Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural soil erosion

  1. Quantification Of Erosion Rates Of Agriculturally Used Soils By Artificial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jha, Abhinand

    2010-05-01

    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 [1] [2] [3] [4]. 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

  2. Terraced agriculture protects soil from erosion: Case studies in Madagascar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabesiranana, Naivo; Rasolonirina, Martin; Fanantenansoa Solonjara, Asivelo; Nomenjanahary Ravoson, Heritiana; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - 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.

  3. Climatic and agricultural drivers of soil erosion in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, Brian; Kirkby, Mike; Fleskens, Luuk

    2015-04-01

    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.

  4. Modelling the effect of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon stocks: does soil erosion matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof

    2014-05-01

    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

  5. Can biosolids reduce wind erosion of agricultural soils?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  6. Investigation of Soil Erosion and Phosphorus Transport within an Agricultural Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, A.; Jester, W.; Muhar, A.; Peinsitt, A.; Rampazzo, N.; Mentler, A.; Staudinger, B.; Eder, M.

    2003-04-01

    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).

  7. Soil erosion and conservation in the United States: An overview. Agriculture information bulletin. (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Magleby, R.; Sandretto, C.; Crosswhite, W.; Osborn, C.T.

    1995-10-01

    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.

  8. The Impact of Agricultural Soil Erosion on the Global Carbon Cycle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Quantifying the erosion effect on current carbon budget of European agricultural soils at high spatial resolution.

    PubMed

    Lugato, Emanuele; Paustian, Keith; Panagos, Panos; Jones, Arwyn; Borrelli, Pasquale

    2016-05-01

    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.

  10. High natural erosion rates are the backdrop for present-day soil erosion in the agricultural Middle Hills of Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, A. J.; Arnold, M.; AumaItre, G.; Bourles, D. L.; Keddadouche, K.; Bickle, M.; Ojha, T.

    2015-07-01

    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

  11. Sustainable agriculture, soil management and erosion from prehistoric times to 2100

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanwalleghem, Tom; Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Infante Amate, Juan; González Molina, Manuel; Fernández, David Soto; Guzmán, Gema; Vanderlinden, Karl; Laguna, Ana; Giráldez, Juan Vicente

    2015-04-01

    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

  12. LandSoil model application for erosion management in sustainable agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smetanova, Anna; Follain, Stéphane; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    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.

  13. The impact of agricultural soil erosion on the global carbon cycle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

    2007-01-01

    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.

  14. Influence of soil tillage and erosion on the dispersion of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in agricultural soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todorovic, Gorana Rampazzo; Rampazzo, Nicola; Mentler, Axel; Blum, Winfried E. H.; Eder, Alexander; Strauss, Peter

    2014-03-01

    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.

  15. Can conservation agriculture reduce the impact of soil erosion in northern Tunisia ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahri, Haithem; Annabi, Mohamed; Chibani, Roukaya; Cheick M'Hamed, Hatem; Hermessi, Taoufik

    2016-04-01

    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

  16. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - 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

  17. Glyphosate and AMPA contents in sediments produced by wind erosion of agricultural soils in Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aparicio, Virginia; Aimar, Silvia; De Gerónimo, Eduardo; Buschiazzo, Daniel; Mendez, Mariano; Costa, José Luis

    2014-05-01

    Wind erosion of soils is an important event in arid and semiarid regions of Argentina. The magnitude of wind erosion occurring under different management practices is relatively well known in this region but less information is available on the quality of the eroded material. Considering that the intensification of agriculture may increase the concentrations of substances in the eroded material, producing potential negative effects on the environment, we analyzed the amount of glyphosate and AMPA in sediments produced by wind erosion of agricultural soils of Argentina. Wind eroded materials were collected by means of BSNE samplers in two loess sites of the semiarid region of Argentina: Chaco and La Pampa. Samples were collected from 1 ha square fields at 13.5, 50 and 150 cm height. Results showed that at higher heights the concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA were mostly higher. The glyphosate concentration was more variable and higher in Chaco (0.66 to 313 µg kg-1) than in La Pampa (4.17 to 114 µg kg-1). These results may be due to the higher use of herbicides in Chaco, where the predominant crops are soybeans and corn, produced under no-tillage. Under these conditions the use of glyphosate for weeds control is a common practice. Conversely, AMPA concentrations were higher in La Pampa (13.1 to 101.3 µg kg-1) than in Chaco (1.3 to 83 µg kg-1). These preliminary results show high concentrations of glyphosate and AMPA in wind eroded materials of agricultural soils of Argentina. More research is needed to confirm these high concentrations in other conditions in order to detect the temporal and spatial distribution patterns of the herbicide.

  18. Estimation of soil erosion risk within an important agricultural sub-watershed in Bursa, Turkey, in relation to rapid urbanization.

    PubMed

    Ozsoy, Gokhan; Aksoy, Ertugrul

    2015-07-01

    This paper integrates the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with a GIS model to investigate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss and identify areas of soil erosion risk in the Uluabat sub-watershed, an important agricultural site in Bursa Province, Turkey. The total soil loss from water erosion was 473,274 Mg year(-1). Accordingly, 60.3% of the surveyed area was classified into a very low erosion risk class while 25.7% was found to be in high and severe erosion risk classes. Soil loss had a close relationship with land use and topography. The most severe erosion risk typically occurs on ridges and steep slopes where agriculture, degraded forest, and shrubs are the main land uses and cover types. Another goal of this study was to use GIS to reveal the multi-year urbanization status caused by rapid urbanization that constitutes another soil erosion risk in this area. Urbanization has increased by 57.7% and the most areal change was determined in class I lands at a rate of 80% over 25 years. Urbanization was identified as one of the causes of excessive soil loss in the study area.

  19. Effect of land use land cover change on soil erosion potential in an agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Arabinda; Tiwari, Kamlesh N; Bhadoria, P B S

    2011-02-01

    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.

  20. Examining soil erosion and nutrient accumulation in forested and agriculture lands of the low mountainous area of Northern Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, A. T.; Gomi, T.; Takahisa, F.; Phung, K. V.

    2011-12-01

    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

  1. Use of (137)Cs technique for soil erosion study in the agricultural region of Casablanca in Morocco.

    PubMed

    Nouira, A; Sayouty, E H; Benmansour, M

    2003-01-01

    Accelerated erosion and soil degradation currently cause serious problems to the Oued El Maleh basin (Morocco). Furthermore, there is still only limited information on rates of soil loss for optimising strategies for soil conservation. In the present study we have used the (137)Cs technique to assess the soil erosion rates on an agricultural land in Oued el Maleh basin near Casablanca (Morocco). A small representative agricultural field was selected to investigate the soil degradation required by soil managers in this region. The transect approach was applied for sampling to identify the spatial redistribution of (137)Cs. The spatial variability of (137)Cs inventory has provided evidence of the importance of tillage process and the human effects on the redistribution of (137)Cs. The mean (137)Cs inventory was found about 842 Bq m(-2), this value corresponds to an erosion rate of 82 tha(-1) yr(-1) by applying simplified mass balance model in a preliminary estimation. When data on site characteristics were available, the refined mass balance model was applied to highlight the contribution of tillage effect in soil redistribution. The erosion rate was estimated about 50 tha(-1) yr(-1). The aspects related to the sampling procedures and the models for calculation of erosion rates are discussed.

  2. Assessment of soil erosion and deposition rates in a Moroccan agricultural field using fallout 137Cs and 210Pbex.

    PubMed

    Benmansour, M; Mabit, L; Nouira, A; Moussadek, R; Bouksirate, H; Duchemin, M; Benkdad, A

    2013-01-01

    In Morocco land degradation - mainly caused by soil erosion - is one of the most serious agroenvironmental threats encountered. However, only limited data are available on the actual magnitude of soil erosion. The study site investigated was an agricultural field located in Marchouch (6°42' W, 33° 47' N) at 68 km south east from Rabat. This work demonstrates the potential of the combined use of (137)Cs, (210)Pb(ex) as radioisotopic soil tracers to estimate mid and long term erosion and deposition rates under Mediterranean agricultural areas. The net soil erosion rates obtained were comparable, 14.3 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and 12.1 ha(-1) yr(-1) for (137)Cs and (210)Pb(ex) respectively, resulting in a similar sediment delivery ratio of about 92%. Soil redistribution patterns of the study field were established using a simple spatialisation approach. The resulting maps generated by the use of both radionuclides were similar, indicating that the soil erosion processes has not changed significantly over the last 100 years. Over the previous 10 year period, the additional results provided by the test of the prediction model RUSLE 2 provided results of the same order of magnitude. Based on the (137)Cs dataset established, the contribution of the tillage erosion impact has been evaluated with the Mass Balance Model 3 and compared to the result obtained with the Mass Balance Model 2. The findings highlighted that water erosion is the leading process in this Moroccan cultivated field, tillage erosion under the experimental condition being the main translocation process within the site without a significant and major impact on the net erosion.

  3. Short-term soil loss by eolian erosion in response to different rain-fed agricultural practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, Smadar; Katra, Itzhak; Zaady, Eli

    2016-04-01

    Eolian (wind) erosion is a widespread process and a major form of soil degradation in arid and semi-arid regions. The present study examined changes in soil properties and eolian soil loss at a field scale in response to different soil treatments in two rain-fed agricultural practices. Field experiments with a boundary-layer wind tunnel and soil analysis were used to obtain the data. Two practices with different soil treatments (after harvest), mechanical tillage and stubble grazing intensities, were applied in the fallow phase of the rotation (dry season). The mechanical tillage and the stubble grazing had an immediate and direct effects on soil aggregation but not on the soil texture, and the contents of soil water, organic matter, and CaCO3. Higher erosion rates, that was measured as fluxes of total eolian sediment and particulate matter <10 μm (PM10), were recorded under mechanical tillage and grazing intensities compared with the undisturbed topsoil of the control plots. The erosion rates were higher in grazing plots than in tillage plots. The calculated soil fluxes in this study indicate potentially rapid soil degradation due to loss of fine particles by wind. The finding may have implications for long-term management of agricultural soils in semi-arid areas.

  4. Highly erodible terrain in agriculture land against chipped pruned branches. Or how to stop the soil erosion with low investment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.

    2009-04-01

    The session on "Soil erosion and sediment control with vegetation and bioengineering on severely eroded terrain" pays special attention to the severe soil erosion suffered on steep slopes and erodible parent materials and soils. Within the last 20 years, in the Mediterranean lands, the citrus orchards were reallocated on steep slopes due to the urban development and better climatic and management conditions of the new plantations. The lack of vegetation cover on the new slope plantations of citrus resulted in high erosion rates. Those non-sustainable soil losses were measured by means of rainfall simulation experiments, Gerlach collectors, geomorphological transect and topographical measurements. The October 2007 and October 2008 rainy periods resulted in sheet, rill and gully erosion. Some recently planted orchards (2005) had the first pruning season in 2008. The pruned chipped branches reduced the soil losses to 50 % of the expected, although the litter (pruned branches) covered 4.67 % of the soil. This is why a research was developed by means of simulated rainfall experiments to determine the vegetation cover (litter, mainly leaves) to protect the soil to reach a sustainable erosion rate. Rainfall simulation experiments at 43 mm h-1 where performed on 1 m2 plots covered with 0, 3, 7, 15, 30, 45, 60, 80 and 100 % litter cover (pruned chipped branches) to determine the sustainable litter cover to avoid the soil losses. The results show that more that 45 % litter cover almost reduces the soil losses to negligible rates. The results confirm that 4 % of vegetation cover reduces the soil losses to 50 %. Key words: Agriculture land, erodible terrain, land management, citrus, erosion, Spain, Valencia, herbicides. Acknowledgements, We thanks the financial support of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación by means of the project CGL2008-02879/BTE, "PERDIDA DE SUELO EN NUEVAS EXPLOTACIONES CITRICOLAS EN PENDIENTE. ESTRATEGIAS PARA EL CONTROL DE LA EROSION HIDRICA"

  5. PM2.5 and PM10 Emission from agricultural soils by wind erosion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  6. Challenges in Linking Agricultural Soil Erosion Studies to Landscape Scale Processes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  7. The plot size effect on soil erosion on rainfed agriculture land under different land uses in eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.; Bodí, M. B.; Burguet, M.; Segura, M.; Jovani, C.

    2009-04-01

    Soil erosion at slope scale is dependent on the size of the plot. This is because soil erosion is a scale-dependent process due to the spatial variability in infiltration, the potential for sediment to be captured by vegetation and other roughness components, and the changes in erosion rates and processes with increasing amounts of runoff. The effects of plot size may also vary with land use, as plot size may be less important in areas with a more homogeneous plant cover or bares soils; meanwhile the soil transmission losses will higher on vegetation covered soils and on patchy distributed plants. A series of study plots were established in 2003 at the El Teularet experimental Station in the Sierra de Enguera in eastern Spain. The overall goal is to assess runoff and erosion rates from different land uses at different spatial scales. Thirteen sets of plots have been established, and each set consists of five adjacent plots that vary in size from 1 m2 (1 x 1 m), 2 m2 (1 x 2 m), 4 m2 (1 x 4 m), 16 m2 (2 x 8 m) and 48 m2 (3 m wide x 16 m length). Each set of plots has a different land use, and the land uses being tested in the first year of this study are fallow, ploughed but unplanted, untilled oats and beans, tilled oats and beans, straw mulch, mulched with chipped olive branches, a geotextile developed to control erosion on agricultural fields, scrub oaks (Quercus coccifera), gorse (Ulex parviflorus), and three herbicide treatments—a systemic herbicide, a contact herbicide, and a persistent herbicide. From those plots, three plots were selected to analyse the effect of the size of the plot on the soil erosion assessment. Herbicide (bare), Catch crops (oat) and scrubland were selected to analyze the soil losses during 2004 and 2005. The results shows that sediment delivery is highly dependent on the land use and land management as the scrubland contributed with null sediment yield, meanwhile the herbicide reached the largest soil loss. The soil erosion was higher

  8. Soil Erosion. LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  9. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  10. Impact of land consolidation and field borders on soil erosion and storage within agricultural landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chartin, Caroline; Salvador-Blanes, Sébastien; Olivier, Evrard; Van Oost, Kristof; Hinschberger, Florent; Macaire, Jean-Jacques

    2014-05-01

    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

  11. Using 137Cs to study spatial patterns of soil erosion and soil organic carbon (SOC) in an agricultural catchment of the typical black soil region, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Fang, Haiyan; Li, Qiuyan; Sun, Liying; Cai, Qiangguo

    2012-10-01

    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.

  12. Assessing the impacts of agricultural change on soil erosion over the last century: a multi-model ensemble approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellami, Haykel; Smith, Hugh; Sangster, Heather; Riley, Mark; Chiverrell, Richard; Boyle, John

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion models (SEMs) are valuable tools for understanding the links between past agricultural practices and soil erosion. Use of SEMs allows assessment of impacts from agricultural change over timescales that exceed instrumental records but correspond to periods for which considerable land use and climate information are available. Here, we develop a modelling framework to investigate the potential impacts of changes in agricultural practices and climate on soil erosion and sediment transport over the last 100 years in six lake catchments in Britain spanning upland and lowland environments. The modelling platform comprises a multi-model ensemble of derivatives of the Morgan-Morgan-Finney (MMF) and RUSLE models. Simulation of change in land use/land cover (LULC), drainage features, crop rotation and livestock grazing are accounted for by reconstructing LULC maps from 1888 to 2007. Reconstructions of climatic conditions combine multiple records using regression and artificial neural network techniques to derive long-term daily precipitation and temperature series from 1880 to present. The modelling platform uses a grid-based modelling approach to handle the spatial distribution and heterogeneity in LULC, soil and topographic information. For each soil type, a database of physical parameters was created by combining information from the literature, LandIS soil database and pedotransfer functions. At each grid cell, a rainfall-Runoff (RR) model based on saturation excess runoff generation mechanisms provides daily soil moisture content. Furthermore, the modelling platform encompasses a crop cover model (CC) based on the Heat Unit approach developed to simulate daily Leaf Area Index for each crop type. Both the RR and CC models are used to update the canopy and ground cover parameters. In the absence of long-term river monitoring data, lake sediment records are used to compare the multi-model simulations thus creating a baseline from which to project impacts from

  13. Detection of erosion events using 10Be profiles: example of the impact of agriculture on soil erosion in the Chesapeake Bay area (U.S.A.)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valette-Silver, J. N.; Brown, L.; Pavich, M.; Klein, J.; Middleton, R.

    1986-01-01

    10Be concentration, total carbon and grain-size were measured in cores collected in undisturbed estuarine sediments of three tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. These cores were previously studied by Davis [1] and Brush [2,3] for pollen content, age and sedimentation rate. In this work, we compare the results obtained for these various analyses. In the cores, we observed two increases in 10Be concentration concomitant with two major changes in the pollen composition of the sediments. These two pollen changes each correspond to well-dated agricultural horizons reflecting different stages in the introduction of European farming techniques [2]. In the Chesapeake Bay area, the agricultural development, associated with forest clearing, appears to have triggered the erosion, transport, and sedimentation into the river mouths of large quantities of 10Be-rich soils. This phenomenon explains the observed rise in the sedimentation rate associated with increases in agricultural land-use. ?? 1986.

  14. Wind, rain and soil erosion rates on bare and plant covered agriculture plots at the experimental station of El Teularet -Sierra de Enguera, Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.; Azorin-Molina, C.; Iserloh, Th.

    2012-04-01

    Soil erosion is being scientifically researched for more tan one century, but there is some knowledge lacks that should be researched. Within the factors of the soil erosion wind and rain were studied, but little is know about the impact of the combination of both. Soil erosion by wind was mainly studied on drylands and agriculture land (Sterk and Spaan, 1997; Bielders et al., 2002; Rajot et al., 2003; Zobeck et al., 2003). Soil erosion by water was studied in many ecosystems but it is especially active on agriculture land (Cerdà et al., 2009) and under Mediterranean climatic conditions (Cerdà et al., 2010). The importance of wind on soil erosion is base in the fact that rainstorms occurs with wind, adding a driving component to the falling raindrops. The influence of wind on raindrops is clear, but there is not measurements and there is no information of this influence under field conditions with natural rainfall events.This paper aims to determine the interaction between wind and rain as factors of the soil losses under Mediterranean climatic conditions and different agriculture managements and land uses. Since 2003, the El Teularet-Serra de Enguera Soil Erosion Experimental Station located in Eastern Spain is measuring the soil losses in plots under different land uses and land managements. The station is devoted to study the soil water erosion processes under rain-fed agriculture fields and the rangelands by means of simulated rainfall experiments and plots of different sizes. The soil erosion measure ments are done by means of 13 plots, each of them composed of 5 subplots of 1, 2, 4, 16 and 48 m2 under different land uses and managements. Two plots are covered by two different types of shrubs: Quercus coccifera and Ulex parviflorus, respectively. Three plots reproduce the use of herbicides, one is ploughed, and three plots follow conservation practices (oats and beans with no-tillage, with tillage, and with a vege- tation cover of weeds). Other plots are

  15. Spatio-temporal assessment of soil erosion risk in different agricultural zones of the Inle Lake region, southern Shan State, Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Htwe, Thin Nwe; Brinkmann, Katja; Buerkert, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    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.

  16. Quantitative Assessment of Agricultural Runoff and Soil Erosion Using Mathematical Modeling: Applications in the Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arhonditsis, G.; Giourga, C.; Loumou, A.; Koulouri, M.

    2002-09-01

    Three mathematical models, the runoff curve number equation, the universal soil loss equation, and the mass response functions, were evaluated for predicting nonpoint source nutrient loading from agricultural watersheds of the Mediterranean region. These methodologies were applied to a catchment, the gulf of Gera Basin, that is a typical terrestrial ecosystem of the islands of the Aegean archipelago. The calibration of the model parameters was based on data from experimental plots from which edge-of-field losses of sediment, water runoff, and nutrients were measured. Special emphasis was given to the transport of dissolved and solid-phase nutrients from their sources in the farmers' fields to the outlet of the watershed in order to estimate respective attenuation rates. It was found that nonpoint nutrient loading due to surface losses was high during winter, the contribution being between 50% and 80% of the total annual nutrient losses from the terrestrial ecosystem. The good fit between simulated and experimental data supports the view that these modeling procedures should be considered as reliable and effective methodological tools in Mediterranean areas for evaluating potential control measures, such as management practices for soil and water conservation and changes in land uses, aimed at diminishing soil loss and nutrient delivery to surface waters. Furthermore, the modifications of the general mathematical formulations and the experimental values of the model parameters provided by the study can be used in further application of these methodologies in watersheds with similar characteristics.

  17. Quantitative assessment of agricultural runoff and soil erosion using mathematical modeling: applications in the Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Arhonditsis, G; Giourga, C; Loumou, A; Koulouri, M

    2002-09-01

    Three mathematical models, the runoff curve number equation, the universal soil loss equation, and the mass response functions, were evaluated for predicting nonpoint source nutrient loading from agricultural watersheds of the Mediterranean region. These methodologies were applied to a catchment, the gulf of Gera Basin, that is a typical terrestrial ecosystem of the islands of the Aegean archipelago. The calibration of the model parameters was based on data from experimental plots from which edge-of-field losses of sediment, water runoff, and nutrients were measured. Special emphasis was given to the transport of dissolved and solid-phase nutrients from their sources in the farmers' fields to the outlet of the watershed in order to estimate respective attenuation rates. It was found that nonpoint nutrient loading due to surface losses was high during winter, the contribution being between 50% and 80% of the total annual nutrient losses from the terrestrial ecosystem. The good fit between simulated and experimental data supports the view that these modeling procedures should be considered as reliable and effective methodological tools in Mediterranean areas for evaluating potential control measures, such as management practices for soil and water conservation and changes in land uses, aimed at diminishing soil loss and nutrient delivery to surface waters. Furthermore, the modifications of the general mathematical formulations and the experimental values of the model parameters provided by the study can be used in further application of these methodologies in watersheds with similar characteristics.

  18. 7 CFR 610.12 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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 ×...

  19. 7 CFR 610.12 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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 ×...

  20. 7 CFR 610.12 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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 ×...

  1. 7 CFR 610.12 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 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 ×...

  2. 7 CFR 610.12 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to water erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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 ×...

  3. A legacy of past soil erosion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  4. A methodological approach for deriving regional crop rotations as basis for the assessment of the impact of agricultural strategies using soil erosion as example.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Marco; Fürst, Christine; Thiel, Enrico

    2013-09-01

    Regarding increasing pressures by global societal and climate change, the assessment of the impact of land use and land management practices on land degradation and the related decrease in sustainable provision of ecosystem services gains increasing interest. Existing approaches to assess agricultural practices focus on the assessment of single crops or statistical data because spatially explicit information on practically applied crop rotations is mostly not available. This provokes considerable uncertainties in crop production models as regional specifics have to be neglected or cannot be considered in an appropriate way. In a case study in Saxony, we developed an approach to (i) derive representative regional crop rotations by combining different data sources and expert knowledge. This includes the integration of innovative crop sequences related to bio-energy production or organic farming and different soil tillage, soil management and soil protection techniques. Furthermore, (ii) we developed a regionalization approach for transferring crop rotations and related soil management strategies on the basis of statistical data and spatially explicit data taken from so called field blocks. These field blocks are the smallest spatial entity for which agricultural practices must be reported to apply for agricultural funding within the frame of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) program. The information was finally integrated into the spatial decision support tool GISCAME to assess and visualize in spatially explicit manner the impact of alternative agricultural land use strategies on soil erosion risk and ecosystem services provision. Objective of this paper is to present the approach how to create spatially explicit information on agricultural management practices for a study area around Dresden, the capital of the German Federal State Saxony.

  5. Coupling a high resolution soil erosion model with an agro-ecosystem model of SOC dynamics. An approach to assess the potential environmental effect of the new Common Agricultural Policy on soil degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borrelli, Pasqualle; Paustian, Keith; Panagos, Panos; Jones, Arwyn; Schütt, Brigitta; Lugato, Emanuele

    2016-04-01

    At the European Union level, the main mechanisms to promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture was introduced by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform in 2003, through the Cross-compliance. According to this new regulation, the farmer support payments were regulated with respect to environmental, animal welfare and food safety standards. This brought to the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC), firstly established by Council Regulation No. 1782/2003 and subsequently Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009. The prevention of soil erosion and maintenance of soil organic matter were two of GAEC requirements, which each Member State was obliged to address through national standards such as: i) minimal soil cover maintenance (GAEC 4); ii) minimum land management reflecting site specific conditions to limit soil loss (GAEC 5) and iii) maintenance of soil organic matter level through appropriate practices including ban on burning arable stubbles (GAEC 6). Although Member States are required to verify whether the farmers are compliant with the regulations (Cross-compliance), the environmental effect of Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) applications on erosion and carbon budgets are still little known and studied. To investigate the potential impacts of the GAEC, we coupled a high resolution erosion model based on Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) with the CENTURY biogeochemical model (Land Use Policy, 50, 408-421; 2016). The Italian arable land was selected as a study area, since it is well-known to be highly sensitive to soil erosion. Multi scenario modelling approach was undertaken, i.e., i) a baseline scenario without scenario excluding GAEC (pre 2003 period); ii) a present scenario including the current GAEC standards (post 2003 period), and iii) a technical potential scenario assuming that the GAEC standards were applied to the entire Italian arable land. The results show a 10.8% decrease, from

  6. Advances in soil erosion research: processes, measurement, and modeling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  7. Freeze/thaw and soil moisture effects on wind erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Shi, Z. H.; Wu, G. L.; Fang, N. F.

    2014-02-01

    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.

  8. Erosion of soil organic carbon: implications for carbon sequestration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Oost, Kristof; Van Hemelryck, Hendrik; Harden, Jennifer W.; McPherson, B.J.; Sundquist, E.T.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  9. Uncertainty in soil carbon accounting due to unrecognized soil erosion.

    PubMed

    Sanderman, Jonathan; Chappell, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    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.

  10. Soil erosion in Iran: Issues and solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamidreza Sadeghi, Seyed; Cerdà, Artemi

    2015-04-01

    scale using the Taguchi method. Journal of Hydrology, 448, 174-180. Asadi, H., Moussavi, A., Ghadiri, H., Rose, C. W. 2011. Flow-driven soil erosion processes and the size selectivity of sediment. Journal of Hydrology, 406(1), 73-81. Asadi, H., Raeisvandi, A., Rabiei, B., Ghadiri, H. 2012. Effect of land use and topography on soil properties and agronomic productivity on calcareous soils of a semiarid region, Iran. Land Degradation & Development, 23(5), 496-504. Ayoubi, S., Ahmadi, M., Abdi, M. R., Abbaszadeh Afshar, F. 2012. Relationships of< sup> 137 Cs inventory with magnetic measures of calcareous soils of hilly region in Iran. Journal of environmental radioactivity, 112, 45-51. Ayoubi, S., Mokhtari Karchegani, P., Mosaddeghi, M. R., Honarjoo, N. 2012. Soil aggregation and organic carbon as affected by topography and land use change in western Iran. Soil and Tillage Research, 121, 18-26. Emadodin, I., Bork, H. R. 2012. Degradation of soils as a result of long-term human-induced transformation of the environment in Iran: an overview. Journal of Land Use Science, 7(2), 203-219. Emadodin, I., Narita, D., Bork, H. R. 2012. Soil degradation and agricultural sustainability: an overview from Iran. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 14(5), 611-625. Haddadchi, A., Nosrati, K., Ahmadi, F. 2014. Differences between the source contribution of bed material and suspended sediments in a mountainous agricultural catchment of western Iran. CATENA, 116, 105-113. Heshmati, M., Arifin, A., Shamshuddin, J., Majid, N. M. 2012. Predicting N, P, K and organic carbon depletion in soils using MPSIAC model at the Merek catchment, Iran. Geoderma, 175, 64-77. Jafari, R., Bakhshandehmehr, L. 2013. Quantitative mapping and assessment of environmentally sensitive areas to desertification in central Iran. Land Degradation & Development.DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2227 Kavian, A., Azmoodeh, A., Solaimani, K. 2014. Deforestation effects on soil properties, runoff and erosion in northern Iran. Arabian

  11. Agriculture: Soils

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Productive soils, a favorable climate, and clean and abundant water resources are essential for growing crops, raising livestock, and for ecosystems to continue to provide the critical provisioning services that humans need.

  12. The relative importance of fertilization and soil erosion on C-dynamics in agricultural landscapes of NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, Madlen; Hoffmann, Mathias; Hagemann, Ulrike; Jurisch, Nicole; Remus, Rainer; Sommer, Michael; Augustin, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The hummocky ground moraine landscape of north-east Germany is characterized by distinct small-scale soil heterogeneity on the one hand, and intensive energy crop cultivation on the other. Both factors are assumed to significantly influence gaseous C exchange, and thus driving the dynamics of soil organic carbon stocks in terrestrial, agricultural ecosystems. However, it is not yet clear to which extent fertilization and soil erosional status influence soil C dynamics and whether one of these factors is more relevant than the other. We present seasonal and dynamic soil C balances of biogas maize for the growing season 2011, recorded at different sites located within the CarboZALF experimental area. The sites differ regarding soils (non-eroded Albic Luvisols (Cutanic), extremely eroded Calcaric Regosol and depositional Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol,) and applied fertilizer (100% mineral N fertilizer, 50% mineral and 50% N organic fertilizer, 100% organic N fertilizer). Fertilization treatments were established on the Albic Luvisol (Cutanic). Net-CO2-exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were measured every four weeks using a dynamic flow-through non-steady-state closed manual chamber system. Gap filling was performed based on empirical temperature and PAR dependency functions to derive daily NEE values. At the same time, daily above-ground biomass production (NPP) was estimated based on biomass samples and final harvest, using a sigmoidal growth function. In a next step, dynamic soil C balances were generated as the balance of daily NEE and NPP considering the initial C input due to N fertilizers. The resulted seasonal soil C balances varied from strong C losses at the Endogleyic Colluvic Regosol (602 g C m-2) to C gains at the Calcaric Regosol (-132 g C m-2). In general, soils exerted a stronger impact on seasonal and dynamic C balances compared to differences in applied N fertilizer. There are indications that inter-annual variations in climate conditions

  13. Soil Erosion: Advanced Crop and Soil Science. A Course of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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.…

  14. Potential for monitoring soil erosion features and soil erosion modeling components from remotely sensed data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Langran, K. J.

    1983-01-01

    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.

  15. 7 CFR 610.13 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 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)....

  16. 7 CFR 610.13 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 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)....

  17. 7 CFR 610.13 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 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)....

  18. 7 CFR 610.13 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 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)....

  19. 7 CFR 610.13 - Equations for predicting soil loss due to wind erosion.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 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)....

  20. Soil property effects on wind erosion of organic soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zobeck, Ted M.; Baddock, Matthew; Scott Van Pelt, R.; Tatarko, John; Acosta-Martinez, Veronica

    2013-09-01

    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

  1. Soil erosion on upland areas by rainfall and overland flow

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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,...

  2. Heterogeneity and topsoil depletion due to tillage erosion and soil co-extraction with root vegetables: a serious threat to sustainable agricultural land use in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quine, Timothy; van Oost, Kristof

    2010-05-01

    The term soil erosion has become almost synonymous with water erosion and yet tillage erosion and soil loss with root crop harvest, although less visible, may be responsible for the majority of the on-site costs of soil erosion in many arable areas of the UK. The study reported here is a first attempt to model soil erosion associated with these processes in England and Wales, at the National scale. A GIS-based modelling approach in the Arc/Info environment is employed in order to meet the requirement for large-scale evaluation of erosion severity. Existing models that have been subject to independent test are used or adapted and widely available data is employed in model parameterisation. Tillage erosion is simulated using a diffusion-type model and a slope curvature index derived from coarse-scale topographic data. The curvature index is calibrated by statistical comparison to curvature values derived from a high resolution digital terrain model. Soil loss with root crop harvest is simulated using information concerning patterns of sugar beet and potato cultivation and estimation of soil moisture during the crop harvest season. Soil loss associated with root crop harvest may be as high as 1 t ha-1 year-1 if land is permanently used for root crops in a 3 year rotation. However, when the arable area of the UK is considered as a whole root crop harvest is responsible for a mean rate of soil loss of approximately 0.1 t ha-1 year-1. Tillage erosion is found to be the dominant process of soil redistribution and onsite erosion on arable land, in comparison with both soil loss through root crop harvest and with long-term water erosion rates. Mean gross rates of tillage erosion were found to be 3.7 t ha-1 year-1, representing approximately 7.4 t ha-1 year-1 erosion and the same rate of deposition. Soil redistribution at these rates is generating an heterogeneous soilscape in which continued functioning for food and fibre production may be jeopardized. These problems may be

  3. Water erosion as a cause for agricultural soil loss: modeling of dynamic processes using high-resolution ground based LiDAR measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oz, Imri; Filin, Sagi; Assouline, Shmuel; Shtain, Zachi; Furman, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    Soil erosion by rainfall and water flow is a frequent natural geomorphic process shaping the earth's surface at various scales. Conventional agrotechnical methods enhance soil erosion at the field scale and are at the origin of the reduction of the upper soil layer depth. This reduction is expressed in two aspects: decrease of soil depth, mainly due to erosion, and the diminution of soil quality, mainly due to the loss of fine material, nutrients and organic matter. Rain events, not even the most extremes, cause detachment and transport of fertile soil rich in organic matter and nutrients away from the fields, filling and plugging drainage channels, blocking infrastructure and contaminating water sources. Empirical, semi-empirical and mechanistic models are available to estimate soil erosion by water flow and sediment transport (e.g. WEPP, KINEROSS, EUROSEM). Calibration of these models requires data measured at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Development of high-resolution measurement tools (for both spatial and temporal aspects) should improve the calibration of functions related to particles detachment and transport from the soil surface. In addition, despite the great impact of different tillage systems on the soil erosion process, the vast majority of the models ignore this fundamental factor. The objective of this study is to apply high-resolution ground-based LiDAR measurements to different tillage schemes and scales to improve the ability of models to accurately describe the process of soil erosion induced by rainfall and overland flow. Ground-based laser scans provide high resolution accurate and subtle geomorphic changes, as well as larger-scale deformations. As such, it allows frequent monitoring, so that even the effect of a single storm can be measured, thus improving the calibration of the erosion models. Preliminary results for scans made in the field show the potential and limitations of ground-based LiDAR, and at this point qualitatively can

  4. Soil erosion dynamics response to landscape pattern.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Wei; Skidmore, Andrew K; Hao, Fanghua; Wang, Tiejun

    2010-02-15

    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.

  5. Geoinformation mapping of soil erosion in the Middle Volga region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yermolaev, O. P.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  6. Measuring soil erosion on a decadal scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kázmér, Miklós; Kern, Zoltán; Zhou, Yun-chao; Mei, Lou; Fang, Keyan

    2014-05-01

    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).

  7. The use of straw to reduce the soil and water losses in agriculture and forest ecosystems in the Mediterranean Type-Ecosystem. The Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group contribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerda, Artemi; Burguet, Maria; Keesstra, Saskia; Borja, Manuel Esteban Lucas; Hedo, Javier; Brevik, Eric; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Jordan, Antonio; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Taguas, Encarnacion

    2016-04-01

    Soil Erosion is a worldwide environmental issue (Keesstra et al., 2007; Dai et al., 2015; Erkossa et al., 2015; Ochoa-Cueva et al., 2015; Taguas et al., 2015). The high erosion rates are affecting mainly the non-developed countries due to the lack of vegetation cover, deforestation and the intense ploughing (Lieskovsky and Kenderessy, 2014; Biwas et al., 2015, Colazo and Buschiazzo, 2015; Ligonja and Shrestha, 2015); and the developing countries due to the herbicides abuse and heavy machinery (Cerdà et al., 2009; Novara et al., 2011). Non-sustainable erosion rates result in the loss of soil and also changes in the hydrological, erosional, biological, and geochemical cycles, which produce the lack of the services, goods and resources the soil offers to the humankind (Keesstra et al., 2012; Berendse et al., 2015; Decock et al., 2015; Brevik et al., 2015; Smith et al., 2015). This is why there is a need to reduce the soil losses, and to achieve a sustainable situation with lower and renewable soil erosion rates and to improve the infiltration rates (Cerdà et al., 2015; Nanko et al., 2015; Mwango et al., 2016). Vegetation cover is the most efficient strategy to control soil and water losses (Cerdà, 1999; Keesstra, 2007; Zhao et al., 2014), however there is the need to use other covers once the vegetation is not recovered such as after the forest fires or when the crops do not allow to have weeds and the soil should be bare. This is sometimes a cultural and aesthetic need (farmers from the Cànyoles river watershed personal comm). Under the above-mentioned circumstances, a straw cover can reduce the soil losses and increase infiltration. This is the main research topic that is being carried out by the Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group from the University of Valencia during more than one decade: to find solutions to the non-sustainable soil erosion rates under forest and agriculture land under Mediterranean climatic conditions. The research was developed

  8. Can we manipulate root system architecture to control soil erosion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ola, A.; Dodd, I. C.; Quinton, J. N.

    2015-03-01

    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.

  9. Soil erosion-runoff relationships: insights from laboratory studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamedov, Amrakh; Warrington, David; Levy, Guy

    2016-04-01

    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.

  10. Effects of soil management techniques on soil water erosion in apricot orchards.

    PubMed

    Keesstra, Saskia; Pereira, Paulo; Novara, Agata; Brevik, Eric C; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Jordán, Antonio; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-05-01

    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

  11. A history of wind erosion prediction models in the United States Department of Agriculture: The Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Development of the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) was officially inaugurated in 1985 by United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) scientists in response to customer requests, particularly those coming from the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS), for im...

  12. Mechanics of aeolian processes: Soil erosion and dust production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehrabadi, M. M.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  13. Comparative analyses of factors determining soil erosion rates based on network of Mediterranean monitored catchments for the innovative, adaptive and resilient agriculture of the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smetanová, Anna; Le Bissonnais, Yves; Raclot, Damien; Perdo Nunes, João; Licciardello, Feliciana; Mathys, Nicolle; Latron, Jérôme; Rodríguez Caballero, Emilio; Le Bouteiller, Caroline; Klotz, Sébastien; Mekki, Insaf; Gallart, Francesc; Solé Benet, Albert; Pérez Gallego, Nuria; Andrieux, Patrick; Jantzi, Hugo; Moussa, Roger; Planchon, Olivier; Marisa Santos, Juliana

    2015-04-01

    In order to project the soil erosion response to climate change in the fragile Mediterranean region it is inevitable to understand its existing patterns. Soil erosion monitoring on a catchment scale enables to analyse temporal and spatial variability of soil erosion and sediment delivery, while the integrating study of different catchments is often undertaken to depicther the general patterns. In this study, eight small catchments (with area up to 1,32 km2), representative for the western part of the Mediterranean region (according to climate, bedrock, soils and main type of land use) were compared. These catchments, grouped in the R-OS Med Network were situated in France (3), Spain (2), Portugal (1), Italy (1) and Tunisia (1). The average precipitation ranged between 236 to 1303 mm·a-1 and mean annual sediment yield varied 7.5 to 6900 Mg·km-2·a-1. The complex databes was based on more than 120 years of hydrological and sediment data, with series between 3 and 29 years long. The variability of sediment data was described on annual and monthly basis. The relationship between the sediment yield and more than 35 factors influencing the sediment yield including the characteristics of climate, topography, rainfall, runoff, land use, vegetation and soil cover, connectivity and dominant geomorphic processes, was studied. The preliminary results confirmed the differences in rainfall, runoff and sediment response, and revealed both the similarities and differences in soil erosion responses of the catchments. They are further dependent on the variability of factors themselves, with important contribution of the state of soil properties, vegetation cover and land use. Anna Smetanová has received the support of the European Union, in the framework of the Marie-Curie FP7 COFUND People Programme, through the award of an AgreenSkills' fellowship (under grant agreement n° 267196)

  14. Can we manipulate root system architecture to control soil erosion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ola, A.; Dodd, I. C.; Quinton, J. N.

    2015-09-01

    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.

  15. The Monitoring Erosion of Agricultural Land and spatial database of erosion events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapicka, Jiri; Zizala, Daniel

    2013-04-01

    In 2011 originated in The Czech Republic The Monitoring Erosion of Agricultural Land as joint project of State Land Office (SLO) and Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation (RISWC). The aim of the project is collecting and record keeping information about erosion events on agricultural land and their evaluation. The main idea is a creation of a spatial database that will be source of data and information for evaluation and modeling erosion process, for proposal of preventive measures and measures to reduce negative impacts of erosion events. A subject of monitoring is the manifestations of water erosion, wind erosion and slope deformation in which cause damaged agriculture land. A website, available on http://me.vumop.cz, is used as a tool for keeping and browsing information about monitored events. SLO employees carry out record keeping. RISWC is specialist institute in the Monitoring Erosion of Agricultural Land that performs keeping the spatial database, running the website, managing the record keeping of events, analysis the cause of origins events and statistical evaluations of keeping events and proposed measures. Records are inserted into the database using the user interface of the website which has map server as a component. Website is based on database technology PostgreSQL with superstructure PostGIS and MapServer UMN. Each record is in the database spatial localized by a drawing and it contains description information about character of event (data, situation description etc.) then there are recorded information about land cover and about grown crops. A part of database is photodocumentation which is taken in field reconnaissance which is performed within two days after notify of event. Another part of database are information about precipitations from accessible precipitation gauges. Website allows to do simple spatial analysis as are area calculation, slope calculation, percentage representation of GAEC etc.. Database structure was designed

  16. Redistribution of soil biota by rainfall erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baxter, Craig; Rowan, John; McKenzie, Blair; Neilson, Roy

    2013-04-01

    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.

  17. Soil erosion in developing countries: A politicoeconomic explanation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thapa, Gopal B.; Weber, Karl E.

    1991-07-01

    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.

  18. Soil aggregation, erodibility and erosion rates in mountain soils (NW-Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanchi, S.; Falsone, G.; Bonifacio, E.

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Study on soil erosion in Hudan River basin based on TM imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Zhenhua; Yang, Yongshun; Gao, Xiaohong

    2014-11-01

    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.

  20. Effectiveness of soil conservation strategies on erosion in Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benmansour, Moncef; Mabit, Lionel; Moussadek, Rachid; Yassin, Mohamed; Nouira, Asmae; Zouagui, Anis; Mrabet, Rachid; Iaaich, Hamza; Hajib, Said

    2016-04-01

    - 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%.

  1. Soil erosion on vineyards: impacts on vine performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degan, Francesca; Salvador-Banes, Sébastien; Cerdan, Olivier; Goulet, Etienne; Le Duc, Lionel

    2014-05-01

    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

  2. Spatial distribution of erosion and deposition on an agricultural watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pineux, Nathalie; Gilles, Colinet; Degré, Aurore

    2013-04-01

    To better understand the agricultural landscapes evolution becomes an essential preoccupation and, for this, it is needed to take into account the sediments deposition, in a distributed way. As it is not possible in practice to study all terrestrial surfaces in detail by instrumenting sectors to obtain data, models of prediction are valuable tools to control the current problems, to predict the future tendencies and to provide a scientific base to the political decisions. In our case, a landscape evolution model is needed, which aims at representing both erosion and sedimentation and dynamically adjusts the landscape to erosion and deposition by modifying the initial digital elevation model. The Landsoil model (Landscape design for Soil conservation under soil use and climate change), among others, could fulfil this objective. It has the advantage to take the soil variability into account. This model, designed for the analysis of agricultural landscape, is suitable for simulations from parcel to catchment scale, is spatially distributed and event-based. Observed quantitative data are essential (notably to calibrate the model) but still limited. Particularly, we lack observations spatially distributed on the watershed. For this purpose, we choose a watershed in Belgium (Wallonia) which is a 124 ha agricultural zone in the loamy region. Its slopes range from 0% to 9%. To test the predictions of the model, comparisons will be done with: - sediment measurements which are done with water samplings in four points on the site to compare the net erosion results; - sediment selective measurements (depth variation observed along graduated bares placed on site) to compare the erosion and deposition results; - very accurate DSM's (6,76 cm pixel resolution X-Y) obtained by the drone (Gatewing X100) each winter. Besides planning what the landscape evolution should be, a revision of the soil map (drew in 1958) is organized to compare with the past situation and establish how the

  3. Soil Erosion Protection Potential of Young Paulownia Plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stepchich, Avgusta; Djodjov, Christo

    2014-05-01

    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

  4. High natural erosion rates are the backdrop for enhanced anthropogenic soil erosion in the Middle Hills of Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, A. J.; Arnold, M.; Aumaître, G.; Bourlès, D. L.; Keddadouche, K.; Bickle, M.; Ojha, T.

    2014-08-01

    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.

  5. Remote sensing techniques for the detection of soil erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelletier, R. E.; Griffin, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    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.

  6. Erosion resistance of irrigated soils in the republic of Azerbaijan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babaev, M. P.; Gurbanov, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    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.

  7. Soil erosion assessment - Mind the gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jongho; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Fatichi, Simone

    2016-12-01

    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.

  8. Climate change impacts on soil erosion in the Great Lakes Region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  9. Towards new-generation soil erosion modeling: Building a unified omnivorous model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  10. Model development and applications at the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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)...

  11. Minor soil erosion contribution to denudation in Central Nepal Himalaya.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Guillaume; France-Lanord, Christian; Gallo, Florian; Lupker, Maarten; Lavé, Jérôme; Gajurel, Ananta

    2013-04-01

    /Si ratios show distinctly higher values. This suggests that contribution of soil erosion is higher than in the Khudi basin. Nevertheless, soil erosion remains a minor source of sediments implying that more physical processes such as landslide and glaciers dominate the erosional flux. In spite of high deforestation and agricultural land-use [B], soil erosion does not represent an important source of sediments in Nepal Himalaya. [A] Gabet et al. (2008) Earth and Planetary Science Letters 267, 482-494. [B] Gardner et al. (2003) Applied Geography 23, 23-45.

  12. The Effect on Soil Erosion of Different Tillage Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gür, Kazım

    2016-04-01

    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.

  13. Estimating soil erosion risk and evaluating erosion control measures for soil conservation planning at Koga watershed in the highlands of Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molla, Tegegne; Sisheber, Biniam

    2017-01-01

    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

  14. Rangeland runoff and soil erosion database

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  15. Modelling Soil Erosion in the Densu River Basin Using RUSLE and GIS Tools.

    PubMed

    Ashiagbori, G; Forkuo, E K; Laari, P; Aabeyir, R

    2014-07-01

    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.

  16. Erosion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. Remontant erosion in desert soils of Tamaulipas, México.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera-Ortiz, P.; Andrade-Limas, E.; De la Garza-Requena, F.; Castro-Meza, B.

    2012-04-01

    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.

  18. Soil aggregation, erodibility, and erosion rates in mountain soils (NW Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanchi, S.; Falsone, G.; Bonifacio, E.

    2015-04-01

    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

  19. Soil erosion survey using remote sensing images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakab, Gergely; Kertész, Ádám; Madarász, Balázs; Pálinkás, Melinda; Tóth, Adrienn

    2016-04-01

    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.

  20. Nitrogen loss from windblown agricultural soils in the Columbia Plateau

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wind erosion of agricultural soils can degrade both air quality and soil productivity in the Columbia Plateau of the Pacific Northwest United States. Soils in the region contain fine particles that, when suspended, are highly susceptible to long range transport in the atmosphere. Nitrogen (N) associ...

  1. Quantifying accelerated soil erosion through ecological site-based assessments of wind and water erosion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. Extreme soil erosion events: an opportunity for promoting awareness for soil conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eshel, G.; Egozi, R.

    2012-04-01

    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.

  3. Experiments for understanding soil erosion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seeger, Manuel

    2015-04-01

    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

  4. Soil Erosion: Quiet Crisis in the World Economy. Worldwatch Paper 60.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  5. Current Erosion and Sediment Research Concerns in Agricultural Watersheds in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil erosion research programs in the USA began in earnest following events of the 1933 Dust Bowl. During the early years from the 1930s-1960s, the focus was on determining the scale and severity of this problem by making measurements on plots, field-size areas, and small agricultural watersheds. Th...

  6. Comparing erosion rates in burnt forests and agricultural fields for a mountain catchment in NW Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunes, João Pedro; Marisa Santos, Juliana; Bernard-Jannin, Léonard; Keizer, Jan Jacob

    2013-04-01

    A large part of northwestern Iberia is nowadays covered by commercial forest plantations of eucalypts and maritime pines, which have partly replaced traditional agricultural land-uses. The humid Mediterranean climate, with mild wet winters and warm dry summers, creates favorable conditions for the occurrence of frequent and recurrent forest fires. Erosion rates in recently burnt areas have been the subject of numerous studies; however, there is still a lack of information on their relevance when compared with agricultural erosion rates, impairing a comprehensive assessment of the role of forests for soil protection. This study focuses on Macieira de Alcoba, head-water catchment in the Caramulo Mountain Range, north-central Portugal, with a mixture of agricultural fields (mostly a rotation between winter pastures and summer cereals) on the lower slopes and forest plantations (mostly eucalypts) on the upper slopes. Agricultural erosion in this catchment has been monitored since 2010; a forest fire in 2011 presented an opportunity to compare post-fire and agricultural erosion rates at nearby sites with comparable soil and climatic conditions. Erosion rates were monitored between 2010 and 2013 by repeated surveys of visible erosion features and, in particular, by mapping and measuring rills and gullies after important rainfall events. During the 2011/2012 hydrological year, erosion rates in the burnt forest were two orders of magnitude above those in agricultural fields, amounting to 17.6 and. 0.1 Mg ha-1, respectively. Rills were widespread in the burnt area, while in the agricultural area they were limited to a small number of fields with higher slope; these particular fields experienced an erosion rate of 2.3 Mg ha-1, still one order of magnitude lower than at the burnt forest site. The timing of the erosion features was also quite distinct for the burnt area and the agricultural fields. During the first nine months after the fire, rill formation was not observed in

  7. Environmental stochasticity controls soil erosion variability

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jongho; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Fatichi, Simone

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. Environmental stochasticity controls soil erosion variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jongho; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Fatichi, Simone

    2016-03-01

    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.

  9. Soil erosion and significance for carbon fluxes in a mountainous Mediterranean-climate watershed.

    PubMed

    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

    2007-07-01

    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.

  10. Soil erosion increases soil microbial activity at the depositional position of eroding slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Xu; Cardenas, Laura M.; Donovan, Neil; Zhang, Junling; Murray, Phil; Zhang, Fusuo; Dungait, Jennifer A. J.

    2016-04-01

    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

  11. Soil Erosion as a stochastic process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casper, Markus C.

    2015-04-01

    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

  12. Soil moisture: Some fundamentals. [agriculture - soil mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milstead, B. W.

    1975-01-01

    A brief tutorial on soil moisture, as it applies to agriculture, is presented. Information was taken from books and papers considered freshman college level material, and is an attempt to briefly present the basic concept of soil moisture and a minimal understanding of how water interacts with soil.

  13. Topographic variability and the influence of soil erosion on the carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dialynas, Yannis G.; Bastola, Satish; Bras, Rafael L.; Billings, Sharon A.; Markewitz, Daniel; Richter, Daniel deB.

    2016-05-01

    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.

  14. The Integrated Soil Erosion Risk Management Model of Central Java, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Setiawan, M. A.; Stoetter, J.; Sartohadi, J.; Christanto, N.

    2009-04-01

    tolerable soil erosion rate, the soil erosion management will be applied base on cost and benefit analysis. The soil erosion management measures will conduct as decision maker of defining the best alternative soil conservation method in a certain area. Besides the engineering and theoretical methods, the local wisdom also will be taken into account in defining the alternative manners of soil erosion management. As a prototype, this integrated model will be generated and simulated in Serayu Watershed, Central Java, since this area has a serious issue in soil erosion problem mainly in the upper stream area (Dieng area). The extraordinary monoculture plantation (potatoes) and very intensive soil tillage without proper soil conservation method has accelerated the soil erosion and depleted the soil fertility. Based on the potatoes productivity data (kg/ha) from 1997-2007 showed that there was a declining trend line, approximately minus 8,2% every year. On the other hand the fertilizer and pesticide consumption in agricultural land are significantly increasing every year. In the same time, the high erosion rate causes serious sedimentation problem in lower stream. Those conditions can be used as study case in determining the element at risk of soil erosion and calculation method for the total soil erosion cost (on-site and off-site effect). Moreover, The Serayu Watershed consists of complex landforms which might have variation of soil erosion tolerable rate. In the future, this integrated model can obtain valuable basis data of the soil erosion hazard in spatial and temporal information including its total cost, the sustainability time of certain land or agriculture area, also the consequences price of applying certain agriculture or soil management. Since this model give result explicitly in spatial and temporal, this model can be used by the local authority to run the land use scenario in term of soil erosion impact before applied them in the real condition. In practice, such

  15. Application of remote sensing to estimating soil erosion potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris-Jones, D. R.; Kiefer, R. W.

    1980-01-01

    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.

  16. The interaction between soil erosion and soil organisms in temperate agroecosystems: nematode redistribution in tramlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baxter, Craig; Rowan, John S.; McKenzie, Blair M.; Neilson, Roy

    2014-05-01

    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

  17. Three Gorges Reservoir Area: soil erosion under natural condition vs. soil erosion under current land use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schönbrodt, Sarah; Behrens, Thorsten; Scholten, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    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

  18. Acoustic measurements of soil-pipeflow and internal erosion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  19. Acoustic measurements of soil pipeflow and internal erosion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. Improvement of erosion risk modelling using soil information derived from aerial Vis-NIR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    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.

  1. Modeling climate change impact on surface runoff, erosion and sediment yield in agriculturally used catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherer, Ulrike; Gerlinger, Kai; Zehe, Erwin

    2010-05-01

    Surface runoff and soil erosion as well as many of the factors controlling both will be directly or indirectly affected by climate change impact. Increasing precipitation amounts and intensities cause non linear responses of runoff and soil loss. The variation of local precipitation and temperature regimes implicate shifts in vegetation cover, soil conditions, land use and management which will affect runoff, erosion and the translocation of sediments and environmental pollutants to surface waters. For example the adaptation of crop rotation and planting dates due to changes within temperature regimes will cause shifts in vegetation cover which might affect erosion due to decreasing cover in periods of high storm risk. In agriculturally used catchments of Southern Germany, the susceptibility of soils to erosion is highest during spring and summer because of both, an increasing risk for thunderstorms in this season and a sparse soil cover due to the growth period of crops. Climate change scenarios for Southern Germany assume higher average precipitation rates during the winter half year, whereas precipitation rates in summer are slightly decreasing. Longer lasting rainfall events in winter will increase runoff but will have no significant impact on sediment yields, since the rainfall intensities are quite low. Despite lower rainfall rates in the summer half year it is expected that the rainfall intensity of extreme events will increase, including a higher risk for erosion. To analyse how surface runoff response and sediment yields will be affected by climate change impact the process based erosion model CATFLOW-SED was used. CATFLOW-SED is based on Richards Equation including an effective approach for preferential flow and the Saint-Venant-Equation to simulate soil water dynamics and overland flow / river flow. The erosion process is modeled using shear stress, the momentum balance of precipitation and a semi-empirical erosion resistance for predicting soil

  2. Using high-resolution radar images to determine vegetation cover for soil erosion assessments.

    PubMed

    Bargiel, D; Herrmann, S; Jadczyszyn, J

    2013-07-30

    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.

  3. Degradation of soil physicochemical quality by ephemeral gully erosion on sloping cropland of the hilly Loess Plateau, China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Shrublands and Soil Erosion. An State-of-the-Art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estríngana, Pablo; Dunkerley, David; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Shrublands and Soil Erosion. An State-of-the-Art Arid and semiarid regions occupy two-fifth of the continents (Reynolds et al., 2007). These regions are characterized by dry climatic conditions, recurrent droughts and a scant rainfall pattern with a marked seasonality and a high inter-annual variability which makes water to be a scant resource and vegetation to follow a high variability spatial distribution pattern (Breshears et al., 1998; Cecchi et al., 2006; Dunkerley, 2008). These conditions make these areas more sensitive to climate change (Rowell, 2005) and to land use change as a consequence of land abandonment (Poyatos et al., 2003; Delgado et al., 2010; García-Ruiz, 2010), increasing the risk of desertification (Puigdefábregas and Mendizabal, 1998; Geeson et al., 2002), in such a way that 65-70% of arid and semiarid areas are vulnerable to this degradation process (UNEP, 1991). Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensity or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant cover is the main factor that controls the soil erosion, controlling the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012; Haregeweyn, 2013). Soil erosion show non-sustainable rates under these regions, such as under Mediterranean conditions (Cerdà et al., 2010) and on agriculture land (Cerdà et al; 2007; 2009) due to climatic conditions, to parent material and to the roughed terrain (Romero Díaz et al., 2010). The traditional impact of grazing, of extremely intense fires, of ploughing and the widespread use of herbicides on agriculture, the increase of the road and railway embankments and the agricultural land abandonment cause vegetation removal. Canopy cover partitions rainfall reducing the amount of water reaching the soil and the kinetic energy of rainfall drops, protecting the soil against the impact of rainfall drops. Vegetation

  5. A history of Wind Erosion Prediction Models in the United States Department of Agriculture: The Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Larry E.

    2013-09-01

    Development of the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) was officially inaugurated in 1985 by United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) scientists in response to customer requests, particularly those coming from the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS), for improved wind erosion prediction technology. WEPS was conceived to address deficiencies in the then-20-year-old, predominately empirical Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) widely used by SCS, and it sparked an endeavor that relied on novel laboratory wind tunnel research as well as extensive field studies to adequately uncover the physical relationships between surface properties and their susceptibility to and influence on wind erosion. The result is that WEPS incorporates many process-based features and other capabilities not available in any other wind erosion simulation model today. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has now implemented WEPS as a replacement for WEQ within their agency. However, the road to achieve that replacement required years of close interaction between ARS and NRCS. NRCS had to ensure they had suitable national-scale WEPS databases before implementation. User input simplifications were required as well as modifications to the reports. Run-time concerns also arose during the lengthy testing and evaluation process. Many of these were strictly non-wind erosion science issues that had to be addressed before NRCS could officially implement and begin using WEPS within their agency. The history of the development of WEPS, its unique features and its solutions to selected critical issues encountered by NRCS prior to implementation are presented and discussed.

  6. Process identification of soil erosion in steep mountain regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konz, N.; Baenninger, D.; Konz, M.; Nearing, M.; Alewell, C.

    2010-04-01

    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.

  7. The Future of Soil Erosion Modelling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  8. Improving Soil Erosion Predictions with 21st Century Data

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Challenges in soil erosion research and prediction model development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  10. 10-daily soil erosion modelling over sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Symeonakis, Elias; Drake, Nick

    2010-02-01

    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.

  11. An empirical approach to estimate soil erosion risk in Spain.

    PubMed

    Martín-Fernández, Luis; Martínez-Núñez, Margarita

    2011-08-01

    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.

  12. Effects of soil erosion on water quality and water uses in the upper Phong watershed.

    PubMed

    Sthiannopkao, S; Takizawa, S; Wirojanagud, W

    2006-01-01

    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.

  13. LAPSUS: soil erosion - landscape evolution model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Gorp, Wouter; Temme, Arnaud; Schoorl, Jeroen

    2015-04-01

    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.

  14. Soil carbon and nitrogen erosion in forested catchments: implications for erosion-induced terrestrial carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stacy, E. M.; Hart, S. C.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Johnson, D. W.; Berhe, A. A.

    2015-08-01

    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).

  15. Assessing the efficiency of Mediterranean ditch networks in preventing vineyards soil erosion within landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levavasseur, Florent; Bailly, Jean-Stéphane; Lagacherie, Philippe

    2013-04-01

    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

  16. Quantifying and modeling soil erosion and sediment export from construction sites in southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wernet, A. K.; Beighley, R. E.

    2006-12-01

    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

  17. RUSLE2015: Modelling soil erosion at continental scale using high resolution input layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagos, Panos; Borrelli, Pasquale; Meusburger, Katrin; Poesen, Jean; Ballabio, Cristiano; Lugato, Emanuele; Montanarella, Luca; Alewell, Christine

    2016-04-01

    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

  18. Effects of ephemeral gully erosion on soil degradation in a cultivated area in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Spada, Carmelo; Capra, Antonina; Gelsomino, Antonio; Ollobarren del Barrio, Paul

    2015-04-01

    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

  19. No-tillage and manure effects on soil erosion, carbon and nitrogen dynamics in sugarcane field in Okinawa, Japan

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil erosion and nutrients runoff have led to agricultural and environmental problems throughout the world. Not only on-site effect of decreasing soil fertility, but also various ecosystems have been damaged due to oversupply of sediment and nutrients from agricultural zones. Therefore effective soi...

  20. Assessment of soil erosion under woodlands using USLE in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Changshun; Xie, Gaodi; Liu, Chunlan; Lu, Chunxia

    2011-06-01

    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.

  1. Use of USLE/GIS methodology for predicting soil loss in a semiarid agricultural watershed.

    PubMed

    Erdogan, Emrah H; Erpul, Günay; Bayramin, Ilhami

    2007-08-01

    The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) is an erosion model to estimate average soil loss that would generally result from splash, sheet, and rill erosion from agricultural plots. Recently, use of USLE has been extended as a useful tool predicting soil losses and planning control practices in agricultural watersheds by the effective integration of the GIS-based procedures to estimate the factor values in a grid cell basis. This study was performed in the Kazan Watershed located in the central Anatolia, Turkey, to predict soil erosion risk by the USLE/GIS methodology for planning conservation measures in the site. Rain erosivity (R), soil erodibility (K), and cover management factor (C) values of the model were calculated from erosivity map, soil map, and land use map of Turkey, respectively. R values were site-specifically corrected using DEM and climatic data. The topographical and hydrological effects on the soil loss were characterized by LS factor evaluated by the flow accumulation tool using DEM and watershed delineation techniques. From resulting soil loss map of the watershed, the magnitude of the soil erosion was estimated in terms of the different soil units and land uses and the most erosion-prone areas where irreversible soil losses occurred were reasonably located in the Kazan watershed. This could be very useful for deciding restoration practices to control the soil erosion of the sites to be severely influenced.

  2. Learning Style Responses to an Online Soil Erosion Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mamo, Martha; Kettler, Timothy; Hussman, Dann

    2005-01-01

    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…

  3. Topographic changes detection through Structure-from-Motion in agricultural lands affected by erosion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Pradetto Sordo, Nicoletta; Burguet, Maria; Di Prima, Simone; Terol Esparza, Enric; Tarolli, Paolo; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-04-01

    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

  4. Mapping regional soil water erosion risk in the Brittany-Loire basin for water management agency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degan, Francesca; Cerdan, Olivier; Salvador-Blanes, Sébastien; Gautier, Jean-Noël

    2014-05-01

    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

  5. Soil erosion in developing countries: a socio-economic appraisal.

    PubMed

    Ananda, Jayanath; Herath, Gamini

    2003-08-01

    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.

  6. Keeping soil in the field - runoff and erosion management in asparagus crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niziolomski, Joanna; Simmons, Robert; Rickson, Jane; Hann, Mike

    2016-04-01

    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.

  7. Moderate topsoil erosion rates constrain the magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink and agricultural productivity losses on the Chinese Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jianlin; Van Oost, Kristof; Chen, Longqian; Govers, Gerard

    2016-08-01

    Despite a multitude of studies, overall erosion rates as well as the contribution of different erosion processes on Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) remain uncertain, which hampers a correct assessment of the impact of soil erosion on carbon and nutrient cycling as well as on crop productivity. In this paper we used a novel approach, based on field evidence, to reassess erosion rates on the CLP before and after conservation measures were implemented (1950 vs. 2005). We found that current average topsoil erosion rates are 3 to 9 times lower than earlier estimates suggested. Under 2005 conditions, more sediment was produced by non-topsoil erosion (gully erosion (0.23 ± 0.28 Gt yr-1) and landsliding (0.28 ± 0.23 Gt yr-1) combined) than by topsoil erosion (ca. 0.30 ± 0.08 Gt yr-1). Overall, these erosion processes mobilized ca. 4.77 ± 1.96 Tg yr-1 of soil organic carbon (SOC): the latter number sets the maximum magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink, which is ca. 4 times lower than one other recent estimate suggests. The programs implemented from the 1950s onwards reduced topsoil erosion from 0.51 ± 0.13 to 0.30 ± 0.08 Gt yr-1 while SOC mobilization was reduced from 7.63 ± 3.52 to 4.77 ± 1.96 Tg C yr-1. Conservation efforts and reservoir construction have disrupted the equilibrium that previously existed between sediment and SOC mobilization on the one hand and sediment and SOC export to the Bohai sea on the other hand: nowadays, most eroded sediments and carbon are stored on land. Despite the fact that average topsoil losses on the CLP are still relatively high, a major increase in agricultural productivity has occurred since 1980. Fertilizer application rates nowadays more than compensate for the nutrient losses by (topsoil) erosion: this was likely not the case before the dramatic rise of fertilizer use that started around 1980. Hence, erosion is currently not a direct threat to agricultural productivity on the CLP but the long-term effects of erosion on

  8. Mapping Soil Erosion Factors and Potential Erosion Risk for the National Park "Central Balkan"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilieva, Diliana; Malinov, Ilia

    2014-05-01

    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.

  9. Effects of olive mill wastes added to olive grove soils on erosion and soil properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lozano-García, Beatriz; Parras-Alcántara, Luis

    2014-05-01

    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

  10. Impact of erosion and tillage on the productivity and quality of selected semiarid soils of Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehdizade, B.; Asadi, H.; Shabanpour, M.; Ghadiri, H.

    2013-09-01

    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.

  11. Reassessment of soil erosion on the Chinese loess plateau: were rates overestimated?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jianlin; Govers, Gerard

    2014-05-01

    in significantly higher erodibility values than those obtained from field data. Overestimations of the P and LS factors are mainly due to the fact that erosion control measures such as terracing are not accounted for and that erroneous scaling functions are used on permanently vegetated areas. Our findings have not only important implications with respect to the mobilization of sediments by agricultural erosion: we will also need to reassess the impact of erosion on biogeochemicaly cycling and crop productivity. Fu, B., Liu, Y., Lü, Y., He, C., Zeng, Y., & Wu, B. (2011). Assessing the soil erosion control service of ecosystems change in the Loess Plateau of China. Ecological Complexity, 8(4), 284-293. doi:10.1016/j.ecocom.2011.07.003 Nearing, M. A. (1997). A single, continuous function for slope steepness influence on soil loss. Soil Science Society of American Journal, 61(3), 917-919. Quinton, J. N., Govers, G., Van Oost, K., & Bardgett, R. D. (2010). The impact of agricultural soil erosion on biogeochemical cycling. Nature Geoscience, 3(5), 311-314. doi:10.1038/ngeo838 Sun, W., Shao, Q., & Liu, J. (2013). Soil erosion and its response to the changes of precipitation and vegetation cover on the Loess Plateau. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 23(6), 1091-1106. doi:10.1007/s11442-013-1065-z

  12. Multi-temporal Soil Erosion Modelling over the Mt Kenya Region with Multi-Sensor Earth Observation Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Symeonakis, Elias; Higginbottom, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    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.

  13. Erosivity, surface runoff, and soil erosion estimation using GIS-coupled runoff-erosion model in the Mamuaba catchment, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Marques da Silva, Richarde; Guimarães Santos, Celso Augusto; Carneiro de Lima Silva, Valeriano; Pereira e Silva, Leonardo

    2013-11-01

    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.

  14. Soil erosion prediction using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) in a GIS framework, Chania, Northwestern Crete, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouli, Maria; Soupios, Pantelis; Vallianatos, Filippos

    2009-04-01

    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.

  15. Soil erosion under climate change: simulatingthe response of temperature and rainfall changes in three UK catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Walker-Springett, Kate J.; Constantine, José Antonio; Hales, Tristram C.

    2015-04-01

    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

  16. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China.

    PubMed

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-18

    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.

  17. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. Effects of stubble and mulching on soil erosion by wind in semi-arid China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Peifei; Yin, Guanghua; Gu, Jian

    2016-07-01

    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.

  19. Soil erosion, policy and management in China coastal zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Qingshui; Gao, Zhiqiang; Chen, Qiao; Ning, Jicai; Shi, Runhe; Gao, Wei

    2013-09-01

    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.

  20. The environmental implications of soil erosion in the United States.

    PubMed

    Uri, N D

    2001-02-01

    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.

  1. Wind erosion reduces soil organic carbon sequestration falsely indicating ineffective management practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chappell, Adrian; Baldock, Jeffrey A.

    2016-09-01

    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.

  2. Soil Erosion map of Europe based on high resolution input datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagos, Panos; Borrelli, Pasquale; Meusburger, Katrin; Ballabio, Cristiano; Alewell, Christine

    2015-04-01

    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.

  3. Trees, more than shrubs, protect against soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-05-01

    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.

  4. WSA index as an indicator of soil degradation due to erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaksik, Ondrej; Kodesova, Radka; Schmidtova, Zuzana; Kubis, Adam; Fer, Miroslav; Klement, Ales; Nikodem, Antonin

    2014-05-01

    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

  5. Soil erosion assessment and control in Northeast Wollega, Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adugna, A.; Abegaz, A.; Cerdà, A.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  6. The history of soil erosion: Interpreting historical sources, buried soils and colluvial sediments as archives of past soil erosion and human-environment interactions in the Longue Durée

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotterweich, Markus

    2015-04-01

    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

  7. Assessing soil quality indicator under different land use and soil erosion using multivariate statistical techniques.

    PubMed

    Nosrati, Kazem

    2013-04-01

    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.

  8. Can control of soil erosion mitigate water pollution by sediments?

    PubMed

    Rickson, R J

    2014-01-15

    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

  9. Moderate topsoil erosion rates constrain the magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink and agricultural productivity losses on the Chinese Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, J.; Van Oost, K.; Chen, L.; Govers, G.

    2015-09-01

    Despite a multitude of studies, erosion rates as well as the contribution of different processes on Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) remain uncertain. This makes it impossible to correctly assess the impact of conservation programs and the magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink. We used a novel approach, based on field evidence, to reassess erosion rates on the CLP before and after conservation measures were implemented. Our results show that the current average topsoil erosion rate is 3-9 times lower than earlier estimates suggested: most sediments are mobilised by gully erosion and/or landsliding. Under 2005 conditions, the combination of topsoil erosion, gully erosion and landslides mobilised 0.81 ± 0.23 Gt yr-1 of sediments and 4.77 ± 1.96 Tg yr-1 of soil organic carbon (SOC): the latter number sets the maximum magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink, which is ca. 4 times lower than other recent estimates suggest. The sediment fluxes we calculate are consistent with sediment yields measured in the Yellow River. The conservation programs implemented from the 1950s onwards reduced topsoil erosion from 0.51 ± 0.13 to 0.30 ± 0.08 Gt yr-1 while SOC mobilisation was reduced from 7.63 ± 3.52 to 4.77 ± 1.96 Tg C. Prior to 1950, a geomorphological equilibrium existed whereby the amount of sediment and carbon exported to the Bohai sea was similar to the amount of sediment eroded on the CLP, so that the erosion-induced carbon sink nearly equalled the amount of mobilised SOC. Conservation efforts and reservoir construction have disrupted this equilibrium and most eroded sediments and carbon are now stored on land where part of the SOC may decompose, thereby potentially lowering the strength of the erosion-induced carbon sink. Despite the fact that average topsoil losses on the CLP are still relatively high, the current level of topsoil erosion on the CLP is no major threat to the agricultural productivity of the area, mainly because fertilizer application has

  10. Plutonium as a tracer for soil erosion assessment in northeast China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Pan, Shaoming; Hou, Xiaolin; Roos, Per; Cao, Liguo

    2015-04-01

    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.

  11. Network for measuring runoff and water erosion in small agricultural cathments in Southern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taguas, E. V.; Gómez, J. A.; Boulal, H.; Gómez, H.; Vanwalleghem, T.; Pérez-Alcántara, R.; Peña, A.; Ayuso-Muñoz, J. L.; Giráldez, J. V.; Mateos, L.

    2010-05-01

    Water erosion is one of the major environmental threats to sustainability of agricultural production in Souther Spain. In Mediterranean climates, innapropriate soil management in steep or hilly landscapes causes intensive and extensive on-site and off-site damage. However, limited experimental information is available for fully understand the relationship between soil management practices and erosion at varying scales. This communication describes a network of five experimental catchments equipped with runoff and erosion monitoring devices established in the last five years in agricultural areas of Southern Spain. Three of the catchments are of small size (2 to 6.7 ha) and are covered by olive trees, a fourth one, of 20 ha, is cultivated with irrigated field crops, and the fifth catchment is located in an irrigation district where irrigated annual and tree crops coexist covering an area of 316 ha. Monitoring stations consist of a long-throated flume equipped with a untrasonic sensor to measure water depth, an ISCO water sampler, a rain gauge and a datalogger. This communication will present a preliminary comparison of runoff and sediment generated in the catchments during recent years, and it will discuss some of the main problems encountered in the establishment of the network and the future plans for upgrading the monitoring stations and analysing of results.

  12. Role of soil water erosion on the organic carbon balance in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almagro, M.; Boix Fayos, C.; López, J.; Albaladejo, J.; Castillo, V.; Martínez-Mena, M.

    2009-04-01

    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

  13. Selecting and applying cesium-137 conversion models to estimate soil erosion rates in cultivated fields.

    PubMed

    Li, Sheng; Lobb, David A; Tiessen, Kevin H D; McConkey, Brian G

    2010-01-01

    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.

  14. Can DEM time series produced by UAV be used to quantify diffuse erosion in an agricultural watershed?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pineux, N.; Lisein, J.; Swerts, G.; Bielders, C. L.; Lejeune, P.; Colinet, G.; Degré, A.

    2017-03-01

    Erosion and deposition modelling should rely on field data. Currently these data are seldom available at large spatial scales and/or at high spatial resolution. In addition, conventional erosion monitoring approaches are labour intensive and costly. This calls for the development of new approaches for field erosion data acquisition. As a result of rapid technological developments and low cost, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have recently become an attractive means of generating high resolution digital elevation models (DEMs). The use of UAV to observe and quantify gully erosion is now widely established. However, in some agro-pedological contexts, soil erosion results from multiple processes, including sheet and rill erosion, tillage erosion and erosion due to harvest of root crops. These diffuse erosion processes often represent a particular challenge because of the limited elevation changes they induce. In this study, we propose to assess the reliability and development perspectives of UAV to locate and quantify erosion and deposition in a context of an agricultural watershed with silt loam soils and a smooth relief. Erosion and deposition rates derived from high resolution DEM time series are compared to field measurements. The UAV technique demonstrates a high level of flexibility and can be used, for instance, after a major erosive event. It delivers a very high resolution DEM (pixel size: 6 cm) which allows us to compute high resolution runoff pathways. This could enable us to precisely locate runoff management practices such as fascines. Furthermore, the DEMs can be used diachronically to extract elevation differences before and after a strongly erosive rainfall and be validated by field measurements. While the analysis for this study was carried out over 2 years, we observed a tendency along the slope from erosion to deposition. Erosion and deposition patterns detected at the watershed scale are also promising. Nevertheless, further development in the

  15. Effect of Cropping System and Contouring or Download Sowing on Soil Water Erosion under no Tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marioti, J.; Padilha, J.; Bertol, I.; Barbosa, F. T.; Ramos, J. C.; Werner, R. S.; Vidal Vázquez, E.; Tanaka, M. S.

    2012-04-01

    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

  16. Watershed sediment losses to lakes accelerating despite agricultural soil conservation efforts.

    PubMed

    Heathcote, Adam J; Filstrup, Christopher T; Downing, John A

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1). Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2) yr(-1) in 1850 to 986 g m(-2) yr(-1) by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850) to 59 days mm(-1) at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation.

  17. The contribution of mulches to control high soil erosion rates in vineyards in Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, Artemi; Jordán, Antonio; Zavala, Lorena; José Marqués, María; Novara, Agata

    2014-05-01

    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

  18. Delineating the Erosion-Potential of Agricultural Lands Within the Le Sueur Watershed Using Remotely Sensed Data and GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maalim, F. K.; Melesse, A. M.; Thomas, A. R.; Belmont, P.; Azmera, L.; Jennings, C. E.

    2008-12-01

    The Le Sueur River, southern Minnesota, is the largest contributor of sediment to the Minnesota River, which is impaired for turbidity under Section 303d of the Clean Water Act. The agricultural fields within the Le Sueur River watershed were studied to assess their erosion potential and hence their contribution to the sediment loading problem in the study area. Soil type, slope, land cover and on-field land management practices were used to classify agricultural lands to determine their susceptibility to erosion. Field studies were conducted to determine the prevalent conditions that would be considered when analyzing the protection against erosion. Land cover types were identified and their geographic locations were noted for detection on sequential satellite images and mapping purposes. Land management practices were also identified in the field and their locations geo-registered. The slope profile of the Le Sueur watershed was derived from a Digital Elevation Model, while the seasonal land-cover was extrapolated from the land-cover ground-referencing exercise using satellite imagery. Soil maps of the different counties that constitute the Le Sueur watershed were also acquired and the spatial data was then integrated in a GIS to generate the erosion potential map. Plant physiology and morphology are important when developing a criterion for classifying land-cover types depending on the protection they confer against erosion. Land management practices influence the susceptibility of agricultural fields to erosion and these together with soil type and slope are useful erosion related properties on which to base the classification of the agricultural fields. Erosion potential is a dynamic aspect of agricultural lands and is a function of the combined prevalent factors. The set of factors used to study this aspect of agricultural lands were all very important but are by no means the only factors that should be considered when conducting such a study. The results

  19. Does control of soil erosion inhibit aquatic eutrophication?

    PubMed

    Ekholm, Petri; Lehtoranta, Jouni

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. Atrazine incorporation and soil erosion: balancing competing water quality concerns for claypan soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. Characterisation of soil microtopography effects on runoff and soil erosion rates under simulated rainfall

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. Landscape evolution by soil redistribution in a Mediterranean agricultural context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Follain, Stéphane; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Soils and landscapes are frequently subjected to rapid evolutions induced by climate changes and humans disturbances. Early, soil scientists had already sought to identify the dynamic interactions between soils and landscapes. Soil redistribution modelling is an appropriate analyse methodology widely utilized (Kirkby, 1985; Van Oost et al., 2000; Van Rompaey et al., 2001; Minasny and McBratney, 1999; Van Oost et al., 2005; Govers et al., 2006) to understand space time evolution in soil and landscape processes at short and medium term. The aims of this research is to develop a model able to simulate soil evolution as affected by soil redistribution processes (e.g. water-erosion processes and mechanical erosion) and to use pedological knowledge acquired from a field study coupled with the present research. The LandSoil model, here proposed, is an event based model, dimensioned for fine spatial [1 m] and medium [10 -100 years] temporal scales, taking into account a detailed representation of the agricultural landscape structure. It is composed of three modules for soil erosion/redistribution: rill erosion (Souchère et al., 2003); interrill erosion (Cerdan et al., 2002); and tillage erosion based on the mechanistic rules developed by Govers et al., 1994. After each rain and tillage event a new topography is evaluated as well as all the geometric landscape parameters. Specificities of the model are: i) long-term landscape analysis and topography balance after each rainfall; ii) evaluation of water erosion and soil mechanistic redistribution (tillage erosion); iii) taking in consideration of the landscape geometry, especially connectivity, as a significant information in describing the landscape and useful in modelling (Landscape structure management and landscape design); and iv) utilisation of various and different climate scenarios thanks to the event based model. Subsequently we apply this model to study the effect of different scenarios of land management and

  3. The effects of mulching on soil erosion by water. A review based on published data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Jordán, Antonio; Tarolli, Paolo; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-04-01

    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

  4. Ecological site-based assessments of wind and water erosion: Informing accelerated soil erosion management in rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  5. Analysis of Actual Soil Degradation by Erosion Using Satellite Imagery and Terrain Attributes in the Czech Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zizala, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    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

  6. Grass mulching effect on infiltration, surface runoff and soil loss of three agricultural soils in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Adekalu, K O; Olorunfemi, I A; Osunbitan, J A

    2007-03-01

    Mulching the soil surface with a layer of plant residue is an effective method of conserving water and soil because it reduces surface runoff, increases infiltration of water into the soil and retard soil erosion. The effectiveness of using elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) as mulching material was evaluated in the laboratory using a rainfall simulator set at rainfall intensities typical of the tropics. Six soil samples, two from each of the three major soil series representing the main agricultural soils in South Western Nigeria were collected, placed on three different slopes, and mulched with different rates of the grass. The surface runoff, soil loss, and apparent cumulative infiltration were then measured under each condition. The results with elephant grass compared favorably with results from previous experiments using rice straw. Runoff and soil loss decreased with the amount of mulch used and increased with slope. Surface runoff, infiltration and soil loss had high correlations (R = 0.90, 0.89, and 0.86, respectively) with slope and mulch cover using surface response analysis. The mean surface runoff was correlated negatively with sand content, while mean soil loss was correlated positively with colloidal content (clay and organic matter) of the soil. Infiltration was increased and soil loss was reduced greatly with the highest cover. Mulching the soils with elephant grass residue may benefit late cropping (second cropping) by increasing stored soil water for use during dry weather and help to reduce erosion on sloping land.

  7. Dynamics of Soil Organic Carbon and Microbial Biomass Carbon in Relation to Water Erosion and Tillage Erosion

    PubMed Central

    Xiaojun, Nie; Jianhui, Zhang; Zhengan, Su

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. Dynamics of soil organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon in relation to water erosion and tillage erosion.

    PubMed

    Xiaojun, Nie; Jianhui, Zhang; Zhengan, Su

    2013-01-01

    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.

  9. Radionuclide determination techniques and spectroradiometry as tools to determine soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, E.; Suárez, J. A.; Gascó, C.; Schmid, T.; Rodriguez, M.

    2012-04-01

    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

  10. The Reduction of Partitioned Wind and Water Erosion by Conservation Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil loss due to wind and water erosion degrades the soil and results in environmental problems downstream and downwind of the source field. Wind and water erosion may both occur to varying extents particularly in semi-arid environments. Soil conservation strategies require information about the p...

  11. A history of wind erosion prediction models in the United States Department of Agriculture prior to the Wind Erosion Prediction System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatarko, John; Sporcic, Michael A.; Skidmore, Edward L.

    2013-09-01

    The Great Plains experienced an influx of settlers in the late 1850s-1900. Periodic drought was hard on both settlers and the soil and caused severe wind erosion. The period known as the Dirty Thirties, 1931-1939, produced many severe windstorms, and the resulting dusty sky over Washington, DC helped Hugh Hammond Bennett gain political support for the Soil Conservation Act of 1937 that started the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS). Austin W. Zingg and William S. Chepil began wind erosion studies at a USDA laboratory at Kansas State University in 1947. Neil P. Woodruff and Francis H. Siddoway published the first widely used model for wind erosion in 1965, called the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ). The WEQ was solved using a series of charts and lookup tables. Subsequent improvements to WEQ included monthly magnitudes of the total wind, a computer version of WEQ programmed in FORTRAN, small-grain equivalents for range grasses, tillage systems, effects of residue management, crop row direction, cloddiness, monthly climate factors, and the weather. The SCS and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) produced several computer versions of WEQ with the goal of standardizing and simplifying it for field personnel including a standalone version of WEQ was developed in the late 1990s using Microsoft Excel. Although WEQ was a great advancement to the science of prediction and control of wind erosion on cropland, it had many limitations that prevented its use on many lands throughout the United States and the world. In response to these limitations, the USDA developed a process-based model know as the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS). The USDA Agricultural Research Service has taken the lead in developing science and technology for wind erosion prediction.

  12. Modeling the impacts of climate change and agricultural management practices on surface erosion in a dryland agricultural basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ottenbreit, E.; Adam, J. C.; Barber, M. E.

    2010-12-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of climate change and agricultural management practices on suspended sediment concentrations in the Potlach River basin in northwestern Idaho. Suspended sediment is a pollutant in many water systems and contributes to the impairment of streams. Conventional tillage practices and rain-on-snow events in the Palouse region of northern Idaho and eastern Washington can produce some of the highest sediment losses per acre in the United States. Climate change may lead to further problems as more frequent and intense winter storm events are predicted to occur. Many hydrological models have been developed which examine suspended sediment in river systems. The Potlatch River basin near Julietta, ID was examined using the Distributed Hydrology Soil Vegetation Model (DHSVM), which has a sediment module that includes surface erosion and channel sediment transport. DHSVM was calibrated and evaluated over the historical period of streamflow observations and was used to predict soil erosion rates and suspended sediment concentrations using a range of downscaled Global Climate Models (GCMs) emissions scenarios for the year 2045. Furthermore, the sensitivity of suspended sediment concentrations to conventional versus convservative tillage practices was explored. The results show that as the projected climate-driven intensity of storms increase, more sediment is predicted in the Potlatch River. Suspended sediment and streamflow are predicted to increase during the late fall through the early spring. This increase occurs during times of heightened runoff when suspended sediment concentration in the river is highest. Three tillage scenarios were incorporated into DHSVM for winter wheat: conventional till, reduced till, and no till. Erosion and suspended sediment were higher during storm events under conventional agricultural tillage scenarios. In the long-term, this research can lead to examination of the effects of climate

  13. Decreasing soil erosion rates with evolving land-use techniques in a central European catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Annegret; Heckmann, Tobias; Hans-Rudolf, Bork; Alexander, Fuelling

    2015-04-01

    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.

  14. Soil Erosion Study through Simulation: An Educational Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huber, Thomas P.; Falkenmayer, Karen

    1987-01-01

    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)

  15. Issues of upscaling in space and time with soil erosion models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, R. E.; Parsons, A. J.; Wainwright, J.; Hutton, C.

    2009-04-01

    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

  16. Influence of soil management on water erosion and hydrological responses in semiarid agrosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Alba, Saturnino; Alcazar, María; Ivón Cermeño, F.

    2014-05-01

    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

  17. Plume Mitigation: Soil Erosion and Lunar Prospecting Sensor Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metzger, Philip T.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Soil erosion under climate change in Great Britain: long-term simulations using high-resolution regional models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Kendon, Elizabeth; Constantine, José Antonio; Schindewolf, Marcus; Hall, Ian

    2016-04-01

    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.

  19. Hydrologic and Erosion Models To Assess Land Use and Management Practices Affecting Soil Erosion

    SciTech Connect

    Wigmosta, Mark S.; Lane, Leonard J.; Tagestad, Jerry D.; Coleman, Andre M.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  20. Ascribing soil erosion of hillslope components to river sediment yield.

    PubMed

    Nosrati, Kazem

    2017-06-01

    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.

  1. Rethinking soil erosion, phosphorus and colloid transfers from intensive grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, R. E.; Bilotta, G.

    2006-12-01

    undrained plots. Results are presented as time series at each plot as well as event, monthly, seasonal and annual budgets. Results indicate that significant, event-based yields of both sediments (1.18 kg ha-1 from drained plots and 3.09 kg ha-1 from undrained plots) and nutrients (3.9 g ha-1 of TP from drained plots and 9.86 g ha-1 from undrained plots) are forthcoming, as the artificial drainage influences both the hydrograph response and form to natural rainfall events. In addition, significant yields of fine particles (<0.45ìm), of both organic and inorganic origin (colloids) are observed, from both drained and undrained plots, associated with high levels of particulate phosphorus. Such results suggest that though grasslands may not suffer from `classical' erosion processes, such as rilling and gullying, they can still contribute significant levels of fine sediments and nutrients, whether they are drained or not, which in turn will make a detrimental impact on the quality of adjacent surface waters. Bilotta, G. S., and Brazier, R.E. (in press). Rethinking soil erosion and sediment and colloid transfers from intensive grasslands. Hydrological Processes. Heathwaite, A.L. and Dils, R.M. (2000) Characterising phosphorus loss in surface and subsurface hydrological pathways. The Science Of The Total Environment, 251/252: 523-538. Sharpley, A.N., Foy, R.H. and Withers, P.J.A. (2000) Practical and innovative measures for the control of agricultural phosphorus losses to water. An Overview. Journal of Environmental Quality, 29: 1-9.

  2. Assessing the impact of soil management on soil erosion in vineyards in La Rioja (Spain): La Sierra de Los Agudos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galilea Salvador, Ianire; Lana-Renault, Noemí; Ruiz Flaño, Purificación; Ángel Llorente Adán, Jose; Bellido, Nuria Pascual

    2015-04-01

    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

  3. Soil erosion from two small construction sites, Dane County, Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owens, David W.; Jopke, Peter; Hall, David W.; Balousek, Jeremy; Roa, Aicardo

    2000-01-01

    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.

  4. Toxicity of anionic polyacrylamide formulations when used for erosion control in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Weston, Donald P; Lentz, Rodrick D; Cahn, Michael D; Ogle, R Scott; Rothert, Amanda K; Lydy, Michael J

    2009-01-01

    Addition of anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) to agricultural irrigation water can dramatically reduce erosion of soils. However, the toxicity of PAM to aquatic life, while often claimed to be low, has not been thoroughly evaluated. Five PAM formulations, including two oil-based products, one water-based product, one granular product and one tablet product, were evaluated for acute and/or chronic toxicity to five species commonly used for freshwater toxicity testing [Hyalella azteca (Saussure), Chironomus dilutus (Shobanov et al.), Ceriodaphnia dubia (Richard), Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque), and Selenastrum capricornutum (Printz)]. When applied as an oil-based product, acute toxicity was seen to four of the five species at concentrations less than the 10 mg/L that is often used for erosion control. Toxicity was diminished, but still remained, after passage of the irrigation water across an agricultural field, indicating a potential impact to nearby surface waters. Results from the non-oil-based products indicated minimal toxicity associated with PAM even at concentrations 10 times those used in agriculture when applied in the granular form, as a tablet, or in a water-based liquid. These data suggest that other agents in the oil-based products, such as surfactants or emulsifiers, rather than the PAM itself, contribute to the toxicity. Care is required in selecting an appropriate PAM formulation when the potential exists for entry of tailwater to nearby surface waters.

  5. Modeling interplay between regional net ecosystem carbon balance and soil erosion for a crop-pasture region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Qiong; Yu, Mei; Liu, Yinghui; Xu, Hongmei; Xu, Xia

    2007-12-01

    The balance between erosion-induced soil carbon loss and the reduction in heterotrophic respiration caused by carbon removal in semiarid ecosystems that suffer from severe soil erosion is still largely uncertain. In this paper, we revised and applied a simulation model to analyze responses of ecosystem processes in the crop-pasture belt region of northern China to impacts of soil erosion and climate shift. The revised model includes a new module that calculates runoff-induced soil erosion and soil carbon and nutrient losses. The model was validated against long-term field observations on plant productivity at several sites, and sediment yields of experiments with various vegetation covers and slopes. Simulation with historical climate data without considering erosion showed that the average net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (RHE), agricultural harvest (HAV), and net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) were 210.1 ± 26.9, 169.8 ± 7.7, 35.9 ± 4.1, and 4.4 ± 22.5 gC m-2 a-1, respectively. In contrast, simulation with soil erosion gave an average erosion-induced loss of soil organic carbon (ECL) of 11.0 ± 2.8 gC m-2 a-1, and decreased average NPP, RHE, and HAV by 3.3 ± 0.7, 14.5 ± 0.3, and 0.2 ± 0.0 gC m-2 a-1, respectively. Given NPP maintained by crop fertilization and irrigation for crop fields, the erosion-induced soil carbon loss is thus counterbalanced by the decrease in heterotrophic respiration, resulting in an invariant NECB with respect to soil erosion.

  6. Tracing soil erosion impacts on soil organisms using 137Cs and soil nematodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baxter, Craig; Rowan, John S.; McKenzie, Blair M.; Neilson, Roy

    2014-05-01

    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

  7. Using 137 Cs measurements to investigate the influence of erosion and soil redistribution on soil properties.

    PubMed

    Du, P; Walling, D E

    2011-05-01

    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

  8. Land rehabilitation, erosion and C sequestration in soils of the Chinese Loess Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yong; Van Oost, Kristof; Quine, Tim; Govers, Gerard

    2013-04-01

    quantified for 53 soil profiles using the artificial fallout radionuclide 137Cs. Our results indicate that the existing approaches ignore the erosion-induced reduction of in-situ soil CO2 emission from agriculturally eroding sites, and may therefore significantly overestimate the potential of reforestation in enhancing carbon sequestration. When the elimination of the erosion-induced sink term is accounted for, and for a range of protection levels of buried SOC in the fluvial system, we estimate that the C sequestration potential of re-vegetation may be overestimated by 25% to 50% for a period of c. 100 years.

  9. Soil erosion by water - model concepts and application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Juergen

    2010-05-01

    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

  10. Assessment of Soil Erosion in a Cultivated Landscape Using Repeated Measurements of 137Cs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  11. Discriminating impacts of geomorphological and human factors on vineyard soil erosion (Burgundy, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevigny, Emmanuel; Quiquerez, Amélie; Petit, Christophe; Curmi, Pierre

    2014-05-01

    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

  12. Soil water erosion on Mediterranean vineyards. A review based on published data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Cerdà, Artemi; Tarolli, Paolo

    2015-04-01

    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

  13. Influence of soil erosion on CO2 exchange within the CarboZALF manipulation experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, Mathias; Augustin, Jürgen; Sommer, Michael

    2014-05-01

    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.

  14. Forest Cover Change and Soil Erosion in Toledo's Rio Grande Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chicas, S.; Omine, K.

    2015-04-01

    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.

  15. Understanding soil erosion impacts in temperate agroecosystems: bridging the gap between geomorphology and soil ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baxter, C.; Rowan, J. S.; McKenzie, B. M.; Neilson, R.

    2013-04-01

    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.

  16. Soil erodibility and processes of water erosion on hillslope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bryan, Rorke B.

    2000-03-01

    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

  17. Remote sensing as a tool for estimating soil erosion potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris-Jones, D. R.; Morgan, K. M.; Kiefer, R. W.

    1979-01-01

    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.

  18. Towards large-scale monitoring of soil erosion in Africa: Accounting for the dynamics of rainfall erosivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vrieling, Anton; Hoedjes, Joost C. B.; van der Velde, Marijn

    2014-04-01

    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.

  19. Ecological site-based assessments of wind and water erosion: informing accelerated soil erosion management in rangelands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Nicholas P.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Duniway, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Soil erosion and carbon budget in Mediterranean vineyards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, Agata; Santoro, Antonino; Gristina, Luciano

    2016-04-01

    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.

  1. A simplified close range photogrammetric technique for soil erosion assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. A simplified close range photogrammetric technique for soil erosion assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  3. A simplified close range photogrammetry method for soil erosion assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. How irrigation affects soil erosion estimates of RUSLE2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  5. Using Gypsum to Affect Soil Erosion Processes and Water Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  6. Soil erodibility for water erosion: A perspective and Chinese experiences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  7. A method for modeling the effects of climate and land use changes on erosion and sustainability of soil in a Mediterranean watershed (Languedoc, France).

    PubMed

    Paroissien, Jean-Baptiste; Darboux, Frédéric; Couturier, Alain; Devillers, Benoît; Mouillot, Florent; Raclot, Damien; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2015-03-01

    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.

  8. Incorporating Information on (micro)Topography when Modelling Soil Erosion at the Watershed Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdan, O.

    2015-12-01

    In the context of shallow flows, the spatial distribution of the flow is highly influenced by the micro-topography. For instance, local oriented depressions may exist in which the flow depth and velocity may exceed the threshold for soil erosion initiation. If a mean uniform flow shear stress is used to characterize the area, it would be smaller and therefore may not initiate erosion. However, management of water and sediment fluxes requires analysis and modeling at the watershed scale in order to integrate the relations between upstream and downstream areas. At this scale, high resolution information on the microtopography is usually not always available and would anyway require too extensive computation resources to be explicitly integrated in modelling attempt. Moreover, in agricultural context, this information is likely to change during the year depending on the agricultural practices. In this context, the objective of this study is to propose a parameterisation of the influence of microtopography on erosion into the framework of the shallow water equation. For each cell, the proportion of wetted area is used as a microtopography indicator. For the case of erosion, the system is coupled to the sediment transport equations. In such context, an additional equation describing the micro-topography evolution caused by erosion is introduced. Different case study will be presented to investigate the potential of the approach.

  9. Carbon emissions as a result of land use change and accelerated soil erosion: perspectives in time & space.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Oost, K.; Verstraeten, G.; Notebaert, B.; Broothaerts, N.; Doetterl, S.; Wiaux, F.

    2012-04-01

    Carbon emissions as a result of anthropogenic land use have drastically altered the global C cycle. Analyses reported that land use change has released 156 Pg C from vegetation and soils to the atmosphere in the period 1850-2000, equivalent to c. 50% of fossil fuel emissions. More recently, longer-term analysis of human-induced land cover change have highlighted the importance of past land use changes, with estimates of pre-industrial Holocene carbon emissions ranging between 50 and 357 Pg C. Current global vegetation models represent well the net terrestrial C exchange from both vegetation and soils accompanying land use change. In contrast, C exchange associated with accelerated soil erosion following the conversion of land to agricultural use is not accounted for. Large amounts of C have been exposed to mineralization and burial as a result of agricultural erosion and deposition but its significance for both current and past fluxes of carbon due to changes in land use remains poorly quantified. Here, we present an overview of the key controls on soil erosion-induced changes in C exchange between the soil and the atmosphere. We provide evidence of how erosion processes increase the stabilization potential of soils by advecting mineral surfaces through the soil column. Accelerated erosion provides fresh mineral surfaces to the biologically active soil layer where it can stabilize organic matter inputs from plants at sites of erosion. In combination with the deep burial of allochthonous and autochtonous carbon and the inhibited decomposition upon burial, this acts as a sink mechanism. The conditions under which accelerated erosion leads to the chemical and physical breakdown of soil and a biomass reduction following soil degradation, resulting in a net source are also identified. We also present the integrated biotic flux of carbon for the Holocene as a result of both anthropogenic land use change and accelerated erosion for a large coupled upland

  10. Cover crops effectiveness for soil erosion control in Sicilian vineyard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gristina, L.; Novara, A.; Saladino, S.; Santoro, A.

    2009-04-01

    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.

  11. Erosion processes by water in agricultural landscapes: a low-cost methodology for post-event analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Calligaro, Simone; Sofia, Giulia; Tarolli, Paolo

    2015-04-01

    Throughout the world, agricultural landscapes assume a great importance, especially for supplying food and a livelihood. Among the land degradation phenomena, erosion processes caused by water are those that may most affect the benefits provided by agricultural lands and endanger people who work and live there. In particular, erosion processes that affect the banks of agricultural channels may cause the bank failure and represent, in this way, a severe threat to floodplain inhabitants and agricultural crops. Similarly, rills and gullies are critical soil erosion processes as well, because they bear upon the productivity of a farm and represent a cost that growers have to deal with. To estimate quantitatively soil losses due to bank erosion and rills processes, area based measurements of surface changes are necessary but, sometimes, they may be difficult to realize. In fact, surface changes due to short-term events have to be represented with fine resolution and their monitoring may entail too much money and time. The main objective of this work is to show the effectiveness of a user-friendly and low-cost technique that may even rely on smart-phones, for the post-event analyses of i) bank erosion affecting agricultural channels, and ii) rill processes occurring on an agricultural plot. Two case studies were selected and located in the Veneto floodplain (northeast Italy) and Marche countryside (central Italy), respectively. The work is based on high-resolution topographic data obtained by the emerging, low-cost photogrammetric method named Structure-from-Motion (SfM). Extensive photosets of the case studies were obtained using both standalone reflex digital cameras and smart-phone built-in cameras. Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) derived from SfM revealed to be effective to estimate quantitatively erosion volumes and, in the case of the bank eroded, deposited materials as well. SfM applied to pictures taken by smartphones is useful for the analysis of the topography

  12. Ice nucleation properties of agricultural soil dusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, Isabelle; Funk, Roger; Busse, Jacqueline; Iturri, Antonela; Kirchen, Silke; Leue, Martin; Möhler, Ottmar; Schwartz, Thomas; Sierau, Berko; Toprak, Emre; Ulrich, Andreas; Hoose, Corinna; Leisner, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Soil dust particles emitted from agricultural areas contain large amounts of organic material such as fungi, bacteria and plant debris. Being carrier for potentially highly ice-active biological particles, agricultural soil dusts are candidates for being very ice-active as well. In this work, we present ice nucleation experiments conducted in the AIDA cloud chamber. We investigated the ice nucleation efficiency of four types of soil dust from different regions of the world. Results are presented for the immersion freezing and the deposition nucleation mode: all soil dusts show higher ice nucleation efficiencies than desert dusts, especially at temperatures above 254 K. For one soil dust sample, the effect of heat treatments was investigated. Heat treatments did not affect the ice nucleation efficiency which presumably excludes primary biological particles as the only source of the increased ice nucleation efficiency. Therefore, organo-mineral complexes or organic compounds may contribute substantially to the high ice nucleation activity of agricultural soil dusts.

  13. Hydrological and erosion processes in terraced agricultural fields: observations from a wet Mediterranean region in northern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunes, João Pedro; Bernard-Jannin, Léonard; Rodriguez-Blanco, María Luz; Marisa Santos, Juliana; Oliveira Alves Coelho, Celeste; Keizer, Jan Jacob

    2015-04-01

    Traditional agriculture in the mountainous humid regions of the northwestern Iberian peninsula has relied on terraces for soil retention. In the last decades, a strong afforestation (in many cases with commercial species) has led to the appearance of large forest areas coexisting with traditional agricultural landscapes. Soil erosion research in this region has therefore focused on the impact of forest management practices and associated disturbances such as wildfires. However, there has been little research on the impacts of traditional terracing practices on erosion, and therefore it has been difficult to connect forest research with the wider issue of sediment connectivity in this complex agroforestry landscape. This work tried to address this research gap by monitoring an agricultural terrace in the Caramulo mountains, northern Portugal, during two years. The field site is located in a humid Mediterranean climate region, with c. 1500 mm/y rainfall, overlaying granite bedrock; agricultural practices are a traditional rotation between winter pasture and summer (irrigated) corn cultivation. During this period, the soil properties of the terrace were characterized, and there was a continuous monitoring of rainfall, soil moisture and surface runoff at the outlet, as well as 1 or 2-weekly collections of runoff to measure sediment yield. Occasional measurements of vegetation cover and erosion features (rills) within the plot were also made. Preliminary results indicate that runoff generation occurred mostly due to saturation-excess, possibly linked with the accumulation of groundwater in the lower layers of the soil. After one of the largest events, there was a clear inflow of runoff from outside the terrace, through either the irrigation network linking all terraces or by resurfacing of groundwater. Sediment yield was linked with runoff, but sediment concentration was linked with vegetation cover and was highest during the early stages of pasture growth. However

  14. A case study of soil erosion and sedimentation magnitudes in Morocco using 137-Cs & 210-Pbex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mabit, L.,; Benmansour, M.,; Nouira, A.,

    2010-05-01

    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

  15. Weathering, Soil Production, and Erosion Across Climatic and Tectonic Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, K. P.; Larsen, I. J.

    2014-12-01

    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

  16. Effect of selected soil conditioners on soil properties, erosion, runoff, and rye growth in nonfertile acid soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. Preliminary assessment of soil erosion impact during forest restoration process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Yen-Jen; Chang, Cheng-Sheng; Tsao, Tsung-Ming; Wey, Tsong-Huei; Chiang, Po-Neng; Wang, Ya-Nan

    2014-05-01

    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.

  18. Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe.

    PubMed

    Tsiafouli, Maria A; Thébault, Elisa; Sgardelis, Stefanos P; de Ruiter, Peter C; van der Putten, Wim H; Birkhofer, Klaus; Hemerik, Lia; de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D; Brady, Mark Vincent; Bjornlund, Lisa; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht; Christensen, Sören; Hertefeldt, Tina D'; Hotes, Stefan; Gera Hol, W H; Frouz, Jan; Liiri, Mira; Mortimer, Simon R; Setälä, Heikki; Tzanopoulos, Joseph; Uteseny, Karoline; Pižl, Václav; Stary, Josef; Wolters, Volkmar; Hedlund, Katarina

    2015-02-01

    Soil biodiversity plays a key role in regulating the processes that underpin the delivery of ecosystem goods and services in terrestrial ecosystems. Agricultural intensification is known to change the diversity of individual groups of soil biota, but less is known about how intensification affects biodiversity of the soil food web as a whole, and whether or not these effects may be generalized across regions. We examined biodiversity in soil food webs from grasslands, extensive, and intensive rotations in four agricultural regions across Europe: in Sweden, the UK, the Czech Republic and Greece. Effects of land-use intensity were quantified based on structure and diversity among functional groups in the soil food web, as well as on community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. We also elucidate land-use intensity effects on diversity of taxonomic units within taxonomic groups of soil fauna. We found that between regions soil food web diversity measures were variable, but that increasing land-use intensity caused highly consistent responses. In particular, land-use intensification reduced the complexity in the soil food webs, as well as the community-weighted mean body mass of soil fauna. In all regions across Europe, species richness of earthworms, Collembolans, and oribatid mites was negatively affected by increased land-use intensity. The taxonomic distinctness, which is a measure of taxonomic relatedness of species in a community that is independent of species richness, was also reduced by land-use intensification. We conclude that intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity, making soil food webs less diverse and composed of smaller bodied organisms. Land-use intensification results in fewer functional groups of soil biota with fewer and taxonomically more closely related species. We discuss how these changes in soil biodiversity due to land-use intensification may threaten the functioning of soil in agricultural production systems.

  19. Fallow Effects on Improving Soil Properties and Decreasing Erosion: Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2009-04-01

    Soil tillage plays a major role in changing physical and hydrological properties of soils through time, and in consequence, in the dynamics of infiltration, soil water and erosion. In the hilly landscape of southeastern Brazil, many areas originally occupied by the Atlantic Forest (one the most threatened biomes on the planet) have been continuously transformed in the last decades into agricultural systems, usually associated with small farming properties. Traditionally, the agricultural activities in these areas incorporate rotational systems which include a fallow period, where previously farmed areas repose for at least five years. In some areas, vegetation grows so fast that after 7 or 8 years these sites may be considered by regulator agencies as forests, impeding their use again for farming. As a consequence, farmers tend to decrease the amount of time used fallow impeding the recovery of original soil properties, reducing in consequence the infiltration rate, and increasing the runoff and erosion. Currently, the Brazilian laws allow that the farmers use the fallow system for 10 years in areas where this technique has been used traditionally. So, a major issue here is for how long the farming plots should be left reposing. Therefore, this study aims both to characterize the effects of continuous farming on soil physical and hydrological properties, as well as to define the impacts of different fallow periods on the improvement of soil properties and in the reduction of runoff and erosion. The experiments were carried out in a cultivation site located at Bom Jardim city, close to Rio de Janeiro city. The area is situated at about 800m of elevation in the hilly steep topography of the Serra do Mar, a coast range in southeastern Brazil, with an average total annual rainfall of 2000 mm. In this study, carried out in a typical farm of the area, we compared the effects of 5 different soil usages on soil properties: banana, coffee, F2 (2-year fallow), F5 (5-year

  20. Modeling carbon dynamics in vegetation and soil under the impact of soil erosion and deposition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, S.; Bliss, N.; Sundquist, E.; Huntington, T.G.

    2003-01-01

    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

  1. Effects of Maize Residue Removal and Tillage on Soil Erosion, Carbon, and Macronutrient Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beniston, J.; Shipitalo, M.; Lal, R.; Dayton, E. A.; Hopkins, D.; Jones, F. S.; Joynes, A.; Dungait, J.

    2013-12-01

    Erosion by water is a principal process of soil degradation in agricultural lands. Soil erosion influences the storage and fluxes of C and key macronutrients N and P in soil surface layers. No till (NT) crop management significantly reduces erosion on susceptible landscapes. The selective removal of crop residues for bio-energy production from no-till systems has been suggested as a secondary crop, but the effect of this practice on the conservation benefits of NT has not been quantified. Therefore, this study was initiated in spring 2012 to examine the effects of soil management practices on erosion and associated macronutrient fluxes on erodible soils subjected to a high intensity simulated rain storm at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) in Coshocton, OH, U.S.A. The soil management practices evaluated included: long term no-till with 100% crop residue (NT100) , no-till with 50% crop reside (NT50), NT with complete crop residue removal (NT0), long term conventional tillage (CT), and long term no-tillage plots that were cultivated (TNT) with a rototiller before the rainfall application. A field rainfall simulator was utilized to apply rainfall at an intensity of 7 cm hr-1 to a 4 m2 area of each plot for 30 minutes. Total runoff from the NT0 plots (22.1 mm) was almost double compared with the NT 50% (13.3 mm), CT (12.8 mm) and TNT (12.8 mm) plots and was more than 5 times greater than the NT100 plots (4.4mm). CT and NT0 plots produced 40 (2.7 Mg ha-1) and 20 times (1.4 Mg ha-1) more soil loss, respectively, than NT100 plots (0.07 Mg ha-1). Tillage of the no-till (TNT) soil produced the largest sediment-bound fluxes of C and N, while sediment-bound P fluxes were largest in the CT soils. Natural abundance δ13C and δ15N values were distinct between eroded sediments and the source topsoils and suggested enhanced loss of older (>28 yrs) C residues in CT plots. All observations suggest NT management provides greater resilience to soils than CT during

  2. Fire and grazing effects on wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature.

    PubMed

    Vermeire, Lance T; Wester, David B; Mitchell, Robert B; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D

    2005-01-01

    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.

  3. Monitoring soil erosion in terraced catchments in Mediterranean regions: a field experiment in Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camera, Corrado; Djuma, Hakan; Zoumides, Christos; Eliades, Marinos; Bruggeman, Adriana; Abate, Dante; Faka, Marina; Hermon, Sorin

    2016-04-01

    Terraces retained by dry-stone walls are very common features in mountainous Mediterranean environments. These structures provide accessible agricultural land on steep slopes, favoring water infiltration and reducing water runoff and soil erosion. However, during the last decades, an increasing trend of agricultural land abandonment has resulted in a lack of maintenance of the terrace walls and the onset of a general process of land degradation. The objective of this study is the quantification of soil erosion in a small terraced catchment (10,000 m2), located on the north-eastern slope of the Troodos Mountains (Cyprus), at an elevation of 1,300 m a.s.l. The catchment is cultivated with vineyards and it is representative of the main agricultural land use in the Troodos region. Soil erosion is measured by sediment traps and laser scans are made to assess changes in terrace geometry. In addition, a weather station measuring rainfall, temperature and relative humidity has been installed in the catchment, along with 18 soil moisture sensors, to relate soil erosion processes with climate and (sub)surface hydrology. A total of 10 sediment traps, five pairs, have been installed in the study site, catching five well-maintained sections of a dry-stone wall and five degraded (collapsed) sections. Each trap is 1 m wide. In detail, two terraces, 11 and 14 m long, located at the same elevation and separated by a strip of natural vegetation, are monitored with four and six traps, respectively. To get a complete picture of the erosion processes occurring on the selected area, the trap pairs collect sediment from both the collapsed and the well maintained wall sections of the two terraces. In addition, terrace area of two traps is delineated by metal borders (1x4 m2) to relate erosion rates to a known drainage area. The sediment traps are emptied after all rainfall events. At the beginning and end of the rainy season, a laser scanning survey of a terrace located uphill of the ones

  4. Control of Eolian soil erosion from waste site surface barriers

    SciTech Connect

    Ligotke, M.W.

    1994-11-01

    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.

  5. Assessing different agricultural managements with the use of soil quality indices in a Mediteranean calcareous soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Arcenegui, Vicky; Cerdà, Artemi

    2013-04-01

    Soil erosion is a major problem in the Mediterranean region due to the arid conditions and torrential rainfalls, which contribute to the degradation of agricultural land. New strategies must be developed to reduce soil losses and recover or maintain soil functionality in order to achieve a sustainable agriculture. An experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of different agricultural management on soil properties and soil quality. Ten different treatments (contact herbicide, systemic herbicide, ploughing, Oat mulch non-plough, Oats mulch plough, leguminous plant, straw rice mulch, chipped pruned branches, residual-herbicide and agro geo-textile, and three control plots including no tillage or control and long agricultural abandonment (shrub on marls and shrub on limestone) were established in 'El Teularet experimental station' located in the Sierra de Enguera (Valencia, Spain). The soil is a Typic Xerorthent developed over Cretaceous marls in an old agricultural terrace. The agricultural management can modify the soil equilibrium and affect its quality. In this work two soil quality indices (models) developed by Zornoza et al. (2007) are used to evaluate the effects of the different agricultural management along 4 years. The models were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed forest soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. Model 1, that explained 92% of the variance in soil organic carbon (SOC) showed that the SOC can be calculated by the linear combination of 6 physical, chemical and biochemical properties (acid phosphatase, water holding capacity (WHC), electrical conductivity (EC), available phosphorus (P), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and aggregate stability (AS). Model 2 explains 89% of the SOC variance, which can be calculated by means of 7 chemical and biochemical properties (urease, phosphatase, and ß-glucosidase activities, pH, EC, P and CEC). We use the

  6. Extreme soil erosion rates in citrus slope plantations and control strategies. A literature review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, Artemi; Ángel González Peñaloza, Félix; Pereira, Paulo; Reyes Ruiz Gallardo, José; García Orenes, Fuensanta; Burguet, María

    2013-04-01

    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

  7. Soil erosion modelling nowadays: insights of a young scientist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Vicente, Manuel; Kirkby, Mike

    2013-04-01

    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

  8. Runoff generation and soil erosion processes after clear cutting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohr, Christian H.; Coppus, Ruben; Iroumé, AndréS.; Huber, Anton; Bronstert, Axel

    2013-06-01

    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.

  9. Implications of climate change on wind erosion of agricultural lands in the Columbia Plateau

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change may impact soil health and productivity as a result of accelerated or decelerated rates of erosion. Previous studies suggest a greater risk of wind erosion on arid and semi-arid lands due to loss of biomass under a future warmer climate. There have been no studies conducted to assess ...

  10. Fuzzy pattern recognition method for assessing soil erosion.

    PubMed

    Saadatpour, Motahareh; Afshar, Abbas; Afshar, Mohammad Hadi

    2011-09-01

    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.

  11. Soil erosion after forest fires in the Valencia region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Pelayo, Óscar; Keizer, Jan Jacob; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion after forest fire is triggered by the lack of vegetation cover and the degradation of the physical, biological and chemical properties (Martí et al., 2012; Fernández et al., 2012; Guénon, 2013). Valencia region belongs to the west Mediterranean basin ("Csa", Köppen climate classification), with drought summer periods that enhance forest fire risk. The characteristics of the climate, lithology and land use history makes this region more vulnerable to soil erosion. In this area, fire recurrence is being increased since late 50s (Pausas, 2004) and post-fire erosion studies became more popular from 80's until nowadays (Cerdá and Mataix-Solera, 2009). Research in Valencia region has contributed significantly to a better understanding of the effect of spatial and temporal scale on runoff and sediment yield measurements. The main achievements concerns: a) direct measurement of erosion rates under a wide range of methodologies (natural vs simulated rainfall, open vs closed plots); from micro- to meso-plot and catchment scale in single (Rubio et al., 1994; Cerdà et al., 1995; Cerdà 1998a; 1998b; Llovet et al., 1998; Cerdà, 2001; Calvo-Cases et al., 2003; Andreu et al., 2001; Mayor et al., 2007; Cerdà and Doerr, 2008) and multiples fires (Campo et al., 2006; González-Pelayo et al., 2010a). Changes in soil properties (Sanroque et al., 1985; Rubio et al., 1997; Boix-Fayós, 1997; Gimeno-Garcia et al., 2000; Guerrero et al., 2001; Mataix-Solera et al., 2004; González-Pelayo et al., 2006; Arcenegui et al., 2008; Campo et al., 2008; Bodí et al., 2012), in post-fire vegetation patterns (Gimeno-García et al., 2007) and, studies on mitigation strategies (Bautista et al., 1996; Abad et al., 2000). b) Progress to understanding post-fire erosion mechanism and sediment movement (Boix-Fayós et al., 2005) by definition of thresholds for sediment losses; fire severity, slope angle, bedrock, rain characteristics, vegetation pattern and ecosystem resilience (Mayor

  12. Human induced prehistoric and historical soil erosion and landscape development in Southwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotterweich, Markus; Ivester, Andrew H.; Hanson, Paul R.; Daniel, Larsen; Dye, David H.; Foster, Thomas H., II

    2015-04-01

    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

  13. The relevance of wind-driven rain for future soil erosion research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fister, Wolfgang; Marzen, Miriam; Iserloh, Thomas; Seeger, Manuel; Heckrath, Goswin; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Ries, Johannes B.

    2014-05-01

    this PhD-project. By measuring soil erosion rates on the same plot, both with and without wind application, the influence of wind on soil detachment and erosion rates can now clearly be determined. Field experiments with the Portable Wind and Rainfall Simulator, which were carried out in Andalusia (Spain), in Wageningen (The Netherlands), and in Foulum (Denmark) during and within 3 years after finishing the PhD-project, aimed to improve the knowledge of processes involved, and to show the relevance of wind-driven rainfall erosion. The results indicate that the influence of wind depends on the complexity of the landscape. In an environment with homogenous conditions (loose sand mixture) and only a few variable factors (i.e. no vegetation, no surface roughness, no slope), like the test site in Wageningen, the increase of erosion rates due to the influence of wind could be seen in almost every test run. This clear influence of wind decreased with the amount of involved factors from agricultural soils in Denmark with a homogenous sandy texture and steep slopes, to highly degraded abandoned/fallow land with thick soil crusts and a clay-silt texture in Andalusia. The results obtained by "simple" rainfall simulations, therefore, clearly underestimate soil erosion rates, depending on the environment. This could, in our opinion, have strong implications for future soil erosion research and modelling.

  14. Soil Erosion in agro-industrially used Landscapes between High and Anti-Atlas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peter, K. D.; Ries, J. B.; Marzolff, I.; d'Oleire-Oltmanns, S.

    2012-04-01

    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

  15. A meta-analysis of soil erosion rates across the world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ruiz, José M.; Beguería, Santiago; Nadal-Romero, Estela; González-Hidalgo, José C.; Lana-Renault, Noemí; Sanjuán, Yasmina

    2015-06-01

    Over the last century extraordinary efforts have been devoted to determining soil erosion rates (in units of mass per area and time) under a large range of climatic conditions and land uses, and involving various measurement methods. We undertook a meta-analysis of published data from more than 4000 sites worldwide. The results show that there is extraordinarily high variability in erosion rates, with almost any rate apparently possible irrespective of slope, climate, scale, land use/land cover and other environmental characteristics. However, detailed analysis revealed a number of general features including positive relationships of erosion rate with slope and annual precipitation, and a significant effect of land use, with agricultural lands yielding the highest erosion rates, and forest and shrublands yielding the lowest. Despite these general trends, there is much variability that is not explained by this combination of factors, but is related, at least partially, to the experimental conditions. Our analysis revealed a negative relationship between erosion rate and the size of the study area involved; significant differences associated with differing measurement methods, with direct sediment measurement yielding the lowest erosion rates, and bathymetric, radioisotope and modeling methods yielding the highest rates; and a very important effect of the duration of the experiment. Our results highlight that, when interpreting erosion rates, the experimental conditions involved must be taken into account. Even so, the data suggest that only order of magnitude approximations of erosion rates are possible, and these retain a very large degree of uncertainty. Consequently, for practical purposes such as calculation of global sediment budgets, empirical equations are not a substitute for direct measurements. Our results also show that a large proportion of the experiments have been short-term (less than 3 years), which reduces dramatically the reliability of the

  16. Integrating Phosphorus Movement with Soil and Water Loss in the Daily Erosion Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sklenar, Tim; Perez-Bidegain, Mario; Cruse, Richard; Gelder, Brian; Herzmann, Daryl

    2016-04-01

    The Daily Erosion Project (DEP) is an ongoing modelling effort which is now in its second generation. DEP provides comprehensive and dynamic estimates of sediment delivery, soil erosion, and hill slope runoff for agricultural land areas across the Midwestern United States every day for Hydrologic Unit Code 12 (HUC 12) size watersheds. Results are posted every morning on the Internet at dailyerosion.org. Currently DEP covers all of Iowa and portions of Kansas and Minnesota, but expansion of coverage is ongoing. The integration of highly resolute spatial and temporal climate data, soil properties, crop rotation and residue management data affords the opportunity to test the effects of using multiple conservation practices on the transport and fate of water borne nutrients, especially phosphorus, on the Midwestern United States agricultural landscapes. Understanding the interaction of different environmental and land management practices on phosphorus movement will allow data from the DEP to guide conservation efforts as expansion continues into surrounding Midwestern states. The presentation will provide an overview of the DEP technology, including how input data are derived and used to make daily erosion estimates on over 200,000 flowpaths in the modelling area, as well as a discussion of the ongoing phosphorus transport modelling efforts and plans for future expansion (both land area and model functionality).

  17. Quantification soil production and erosion using isotopic techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dosseto, Anthony; Suresh, P. O.

    2010-05-01

    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

  18. Effects of land clearing techniques and tillage systems on runoff and soil erosion in a tropical rain forest in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Ehigiator, O A; Anyata, B U

    2011-11-01

    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.

  19. Impact of wind erosion on soils in arid and semi-arid landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. Detecting buried archaeological soils with TGA in an agricultural terrace setting in Northern Calabria, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koster, K.; Guttmann-Bond, E.; Kluiving, S.; van Leusen, M.

    2012-04-01

    Agricultural terraces are geomorphologic features created by humans. These structures protect farming land by reducing soil erosion, they collect water in their hydrological infrastructure, and preserve crops and vegetation. Their construction could however negatively affect underlying soils and archaeology present in those soils. However, if a terrace is constructed on a hill slope without destroying the underlying soil, the agricultural terrace could create a stable environment in regard to erosion, and preserve the underlying soil and potential archaeological remains in it. In order to detect soils within agricultural terraces in Northern-Calabria, Italy, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) was performed on exposures of four agricultural terraces, two agricultural fields in a non-terraced setting and five natural geomorphological features. Results are the detection of a buried soil horizon which contains archaeological remains dating from the Hellenistic period 60 cm below the surface of an agricultural terrace, and a buried soil horizon which contains archaeological remains dating from the Hellenistic period at the interface of an agricultural field and a river valley. Both soil horizons were indentified by an increase in organic components, and a decrease in calcium carbonates relative to their surrounding context. Conclusions are that the construction of agricultural terraces and fields does not necessarily lead to the destruction of underlying soils. This could open new doors for archaeological field investigations in agricultural areas in southern Italy. This study was conducted as part of the Raganello Archaeological Project of the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, Rijks Universiteit Groningen, in collaboration with the Institute for Geo- and Bioarchaeology at the VU University Amsterdam.

  1. The history of human-induced soil erosion: Geomorphic legacies, early descriptions and research, and the development of soil conservation—A global synopsis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotterweich, Markus

    2013-11-01

    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

  2. An Economic Analysis of USDA Erosion Control Programs: A New Perspective. Agricultural Economic Report No. 560.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strohbehn, Roger, Ed.

    A study analyzed the total (public and private) economic costs and benefits of three U.S. Department of Agriculture erosion control programs. These were the Conservation Technical Assistance Program, Great Plains Conservation Program, and Agricultural Conservation Program. Significant efforts at funding for current programs were directed to…

  3. Influence of development stage and disturbance of physical and biological soil crusts on soil water erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamizo, S.; Cantón, Y.; Lázaro, R.; Solé-Benet, A.; Calvo-Cases, A.; Miralles, I.; Domingo, F.

    2009-04-01

    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

  4. [Dynamics of soil erosion at upper reaches of Minjiang River based on GIS].

    PubMed

    He, Xingyuan; Hu, Zhibi; Li, Yuehui; Hu, Yuanman

    2005-12-01

    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.

  5. Mapping Erosion Risk in California's Rangelands Using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salls, W. B.; O'Geen, T. T.

    2015-12-01

    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

  6. [Assessment of the impacts of soil erosion on water environment based on the integration of soil erosion process and landscape pattern].

    PubMed

    Liu, Yu; Wu, Bing-Fang; Zeng, Yuan; Zhang, Lei

    2013-09-01

    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.

  7. A first-order assessment of climate change effects on rainfall erosivity and soil erosion in New South Wales, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Bofu; Murphy, Brian; Vaze, Jai; Rawson, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    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.

  8. Using remote sensing for volumetric analyses of soil degradation by erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlacilova, Marketa; Krasa, Josef; Kavka, Petr

    2014-05-01

    least one representative square plot in each section was created. Next, the volume of erosion rills in each square plot was calculated and corrected by referenced relation. These results were extrapolated to the whole of the study catchment. The study contains volumetric evaluation of actual soil loss by rill erosion in detailed scale and in addition, there is a model for rill volume evaluation in highly detached fields. The results illustrate that the volume of soil loss can reach extreme values in detached areas after only one intensive rainfall event. Hundreds of cubic metres of soil can be transported in rills and ephemeral gullies from a single hectare of arable land. Findings are useful for development and verification of procedures for the identification and evaluation of actual degradation of agricultural land by water erosion. The research has been supported by the project No. QJ330118 "Using Remote Sensing for Monitoring of Soil Degradation by Erosion and Erosion Effects".

  9. Soil erosion evaluation in a rapidly urbanizing city (Shenzhen, China) and implementation of spatial land-use optimization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenting; Huang, Bo

    2015-03-01

    Soil erosion has become a pressing environmental concern worldwide. In addition to such natural factors as slope, rainfall, vegetation cover, and soil characteristics, land-use changes-a direct reflection of human activities-also exert a huge influence on soil erosion. In recent years, such dramatic changes, in conjunction with the increasing trend toward urbanization worldwide, have led to severe soil erosion. Against this backdrop, geographic information system-assisted research on the effects of land-use changes on soil erosion has become increasingly common, producing a number of meaningful results. In most of these studies, however, even when the spatial and temporal effects of land-use changes are evaluated, knowledge of how the resulting data can be used to formulate sound land-use plans is generally lacking. At the same time, land-use decisions are driven by social, environmental, and economic factors and thus cannot be made solely with the goal of controlling soil erosion. To address these issues, a genetic algorithm (GA)-based multi-objective optimization (MOO) approach has been proposed to find a balance among various land-use objectives, including soil erosion control, to achieve sound land-use plans. GA-based MOO offers decision-makers and land-use planners a set of Pareto-optimal solutions from which to choose. Shenzhen, a fast-developing Chinese city that has long suffered from severe soil erosion, is selected as a case study area to validate the efficacy of the GA-based MOO approach for controlling soil erosion. Based on the MOO results, three multiple land-use objectives are proposed for Shenzhen: (1) to minimize soil erosion, (2) to minimize the incompatibility of neighboring land-use types, and (3) to minimize the cost of changes to the status quo. In addition to these land-use objectives, several constraints are also defined: (1) the provision of sufficient built-up land to accommodate a growing population, (2) restrictions on the development of

  10. Assessment of Holocene soil erosion rates on the loess plateau in East Poland using sedimentary archives from closed depressions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kołodyńska-Gawrysiak, Renata; Poesen, Jean; Gawrysiak, Leszek

    2016-04-01

    Closed depressions (CDs) are typical geomorphological features of the European loess belt. They are closed sedimentation basins that enable the estimation of long-term soil erosion rates for different land use environments. This study was conducted in eastern Poland (Nałęczów Plateau). In this region CDs are rather small landforms and the area of 70% of all CDs does not exceed 1500 m2. The study objective was to assess Holocene soil erosion rates in the loess plateau based on a quantitative analysis of colluvial sediments deposited in CDs. Two representative CDs were selected for this study: one CD is located in an old (long-term) forest and the other is situated in a long-term agricultural land. The maximum depth of the CD in the forest, the mean slope gradient and area of the corresponding catchment are 4.9 m, 3.410 and 7568 m² respectively. For the CD in agricultural land these values are 3.2 m, 2.760 and 5156 m² respectively. In both CDs several dozen of drillings and two trenches (2 m long, 1m wide, 2 m deep) were made in the deepest point of the CDs. Mean long-term soil erosion rates were calculated based on the stratigraphy of the soil-sediment sequence infilling the CDs. C-14 and OSL datings of soils and colluvial sediments within the CDs were obtained. For the long-term agricultural used catchment of the CD it was calculated that since 6.31 ± 0.35 ka BP the mean annual soil loss due to water and tillage erosion is 0.63-0.7 t/ha/year or 279.3 mm. In the prehistoric period since 6.31 ± 0.35 ka BP until 1026-1162 AD the mean annual soil erosion rate amounted to 0,10-0.11 t/ha/year or 41.5 mm. During the last ca. 1000 years mean soil erosion rates increased to 3.99-4.63 t/ha/year or 249.2 mm. Results of long-term soil erosion rates (calculated using colluvial sediment sequences in CDs) from agricultural catchments in the loess regions of eastern Poland (this study) and Central Belgium (Gillijns et al. 2005) are quite similar. For the forested catchment

  11. The Cannona Data Base: long-term field data for studies on soil management impact on runoff and erosion processes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biddoccu, Marcella; Ferraris, Stefano; Opsi, Francesca; Cavallo, Eugenio

    2014-05-01

    Long-term data have been collected by IMAMOTER-CNR from field-scale vineyard plots within the Tenuta Cannona Vine and Wine Experimental Centre of Regione Piemonte, which is located in a valuable vine production area in north-western Italy. Since 2000, runoff and soil erosion monitoring has been carried out under natural rainfall conditions on three parallel field plots (75 m long and 16,5 m wide, slope gradient about 15%) that are conducted with different inter-rows soil management techniques (conventional tillage, reduced tillage, controlled grass cover). Experimental plots are part of a 16-hectars experimental vineyard, managed in according to conventional farming for wine production. Recurrent surveys have been carried out in the runoff plots to investigate spatial and temporal variability of the soil bulk density, soil moisture and penetration resistance. The primary intent of the program was to evaluate the effects of agricultural management practices and tractor traffic on the hydrologic, soil erosion and soil compaction processes in vineyard. The Cannona Data Base (CDB) represents a data collection which is unique in Italy, showing the response of soil to rainfall in terms of runoff and soil erosion over more than a decade. It includes data for more than 200 runoff events and over 70 soil loss events; moreover, periodic measurements for soil physical characteristics are included for the three plots. The CDB can now be accessed via a website supported by the CNR, that is addressed to water and land management researchers and professionals. The CDB is currently used to calibrate a model for runoff and soil erosion prediction in vineyard environment. The CDB website includes a descriptive and informative section, which contains results of over than 10 years of experimental activity, reports and presentations, addressed to enhance the awareness of citizens and stakeholders about land degradation processes and about impacts of different soil management practices

  12. Runoff and interrill erosion in sodic soils treated with dry PAM and phosphogypsum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. Soil erosion: 20th century equations with 21st century data?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  14. COMPARISON OF RUNOFF AND SOIL EROSION FROM NO-TILL AND INVERSION TILLAGE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  15. Residue cover effects on soil erosion and the infiltration in black soil under simulated rainfall experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xin, Yan; Xie, Yun; Liu, Yuxin; Liu, Hongyuan; Ren, Xiaoyu

    2016-12-01

    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.

  16. Erosion control at construction sites on red clay soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemly, A. Dennis

    1982-07-01

    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.

  17. Contribution of raindrop impact to the change of soil physical properties and water erosion under semi-arid rainfalls.

    PubMed

    Vaezi, Ali Reza; Ahmadi, Morvarid; Cerdà, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    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.

  18. Estimation model of soil freeze-thaw erosion in Silingco watershed wetland of Northern Tibet.

    PubMed

    Kong, Bo; Yu, Huan

    2013-01-01

    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.

  19. Estimation Model of Soil Freeze-Thaw Erosion in Silingco Watershed Wetland of Northern Tibet

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Revisiting classic water erosion models in drylands: The strong impact of biological soil crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowker, M.A.; Belnap, J.; Bala, Chaudhary V.; Johnson, N.C.

    2008-01-01

    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.

  1. Sediment budget for Murder Creek, Georgia, USA, from Pu239+240 - determined soil erosion rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubblefield, A. P.; Matissoff, G.; Ketterer, M. E.; Whiting, P. J.

    2005-12-01

    Soil inventories of the radionuclides Cs137 and Pb210 have been used in a variety of environments as indicators for erosion and depositional processes. Development of sediment budgets for entire watersheds from radionuclide data has been somewhat constrained because limited sample numbers may not adequately characterize the wide range of geomorphic conditions and land uses found in heterogeneous environments. The measurement of Pu239+240 shows great potential for developing quantitative watershed sediment budgets. With inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, hundreds of samples may be processed in dramatically shorter times than the gamma spectrometry method used for Cs137 or alpha spectrometry method used for Pb210. We collected surface soil samples from Murder Creek in the Piedmont region of Georgia, USA, to compare Pu239+240 inventories with Cs137 and Pb210 inventories for a range of land uses in a predominantly forested watershed. Excellent correlations were found for radionuclide inventories (r2 =0.88, n = 38) and high resolution (4 mm) depth profiles. The second objective was to generate a sediment budget using the full Pu239+240 dataset (n = 309). Average Pu239+240 inventories were 70.0 Bq/m2 for hardwood forest, 60.0 Bq/m2 for pine plantation, 65.1 Bq/m2 for pine forest, 66.7 Bq/m2 for row crop agriculture and 67.9 Bq/m2 for pasture. The sediment budget will be constructed by converting inventories into site-specific erosion rates. Erosion rates will be scaled up to the watershed scale using GIS coverages of land use, soil, slope, and slope position. Results will be compared with Murder Creek sediment budgets in the scientific literature generated from RUSLE erosion modeling, USGS monitoring networks and reservoir sedimentation.

  2. Transport of agricultural contaminants through karst soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Karst landscapes are common in many agricultural regions in the US. Well-developed karst landscapes are characterized by shallow soils, sinkholes, sinking streams, underground conduits, and springs. In these landscapes surface runoff is minimal and most recharge enters the subsurface relatively quic...

  3. Soil Macronutrient Sensing for Precision Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate measurements of soil macronutrients (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are needed for efficient agricultural production, including site-specific crop management (SSCM), where fertilizer nutrient application rates are adjusted spatially based on local requirements. Rapid, non-destru...

  4. Soil Organic Matter Erosion by Interrill Processes from Organically and Conventionally farmed Devon Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, E.; Ling, A.; Kuhn, N. J.

    2012-04-01

    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

  5. Remote sensing and spatially distributed erosion models as a tool to really understand biocrust effects on soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Emilio; Chamizo, Sonia; Román, Raul; Roncero, Beatriz; Weber, Bettina; Jetten, Victor; Cantón, Yolanda

    2016-04-01

    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

  6. CO2 emission from soils impacted by erosion and deposition processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fer, Miroslav; Kodesova, Radka; Klement, Ales

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this work was to describe an impact of erosion and deposition processes on soil properties and consequently on a microbial activity and CO2 emission. Study was performed on morphologically diverse study site in loess region of Southern Moravia, Czech Republic. The original soil type is Haplic Chernozem, which was due to erosion changed into Regosol (steep parts) and Colluvial soil (base slope and the tributary valley). The grab soil samples were taken from topsoil at 5 positions of the selected elevation transect and also from the parent material (loess). The basic soil properties were measured in the laboratory: bulk density, pH_KCl, pH_H2O, oxidizable organic carbon content, CaCO3 content and salinity. CFU (Colony-forming units) were analyzed to describe microbial activity. The net CO2 exchange rate soil (NCER) was measured in the laboratory on the undisturbed soil samples using LCi-SD portable photosynthesis system with Soil Respiration Chamber. In general, the microbial activity and CO2 emission increased with increasing organic matter content. The largest values were measured on topsoil at the upper part of the transect, which was only slightly impacted by erosion. The lowest values were obtained on topsoil at the steepest and heavily eroded parts of the transect and on the parent material. Results showed close correlation between the microbial activity (CFU) and all soil properties and less close correlation between the maximum value of NCER and soil properties. The positive correlation was found between CFU and the oxidizable carbon content R2=0.92 or salinity R2=0.81. The negative correlation was found between CFU and pH_KCl (R2=0.94), pH_H2O (R2=0.90), CaCO3 (R2=0.78) or bulk density (R2=0.81). The positive correlation was found between NCER and the oxidizable carbon content R2=0.63 or salinity R2=0.43. The negative correlation was found between NCER and pH_KCl (R2=0.66), pH_H2O (R2=0.55), CaCO3 (R2=0.45) or bulk density (R2=0.77). Finally the

  7. Land factors affecting soil erosion during snow melting: a case study from Lebanon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darwich, Talal

    2014-05-01

    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

  8. Soil erosion on road and railways embankments in the Canyoles river Basin. Eastern Spain.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, Artemi; Antonio, Giménez-Morera; Félix Ángel, González-Peñaloza; María, Burguet; Paulo, Pereira; José Reyes, Ruiz

    2013-04-01

    1 to 7 %. Time to ponding was 135.8 seconds, ranging from 131.1 and 158.7 seconds within four road embankments. Time to runoff was also very quick, with 367 seconds, ranging from 326.9 to 376.9 seconds after the start of the rain. The runoff outlet was reached after 402.08 seconds, ranging from 367.1 to 428.5 seconds. Runoff was 56.25 % of the rainfall, ranging from 54.93 % in the Road1 embankments to 57.08 % on the Railway1 embamkments. Sediment concentration was 41.41 g l-1 in average for the 40 rainfall simulation experiments and ranged from 40.20 to 42.54 g l-1. After 78 mm h-1 (156 liters on the 2m2 plots) of simulated rainfall during one hour, the total runoff collected was 87.75 %, with a very low variability within the four studied embankments an the 40 research plots (9 % variation coefficient). The sediment yield collected during the 25-year return period experiments resulted in 3.67 Kg in average values with again a low spatial variability (18 % variation coefficient). The soil erosion registered in the four-studied road and railway embankments reached a value of 18.25 Mg ha-1 h-1. The results shown above demonstrate that the water and soil losses in the road embankments under intense thunderstorms are very high, which is a general trend in Mediterranean ecosystems due to the climatologically conditions and the lack of restoration and rehabilitation strategies (Cerdà, 2007). The comparison with other research under different land uses show that the soil losses are very high on the road embankments due to the impact of the slope and the bare soil (Bakr et al., 2012) and show higher erosion rates than the unpaved forest roads (Jordán and Martínez Zavala, 2008). Scrublands, meadows, forest, and agriculture land in general show much lower soil losses at the study area (García Orenes et al., 2009). This is why most of the current research is developing strategies to control the soil and water losses (Persyn et al., 2004: Xu et al., 2006; de Oñae et al

  9. Detection of soil erosion within pinyon-juniper woodlands using Thematic Mapper (TM) data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Kevin P.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  10. Assessment of soil erosion sensitivity and post-timber-harvesting erosion response in a mountain environment of Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borrelli, Pasquale; Schütt, Brigitta

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. Evaluating soil erodibility dynamics to improve estimates of wind erosion in drylands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  12. Development of a virtual tool for the quantification and the analysis of soil erosion in olive orchards based on RUSLE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marín, Víctor; Taguas, Encarnación V.; Redel, María Dolores; Gómez, Jose A.

    2013-04-01

    Erosion rates above 30 t ha-1 yr-1 have been measured in hilly agricultural regions such as Andalusia in Southern Spain, associated to orchard crops (Gómez et al., 2008). In this region, there are 1.48 Mha of olive groves (CAP, 2007), which are essential in terms of income, employment and landscape. The acquisition of training and experience in modelling soil erosion is difficult by the conventional system teaching for students as well as specific technicians. This paper presents a telematic training/analysis tool, CREO (Calculator of Rates of Erosion in Olive crops/ Calculadora RUSLE para Erosión en Olivar), to quantify erosion rates in olive grove areas based on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE; Renard et al., 1997) and on specific information published on soil losses and soil characteristics in olive orchards in Southern Spain. The tool has been programmed with Matlab R2008a from MathWorks Inc. (USA), although it could be used as an executable program in Spanish and English language by interested users. It consists of seven menus with visual material where different sources, databases and methodologies are presented to quantify soil rates (A = R.K.LS.C.P) by the calculation of six factors.A is computed in t ha-1 yr-1; R is the rainfall erosivity factor (MJ mm ha-1.h-1 yr-1); K represents the soil erodibility (t ha h ha-1 MJ-1 mm-1); L is the slope length factor and S is the slope gradient factor (dimensionless); C is a cover management factor (dimensionless) and P is a support practice factor (dimensionless). Different equations and methodologies can be selected by the user for the calculation of each factor while recommendations and advice can be showed for the suitable use of the tool. It is expected that CREO was a valuable helpful tool in environmental studies associated to olive orchard land use and its further use allows a better understanding of the interaction among the different factors involved, and better access to available

  13. Evaluating uncertainty in 7Be-based soil erosion estimates: an experimental plot approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, Will; Taylor, Alex; Abdelli, Wahid; Gaspar, Leticia; Barri, Bashar Al; Ryken, Nick; Mabit, Lionel

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion remains a major concern for the international community and there is a growing need to improve the sustainability of agriculture to support future food security. High resolution soil erosion data are a fundamental requirement for underpinning soil conservation and management strategies but representative data on soil erosion rates are difficult to achieve by conventional means without interfering with farming practice and hence compromising the representativeness of results. Fallout radionuclide (FRN) tracer technology offers a solution since FRN tracers are delivered to the soil surface by natural processes and, where irreversible binding can be demonstrated, redistributed in association with soil particles. While much work has demonstrated the potential of short-lived 7Be (half-life 53 days), particularly in quantification of short-term inter-rill erosion, less attention has focussed on sources of uncertainty in derived erosion measurements and sampling strategies to minimise these. This poster outlines and discusses potential sources of uncertainty in 7Be-based soil erosion estimates and the experimental design considerations taken to quantify these in the context of a plot-scale validation experiment. Traditionally, gamma counting statistics have been the main element of uncertainty propagated and reported but recent work has shown that other factors may be more important such as: (i) spatial variability in the relaxation mass depth that describes the shape of the 7Be depth distribution for an uneroded point; (ii) spatial variability in fallout (linked to rainfall patterns and shadowing) over both reference site and plot; (iii) particle size sorting effects; (iv) preferential mobility of fallout over active runoff contributing areas. To explore these aspects in more detail, a plot of 4 x 35 m was ploughed and tilled to create a bare, sloped soil surface at the beginning of winter 2013/2014 in southwest UK. The lower edge of the plot was bounded by

  14. Surface Roughness Effects on Runoff and Soil Erosion Rates Under Simulated Rainfall

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  15. Surface Roughness effects on Runoff and Soil Erosion Rates Under Simulated Rainfall

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. Assessing soil erosion risk using RUSLE through a GIS open source desktop and web application.

    PubMed

    Duarte, L; Teodoro, A C; Gonçalves, J A; Soares, D; Cunha, M

    2016-06-01

    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.

  17. Laboratory soil piping and internal erosion experiments: evaluation of a soil piping model for low-compacted soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. The International year of soils: thoughts on future directions for experiments in soil erosion research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2015-04-01

    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

  19. Long-term relationships among pesticide applications, mobility, and soil erosion in a vineyard watershed

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Long-term relationships among pesticide applications, mobility, and soil erosion in a vineyard watershed.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-11-04

    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.

  1. Long-term relationships among pesticide applications, mobility, and soil erosion in a vineyard watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  2. The effects of spatially-varying soil properties on soil erosion

    SciTech Connect

    Springer, E.P.; Cundy, T.W.

    1988-01-01

    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.

  3. Soil erosion rates from mixed soil and gravel surfaces in a wind tunnel

    SciTech Connect

    Ligotke, M.W.; Klopfer, D.C.

    1990-08-01

    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.

  4. Mapping of monthly soil erosion risk of mainland Mauritius and its aggregation with delineated basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigel, Rody; Rughooputh, Soonil

    2010-01-01

    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.

  5. Erosion control in orchards and vineyards by a new soil and cover crop management method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartl, Wilfried; Guettler, Hans; Auer, Karl; Erhart, Eva

    2016-04-01

    Cover crops are the basis for an erosion-free soil management in orchards and vineyards. The soil cover provided by the foliage and the intensive root formation counteract erosion. Cover crops provide the soil microfauna with fresh organic matter which improves soil structure and porosity. The water demand of cover crops, however, may pose problems for the water supply of the trees and vines in dry seasons. Therefore it is necessary to adjust the growth of the cover crops to the actual water conditions. In years with ample precipitation cover crops may be allowed lush vegetative growth till flowering and formation of seeds. In dry years, the growth of the cover crop must be restricted to stop the competition for water, sometimes even by cutting off the cover crop roots. The course of the weather is incalculable and rainfall may be very variable during the year, so it is sometimes necessary to adust the cover crop management several times a year. A new special equipment, which can perform all the tasks necessary for the flexible cover crop management has been developed together with the agricultural machinery manufacturers Bodenwerkstatt Ertl-Auer GmbH and Güttler GmbH. The GreenManager® device consists of three modules, namely a specific type of cultivator, a harrow and a prismatic roller with seeding equipment, which can be used separately or in combination. The GreenManager® can reduce cover crops by flattening the plants in the whole row middle, by bringing down the cover crops with the harrow, or by horizontally cutting the cover crop roots a few centimetres beneath the soil surface in the central part of the row middle or in the whole row middle. These measures reduce the water competition by cover crops without generating further losses of soil moisture through intensive soil cultivation. At the same time the risk of soil erosion is kept to a minimum, because the soil remains covered by dead plant biomass. In one passage the GreenManager® can direct

  6. Runoff erosion and nutrient depletion in five Mediterranean soils of NE Spain under different land use.

    PubMed

    Pardini, Giovanni; Gispert, Maria; Dunjó, Gemma

    2003-06-20

    We investigated the influence of agricultural management and various plant covers related to the period of abandonment on soil properties, erosion and nutrient depletion in a typical Mediterranean area with sandy loam shallow soils. Cultivated soils (CS) with insufficient management, 5 year abandoned soils covered with meadow (A5), 25 year abandoned soils covered with dense scrubs (A25), 50 year abandoned soils covered with cork trees (A50) and soils in a 50 year pine reforested area (P50) were studied over a period of 6 months (May-October 1999). The soils were classified as Lithic Xerorthents. Both the differences in soil properties and response to rainfall events were mainly attributed to the different vegetation types and stages in land management. Principal components analysis (PCA) was performed on the results, by running the overall data determined after five rainfall events. The factors extracted by PCA of the samples by variables matrix represented the response of the environments to different rainfall intensities as a function of management or natural evolution after abandonment. CS environments showed the highest runoff and sediment yield as well as the highest amount of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen in runoff water. The sequence of abandonment (A5, A25 and A50) showed approximately the same runoff production, whereas eroded sediments (ES) and DOC were inversely correlated. Organic carbon in the ES and DOC in runoff water always increased with the period of abandonment, which accounted for consistent nutrient depletion. Nevertheless, the A50 environment (dominated by Quercus suber) showed the best soil properties, whilst the A25 environment with dense cover of Cistus monspeliensis and Calicotome espinosa seemed to cause a worsening effect on the soil's physical and chemical properties. This is probably because these environments are more severely damaged by wild fire occurrence. In terms of sediment yield, the P50 environment followed CS

  7. Evaluation of radiocaesium wash-off by soil erosion from various land uses using USLE plots.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Kazuya; Onda, Yuichi; Kato, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. [Effects and mechanisms of plant roots on slope reinforcement and soil erosion resistance: a research review].

    PubMed

    Xiong, Yan-Mei; Xia, Han-Ping; Li, Zhi-An; Cai, Xi-An

    2007-04-01

    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.

  9. Soil conservation in the 21st century: why we need smart agricultural intensification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govers, Gerard; Merckx, Roel; van Wesemael, Bas; Van Oost, Kristof

    2017-03-01

    Soil erosion severely threatens the soil resource and the sustainability of agriculture. After decades of research, this problem still persists, despite the fact that adequate technical solutions now exist for most situations. This begs the question as to why soil conservation is not more rapidly and more generally implemented. Studies show that the implementation of soil conservation measures depends on a multitude of factors but it is also clear that rapid change in agricultural systems only happens when a clear economic incentive is present for the farmer. Conservation measures are often more or less cost-neutral, which explains why they are often less generally adopted than expected. This needs to be accounted for when developing a strategy on how we may achieve effective soil conservation in the Global South, where agriculture will fundamentally change in the next century. In this paper we argue that smart intensification is a necessary component of such a strategy. Smart intensification will not only allow for soil conservation to be made more economical, but will also allow for significant gains to be made in terms of soil organic carbon storage, water efficiency and biodiversity, while at the same time lowering the overall erosion risk. While smart intensification as such will not lead to adequate soil conservation, it will facilitate it and, at the same time, allow for the farmers of the Global South to be offered a more viable future.

  10. The Influence of vegetation on processes of shallow soil erosion in subalpine catchment areas in Western Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von der Thannen, M.; Weissteiner, C.; Rauch, H. P.; Tilch, N.; Kohl, B.

    2012-04-01

    Shallow soil erosion processes have been increasing within the last decades in the high montane and subalpine altitudinal zone of Western Austria. Explanations for the progression of eroded areas in the 2nd half of the 20th century have been subject of various research projects. The studies result in different possible explanations and process catenae regarding triggering effects, material dislocation processes and a following development of the erosive spots. Diverse results are based on different scales of the studies and the specific disciplinary driven approach of the researchers. In order to better understand the process catenae of the dynamics of shallow soil erosion processes this research project is based on an interdisciplinary, pluri-scale approach applied in different areas of the subalpine zone in Western Austria. The focus of this paper is restricted to one catchment area and highlights the influence of different plant parameters on shallow soil erosion processes. The research area "Thüringerberg" is located in the lithographic flysch unit in the subalpine zone in Vorarlberg, in Western Austria. Its vegetation is strongly characterized by agricultural activities of local people, mainly alpine pasturing. Generally the vegetation can be classified in three different types of vegetation: dry grasslands, pioneers and higher perennial herbs. The grassland, which is dominating in the area, is dominated by the vegetation community Caricetum ferrugineae. Additionally Seslerio-Semperviretum, Polygono-Trisetion, defective vegetation community with Agrostis stolonifera and defective vegetation community with Dactylis glomerata occur. Fieldwork has been conducted during summer 2011, from August, 8th up to the 18th, at highest development level of the plants. Vegetation data has been recorded around every single soil erosion process (above, sideways, below and inside). Observed vegetation parameters are: height, frequency, distribution, coverage and dominance

  11. Soil erosion and associated organic carbon transfer along the southern Amazon land use frontier - status quo and future scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindewolf, Marcus; Herrmann, Anne-Kathrin; Herrmann, Marie-Kristin; Amorim, Ricardo S. S.; Schmidt, Jürgen

    2016-04-01

    The Southern Amazon deforestation arc is one of the world's most dynamically changing landscapes mainly caused by global demands on animal products. Already more than 50 % of the savanna vegetation in Mato Grosso is converted to agricultural land. Following the BR-163 highway to the north deforestation is continuing, where former tropical rainforest is converted to pastures. Consequences are expected to be negative and highly relevant concerning soil functions. Soil losses and related carbon transfer by water erosion are likely to occur on a larger scale. Within the Carbiocial project, the impact of land use changes on soil loss was measured by applying artificial rainfall simulations. Experimental results were used to parameterize the physical based EROSION 3D simulation model in two meso-scale watersheds. The impact of future land use and climate scenarios on soil erosion and particle bound organic carbon transfer were simulated in addition to present day effects. Our results allow different predictions: Land use changes from natural vegetation to pasture lead to increased surface runoffs and soil losses. Due to the predominant no-tillage management, croplands do not reveal a similar behaviour; runoff and sediment yields are close to the initial level. Particle bound organic carbon losses are negligible compared to the removal of biomass during deforestation. Compared to the land use change effect more significant differences appear concerning the predominant soil types of the study region. Deterioration of soil functions are less pronounced for Ferralsols with a stable microstructure than for Acrisols. Additionally, our data suggest, that the main soil losses are related to the narrow time windows of land use conversion. Consequently, intensifying production on existing agricultural land rather than creating new production area (deforestation) might be the most practical way of preserving soils of the Southern Amazon.

  12. The economic cost of upland and gully erosion on subsistence agriculture for a watershed in the Ethiopian highlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper quantifies the cost of erosion; it uses nutrient replacement cost to value topsoil nutrient depletion, daily wage rate to monetize the opportunity cost of labour due to gully erosion and local market price to quantify the lost animal and cash crop trees. Soil erosion rate is estimated fro...

  13. Soil erosion and mitigation measures on rented and owned fields in Uruguay: the impact of transgenic soya and foreign investors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caon, Lucrezia; Kessler, Aad; Keesstra, Saskia; Cruze, Rick

    2014-05-01

    Governments, companies and individuals with financial capital to invest, are worldwide buying or renting land in developing or third world countries. Uruguay is a developing country whose economy is mainly based on agriculture. Since 2000 many foreigners started to invest in the Uruguayan agricultural sector and to practice intensive large-scale agriculture. The significant presence of foreigners in the country is proven by the fact that almost 360 000 ha out of the 500 000 ha forming the study area were managed by foreigners in 2012. Nowadays farmers have abandoned the traditional crop rotation plan that included pasture to produce grain for export, and transgenic soya (soya RR) became the main crop planted by both foreigners and locals. Besides the high soil erosion rates related to having soya as main crop, planting soya implies the use of glyphosate, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide leading to important environmental impacts. It is commonly said that foreigners investing in poor countries are exploiting the local natural resources aiming to get the highest possible profit from them. Is this a valid assumption in Uruguay? The purpose of this study was to compare the land management style of foreign and local farmers and to relate it to the soil erosion occurring in the study area. The land tenure (rented or owned fields) and the type of farmer interviewed ("individual farmer" equivalent to L.L.C. or "anonymous society" equivalent to P.L.C.) were taken into consideration during the analysis. Based on what stated by the farmers interviewed, the soil erosion simulations considered the seven most popular crop rotation plans on rented and owned fields, three ideals crop rotation plans, the application of no mitigation measures, and the construction of terraces and conservation buffers. Depending on the crop rotation plan, soils characterized by slope gradients higher than 2 resulted in soil erosion rates higher than the 7 ton/ha/year allowed by law. The highest

  14. Root Induced Heterogeneity In Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomes, C.; Gabai, R.; Weisbrod, N.; Furman, A.

    2012-12-01

    In this study we investigate the role of plant induced heterogeneity on water dynamics in agricultural soils. We conducted three experiments in two sites (one still ongoing) in which a trench was excavated in the root zone of an orchard and the subsurface, to a depth of over 1 m, was instrumented in high resolution with water content, water potential and temperature sensors. High temporal resolution monitoring of soil state was carried for over a year, period that included natural (Mediterranean) climate boundary forcing. In addition, sprinkler, flood, and spray irrigation boundary conditions were forced for short time periods to explore the infiltration process under these conditions. One site was an Avocado orchard planted in red sandy soil while the other, still on-going, is in a grape vineyards irrigated by tap and treated wastewater, planted over alluvial clayey soil. In the vineyard, we are comparing soil irrigated with fresh water to soil irrigated with treated waste water for more than 10 years. Our preliminary results indicate several interesting phenomena. First, the role of plant roots is clearly seen as the major roots act as a conduit for water (and solute), providing a fast bypass of the upper soil. Further, we identified different regions of the subsurface that apparently were of the same texture, but in practice presented very different hydraulic properties. Second, the role of these roots depends on the boundary conditions. That is, the root bypass acts differently when soil is flooded than when flow is strictly unsaturated. As expected, simulation of the experimental results show good fit only if the domain heterogeneity of soil properties was incorporated. Results for the clayey soils were not available at time of abstract submission.

  15. Identification of soil erosion risk areas for conservation planning in different states of India.

    PubMed

    Sharda, V N; Mandal, Debashis; Ojasvi, P R

    2013-03-01

    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.

  16. A Simple Close Range Photogrammetry Technique to Assess Soil Erosion in the Field

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  17. Uncertainty of climate change impacts on soil erosion from cropland in central Oklahoma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. Impact of Precipitation Changes on Runoff and Soil Erosion in Korea using CLIGEN and WEPP

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  19. Developing soil erodibility prediction equations for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  20. The development of U.S. soil erosion prediction and modeling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  1. Terrace effects on soil erosion processes in a watershed of the loess plateau

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  2. Potential change in soil erosion trend and risk during 2010-2039 in central Oklahoma, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  3. Deriving parameters of a fundamental detachment model for cohesive soils from flume and jet erosion tests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Australian net (1950s-1990) soil organic carbon erosion: implications for CO2 emission and land-atmosphere modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chappell, A.; Webb, N. P.; Viscarra Rossel, R. A.; Bui, E.

    2014-05-01

    The debate about soil erosion substantially offsetting fossil fuel emissions and acting as an important source or sink of CO2 remains unresolved. There is little historical land use and management context to this debate which is central to Australia's recent past of European settlement, agricultural expansion and agriculturally-induced soil erosion. We use "catchment" scale (∼25 km2) estimates of 137Cs-derived net (1950s-1990) soil redistribution of all processes (wind, water and tillage) to calculate the net soil organic carbon (SOC) redistribution across Australia. We approximate the selective removal of SOC at net eroding locations and SOC enrichment of transported sediment and net depositional locations. We map net (1950s-1990) SOC redistribtion across Australia and estimate erosion by all processes ∼4 Tg SOC yr-1 which represents a~loss of ∼2% of the total carbon stock (0-10 cm) of Australia. Assuming this net SOC loss is mineralised, the flux (∼15 Tg CO2-e yr-1) represents an omitted 12% of CO2-e emissions from all carbon pools in Australia. Although a small source of uncertainty in the Australian carbon budget, the mass flux interacts with energy and water fluxes and its omission from land surface models likely creates more uncertainty than has been previously recognised.

  5. Australian net (1950s-1990) soil organic carbon erosion: implications for CO2 emission and land-atmosphere modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chappell, A.; Webb, N. P.; Viscarra Rossel, R. A.; Bui, E.

    2014-09-01

    The debate remains unresolved about soil erosion substantially offsetting fossil fuel emissions and acting as an important source or sink of CO2. There is little historical land use and management context to this debate, which is central to Australia's recent past of European settlement, agricultural expansion and agriculturally-induced soil erosion. We use "catchment" scale (∼25 km2) estimates of 137Cs-derived net (1950s-1990) soil redistribution of all processes (wind, water and tillage) to calculate the net soil organic carbon (SOC) redistribution across Australia. We approximate the selective removal of SOC at net eroding locations and SOC enrichment of transported sediment and net depositional locations. We map net (1950s-1990) SOC redistribution across Australia and estimate erosion by all processes to be ∼4 Tg SOC yr-1, which represents a loss of ∼2% of the total carbon stock (0-10 cm) of Australia. Assuming this net SOC loss is mineralised, the flux (∼15 Tg CO2-equivalents yr-1) represents an omitted 12% of CO2-equivalent emissions from all carbon pools in Australia. Although a small source of uncertainty in the Australian carbon budget, the mass flux interacts with energy and water fluxes, and its omission from land surface models likely creates more uncertainty than has been previously recognised.

  6. Linking the field to the stream: soil erosion and sediment yield in a rural catchment, NW Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Blanco, M. L.; Taboada-Castro, M. M.; Palleiro-Suarez, L.; Taboada-Castro, M. T.

    2009-04-01

    Quantifying the linkages between field erosion, fluvial response and catchment sediment yield remains problematic, among other reasons, because of the re-deposition of eroded sediment within the catchment, which is controlled by the spatial organization of the land use and the connectivity between sediment sources and the stream network. This paper presents the results of an integrated study that considered the relationship between erosion and stream sediment yield in an agroforestry catchment (16 km2) in NW Spain. The geology consists of basic metamorphic schist. The relieve of the area is steeper, the mean slope is approximately 19%. Main soil types are classified as Umbrisol and Cambisol. Soils are acidic and rich in organic matter. The soil texture is silt and silt-loam. Land cover consists of a mixture of forest (65%) and agricultural fields (mainly grassland, pasture and maize). The study combined measurements of soil erosion by concentrate flow and sediment deposition at field scale with sediment yield measured at the catchment outlet. The hydrological data and water samples were obtained at the catchment outlet. Stream water level was monitored continuously and converted to discharge using a rating curve. The sampling for suspended sediments was supplemented by an automatic sampler. Suspended sediment load was calculated from the suspended sediment concentrations and discharge data. Eroded volume was calculated from cross-sections (measured at specific points, where the section changed abruptly) and length of the channel segments. The total sediment delivered to stream was determined as the difference between all erosion features (rills and gullies) and the sediment volumes that were deposited on the fields. The results showed that in the catchment during the period winter 2007/08 soil erosion by concentrate flow, i.e. rills and ephemeral gullies, occurred on unprotected crop field. Erosion by concentrate flow was highly discontinuous within the catchment

  7. Detection of soil erosion within pinyon-juniper woodlands using Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Kevin P.; Ridd, Merrill K.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  8. Extensive management of field margins enhances their potential for off-site soil erosion mitigation.

    PubMed

    Ali, Hamada E; Reineking, Björn

    2016-03-15

    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.

  9. Coffee husk mulch on soil erosion and runoff: experiences under rainfall simulation experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno-Ramón, H.; Quizembe, S. J.; Ibáñez-Asensio, S.

    2014-08-01

    The high erosion rates found in the agriculture land make valuable the use of mulches to control the soil and water losses. Coffee husk (Coffea canephora var. robusta) can be one of those mulches. This paper evaluates how to apply the mulch in order to obtain the best effectiveness. An experimental factorial design 4 × 3 × 2 with two replicates was designed in a greenhouse with a total number of 48 cases. All the samples were deposited in trays of 0.51 m2 and applied a simulated rain of 122 mm h-1 during 21 min. The factors examined were the following: four soil classes; three treatments - buried (B), surface (S) and non-residue (C) - and the presence (WC) or absence (WOC) of the soil surface crusting. The coffee husk residue (S and B treatments) reduced runoff by 10.2 and 46% respectively, soil losses by 78.3 and 88.7% and sediment concentration by 77 and 84.4%. The infiltration rate increased on average by 104 and 167%, and time to runoff by 1.58 and 2.07 min respectively. Coffee husk is an efficient mulch to reduce the soil and water losses, although it could not completely cushion the influence of crust.

  10. Coffee husk mulch on soil erosion and runoff: experiences under rainfall simulation experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno-Ramón, H.; Quizembe, S. J.; Ibáñez-Asensio, S.

    2014-05-01

    The high erosion rates found in the agriculture land make valuable the use of mulches to control the soil and water losses. Coffee husk (Coffee canephora var. robusta) can be one of those mulches. This paper evaluates how to apply the mulch in order to obtain, with the same doses, the best effectiveness. An experimental factorial design 4 × 3 × 2 with two replicates was designed in a greenhouse with a total amount of 48 treatments. All the samples were deposited in trays of 0.51 m2 and applied a simulated rain of 122 mm h-1 during 21 min. The factors examined were: four soil classes; three treatments: buried (B), surface (S) and non-residue (C), and the presence (WC) or absence (WOC) of the soil surface crusting. The coffee husk residue (S and B treatments) reduced runoff by 10.2% and 46% respectively, soil losses by 78.3% and 88.7% and sediment concentration by 77% and 84.4%. The infiltration rate increased on average by 104% and 167%, and time to runoff by 1.58 and 2.07 min respectively. The coffee husk mulch (S and B) avoided the influence of crust. Coffee husk is an efficient mulch to reduce the soil and water losses.

  11. Soil erosion rates from mixed soil and gravel surfaces in a wind tunnel: A preliminary report

    SciTech Connect

    Ligotke, M.W.

    1988-12-01

    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.

  12. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  13. Production, soil erosion and economic failure in new citrus plantations in Eastern Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giménez Morera, Antonio; Carles membrado, Joan; Cerdà, Artemi; Ángel González Peñaloza, Félix

    2013-04-01

    their neighboring mountain slopes. The interest of orange groves is not only economic, but also environmental. Although the traditional farming developed a beautiful man made landscape of terraces and irrigation ditches, the development of new irrigation systems by means of drips contributed to new plantations that removed the ditches and the terraces. Those changes are triggering intense soil erosion rates such were shown by previous researchers in Valencia (Cerdà et al., 2009). This impact is also shown in other regions with a similar citrus production evolution, and China is a clear example (Wang et al., 2010; Liu et al., 2012). This research evaluates the production and the cost of production, the economic investment in the establishment of the new citrus plantations and the revenues of 5 farms in the Canyoles river watershed in Eastern Spain. The soil erosion rates measured by means of rainfall simulation experiments in each farm by means of thunderstorms of 10 years return period (55 mm h-1) and by five-year survey by means of topographical measurements. The results show that the soil losses in the new plantation are extremely high, that the investments in the new plantation reached 18352 € ha-1 and that the revenues do not cover the expenses of production. Soil erosion measured since 2007 to 2011 show values that range from 7.54 to 56.76 Mg ha-1 year-1 and show a mean value of 28.45 Mg ha-1 year-1. Rainfall simulation experiments shown that the soil losses were very high as other researched found in new citrus plantations. The comparison with other land uses and agriculture crop and managements shown that soil erosion is higher in then new chemically treated plantations (Cerdà, 2002), and even higher that on road embankments (Cerdà, 2007) and rainfed agriculture soil (García Orenes et al., 2009), although the water repellency found was very low in comparison to organic farming orange plantations (González et al., 2012). The current situation of a high

  14. Determination of soil erosion risk in the Mustafakemalpasa River Basin, Turkey, using the revised universal soil loss equation, geographic information system, and remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Ozsoy, Gokhan; Aksoy, Ertugrul; Dirim, M Sabri; Tumsavas, Zeynal

    2012-10-01

    Sediment transport from steep slopes and agricultural lands into the Uluabat Lake (a RAMSAR site) by the Mustafakemalpasa (MKP) River is a serious problem within the river basin. Predictive erosion models are useful tools for evaluating soil erosion and establishing soil erosion management plans. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) function is a commonly used erosion model for this purpose in Turkey and the rest of the world. This research integrates the RUSLE within a geographic information system environment to investigate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss potential in the MKP River Basin. The rainfall erosivity factor was developed from local annual precipitation data using a modified Fournier index: The topographic factor was developed from a digital elevation model; the K factor was determined from a combination of the soil map and the geological map; and the land cover factor was generated from Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) images. According to the model, the total soil loss potential of the MKP River Basin from erosion by water was 11,296,063 Mg year(-1) with an average soil loss of 11.2 Mg year(-1). The RUSLE produces only local erosion values and cannot be used to estimate the sediment yield for a watershed. To estimate the sediment yield, sediment-delivery ratio equations were used and compared with the sediment-monitoring reports of the Dolluk stream gauging station on the MKP River, which collected data for >41 years (1964-2005). This station observes the overall efficiency of the sediment yield coming from the Orhaneli and Emet Rivers. The measured sediment in the Emet and Orhaneli sub-basins is 1,082,010 Mg year(-1) and was estimated to be 1,640,947 Mg year(-1) for the same two sub-basins. The measured sediment yield of the gauge station is 127.6 Mg km(-2) year(-1) but was estimated to be 170.2 Mg km(-2) year(-1). The close match between the sediment amounts estimated using the RUSLE

  15. Determination of Soil Erosion Risk in the Mustafakemalpasa River Basin, Turkey, Using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Geographic Information System, and Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozsoy, Gokhan; Aksoy, Ertugrul; Dirim, M. Sabri; Tumsavas, Zeynal

    2012-10-01

    Sediment transport from steep slopes and agricultural lands into the Uluabat Lake (a RAMSAR site) by the Mustafakemalpasa (MKP) River is a serious problem within the river basin. Predictive erosion models are useful tools for evaluating soil erosion and establishing soil erosion management plans. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) function is a commonly used erosion model for this purpose in Turkey and the rest of the world. This research integrates the RUSLE within a geographic information system environment to investigate the spatial distribution of annual soil loss potential in the MKP River Basin. The rainfall erosivity factor was developed from local annual precipitation data using a modified Fournier index: The topographic factor was developed from a digital elevation model; the K factor was determined from a combination of the soil map and the geological map; and the land cover factor was generated from Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) images. According to the model, the total soil loss potential of the MKP River Basin from erosion by water was 11,296,063 Mg year-1 with an average soil loss of 11.2 Mg year-1. The RUSLE produces only local erosion values and cannot be used to estimate the sediment yield for a watershed. To estimate the sediment yield, sediment-delivery ratio equations were used and compared with the sediment-monitoring reports of the Dolluk stream gauging station on the MKP River, which collected data for >41 years (1964-2005). This station observes the overall efficiency of the sediment yield coming from the Orhaneli and Emet Rivers. The measured sediment in the Emet and Orhaneli sub-basins is 1,082,010 Mg year-1 and was estimated to be 1,640,947 Mg year-1 for the same two sub-basins. The measured sediment yield of the gauge station is 127.6 Mg km-2 year-1 but was estimated to be 170.2 Mg km-2 year-1. The close match between the sediment amounts estimated using the RUSLE-geographic information system (GIS) combination

  16. Multivariate models for annual rainfall erosivity in Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water erosion has been considered as the most important environmental problem worldwide; as a result of this, some mathematical tools have been applied to estimate soil erosion rates for supporting soil water management practices. In order to predict spatial variability of soil erosion in agricultur...

  17. Ash after forest fires. Effects on soil hydrology and erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodí, Merche B.

    2013-04-01

    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

  18. Presentation of the LESELAM observatory (Fight against Soil Erosion and siltation of the lagoon in Mayotte Island)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Jean-Marie; Lidon, Bruno; Bozza, Jean-Louis; Dejean, Cyril; Benard, Bhavani; Parizot, Manuel; Puvilland, Pascal; Desprats, Jean-Francois; Rinaudo, Jean-Daniel; Colas, Bastien; Said, Kadafi; Mosnier, Sarah; Rouille, Antoine; Cerdan, Olivier

    2016-04-01

    As a consequence of a dramatic increase of its population, the Mayotte Island is undergoing significant land use changes, mainly through an increase in agricultural areas as well as unplanned urban sprawl. Resulting soil erosion in natural degraded areas, in agricultural fields or from rural habitat threatens the sustainability of agriculture, as well as the balance of the lagoon ecosystem, one of the largest in the world, by siltation of the aquatic environment by sediments and adsorbed pollutants. In order to implement pertinent and sustainable remediation measure there is a need to quantify the sediment fluxes, identify the sources areas and raise awareness of population on land degradation. In this context, the LESELAM project aims to involve local stakeholders in a collective effort to define and implement a set of technical and organizational practices in the fight against soil erosion for sustainable balance between the development of agriculture and rural housing on the one hand, and the quality of the lagoon environment, on the other hand. The operational objectives relate to (1) create an erosion observatory to characterize water erosion; (2) implement, in partnership with stakeholders, a demonstrator of good practice to test and evaluate at different scales different techniques of conservation agriculture and of remedial; and (3) structure collective and awareness action through a multi stakeholders approach and a significant communication component. The actions presented in this study refer to a multiscale hydro-sedimentary instrumentation (observatory) of the Mtsamboro and Dzoumogné catchments and on the first transfer of competence to the various stakeholders.

  19. Approximating Phosphorus Leaching from Agricultural Organic Soils by Soil Testing.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Z M; Zhang, T Q; Kessel, C; Tan, C S; O'Halloran, I P; Wang, Y T; Speranzini, D; Van Eerd, L L

    2015-11-01

    Phosphorus applied to soils in excess of crop requirement could create situations favorable to P enrichment in subsurface flow that contributes to eutrophication of surface water. This pathway of P loss can be more severe in muck (i.e., organic) soils where agricultural production is intensive. This study evaluated the suitability of various environmental and agronomic soil P tests initially designed for mineral soils to predict dissolved reactive P (DRP) in subsurface flow from organic soils. Intact soil columns were collected from 44 muck soils in Ontario to provide a wide range of soil test P levels. A lysimeter leaching study was conducted by evenly adding water in an amount equivalent to 5 mm of rainfall. The leachate DRP concentration was linearly related to soil water-extractable P and CaCl-extractable P with values of 0.90 and 0.93, respectively, and to Bray-1 P and FeO-impregnated filter paper extractable P in a split-line model with a change point. Mehlich-3 P and Olsen P, a method recommended for agronomic P calibration in Ontario, were not related to leachate DRP concentration. All P sorption index (PSI) based degree of P saturation (DPS) values were closely related to leachate DRP in split-line models, with the DPS indices expressed as Bray-1 P/PSI and FeO-P/PSI having the highest correlation with leachate DRP concentration. Because it is desirable from practical and economic standpoints that the environmental risk assessment shares the same soil test with agronomic P calibration, the two PSI-based DPS indices as presented can be considered as environmental risk indicators of DRP subsurface loss from organic soils.

  20. Wind tunnel experimental study on the effect of PAM on soil wind erosion control.

    PubMed

    He, Ji-Jun; Cai, Qiang-Guo; Tang, Ze-Jun

    2008-10-01

    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.

  1. Short and long term effects of bioturbation on soil erosion, water resources and soil development in an arid environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, A.

    1995-09-01

    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.

  2. Effect of some surface and subsurface attributes on soil water erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertol, Ildegardis; César Ramos, Júlio; Vidal Vázquez, Eva; Mirás Avalos, José Manuel

    2013-04-01

    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

  3. Tillage erosion and its effect on soil properties and crop yield in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Heckrath, G; Djurhuus, J; Quine, T A; Van Oost, K; Govers, G; Zhang, Y

    2005-01-01

    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.

  4. Bacterial Indicator of Agricultural Management for Soil under No-Till Crop Production

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Silvina M.; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E.; Galantini, Juan A.; Bedano, José C.; Wall, Luis G.; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  5. Bacterial indicator of agricultural management for soil under no-till crop production.

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Eva L M; Guerrero, Leandro D; Rosa, Silvina M; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E; Galantini, Juan A; Bedano, José C; Wall, Luis G; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  6. Assessment of soil surface roughness characteristics at field-scale for soil erosion studies using microwave remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzahn, Philip; Ludwig, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Soil surface roughness (SSR) is a crucial parameter in the assessment and modelling of soil erosion in agricultural landscapes. Still, in recent modelling efforts, roughness is usually treated as a static parameter, leading to strong simplification and data uncertainty in the description of these physical processes and the derivation of hydrological quantities. However, this simplification is not only due to the lack of theoretical process knowledge, but rather refers to the lack of appropriate roughness input data, as it is very complex to measure roughness under natural conditions. To overcome the current limitations, the performance of microwave remote sensing acquisitions is investigated to derive SSR dynamics for a whole vegetation period over several agricultural fields. As the backscattered signal of an incident microwave shows an inherent dependency from the geometric properties, e.g. the roughness conditions, of an illuminated scene, microwave remote sensing imagery shows a good potential to derive SSR for soil erosion studies sufficiently. The proposed approach utilizes airborne PolSAR data, acquired at C- and L-Band (e.g. 5.6 GHz and 1.3 GHz) for the derivation of four potential roughness estimators. In addition an extensive ground truth database of photogrammetrically measured roughness samples is used to validate the results. To characterize the in-field measurements the RMS-height s - which is the standard deviation of the heights to a reference height - was chosen. Using the best fit approach, a highly accurate assessment of SSR at field-scale could be achieved by deriving s using a linear model from the real part of the circular coherence (Re[ρRRLL]). In this presentation, we show the database of the proposed approach acquired in the framework of the AgriSAR 2006 campaign funded by the European Space Agency, ESA, as well as methods and results of the proposed approach. In addition we will discuss the results in context of soil erosion research and

  7. Evaluation of soil erosion rates in the southern half of the Russian Plain: methodology and initial results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golosov, Valentin; Gusarov, Artem; Litvin, Leonid; Yermolaev, Oleg; Chizhikova, Nelly; Safina, Guzel; Kiryukhina, Zoya

    2017-03-01

    The Russian Plain (RP) is divided into two principally different parts. The northern half of the RP is a predominantly forested area with a low proportion of arable fields. In contrast, the southern half of the RP has a very high proportion of arable land. During the last 30 years, this agricultural region of the RP has experienced considerable land use transformation and changes in precipitation due to climate change have altered soil erosion rates. This paper describes the use of erosion model calculations and GIS spatial analytical methods for the evaluation of trends in erosion rates in the RP. Climate change (RIHMI World Data Center, 2016), land use transformation and crop rotation modification (Rosstat, 2016; R Core Team, 2016) are the main factors governing erosion rates in the region during recent decades. It was determined that mean annual erosion rates have decreased from 7.3 to 4.1 t ha-1 yr-1 in the forest zone mostly because of the serious reduction in the surface runoff coefficient for periods of snowmelt. At the same time, the erosion rates have increased from 3.9 to 4.6 t ha-1 yr-1 in the steppe zone due to the increasing frequency of heavy rain-storms.

  8. Combined use of fallout radionuclides and stable isotopes for investigating soil erosion processes in a Moroccan watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benmansour, Moncef; Mabit, Lionel; Zouagui, Anis; Amenzou, Nouredinne; Sabir, Mohamed; Nouira, Asmae; Brandt, Christian; Rasche, Frank; Naimi, Mustapha; Chikhaoui, Mohamed; Marah, Hamid; Benkdad, Azzouz; Taous, Fouad

    2015-04-01

    On-site and off-site impacts associated with land degradation by soil erosion are a major concern in Morocco. This study aimed to use fallout radionuclides (FRNs): Caesium-137 (137Cs), excess Lead-210 (210Pbex) and Beryllium-7 (7Be) in combination with carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes (i.e. Carbon-13 (13C) and Nitrogen-15 (15N)) in estimating soil loss in the "My Bouchta" watershed and the origin of sediment deposits in a downstream water reservoir (i.e. "Talembout"). Using 137Cs, the net soil erosion rate, for the "My Bouchta" watershed over a period of 50 years, was estimated at 23 t/ha/yr with a main sediment contribution (> 90{%}) from the agricultural fields, the forest and shrub fields contributing to less than 10{%} of the overall sediment production. This result indicates clearly the role and the effectiveness of the forest plantations and vegetation cover to protect soil resource against erosion processes. The use of the 210Pb^ex technique in three different fields further highlighted that soil erosion rates over a period of 100 years were lower than those obtained by 137Cs reflecting the increase of soil loss during the last decades. Tests of fallout 7Be associated with short rainfall events in four fields confirmed the results obtained with 137Cs, that areas under natural vegetation were protected against erosion. Sedimentation rates were assessed for the "Talembout" water reservoir and the mean values obtained for two sediment cores using 210Pbex and the Constant Rate of Supply (CRS) model were about 0.51-0.58 g/cm^2/yr. The obtained results showed also a significant yearly increase of the sedimentation rate. The results derived from the stable isotopes depth profiles indicated similar behavior for forest and shrub fields. Furthermore, strong correlation between δ13C and total C was observed for this type of land use while for the agricultural fields, the correlation was not significant. In addition, the sediment profile of N-15 indicated an

  9. Soil erosion, climate change and global food security: challenges and strategies.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    An overview is presented of the determined degree of global land degradation (principally occurring through soil erosion), with some consideration of its possible impact on global food security. Most determinations of the extent of land degradation (e.g. GLASOD) have been made on the basis of "expert judgement" and perceptions, as opposed to direct measurements of this multifactorial phenomenon. More recently, remote sensing measurements have been made which indicate that while some regions of the Earth are "browning" others are "greening". The latter effect is thought to be due to fertilisation of the growth of biomass by increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, and indeed the total amount of global biomass was observed to increase by 3.8% during the years 1981-2003. Nonetheless, 24% of the Earth's surface had occasioned some degree of degradation in the same time period. It appears that while long-term trends in NDVI (normalised difference vegetation index) derivatives are only broad indicators of land degradation, taken as a proxy, the NDVI/NPP (net primary productivity) trend is able to yield a benchmark that is globally consistent and to illuminate regions in which biologically significant changes are occurring. Thus, attention may be directed to where investigation and action at the ground level is required, i.e. to potential "hot spots" of land degradation and/or erosion. The severity of land degradation through soil erosion, and an according catastrophic threat to the survival of humanity may in part have been overstated, although the rising human population will impose inexorable demands for what the soil can provide. However the present system of industrialised agriculture would not be possible without plentiful provisions of cheap crude oil and natural gas to supply fuels, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. It is only on the basis of these inputs that it has been possible for the human population to rise above 7 billion. Hence, if the cheap oil and gas

  10. Soil macronutrient sensing for precision agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hak-Jin; Sudduth, Kenneth A; Hummel, John W

    2009-10-01

    Accurate measurements of soil macronutrients (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are needed for efficient agricultural production, including site-specific crop management (SSCM), where fertilizer nutrient application rates are adjusted spatially based on local requirements. Rapid, non-destructive quantification of soil properties, including nutrient levels, has been possible with optical diffuse reflectance sensing. Another approach, electrochemical sensing based on ion-selective electrodes or ion-selective field effect transistors, has been recognized as useful in real-time analysis because of its simplicity, portability, rapid response, and ability to directly measure the analyte with a wide range of sensitivity. Current sensor developments and related technologies that are applicable to the measurement of soil macronutrients for SSCM are comprehensively reviewed. Examples of optical and electrochemical sensors applied in soil analyses are given, while advantages and obstacles to their adoption are discussed. It is proposed that on-the-go vehicle-based sensing systems have potential for efficiently and rapidly characterizing variability of soil macronutrients within a field.

  11. Soil: Conservation practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary source to meet global food and fiber demands is production agriculture, but accelerated soil erosion threatens its sustainability. Soil erosion is an important contributor to the normal soil formation process, but erosion becomes problematic when it is accelerated. Soil conservation prac...

  12. Modelling the impact of agricultural management on soil carbon stocks at the regional scale: the role of lateral fluxes.

    PubMed

    Nadeu, Elisabet; Gobin, Anne; Fiener, Peter; van Wesemael, Bas; van Oost, Kristof

    2015-08-01

    Agricultural management has received increased attention over the last decades due to its central role in carbon (C) sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. Yet, regardless of the large body of literature on the effects of soil erosion by tillage and water on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in agricultural landscapes, the significance of soil redistribution for the overall C budget and the C sequestration potential of land management options remains poorly quantified. In this study, we explore the role of lateral SOC fluxes in regional scale modelling of SOC stocks under three different agricultural management practices in central Belgium: conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT) and reduced tillage with additional carbon input (RT+i). We assessed each management scenario twice: using a conventional approach that did not account for lateral fluxes and an alternative approach that included soil erosion-induced lateral SOC fluxes. The results show that accounting for lateral fluxes increased C sequestration rates by 2.7, 2.5 and 1.5 g C m(-2)  yr(-1) for CT, RT and RT+i, respectively, relative to the conventional approach. Soil redistribution also led to a reduction of SOC concentration in the plough layer and increased the spatial variability of SOC stocks, suggesting that C sequestration studies relying on changes in the plough layer may underestimate the soil's C sequestration potential due to the effects of soil erosion. Additionally, lateral C export from cropland was in the same of order of magnitude as C sequestration; hence, the fate of C exported from cropland into other land uses is crucial to determine the ultimate impact of management and erosion on the landscape C balance. Consequently, soil management strategies targeting C sequestration will be most effective when accompanied by measures that reduce soil erosion given that erosion loss can balance potential C uptake, particularly in sloping areas.

  13. Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Soil Erosion Risk in Małopolska (Poland), Supported by an Object-Based Analysis of High-Resolution Satellite Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drzewiecki, Wojciech; Wężyk, Piotr; Pierzchalski, Marcin; Szafrańska, Beata

    2014-06-01

    In 2011 the Marshal Office of Małopolska Voivodeship decided to evaluate the vulnerability of soils to water erosion for the entire region. The quantitative and qualitative assessment of the erosion risk for the soils of the Małopolska region was done based on the USLE approach. The special work-flow of geoinformation technologies was used to fulfil this goal. A high-resolution soil map, together with rainfall data, a detailed digital elevation model and statistical information about areas sown with particular crops created the input information for erosion modelling in GIS environment. The satellite remote sensing technology and the object-based image analysis (OBIA) approach gave valuable support to this study. RapidEye satellite images were used to obtain the essential up-to-date data about land use and vegetation cover for the entire region (15,000 km2). The application of OBIA also led to defining the direction of field cultivation and the mapping of contour tillage areas. As a result, the spatially differentiated values of erosion control practice factor were used. Both, the potential and the actual soil erosion risk were assessed quantificatively and qualitatively. The results of the erosion assessment in the Małopolska Voivodeship reveal the fact that a majority of its agricultural lands is characterized by moderate or low erosion risk levels. However, high-resolution erosion risk maps show its substantial spatial diversity. According to our study, average or higher actual erosion intensity levels occur for 10.6 % of agricultural land, i.e. 3.6 % of the entire voivodeship area. In 20 % of the municipalities there is a very urgent demand for erosion control. In the next 23 % an urgent erosion control is needed. Our study showed that even a slight improvement of P-factor estimation may have an influence on modeling results. In our case, despite a marginal change of erosion assessment figures on a regional scale, the influence on the final prioritization of

  14. Wind erosion and soil carbon dynamics in south-western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, R. J.; Gilkes, R. J.; Hill, M. J.; Carter, D. J.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  15. Considerations for sampling contaminants in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Charles A

    2015-01-01

    Sampling agricultural soils for contaminants is relatively new. Existing standard sampling protocols used for the evaluation of soil nutrients are likely insufficient for contaminants. The main reasons are the very low analyte levels and differences in heterogeneity between nutrients and contaminants. To evaluate the adequacy of existing sampling protocols or to develop new protocols, a systematic scientific approach is needed. This approach begins with the development of the Sample Quality Criteria followed by a realistic understanding of the properties of the material to be sampled, most notably its heterogeneity. The Sample Quality Criteria and material properties are inputs into the Theory of Sampling. With these inputs, the Theory of Sampling can be used to determine the specifics of the sampling protocol (e.g., mass, number of increments, tool selection) that must be implemented to control error to reliably estimate the concentration of the analyte(s) of interest. Development of sampling protocols in this manner will ensure sample representativeness and therefore improve data equivalency among various parties involved. This is the only way to provide a sound technical basis for defensible decision making to ensure increased safety of food and feed, specifically with respect to contaminants in agricultural soils.

  16. Soil Organic Carbon dynamics in agricultural soils of Veneto Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bampa, F. B.; Morari, F. M.; Hiederer, R. H.; Toth, G. T.; Giandon, P. G.; Vinci, I. V.; Montanarella, L. M.; Nocita, M.

    2012-04-01

    One of the eight soil threats expressed in the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM (2006)231 final) it's the decline in Soil Organic Matter (SOM). His preservation is recognized as with the objective to ensure that the soils of Europe remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities and ecosystems. One of the key goals of the strategy is to maintain and improve Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) levels. As climate change is identified as a common element in many of the soil threats, the European Commission (EC) intends to assess the actual contribution of the soil protection to climate change mitigation and the effects of climate change on the possible depletion of SOM. A substantial proportion of European land is occupied by agriculture, and consequently plays a crucial role in maintaining natural resources. Organic carbon preservation and sequestration in the EU's agricultural soils could have some potential to mitigate the effects of climate change, particularly linked to preventing certain land use changes and maintaining SOC stocks. The objective of this study is to assess the SOC dynamics in agricultural soils (cropland and grassland) at regional scale, focusing on changes due to land use. A sub-objective would be the evaluation of the most used land management practices and their effect on SOC content. This assessment aims to determine the geographical distribution of the potential GHG mitigation options, focusing on hot spots in the EU, where mitigation actions would be particularly efficient and is linked with the on-going work in the JRC SOIL Action. The pilot area is Veneto Region. The data available are coming from different sources, timing and involve different variables as: soil texture, climate, soil disturbance, managements and nutrients. The first source of data is the LUCAS project (Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame statistical Survey). Started in 2001, the LUCAS project aims to monitor changes in land cover/use and

  17. Combating wind erosion of sandy soils and crop damage in the coastal deserts: Wind tunnel experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genis, Arthur; Vulfson, Leonid; Ben-Asher, Jiftah

    2013-06-01

    In the western Negev desert of Israel frequent sandstorms cause heavy damage to young lettuce, carrot, peanut and potato plants during the planting season. The damage of plants is based mainly on the mechanical impact of saltating sand particles, which causes irreversible injuries to the plant leaves. Current agro-technique measures taken to prevent wind damage to crop in Israel are based on high frequency irrigation. Although the high-frequency irrigation helps bind soil particles together by forming a soil crust, it is associated with the large waste of water, which is not practical under the arid conditions. Application of polyacrylamide (PAM) as a chemical stabilizer has proved to be effective for prevention of soil erosion, saving irrigation water and a stable growth of plants in the early stages. Although the technique of PAM application is not yet used commercially in Israel, the preliminary studies suggested that it might have the potential to reduce the damage to the plant leaves by sandstorms, providing both environmental and agricultural benefits. In this study the effectiveness of PAM for preventing sandstorms in the western Negev was also investigated. Optimal concentration and volume of PAM solution per hectare of bare sandy soil were determined. For this purpose a wind tunnel was used to determine wind velocities of the first and continuous detachment of particles. The ability of PAM application to minimize the damage of plants by sandstorms was experimentally verified using image analysis tools.

  18. Soil organic carbon erosion and its subsequent fate in the Karoo rangeland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Brigitte; Heckrath, Goswin; Foster, Ian; Boardman, John; Meadows, Michael; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2016-04-01

    The rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa have experienced a number of environmental changes. With the settling of European farmers in the second half of the 18th century, agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing and probably representing a trigger to land degradation. Ongoing land-use change and shifting rainfall patterns resulted in the development of badlands on foot slopes of upland areas, and complex gully systems in valley bottoms. Many dams and small reservoirs have been constructed to provide drinking water for cattle or to facilitate irrigation during dry periods, as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Most of the dams soon in-filled with sediment and many were eventually breached. Such a process offers the potential to use these breached dams as an environmental archive to analyse land use changes as well as carbon (C) erosion and deposition during the last ca. 100 years. In this ongoing project, a combination of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping and sediment analysis have been employed to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in the reversion from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Firstly, drone imagery will be used to produce a high-resolution digital elevation model for areas especially prone to erosion and for determining the volume calculation of eroded sediment in the catchment area. Secondly, sediment deposits from the same silted-up reservoir were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to analyse and reconstruct erosional and depositional patterns. Total Carbon (TC) content was recorded and the sharp decrease in total C content with decreasing depth suggests that land degradation during and after post-European settlement probably led to accelerated erosion of the then relatively fertile surface soils. This presumably resulted in the rapid in-filling of reservoirs with carbon-rich surface material which is found at the base of

  19. Viewpoint: Sustainability of pinon-juniper ecosystems - A unifying perspective of soil erosion thresholds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davenport, D.W.; Breshears, D.D.; Wilcox, B.P.; Allen, C.D.

    1998-01-01

    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.

  20. Soil erosion risk in Korean watersheds, assessed using the revised universal soil loss equation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Soyoung; Oh, Cheyoung; Jeon, Seongwoo; Jung, Huicheul; Choi, Chuluong

    2011-03-01

    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

  1. Use of rare earth oxides and iron oxides as soil erosion tracers in water erosion experiments at hillslope scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzmán, G.; Cañasveras, J. C.; Barrón, V.; Boulal, H.; Gómez, H.; Conde, E.; Fernández, M.; Gómez, J. A.

    2010-05-01

    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

  2. Soil erosion and risk-assessment for on- and off-farm impacts: a test case using the Midhurst area, West Sussex, UK.

    PubMed

    Boardman, John; Shepheard, Mark L; Walker, Edward; Foster, Ian D L

    2009-06-01

    Soil erosion on agricultural land is a growing problem in Western Europe and constitutes a threat to soil quality and to the ability of soils to provide environmental services. The off-site impacts of runoff and eroded soil, principally eutrophication of water bodies, sedimentation of gravel-bedded rivers, loss of reservoir capacity, muddy flooding of roads and communities, are increasingly recognised and costed. The shift of funding in the European Union (EU) from production-related to avoidance of pollution and landscape protection, raises issues of cross-compliance: public support for agriculture has to be seen to give value-for-money. In this context risk-assessment procedures have been introduced to help farmers recognise sites where either certain crops should not be grown or anti-erosion measures are required. In England, Defra [Defra, 2005a. Controlling Soil Erosion: a Manual for the Assessment and Management of Agricultural Land at Risk of Water Erosion in Lowland England. Revised September 2005. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London] sets out a system of risk-assessment, including ranking of crops susceptible to erosion and anti-erosion measures, that may be selected. We assess this system using field data for an area of erodible soils in the Rother valley, Sussex. The Defra approach correctly identifies most at-risk fields and, taken together with land-use maps, allows non-compliance with advice to be highlighted. We suggest a simple extension to the system which would further identify at-risk fields in terms of possible damage to roads and rivers from muddy runoff. The increased risk of erosion in the study area is associated with certain crops: potatoes, winter cereals, maize and grazed turnips and seems unlikely to be the result of changes in rainfall which over the last 130 years are minimal. We have not evaluated proposed anti-erosion measures in the area because few have been put into practice. The European Water Framework

  3. Combining agricultural practices key to elevating soil microbial activities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The concept of soil health is an emerging topic in applied ecology, specifically as it pertains to the agriculture, which utilizes approximately 40% of earth’s land. However, rigorous quantification of soil health and the services provided by soil organisms to support agriculture production (e.g., n...

  4. Soil erosion and causative factors at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butterworth, Joel B.

    1988-01-01

    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.

  5. Soil erosion measurements by means of experimental plots to determine best land management strategies in vineyards and olive orchards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, Artemi; Keesstra, Saskia; Jordan, Antonio; Brevik, Erik; Nova, Agata; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Azorín-Molina, César; Yazdanpanah, Najme; Mahmoodabadi, Majid; Pereira, Paulo; Burguet, María

    2016-04-01

    In order to design sustainable land management there is a need to have accurate information on the impact this land management strategies have on water and sediment dynamics. This is especially important when a proper management is designed to reduce the soil losses due to the complex interaction of mechanisms that interact within the soil erosion process. Soil erosion is an non-linear process, both spatially and temporally, and as a consequence of that only well-monitored and accurate measurements can give insights in the processes and how these processes can be influenced by management to reduce soil losses (Cerdà, 2007; Ligonja and Shrestha, 2015; Nanko et al., 2015; Seutloali and Beckedahl, 2015). This is necessary at different scales: pedon, slope, and watershed because the governing processes differ at different scale (Keesstra, 2007; Jordán and Martínez Zavala, 2008; Borrelli et al., 2015). Soil erosion plots can give information about the temporal and spatial variability of soil losses. We present here a strategy developed by the Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group from the University of Valencia to assess the soil erosion rates in Eastern Spain. In 2002 the Soil Erosion Experimental Station in El Teularet-Sierra de Enguera was installed, to assess soil losses in rainfed agriculture orchards, and 73 plots of 1, 2, 4, 16 and 48 m2 were installed. In 2005 6 plots of 300 m2 were installed in the nearby Montesa soil erosion station to assess soil losses in citrus orchards. In 2011 16 plots of 2 m2 where installed in Les Alcusses to determine soil losses in olive orchards, and in 2015 8 plots in Celler del Roure vineyard to assess the impact of land management in vineyards and 8 plots in the El Teularet to study the impact of straw mulch on soil erosion rates. All erosion stations are located in several kilometres distance from each other. This research which we developed since 2002 is complementary to previous research where we used rainfall

  6. Plutonium in Soils from Northeast China and Its Potential Application for Evaluation of Soil Erosion

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yihong; Qiao, Jixin; Hou, Xiaolin; Pan, Shaoming

    2013-01-01

    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

  7. Antecedent moisture content and soil texture effects on infiltration and erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamedov, A. I.; Huang, C.; Levy, G. J.

    2006-12-01

    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

  8. Estimating soil erosion changes in the Wenchuan earthquake disaster area using geo-spatial information technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bing; Jiao, Quanjun; Wu, Yanhong; Zhang, Wenjuan

    2009-05-01

    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.

  9. Soil erosion and management recommendations at three State Vehicular Recreation Areas, California

    SciTech Connect

    Tuttle, M.; Griggs, G. )

    1987-01-01

    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.

  10. Geospatial assessment of bioenergy land use and its impacts on soil erosion in the U.S. Midwest.

    PubMed

    SooHoo, William M; Wang, Cuizhen; Li, Huixuan

    2017-04-01

    Agricultural land use change, especially corn expansion since 2000s, has been accelerating to meet the growing bioenergy demand of the United States. This study identifies the environmentally sensitive lands (ESLs) in the U.S. Midwest using the distance-weighted Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) associated with bioenergy land uses extracted from USDA Cropland Data Layers. The impacts of soil erosion to downstream wetlands and waterbodies in the river basin are counted in the RUSLE with an inverse distance weighting approach. In a GIS-ranking model, the ESLs in 2008 and 2011 (two representative years of corn expansion) are ranked based on their soil erosion severity in crop fields. Under scenarios of bioenergy land use change (corn to grass and grass to corn) on two land types (ESLs and non-ESLs) at three magnitudes (5%, 10% and 15% change), this study assesses the potential environmental impacts of bioenergy land use at a basin level. The ESL distributions and projected trends vary geographically responding to different agricultural conversions. Results support the idea of re-planting native prairie grasses in the identified High and Severe rank ESLs for sustainable bioenergy management in this important agricultural region.

  11. Biological soil crusts reduce soil erosion in early successional subtropical forests in PR China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, Steffen; Goebes, Philipp; Käppeler, Kathrin; Nebel, Martin; Webber, Carla; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    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

  12. Soil coverage evolution and wind erosion risk on summer crops under contrasting tillage systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, Mariano J.; Buschiazzo, Daniel E.

    2015-03-01

    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.

  13. Soil type as factor controlling the effects of forest transformation to agricultural use in soil aggregation and related properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrenková, Katarína; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Dlapa, Pavel; Arcenegui, Victoria

    2014-05-01

    The stability of aggregates has an important role in soil functioning and its behavior to avoid erosion and degradation, the ability to transfer liquids and gases, which are important features for crop production and ecosystem health (Tisdall and Oades, 1982). It's also a property that is highly influenced by land use and management (Angers et al., 1993). The stability of aggregates provides key information about the capacity of soil functions that defines the soil quality. This study has aimed to identify the long-term effects of forest transformation on agricultural use on soil structure and related properties. For the research was chosen seven localities in the Alicante Province (E Spain) with different soil types in all cases to compare how the land use changes can affect as a function of soil type and characteristics. In every site, samples were collected from agricultural land use (dry crops with tillage management), and in forest areas close to them with similar soil type that are used as references. On the samples, selected physical and chemical properties were analyzed such as Soil aggregate stability (AS), Organic matter (OM), Mean weight diameter (MWD) of aggregates and Water repellency (WR). As expected, in all cases the AS was significant lower in agricultural sites than in forest. But in some cases the differences were much higher than in others. In forest sites the AS varied between 46 to 82% while in agricultural sites ranged between 14 to 45%. The results showed strong positive correlation of AS with OM. The lowest initial values of AS were found in wettable sandy soils. The agricultural land use lead to relative decrease in AS by 39 to 79% compared to forest soils, indicating that some soils are much more vulnerable to land use than others. These differences can be explained mainly because intrinsic soil properties, such as OM content, texture, and WR. Particularly, the decrease in OM content and absence of WR are responsible for the decrease in

  14. Soil roughness: comparing old and new methods and application in a soil erosion model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, Line; Stolte, Jannes; Baartman, Jantiene; Starkloff, Torsten

    2014-05-01

    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

  15. Internal erosion during soil pipe flow: Role in gully erosion and hillslope instability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. Polyacrylamide Molecular Weight and Phosphogypsum Effects on Infiltration and Erosion in Semi-Arid Soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  17. Polyacrylamide molecular weight and phosphogypsum effects on infiltration and erosion in semi-arid soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  18. Rainfall simulations to study the types of groundcover on surface runoff and soil erosion in Champagne vineyards in France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xavier, Morvan; Christophe, Naisse; Issa Oumarou, Malam; Jean-François, Desprats; Anne, Combaud; Olivier, Cerdan

    2015-04-01

    In the literature, grass cover is often considered to be one of the best methods of limiting runoff in the vineyards; But results can vary, especially when the plot area is <2 m². However, in any study to our knowledge, the way grass cover is structured in the inter-row is taken into account to explain the variability of runoff and soil loss. The objective of this study, conducted in Champagne vineyards in France, was to quantify the influence of the cultivation practices in the inter-rows of vines and determine the influence of the density of the grass cover in the wheel tracks on the surface runoff and soil erosion in experimental plots of 0.25 m2 under simulated rainfall. Three types of ground cover were studied. In the bark-and-vine-prunings plots, the runoff coefficient ranged from 1.3 to 4.0% and soil losses were <1 g/m²/h. In the bare soil plot, the highest runoff coefficient of the study was found (80.0%) and soil losses reached 7.4 g/m²/h. In the grass cover plots, the runoff coefficient and amount of eroded soil were highly variable: the runoff coefficients ranged from 0.4 to 77.0%, and soil losses were between less than 1 and 13.4 g/m²/h. Soil type, soil moisture, slope and agricultural practices did not account for the variability. In fact, the density of grass cover in the wheel tracks explained a portion of this variability. The lack of grass in the centre of the inter-row allowed for a preferential flow and created an erosion line in the wheel tracks where the soil was compacted. This study showed that grass cover in a vineyard was not necessarily sufficient to reduce surface runoff and prevent soil erosion. To be effective, the grass cover must be dense enough in the wheel tracks of agricultural machinery to avoid runoff coefficients close to those achieved with bare soil.

  19. Advances in soil erosion modelling through remote sensing data availability at European scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panagos, Panos; Karydas, Christos; Borrelli, Pasqualle; Ballabio, Cristiano; Meusburger, Katrin

    2014-08-01

    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.

  20. USLE-Based Assessment of Soil Erosion by Water in the Nyabarongo River Catchment, Rwanda.

    PubMed

    Karamage, Fidele; Zhang, Chi; Kayiranga, Alphonse; Shao, Hua; Fang, Xia; Ndayisaba, Felix; Nahayo, Lamek; Mupenzi, Christophe; Tian, Guangjin

    2016-08-20

    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.

  1. USLE-Based Assessment of Soil Erosion by Water in the Nyabarongo River Catchment, Rwanda

    PubMed Central

    Karamage, Fidele; Zhang, Chi; Kayiranga, Alphonse; Shao, Hua; Fang, Xia; Ndayisaba, Felix; Nahayo, Lamek; Mupenzi, Christophe; Tian, Guangjin

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Simulation of soil erosion and deposition in a changing land use: A modelling approach to implement the support practice factor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelacani, Samanta; Märker, Michael; Rodolfi, Giuliano

    2008-07-01

    Using the USPED (Unit Stream Power Erosion Deposition) model, three land use scenarios were analysed for an Italian small catchment (15 km 2) of high landscape value. The upper Orme stream catchment, located in the Chianti area, 30 km south of Florence, has a long historical agriculture record. Information on land use and soil conservation practices date back to 1821, hence offering an opportunity to model impacts of land use change on erosion and deposition. For this study, a procedure that takes into account soil conservation practices and potential sediment storage is proposed. The approach was to calculate and model the flow accumulation considering rural and logging roads, location of urban areas, drainage ditches, streams, gullies and permanent sediment sinks. This calculation attempts to assess the spatial variability, especially the impact of support practices ( P factor). Weather data from 1980-2003 were taken into account to calculate the R factor. However, to consider the intense pluviometric conditions in terms of the erosivity factor, the 0.75th quantile was used, while the lowest erosivity was modelled using the 0.25th quantile. Results of the USPED model simulation show that in 1821 the mean annual net erosion for the watershed was 2.8 Mg ha - 1 y - 1 ; in 1954 it was 4.2 Mg ha - 1 y - 1 ; and in 2004 it was 5.3 Mg ha - 1 y - 1 . Conservation practices can reduce erosion processes by ≥ 20 Mg ha - 1 y - 1 when the 1821 practices are introduced in the present management. On the other hand, if the support practices are not considered in the model, soil erosion risk is overestimated. Field observation for the present-day simulation confirmed that erosion and associated sediment deposition predicted by the model depend, as expected, on geomorphology and land use. The model shows limitations that are mainly due to the input data. A high resolution DEM is essential for the delineation of reliable topographic potential to predict erosion and deposition

  3. Short and long term effects of bioturbation on soil erosion and soil development in a rocky arid area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, Aaron

    2014-05-01

    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

  4. Negligible Soil Erosion After Wildfire Disturbance: Role of the Duff Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Yvonne; Johnson, Edward; Gallaway, Joan

    2010-05-01

    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

  5. Joint application of the ModRMMF and IC models of soil erosion and sediment connectivity: improvement of modelling predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Vicente, Manuel; Quijano, Laura; Palazón, Leticia; Machín, Javier; Gaspar, Leticia; Navas, Ana

    2013-04-01

    Soil detachment, sediment delivery and redistribution are non-linear processes that depend on many factors and their values change as a function of the different temporal and spatial scales. Therefore the development of accurate and broad models is a difficult task and most approaches cover a limited number of processes. In this study we seek to boost the predictive ability of two models by their joint application in a Mediterranean agricultural system (42° 26' 12''N; 1° 13' 10'' W; NE Spain). Firstly, we run the Modified Revised Morgan, Morgan and Finney (ModRMMF) model of soil erosion and the Index of sediment Connectivity (IC) in a small agricultural system (Site-Plot) at very high spatial scale (1 x 1 m of cell size) and results are analysis in order to identify those areas with net soil loss and deposition. Then, the calibrated IC model is run in the La Reina gully catchment (Site-Catch) where the Site-Plot is included at high spatial scale (5 x 5 m) and potential soil redistribution is mapped. This study area presents numerous man-made infrastructures (paved and unpaved trails, drainage ditches, stone walls and barriers, buffer strips) that modify the runoff pathways and the effect of these landscape linear elements (LLEs) is included in the IC model. Climate is continental Mediterranean and the average annual rainfall was 514 mm in the latest 25 years (1987-2011). A total of 613 soil samples were collected in the Site-Plot and all input and output maps were generated with ArcMapTM 10.0. The map of cumulative runoff, calculated with a multiple flow algorithm, allowed identifying those areas with predominant rill soil erosion of that with main interrill erosion. In the Site-Plot the average soil erosion was 1.84 Mg / ha yr and the corresponding map shows a high spatial variability (s.d. = 15.5 Mg / ha yr). The map of sediment connectivity mirrors the spatial pattern of soil erosion obtained with the ModRMMF model though the values of IC (between -10.5 and -0

  6. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    2016-01-01

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  7. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  8. Assessing spatial distribution of soil erosion in a karst region in southwestern China: A case study in Jinfo Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, H. Y.; Pan, X. Y.; Zhou, W. Z.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  9. Local agriculture traditional knowledge to avoid erosion in a changing climate: Ensuring agricultural livelihoods and food security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guadalupe Rivera Ferré, Marta; Di Masso, Marina; Vara, Isabel; Mailhost, Mara; Bhatta, Goppal; Cuellar, Mamem; López-i-Gelats, Feliu; Gallar, Donald

    2015-04-01

    In the regions that experience substantial climatic risks, considerable traditional expertise exists that is underutilized and that could be valuable as a starting point to build more effective strategies for adapting to climate change and ensure food availability. Some of these are agronomic strategies for soil conservation targeting erosion avoidance as a form to ensure soil fertility and thus, crop production and food availability. Following an extensive literature review in the Indogangetic Plans, we have identified many different practices derived from local traditional knowledge that can be classified as i) Reshaping the landscape (terracing, bunding, efficient distribution of land uses); ii) Stream diversion to reduce flood impact (channels along the edges of the fields, embankments, dams, network of ponds, outlets, walls and fencing); and iii) Others (agroforesty, use of specific trees as indicators of soil erosion, crop-fallow rotation, preservation of patches of forests, reforestation, collective management of forests). These endogenous-based practices have a great potential for adaptation since they are more easily adopted by communities, they require of minimum or not external expertise and aid, and usually, are cheaper than other strategies. A combination of local knowledge with other scientific knowledge may be the most effective way to face climate change. This work was performed as part of the CCAFS-Program of the CGIAR in South Asia.

  10. Climate change impact on soil erosion in the Mandakini River Basin, North India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khare, Deepak; Mondal, Arun; Kundu, Sananda; Mishra, Prabhash Kumar

    2016-05-01

    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.

  11. Does WEPP meet the specificity of soil erosion in steep mountain regions?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  12. Soil and Water Challenges for Pacific Northwest Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil and water conservation has been a major concern in the Inland Pacific Northwest since the onset of farming 125 years ago. Some of the highest historic water erosion rates in the USA have occurred on steep slopes in the Palouse region where soil loss averaged 45 Mg ha-1 yr-1 and could reach 450 ...

  13. NEW GIS WATERSHED ANALYSIS TOOLS FOR SOIL CHARACTERIZATION AND EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION MODELING

    EPA Science Inventory

    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.

  14. Soil water infiltration impacted by maize (zea mays) growth on sloping agricultural land of the loess plateau

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing infiltration rates of sloping agricultural land from arid and semiarid regions not only affects water supply and precipitation transformations in soil directly, but also impacts erosion intensity. This is extremely important to the Loess Plateau regions of Northwest China, where a majorit...

  15. Study of sediment movement in an irrigated maize-cotton system combining rainfall simulations, sediment tracers and soil erosion models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzmán, Gema; Laguna, Ana; Cañasveras, Juan Carlos; Boulal, Hakim; Barrón, Vidal; Gómez-Macpherson, Helena; Giráldez, Juan Vicente; Gómez, José Alfonso

    2015-05-01

    Although soil erosion is one of the main threats to agriculture sustainability in many areas of the world, its processes are difficult to measure and still need a better characterization. The use of iron oxides as sediment tracers, combined with erosion and mixing models opens up a pathway for improving the knowledge of the erosion and redistribution of soil, determining sediment sources and sinks. In this study, magnetite and a multivariate mixing model were used in rainfall simulations at the micro-plot scale to determine the source of the sediment at different stages of a furrow-ridge system both with (+T) and without (-T) wheel tracks. At a plot scale, magnetite, hematite and goethite combined with two soil erosion models based on the kinematic wave approach were used in a sprinkler irrigation test to study trends in sediment transport and tracer dynamics along furrow lengths under a wide range of scenarios. In the absence of any stubble cover, sediment contribution from the ridges was larger than the furrow bed one, almost 90%, while an opposite trend was observed with stubble, with a smaller contribution from the ridge (32%) than that of the bed, at the micro-plot trials. Furthermore, at a plot scale, the tracer concentration analysis showed an exponentially decreasing trend with the downstream distance both for sediment detachment along furrows and soil source contribution from tagged segments. The parameters of the distributed model KINEROS2 have been estimated using the PEST Model to obtain a more accurate evaluation. Afterwards, this model was used to simulate a broad range of common scenarios of topography and rainfall from commercial farms in southern Spain. Higher slopes had a significant influence on sediment yields while long furrow distances allowed a more efficient water use. For the control of runoff, and therefore soil loss, an equilibrium between irrigation design (intensity, duration, water pattern) and hydric needs of the crops should be

  16. The Temperature Dependence of Soil Moisture Characteristics of Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salehzadeh, Amir

    1990-01-01

    limits the speed of measurement for typical agricultural soils to about 12-14 hours for each main branch over the potential range 0 to -2000 cm. (2) Although the stripper tensiometer can operate with soil air presures greater than 2 atmospheres gauge, the tensiometer contact problem appears likely to limit the range, at least for certain soils.

  17. Rainfall simulation and Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry for the analysis of soil water erosion in Mediterranean vineyards.

    PubMed

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Burguet, Maria; Di Prima, Simone; Sofia, Giulia; Terol, Enric; Rodrigo Comino, Jesús; Cerdà, Artemi; Tarolli, Paolo

    2017-01-01

    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.

  18. Geospatial Assessment of Long-Term Sustainability of Biomass Feedstock Supplies: Erosion, Soil Biomass Accumulation, Greenhouse Gasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosentrater, K. A.; Kaleita, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    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

  19. Prediction of Soil Erosion from Uplands under Climate Change Scenarios in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Min-Kyeong; Ko, Byong-Gu; Hur, Seung-Oh; Kim, Min-Young; Lee, Deog-Bae

    2010-05-01

    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.

  20. Carbon Structural Investigations of Concentric Layers Within Macro-aggregates From Forest and Agricultural Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dria, K. J.; Gamblin, D. E.; Smucker, A. J.; Park, E.; Filley, T. R.

    2004-12-01

    Much of the current research on the potential of agricultural and forest soils to act as sinks for greenhouse gases focuses on the capacity of the systems to form long-term stabilized fractions of soil organic matter (SOM). One proposed mechanism is that carbon is sequestered within soil aggregate interiors during the aggregation process. Repeated wetting-drying cycles change internal pore geometries and associated microhabitats and create more stable macro-aggregates. Research by Smucker and coworkers (EGU Abstracts, 2004) suggest that the exterior portions of aggregates contain greater concentrations of C and N than their interiors, establishing gradients of \\ä13C values across these aggregates. We present the results of a study to test if there exists molecular evidence of such gradients. Soil samples from forest, conventional tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT) agriculture ecosystems in Hoytville and Wooster LTER sites were gently sieved into various size fractions. Soil macro-aggregates (6.3-9.5mm) were peeled, by mechanical erosion chambers, into concentric layers and separated into exterior, transitional and interior regions. Alkaline CuO oxidation was used to determine the composition of lignin, suberin, and cutin biopolymers to determine changes in source and degradative states of SOM. Preliminary results indicate that both soils show similar relative yields of lignin and hydroxyl fatty acids with a greater abundance of lignin than cutin and suberin acids. Greater abundances (per 100mg organic carbon) of CuO products were observed in the native forest than in either agricultural system. The lignin in the NT agricultural soil was least oxidized, followed by the forest soils, then the CT agricultural soils. For both soils, slight trends in biopolymer concentrations were observed between the exterior, transitional and interior regions of the aggregates from the forest and CT or NT ecosystems.

  1. Developing relations between soil erodibilty factors in two different soil erosion prediction models (USLE/RUSLE and wWEPP) and fludization bed technique for mechanical soil cohesion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. Soil erosion-vegetation interactions in Mediterranean-dry reclaimed mining slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno de las Heras, Mariano; Merino-Martín, Luis; Espigares, Tíscar; Nicolau, José M.

    2014-05-01

    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

  3. Simulation of surface runoff and soil erosion in small watersheds in Northern Ethiopia - application and verification of the SWAT model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiffer, Roman; Klik, Andreas; Strohmeier, Stefan; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2015-04-01

    Degradation of arable land is a major issue in the Ethiopian Highlands. Deforestation leads to ongoing soil erosion during the rainy season and thus the hydrology of a watershed changes as high erosion rates and dense gully networks cause a direct drainage of rain water usable for crop production. The application of hydrological models can provide a link between local watershed characteristics and the generation of runoff and sediment loss in the watershed. Furthermore, they enable the impact assessment of soil conservation measures on these processes. Objective of this study was to apply the SWAT model to two small agricultural used watersheds in Northern Ethiopia to assess the impact of soil conservation measures on surface runoff and soil erosion. The watersheds are two small sub-watersheds of the Gumara-Maksegnit watershed. They are located close to each other with an area of 31 and 41 ha, respectively. 80% of the area is steeper than 10%. In one watershed soil conservation measures (stone bunds and trenches) were implemented in 2011 whereas the other watershed is untreated. Mean annual preciptation is about 1200 mm from which 90% rains between June and September. Soil textures range from clay loam to clay. Land use of both watersheds is similar with appr. 70% of agricultural land and 30% of grassland and open shrubland. Main crops grown are sorghum, teff, faba bean, barley, wheat and chickpea. Since 2011, an automatic weather station as well as weirs are installed in both watersheds to measure runoff. For each erosive event manual samples are taken in addition to a turbidity sensor to monitor sediment yield. Soil and land survey was carried out to derive a soil map and a digital elevation model. A site specific crop rotation was assumed. The SWAT model calibration was performed with measured data from 2012. The results for runoff as well as sediment yield show acceptable to satisfying performance. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency for surface runoff is 0.54 for

  4. Application of spatial Markov chains to the analysis of the temporal-spatial evolution of soil erosion.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Short and Long Term Effects of Bioturbation on Soil Erosion and Soil Developmemt in an Arid Rocky Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, A.

    2014-12-01

    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

  6. Use of the mass exchange theory for describing soil erosion by water and wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gendugov, V. M.; Glazunov, G. P.; Larionov, G. A.; Nazarov, N. F.

    2012-02-01

    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 [6] and blowing [3] and forms the basis for the further development of the theory of soil erosion.

  7. Trends in soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Manjoro, Munyaradzi; Kakembo, Vincent; Rowntree, Kate M

    2012-03-01

    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.

  8. A method to assess soil erosion from smallholder farmers' fields: a case study from Malawi.

    PubMed

    Mohamoud, Yusuf M

    2013-09-01

    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.

  9. The use of spatial empirical models to estimate soil erosion in arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Meshal; Feagin, Rusty; Musawi, Layla

    2017-02-01

    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.

  10. Effect of rainfall intensity and rain drop distribution on runoff and soil erosion on vineyards inter-rows with different soil management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biddoccu, Marcella; Ferraris, Stefano; Pitacco, Andrea; Cavallo, Eugenio

    2015-04-01

    Vineyard is reported as one of the European agricultural crop where the runoff and soil erosion rates are the highest. In sloping vineyards, in particular, primary roles in determining high runoff and soil erosion rates are played by the alignment of vine-rows along the slope, soil cultivation and management, and traffic of machinery. Runoff and soil erosion processes are deeply related to climate, especially to rainfall intensity and precipitation pattern, along with the soil moisture content and soil surface conditions. Most of the European vineyards are grown in the Mediterranean area, where these aspects assume a specific pattern. A study was carried out to evaluate the role of rainfall intensity and raindrop size in generating runoff and soil erosion in vineyards, in relation to soil management. The study was conducted in the 'Tenuta Cannona Experimental Vine and Wine Centre' of Regione Piemonte, located in the Alto Monferrato hilly vine-growing area (NW Italy). Runoff and soil losses caused by natural rainfall events were monitored on two large (1221 m2) vineyard plots in the period May-November 2014. The plots are managed with different inter-row soil management techniques: tillage (T) and controlled grass cover (GC). An optical disdrometer was installed in the plots. Few rainfall events were observed occurred during summer and autumn, before the grape harvest and the execution of new tillage/mulching operation in autumn, triggering runoff events of different magnitude. For example, a summer storm with 1-min rainfall intensity of about 91 mm h-1gave a negligible amount of runoff (less than 1% of rainfall) in both plots . During a later similar rainfall runoff rates achieved 22% of rainfall and sediment yield of 290 kg ha-1 in the CT plot while it was 2% and 7 kg ha-1 in the GC plot. In the GC plot, in summer and early autumn rainfalls, runoff was less than 2% and sediment yield was lower than 10 kg ha-1. The two plots had a different evolution of the soil

  11. A multi-radionuclide approach to evaluate the suitability of (239+240)Pu as soil erosion tracer.

    PubMed

    Meusburger, Katrin; Mabit, Lionel; Ketterer, Michael; Park, Ji-Hyung; Sandor, Tarjan; Porto, Paolo; Alewell, Christine

    2016-10-01

    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

  12. Mapping soil erosion risk in Serra de Grândola (Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neto Paixão, H. M.; Granja Martins, F. M.; Zavala, L. M.; Jordán, A.; Bellinfante, N.

    2012-04-01

    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.

  13. Modeling of soil erosion and sediment transport in the East River Basin in southern China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Yping; Chen, Ji

    2012-01-01

    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