush rangelands and to reduce the potential for large catastrophic fires and mass erosion events. The impact of burning on event hydrologic and erosion responses is strongly related to the degree to which burning alters vegetation, ground cover, and surface soils and the intensity and duration of precipitation. Fire impacts on hydrologic and erosion response may be intensified or reduced by inherent site characteristics such as topography and soil properties. Parameterization of these diverse conditions in predictive tools is often limited by a lack of data and/or understanding for the domain of interest. Furthermore, hydrologic and erosion functioning change as vegetation and ground cover recover in the years following burning and few studies track these changes over time. In this study, we evaluated the impacts of prescribed fire on vegetation, ground cover, soil water repellency, and hydrologic and erosion responses 1, 2, and 5 yr following burning of a mountain big sagebrush community on steep hillslopes with fine-textured soils. The study site is within the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, southwestern Idaho, USA. Vegetation, ground cover, and soil properties were measured over plot scales of 0.5 m2 to 9 m2. Rainfall simulations (0.5 m2) were used to assess the impacts of fire on soil water repellency, infiltration, runoff generation, and splash-sheet erosion. Overland flow experiments (9 m2) were used to assess the effects of fire-reduced ground cover on concentrated-flow runoff and erosion processes. The study results provide insight regarding fire impacts on runoff, erosion, and soil water repellency in the immediate and
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
Wakiyama, Yoshifumi; Onda, Yuichi; Yoshimura, Kazuya; Kato, Hiroaki; Konoplev, Alexei; Zheleznyak, Mark
Soil erosion is the initial process which drives radiocesium into the aquatic systems and therefore the quantification of radiocesium wash-off associated with soil erosion is indispensable for mitigating the risks. This study presents two year's observation of soil erosion and radiocesium wash-off to quantify differences in radiocesium behavior in various land uses. Seven runoff plots were established in four landscapes; uncultivated farmland (Farmland A1, Farmland B1), cultivated farmland (Farmland A2, Farmland B2), grassland (Grassland A, Grassland B) and Japanese cedar forest (Forest) in Kawamata town, an area affected by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The discharged sediments were collected approximately every two weeks. In laboratories, collected sediments were dried and weighed for calculating soil erosion rates (kg m-2) and served for measurements of radiocesium concentration (Bq kg-1) with HPGe detectors. The erosivity factor of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (R-factor: MJ mm ha-1 hr-1 yr-1) was calculated based on the data of precipitation. Standardized soil erosion rates (kg m-2 MJ-1 mm-1 ha hr yr), observed soil erosion rates divided by R-factor, was 1.8 × 10-4 in Farmland A1, 6.0 × 10-4 in Farmland A2, 1.5 × 10-3 in Farmland B1, 8.3 × 10-4 in Farmland B2, 9.6 × 10-6 in Grassland A, 5.9 × 10-6 in Grassland B and 2.3 × 10-6 in Forest. These erosion rates were basically proportional to their vegetation cover of soil surfaces except for cultivated farmlands. Concentrations of Cs-137 in eroded sediments basically depended on the local deposition of Cs-137 and varied enormously with ranging several orders of magnitude in all the landscapes. For the observation period of time decreasing trends in concentrations of Cs-137 in eroded sediments were not obvious. To compare these results with those of Chernobyl, we calculated normalized 'solid' wash-off coefficient (m2 g-1) with dividing the mean total concentration of Cs-137 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.
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.
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.
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.
Prosdocimi, Massimo; Burguet, Maria; Di Prima, Simone; Sofia, Giulia; Terol, Enric; Rodrigo Comino, Jesús; Cerdà, Artemi; Tarolli, Paolo
Soil water erosion is a serious problem, especially in agricultural lands. Among these, vineyards deserve attention, because they constitute for the Mediterranean areas a type of land use affected by high soil losses. A significant problem related to the study of soil water erosion in these areas consists in the lack of a standardized procedure of collecting data and reporting results, mainly due to a variability among the measurement methods applied. Given this issue and the seriousness of soil water erosion in Mediterranean vineyards, this works aims to quantify the soil losses caused by simulated rainstorms, and compare them with each other depending on two different methodologies: (i) rainfall simulation and (ii) surface elevation change-based, relying on high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) derived from a photogrammetric technique (Structure-from-Motion or SfM). The experiments were carried out in a typical Mediterranean vineyard, located in eastern Spain, at very fine scales. SfM data were obtained from one reflex camera and a smartphone built-in camera. An index of sediment connectivity was also applied to evaluate the potential effect of connectivity within the plots. DEMs derived from the smartphone and the reflex camera were comparable with each other in terms of accuracy and capability of estimating soil loss. Furthermore, soil loss estimated with the surface elevation change-based method resulted to be of the same order of magnitude of that one obtained with rainfall simulation, as long as the sediment connectivity within the plot was considered. High-resolution topography derived from SfM revealed to be essential in the sediment connectivity analysis and, therefore, in the estimation of eroded materials, when comparing them to those derived from the rainfall simulation methodology. The fact that smartphones built-in cameras could produce as much satisfying results as those derived from reflex cameras is a high value added for using SfM.
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.
Meusburger, Katrin; Mabit, Lionel; Ketterer, Michael; Park, Ji-Hyung; Sandor, Tarjan; Porto, Paolo; Alewell, Christine
Fallout radionuclides have been used successfully worldwide as tracers for soil erosion, but relatively few studies exploit the full potential of plutonium (Pu) isotopes. Hence, this study aims to explore the suitability of the plutonium isotopes (239)Pu and (240)Pu as a method to assess soil erosion magnitude by comparison to more established fallout radionuclides such as (137)Cs and (210)Pbex. As test area an erosion affected headwater catchment of the Lake Soyang (South Korea) was selected. All three fallout radionuclides confirmed high erosion rates for agricultural sites (>25tha(-1)yr(-1)). Pu isotopes further allowed determining the origin of the fallout. Both (240)Pu/(239)Pu atomic ratios and (239+240)Pu/(137)Cs activity ratios were close to the global fallout ratio. However, the depth profile of the (239+240)Pu/(137)Cs activity ratios in undisturbed sites showed lower ratios in the top soil increments, which might be due to higher migration rates of (239+240)Pu. The activity ratios further indicated preferential transport of (137)Cs from eroded sites (higher ratio compared to the global fallout) to the depositional sites (smaller ratio). As such the (239+240)Pu/(137)Cs activity ratio offered a new approach to parameterize a particle size correction factor that can be applied when both (137)Cs and (239+240)Pu have the same fallout source. Implementing this particle size correction factor in the conversion of (137)Cs inventories resulted in comparable estimates of soil loss for (137)Cs and (239+240)Pu. The comparison among the different fallout radionuclides highlights the suitability of (239+240)Pu through less preferential transport compared to (137)Cs and the possibility to gain information regarding the origin of the fallout. In conclusion, (239+240)Pu is a promising soil erosion tracer, however, since the behaviour i.e. vertical migration in the soil and lateral transport during water erosion was shown to differ from that of (137)Cs, there is a clear
Rosentrater, K. A.; Kaleita, A. L.
In the past decade, the corn grain-based fuel ethanol industry has grown exponentially. Now, stakeholders within the corn grain producing regions of the midwestern United States are seeking to develop advanced biofuels from abundant post-harvest lignocellulosic corn stover resides. How sustainable are these biofuels? Scientific guidelines regarding the sustainable use of corn grain and stover to maintain soil quality have not been clearly defined, due in part to the complexity of agricultural soil systems and the dearth of robust and consistent data. The objective of this study was to examine the long-term sustainability of corn stover harvest for economically relevant agricultural production scenarios focused on the state of Iowa. We used the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model to simulate soil erosion and biomass returned to the soil under two crop rotation scenarios (continuous corn vs. corn-soybean rotation), three corn stover removal rates (0, 50, 100% removed), and three tillage intensities (no till (NT), intermediate till (IT), conventional till (CT)). Calculations were aggregated to the township-scale using multiple sampling points from the USDA Natural Resources Inventory per township within each county, for a total of 17,848 sampling points throughout the state. This accounted for the topographical and soils variation within the state; use of county weather stations incorporated climate variations. Statistical characterization and GIS visualization were used to illustrate and interpret the results. Wide variations in biomass accumulation/erosion/GHG impacts were observed across agronomic scenarios and landform regions throughout Iowa, and biomass management and tillage intensity impacted on-site soil quality and the off-site environment. Soil biomass was primarily affected by stover removal rate, with soybean rotation also reducing soil biomass. Soil erosion was primarily affected by slope and tillage, with stover removal rate playing a lesser
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.
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.
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.
Gordillo-Rivero, Ángel J.; García-Moreno, Jorge; Jordán, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena M.
Rock fragments (RF) are common in the surface of Mediterranean semiarid soils, and have important effects on the soil physical (bulk density and porosity) and hydrological processes (infiltration, evaporation, splash erosion and runoff generation) (Poesen and Lavee, 1994; Rieke-Zapp et al., 2007). In some cases, RFs in Mediterranean areas have been shown to protect bare soils from erosion risk (Cerdà, 2001; Martínez-Zavala, Jordán, 2008; Zavala et al., 2010). Some of these effects are much more relevant when vegetation cover is low or has been reduced after land use change or other causes, as forest fires. Although very few studies exist, the interest on the hydrological effects of RFs in burned areas is increasing recently. After a forest fire, RFs may contribute significantly to soil recovery. In this research we have studied the effect of surface and embedded RFs on soil water control, infiltration and evaporation in calcareous fire-affected soils from a Mediterranean area (SW Spain). For this study, we selected an area with soils derived from limestone under holm oak forest, recently affected by a moderate severity forest fire. The proportion of RF cover showed a significant positive relation with soil water-holding capacity and infiltration rates, although infiltration rate reduced significantly when RF cover increased above a certain threshold. Soil evaporation rate decreased with increasing volumetric content of RFs and became stable with RF contents approximately above 30%. Evaporation also decreased with increasing RF cover. When RF cover increased above 50%, no significant differences were observed between burned and control vegetated plots. REFERENCES Poesen, J., Lavee, H. 1994. Rock fragments in top soils: significance and processes. Catena Supplement 23, 1-28. Cerdà, A. 2001. Effect of rock fragment cover on soil infiltration, interrill runoff and erosion. European Journal of Soil Science 52, 59-68. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2389.2001.00354.x. Rieke
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.
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Song, Zhengshan; Wittwer, Raphaël; van der Heijden, Marcel; Scholten, Thomas
Soil erosion is a major environmental problem of our time and negatively affects soil organic matter (SOM), aggregate stability or nutrient availability for instance. It is well known that agricultural practices have a severe influence on soil erosion by water. Several long-term field trials show that the use of low input strategies (e.g. organic farming) instead of conventional high-input farming systems leads to considerable changes of soil characteristics. Organic farming relies on crop rotation, absence of agrochemicals, green manure and weed control without herbicides. As a consequence, SOM content in the top soil layer is usually higher than on arable land under conventional use. Furthermore, the soil surface is better protected against particle detachment and overland flow due to a continuous vegetation cover and a well-developed root system increases soil stability. Likewise, tillage itself can cause soil erosion on arable land. In this respect, conservation and reduced tillage systems like No-Till or Ridge-Till provide a protecting cover from the previous year's residue and reduce soil disturbance. Many studies have been carried out on the effect of farming practices on soil erosion, but with contrasting results. To our knowledge, most of those studies rely on soil erosion models to calculate soil erosion rates and replicated experimental field measurement designs are rarely used. In this study, we performed direct field assessment on a farming system trial in Rümlang, Switzerland (FAST: Farming System and Tillage experiment Agroscope) to investigate the effect of organic farming practises and tillage systems on soil erosion. A portable single nozzle rainfall simulator and a light weight tent have been used with micro-scale runoff plots (0.4 m x 0.4 m). Four treatments (Conventional/Tillage, Conventional/No-Tillage, Organic/Tillage, Organic/Reduced-tillage) have been sampled with 8 replications each for a total of 32 runoff plots. All plots have been
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
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...
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...
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.
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
Pramod Krishna, Akhouri
A watershed in Chhotanagpur plateau region was investigated utilizing space data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellite towards spatial and temporal soil erosion process study. Geomorphologically, this plateau region is an undulating pediplain. The watershed namely Potpoto river watershed covering an area of 8160 hectares is situated in the vicinity of Ranchi, capital city of newly created Jharkahnd state. As per the national watershed atlas, Potpoto river is a tributary of Subarnarekha river system within the Upper Subarnarekha river basin under watershed no. 4H3C8. This rural to semi-urban watershed is important towards various services to Ranchi city as well as experiencing direct or indirect pressures of development. Drivers of land use changes at ground level are responsible for change in soil erosion rates in any watershed in coupled human-environment systems. This may adversely affect the soil cover of such watersheds depicted through changed rates of erosion. In a rural to semi-urban watershed like this, there are general tendencies of land use and thereby land cover changes from forests to agricultural lands, within agricultural land in terms of cropping pattern changes to cash-crops, orchards, commercial plantations and conversions to other land use categories as well towards infrastructure expansions. Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was used as a basis to observe the intensity of erosion using remote sensing, rainfall data, soil data and land use/land cover map. IRS1C LISSIII and IRSP6 LISSIII data were used to identify land use status for the years 1996 and 2004 respectively. LISSIII sensor provides data in the visible to near infrared (Bands 2, 3, 4) as well as short wave infrared (Band 5) range of electromagnetic spectrum. In this study, bands 2 (0.52-0.59 microns), 3 (0.62-0.68 microns) and 4 (0.77-0.86 microns) were used with spatial resolution of 23.5 meters at nadir. Digital image processing was carried out using ERDAS Imagine software
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.
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.
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.
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.
Derchi, Giacomo; Peñarrocha, David; Barone, Antonio; Covani, Ugo
The population affected by dental erosion due to bulimia is generally very young. This population group has a high aesthetic requirement; the dentition in these patients is severely damaged, especially in the anterior maxillary quadrant. In terms of treatment, it is still controversial whether an adhesive rehabilitation is preferable to a longer-lasting but more aggressive conventional treatment, such as full-crown coverage of the majority of teeth. This case report describes the prosthetic rehabilitation of a young female patient previously affected by bulimia nervosa and presenting erosion of the maxillary teeth. The prosthetic rehabilitation was performed through indirect adhesive restorations of the anterior teeth and direct restorations of the posterior teeth. A clinical follow-up after 4 years showed that the occlusion remained satisfactorily restored. Posterior direct composite resin restorations and anterior indirect adhesive composite restorations proved to be an effective time and money-saving procedure to rehabilitate patients affected by dental erosion. Adhesive rehabilitation provides a functional and good aesthetic result while preserving tooth structure. Key words:Bulimia, dental erosion, composite resin, veneers. PMID:25810832
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.
Kooijman, A. M.; Cammeraat, L. H.
Organic matter dynamics are highly affected both the soil fauna as well as the source of organic matter, having important consequences for the spatial heterogeneity of organic matter storage and conversion. We studied oldgrowth mixed deciduous forests in Central-Luxemburg on decalcified dolomitic marl, dominated by high-degradable hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) or low-degradable beech (Fagus sylvatica L.). Decomposition was measured both in the laboratory and in the field. Litter decomposition was higher for hornbeam than for beech under laboratory conditions, but especially in the field, which is mainly to be attributed to macro-fauna activity, specifically to earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris and Allolobophora species). We also investigated differences between beech and hornbeam with regard to litter input and habitat conditions. Total litter input was the same, but contribution of beech and hornbeam litter clearly differed between the two species. Also, mass of the ectorganic horizon and soil C:N ratio were significantly higher for beech, which was reflected in clear differences in the development of ectorganic profiles on top of the soil. Under beech a mull-moder was clearly present with a well developed fermentation and litter horizon, whereas under hornbeam all litter is incorporated into the soil, leaving the mineral soil surface bear in late summer (mull-type of horizon). In addition to litter quality, litter decomposition was affected by pH and soil moisture. Both pH and soil moisture were higher under hornbeam than under beech, which may reflect differences in soil development and litter quality effects over longer time scales. Under beech, dense layers of low-degradable litter may prevent erosion, and increase clay eluviation and leaching of base cations, leading to acid and dry conditions, which further decrease litter decay. Under hornbeam, the soil is not protected by a litter layer, and clay eluviation and acidification may be counteracted by erosion
Mason, Joseph; Kasmerchak, Chase; Keita, Hawa; Liang, Mengyu; Gruley, Kristine
sediment yield from grasslands that expanded under dry conditions, as compared to forests where runoff is rare. Our research highlights soil changes that may act in the opposite direction - in the late Holocene, at least, grassland soils have highly stable aggregates that could limit seal formation, runoff, and slopewash erosion. At the same time, the eastward retreat of forest during the early-middle Holocene could have initially left soils vulnerable to higher erosion rates, especially after fires and in rugged moraine topography with steep slopes. Holocene alluvium or lake sediment may preserve a record of the kinds of soils supplying sediment and how they changed over time, allowing a test of these hypotheses. Sediment eroded from fully developed grassland soils is likely to have a different signature (higher OM and smectite, different organic C isotope ratios) than that from the forest soils. The soil contrasts across the forest-grassland boundary are also likely to affect future geomorphic response to anthropogenic climate and land use change in this region. Historically, row-crop agriculture has largely been confined to the grassland soils, where resulting erosion may be moderated by strong structure; however, a warmer climate in coming decades could promote its expansion onto presently forest-covered soils with much weaker structure.
Kuznetsova, Tatyana A; Kam, Michael; Khokhlova, Irina S; Kostina, Natalia V; Dobrovolskaya, Tatiana G; Umarov, Marat M; Degen, A Allan; Shenbrot, Georgy I; Krasnov, Boris R
Rodents affect soil microbial communities by burrow architecture, diet composition, and foraging behavior. We examined the effect of desert rodents on nitrogen-fixing bacteria (NFB) communities by identifying bacteria colony-forming units (CFU) and measuring nitrogen fixation rates (ARA), denitrification (DA), and CO2 emission in soil from burrows of three gerbil species differing in diets. Psammomys obesus is folivorous, Meriones crassus is omnivorous, consuming green vegetation and seeds, and Dipodillus dasyurus is predominantly granivorous. We also identified NFB in the digestive tract of each rodent species and in Atriplex halimus and Anabasis articulata, dominant plants at the study site. ARA rates of soil from burrows of the rodent species were similar, and substantially lower than control soil, but rates of DA and CO2 emission differed significantly among burrows. Highest rates of DA and CO2 emission were measured in D. dasyurus burrows and lowest in P. obesus. CFU differed among bacteria isolates, which reflected dietary selection. Strains of cellulolytic representatives of the family Myxococcaceae and the genus Cytophaga dominated burrows of P. obesus, while enteric Bacteroides dominated burrows of D. dasyurus. Burrows of M. crassus contained both cellulolytic and enteric bacteria. Using discriminant function analysis, differences were revealed among burrow soils of all rodent species and control soil, and the two axes accounted for 91 % of the variance in bacterial occurrences. Differences in digestive tract bacterial occurrences were found among these rodent species. Bacterial colonies in P. obesus and M. crassus burrows were related to bacteria of A. articulata, the main plant consumed by both species. In contrast, bacteria colonies in the burrow soil of D. dasyurus were related to bacteria in its digestive tract. We concluded that gerbils play an important role as ecosystem engineers within their burrow environment and affect the microbial complex of
Devátý, Jan; Dostál, Tomáš; Hösl, Rosemarie; Strauss, Peter; Novotný, Ivan
200 records of soil erosion events. Because direct comparison between long-term average soil loss values and event-related damages is not possible a presumption has been used that causal storm event hits area approximately 1 km in diameter around the spot where damages were recorded and that the spot (field) with recorded erosion damage should always be evaluated as the most endangered one within its surroundings by different mathematical methods, if they operate properly. Characteristic slope profiles of all fields within the affected area were defined and soil erosion risk was determined using BoBB. Recent local conditions at the moment of event were defined using the database information for crop and management practices. Most endangered profiles locations were then compared with the actual damage record from the database. The presentation brings a schematic description of the BoBB principles itself, its GUI, input data and results of validation. Database of soil erosion damages is introduced and the summary of the comparison between the database, the soil-loss map and BoBB software outputs are presented. Acknowledgement: This paper has been supported by projects: MŠMT Mobility 7AMB12AT006, Ministry of the interior of the CR VG 20122015092, and NAZV QI91C008 TPEO.
Tan, Chunjian; Cao, Xue; Yuan, Shuai; Wang, Weiyu; Feng, Yongzhong; Qiao, Bo
Conservation tillage is commonly used in regions affected by water and wind erosion. To understand the effects of conservation tillage on soil nutrients and yield, a long-term experiment was set up in a region affected by water and wind erosion on the Loess Plateau. The treatments used were traditional tillage (CK), no tillage (NT), straw mulching (SM), plastic-film mulching (PM), ridging and plastic-film mulching (RPM) and intercropping (In). Our results demonstrate that the available nutrients in soils subjected to non-traditional tillage treatments decreased during the first several years and then remained stable over the last several years of the experiment. The soil organic matter and total nitrogen content increased gradually over 6 years in all treatments except CK. The nutrient content of soils subjected to conservative tillage methods, such as NT and SM, were significantly higher than those in soils under the CK treatment. Straw mulching and film mulching effectively reduced an observed decrease in soybean yield. Over the final 6 years of the experiment, soybean yields followed the trend RPM > PM > SM > NT > CK > In. This trend has implications for controlling soil erosion and preventing non-point source pollution in sloping fields by sacrificing some food production.
Tan, Chunjian; Cao, Xue; Yuan, Shuai; Wang, Weiyu; Feng, Yongzhong; Qiao, Bo
Conservation tillage is commonly used in regions affected by water and wind erosion. To understand the effects of conservation tillage on soil nutrients and yield, a long-term experiment was set up in a region affected by water and wind erosion on the Loess Plateau. The treatments used were traditional tillage (CK), no tillage (NT), straw mulching (SM), plastic-film mulching (PM), ridging and plastic-film mulching (RPM) and intercropping (In). Our results demonstrate that the available nutrients in soils subjected to non-traditional tillage treatments decreased during the first several years and then remained stable over the last several years of the experiment. The soil organic matter and total nitrogen content increased gradually over 6 years in all treatments except CK. The nutrient content of soils subjected to conservative tillage methods, such as NT and SM, were significantly higher than those in soils under the CK treatment. Straw mulching and film mulching effectively reduced an observed decrease in soybean yield. Over the final 6 years of the experiment, soybean yields followed the trend RPM > PM > SM > NT > CK > In. This trend has implications for controlling soil erosion and preventing non-point source pollution in sloping fields by sacrificing some food production. PMID:26621049
Tan, Chunjian; Cao, Xue; Yuan, Shuai; Wang, Weiyu; Feng, Yongzhong; Qiao, Bo
Conservation tillage is commonly used in regions affected by water and wind erosion. To understand the effects of conservation tillage on soil nutrients and yield, a long-term experiment was set up in a region affected by water and wind erosion on the Loess Plateau. The treatments used were traditional tillage (CK), no tillage (NT), straw mulching (SM), plastic-film mulching (PM), ridging and plastic-film mulching (RPM) and intercropping (In). Our results demonstrate that the available nutrients in soils subjected to non-traditional tillage treatments decreased during the first several years and then remained stable over the last several years of the experiment. The soil organic matter and total nitrogen content increased gradually over 6 years in all treatments except CK. The nutrient content of soils subjected to conservative tillage methods, such as NT and SM, were significantly higher than those in soils under the CK treatment. Straw mulching and film mulching effectively reduced an observed decrease in soybean yield. Over the final 6 years of the experiment, soybean yields followed the trend RPM > PM > SM > NT > CK > In. This trend has implications for controlling soil erosion and preventing non-point source pollution in sloping fields by sacrificing some food production.
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
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...
Cerdà, Artemi; González Pelayo, Óscar; García Orenes, Fuensanta; Jordán, Antonio; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Úbeda, Xavier
The use of experimental stations and long-term measurements in the field and in the laboratory contributed to large datasets and key information to understand the soil system and the hydrological cycle (Neal et al., 2011; García Orenes et al., 2012; López-Garrido et al., 2012; Kröpf et al., 2013; Nadal-Romero, 2013; Taguas et al., 2013; Zhao et al., 2013). However, teaching in high schools and colleagues require simple experiments to help the students to understand the soil and water resources and management. We show here the experiments and measurements we conduct within the teaching program of the Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group at the University of Valencia to help the students in the understanding of the soil and hydrologic processes. The expereriments and measurements developed are the following: (i) Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) to determine the soil water repellency; (ii) Leaves water retention capacity measured in the field; (iii) soil infiltration capacity measured with simple ring infiltrometers; (iv) measurement of the soil bulk density; and (v) measurement of the soil water content. Those experiments and measurements are applied to agriculture, rangeland and fire affected soils. Acknowledgements To the "Ministerio de Economía and Competitividad" of Spanish Government for finance the POSTFIRE project (CGL2013- 47862-C2-1-R). 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 García-Orenes, F., Roldán, A., Mataix-Solera, J., Cerdà, A., Campoy, M., Arcenegui, V., Caravaca, F. 2012 Soil structural stability and erosion rates influenced by agricultural management practices in a semi-arid Mediterranean agro-ecosystem. Soil Use and Management 28(4): 571-579. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-2743.2012.00451.x Kröpfl, A. I., Cecchi, G. A., Villasuso, N. M., Distel, R. A. 2013. Degradation and recovery processes
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.
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.
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 exper