Water Erosion (water + erosion)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Terms modified by Water Erosion

  • water erosion prediction project

  • Selected Abstracts

    An educational computer tool for simulating long-term soil erosion on agricultural landscapes

    F. J. Jiménez-Hornero
    Abstract Due to its economic and environmental impacts, soil erosion has been a major concern to farmers, engineers and policy makers in recent years. Water and tilling are two of the main agents responsible for this phenomenon and considerable efforts have been made to model them in previous work but not with educational purposes. A computer tool for facilitating any user's simulation of long-term landscape evolution in a plot due to the combined action of water and tillage erosion is presented here. It integrates a graphic user interface with two well-verified erosion models, each one independently devoted to reproduce the effects of water and tilling. This computer tool permits to the student the consideration of the erosivity index and the presence of a crop in the plot, when simulating water erosion, as well as the planning of a different type of tilling each year. Each kind of tilling corresponds to a different combination of tillage tools with their own date, tillage depth and tillage direction. A handy ASCII (XYZ) file is generated containing the long-term soil erosion spatial pattern as result. From this information, the student can derive other results that will help to understand soil erosion. An example is presented here with the aim of showing how to use this computer tool to simulate this phenomenon on an agricultural landscape with a complex topography. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ 17: 253,262, 2009; Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com); DOI 10.1002/cae.20193 [source]

    Mineral soil surface crusts and wind and water erosion

    Michael J. Singer
    Abstract The ,rst few millimetres of soil largely control the soil's response to the eroding forces of wind and water. The tendency of soils to form surface seals and crusts in,uences the processes of wind and water erosion differently. For wind, dry particle size distribution and particle organization determine the shear strength and threshold wind velocity necessary to initiate particle movement. In loams and clay loams, seals and crusts decrease roughness but increase surface soil strength, generally decreasing wind erosion. Conversely, in sand and sandy loams, loose erodible sandy material may either deposit on the crust and is subject to erosion or it may disrupt the crust, accelerating the erosion process. For water erosion, particle size distribution and structure determine in,ltration rate, time to ponding, and energy required for soil particle detachment. Seals and crusts tend to decrease in,ltration rate and time to ponding thus increasing overland ,ow and soil erosion. This paper brie,y reviews how permanent and time-dependent soil properties in,uence surface seals and crusts and how these affect soil erosion by wind and water. The tendency of a soil to form a seal and crust depends to some degree on the time-dependent property of soil structural stability, which tends to increase with increasing clay content and smectitic mineralogy which are permanent properties. These permanent properties and their effect on structure are variable depending on dynamic properties of exchangeable sodium percentage and soil solution electrical conductivity. Antecedent water content prior to irrigation or rainfall, rate of wetting before an erosive event and aging, the time between wetting and an erosive event, greatly in,uence the response of soil structure to raindrop impact. The effect of these dynamic processes is further in,uenced by the static and dynamic properties of the soil. Weak structure will be less in,uenced by wetting rate than will a soil with strong structure. Process-based models of wind and water erosion need to consider the details of the interactions between soil static and dynamic properties and the dynamic processes that occur prior to erosive events. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Factors controlling aggregation in a minimum and a conventionally tilled undulating field

    S. De Gryze
    Summary Wind and water erosion induce breakdown of soil aggregates and loss of soil organic matter. Whereas most of the relations between aggregation and its driving factors have been established on a plot scale, these relations might be very different within an undulating landscape where both erosion (by wind or water) and deposition occur. The aim of this study was to investigate to what degree spatial patterns in soil variables influence spatial patterns in aggregation under different tillage intensities. We studied an agricultural field of about 3 ha in the silty region of Belgium. The site was split into a conventional tillage (CT) and a minimum tillage (MT) system. Within the field, 396 geo-referenced surface soil samples (0,5 cm) were taken and analyzed for organic matter content, quantity of aggregates and a number of other soil properties. Under CT, 28.5% of the total sample variation was explained by the occurrence of depositional areas, 20.8% by the amount of soil organic matter, and 13.8% by the presence of a clay-rich B horizon which surfaced due to progressive water and tillage erosion. Regression analysis revealed that 27% of the variation in the quantity of macroaggregates (>0.25 mm) was accounted for by these three factors. Under MT, 27.1% of the total sample variation was related to the surface cover of Tertiary sand, 22.6% to the amount of soil organic matter, and 13% to erodibility. These three factors explained 53% of the variation in the quantity of macroaggregates. In the CT system, the correlation between grass- or maize- carbon and the quantity of macroaggregates was strongly linked to erodibility, while this was not the case in the MT system. We concluded that at this site, macroaggregation is dominated by landscape-scale processes (such as water or tillage erosion) rather than determined by the commonly considered local variables (such as small variations in texture or organic matter content). [source]

    Changes in organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus and cations in soil as a result of fire and water erosion in a Mediterranean landscape

    E. Gimeno-García
    Summary Fire affects large parts of the dry Mediterranean shrubland, resulting in erosion and losses of plant nutrients. We have attempted to measure these effects experimentally on a calcareous hillside representative of such shrubland. Experimental fires were made on plots (4 m × 20 m) in which the fuel was controlled to obtain two different fire intensities giving means of soil surface temperature of 439°C and 232°C with temperatures exceeding 100°C lasting for 36 min and 17 min. The immediate and subsequent changes induced by fire on the soil's organic matter content and other soil chemical properties were evaluated, together with the impact of water erosion. Seven erosive rain events, which occurred after the experimental fires (from August 1995 to December 1996), were selected, and on them runoff and sediment produced from each plot were measured. The sediments collected were weighed and analysed. Taking into account the variations induced by fire on the soil properties and their losses by water erosion, estimates of the net inputs and outputs of the soil system were made. Results show that the greatest losses of both soil and nutrients took place in the 4 months immediately after the fire. Plots affected by the most intense fire showed greater losses of soil (4077 kg ha,1) than those with moderate fire intensity (3280 kg ha,1). The unburned plots produced the least sediment (72.8 kg ha,1). Organic matter and nutrient losses by water erosion were related to the degree of fire intensity. However, the largest losses of N-NH4+ and N-NO3, by water erosion corresponded to the moderate fire (8.1 and 7.5 mg N m,2, respectively). [source]

    Stocks and dynamics of SOC in relation to soil redistribution by water and tillage erosion

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 10 2006
    Abstract Soil organic carbon (SOC) displaced by soil erosion is the subject of much current research and the fundamental question, whether accelerated soil erosion is a source or sink of atmospheric CO2, remains unresolved. A toposequence of terraced fields as well as a long slope was selected from hilly areas of the Sichuan Basin, China to determine effects of soil redistribution rates and processes on SOC stocks and dynamics. Soil samples for the determination of caesium-137 (137Cs), SOC, total N and soil particle size fractions were collected at 5 m intervals along a transect down the two toposequences. 137Cs data showed that along the long slope transect soil erosion occurred in upper and middle slope positions and soil deposition appeared in the lower part of the slope. Along the terraced transect, soil was lost over the upper parts of the slopes and deposition occurred towards the downslope boundary on each terrace, resulting in very abrupt changes in soil redistribution over short distances either side of terrace boundaries that run parallel with the contour on the steep slopes. These data reflect a difference in erosion process; along the long slope transect, water erosion is the dominant process, while in the terraced landscape soil distribution is mainly the result of tillage erosion. SOC inventories (mass per unit area) show a similar pattern to the 137Cs inventory, with relatively low SOC content in the erosional sites and high SOC content in depositional areas. However, in the terraced field landscape C/N ratios were highest in the depositional areas, while along the long slope transect, C/N ratios were highest in the erosional areas. When the samples are subdivided based on 137Cs-derived erosion and deposition data, it is found that the erosional areas have similar C/N ratios for both toposequences, while the C/N ratios in depositional areas are significantly different from each other. These differences are attributed to the difference in soil erosion processes; tillage erosion is mainly responsible for high-SOC inventories at depositional positions on terraced fields, whereas water erosion plays a primary role in SOC storage at depositional positions on the long slope. These data support the theory that water erosion may cause a loss of SOC due to selective removal of the most labile fraction of SOC, while on the other hand tillage erosion only transports the soil over short distances with less effect on the total SOC stock. [source]

    The effect of soil type, meteorological forcing and slope gradient on the simulation of internal erosion processes at the local scale

    Guillaume Nord
    Abstract Numerical simulation experiments of water erosion at the local scale (20 × 5 m) using a process-based model [Plot Soil Erosion Model_2D (PSEM_2D)] were carried out to test the effects of various environmental factors (soil type, meteorological forcing and slope gradient) on the runoff and erosion response and to determine the dominant processes that control the sediment yield at various slope lengths. The selected environmental factors corresponded to conditions for which the model had been fully tested beforehand. The use of a Green and Ampt model for infiltration explained the dominant role played by rainfall intensity in the runoff response. Sediment yield at the outlet of the simulated area was correlated positively with rainfall intensity and slope gradient, but was less sensitive to soil type. The relationship between sediment yield (soil loss per unit area) and slope length was greatly influenced by all environmental factors, but there was a general tendency towards higher sediment yield when the slope was longer. Contribution of rainfall erosion to gross erosion was dominant for all surfaces with slope lengths ranging from 4 to 20 m. The highest sediment yields corresponded to cases where flow erosion was activated. An increase in slope gradient resulted in flow detachment starting upstream. Sediment exported at the outlet of the simulated area came predominantly from the zone located near the outlet. The microrelief helped in the development of a rill network that controlled both the ratio between rainfall and flow erosion and the relationship between sediment yield and slope length. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Importance of soil surface characteristics on water erosion in a small grazed Sahelian catchment

    H. Karambiri
    Abstract This study concerns the problem of water erosion in the Sahel. Surface water and sediment yields (suspended matter and bedload) were monitored for 3 years (1998,2000) at the outlet of a small grazed catchment (1·4 ha) in the northern part of Burkina Faso. The catchment consists of about 64% sandy deposits (DRY soil surface type), which support most of the vegetation, and about 34% of crusted bare soils (ERO soil surface type). The annual solid-matter export is more than 90% suspended sediment, varying between 4·0 and 8·4 t ha,1. The bedload represents less than 10% of soil losses. In a single flood event (10 year return period), the sediment yield can reach 4·2 t ha,1. During the period studied, a small proportion (20 to 32%) of the floods was thus responsible for a large proportion (80%) of the solid transport. Seasonal variation of the suspended-matter content was also observed: high mean values (9 g l,1) in June, decreasing in July and stabilizing in August (between 2 and 4 g l,1). This behaviour may be a consequence of a reorganization of the soil surfaces that have been destroyed by trampling animals during the previous long dry season, vegetation growth (increase in the protecting effect of the herbaceous cover) and, to a lesser extent, particle-supply limitation (exhaustion of dust deposits during July). The particle-size distribution in the suspended matter collected at the catchment outlet is 60% made up of clay: fraction ,2 µ m. The contribution of this clay is maximum when the water rises and its kaolinite/quartz ratio is then close to that of the ERO-type surfaces. This indicates that these surfaces are the main source of clay within the catchment. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The sampling efficiency of electrofishing for Neogobius species in a riprap habitat: a field experiment

    M. Pola
    Summary Even though electrofishing is commonly used to sample Neogobius spp. and other swimbladder-lacking benthic fishes, its efficiency is considered poor especially in habitats with abundant interstitial spaces. To determine the efficiency of electrofishing Neogobius spp. and quantitatively estimate sampling bias in a riprap (shot rock used to armor shorelines against water erosion) mesohabitat, riprap fragments were set up in a natural riverine environment. The experimental setting enabled us to collect all fish remaining in the riprap fragments after these areas had been electrofished. The sampling efficiency of electrofishing Neogobius spp. (dominated by Neogobius melanostomus) varied between 17.6 and 47.4% (mean 29.7%), while percids (possessing a well-developed swim bladder) were collected with 74.6% efficiency. Fish size had no effect on the probability of capturing Neogobius spp. by electrofishing. Within Neogobius spp., N. melanostomus was less susceptible to electrofishing than Neogobius gymnotrachelus (23.7% and 50.1%, respectively). Decreased electrofishing efficiency in areas of rocky substrate should be considered in estimates of total abundance of Neogobius spp., especially if they are to be compared with catches of other species possessing swim bladders. [source]

    Reducing water erosion in a gypsic soil by combined use of organic amendment and shrub revegetation

    M. J. Marqués
    Abstract Degraded gypsic soils in the centre of Spain can be rehabilitated with organic amendment and shrub revegetation. Erosion has been measured on plots of 2×0·5,m2 under simulated rainfall of 70,mm,h,1 and a kinetic energy of 18,J,mm,1,m,2. Samples of water runoff and sediments were studied in the summer of the years 2002 and 2003. The presence of shrub Atriplex halimus (Chenonodiaceae) significantly reduces runoff from 16·9 to 6·7,ml,m,2,min,1 and sediments from 0·16 to 0·02,g,m,2,min,1. When sewage sludge is applied the differences among plots with and without bushes disappear. Although both treatments independently applied are efficient as erosion control measures, the combined use of revegetation and organic amendment allows a reduced dose of sewage sludge with the same effect on erosion. A low dose of sludge is desirable in view of the accumulation of toxic chemicals. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Fallow cultivation system and farmers' resource management in Niger, West Africa

    A. Wezel
    Abstract A survey was carried out in 136 farm-households from seven villages in 1995 and 1996 to analyse the traditional fallow cultivation system in Niger. Farmers were asked to give information about land use on their fields, focusing on cropping and fallow periods as well as on cultivation changes compared to the past. In addition, they were interviewed about their management strategies to maintain or improve soil fertility. Millet-based systems clearly dominate at all sites, either in pure form or intercropped with cowpea, groundnut, sorghum or roselle. At present, almost half of all farmers cultivate their fields on average up to 5 years until it is left fallow. About one-third use their fields permanently. Most farmers use short fallow periods of 1 to 5 years. Moreover, there was a decrease in the cropping area left fallow, and the fallow period also decreased steadily in the past years. In the mid-1970s the average fallow period was about 8 years, decreasing to 2.5 years in 1996. The actual fallow periods are too short to allow sufficient positive effects on soil fertility and farmers are aware of this problem. Consequently, farmers employ different fertilization techniques which aim at maintaining or restoring the soil nutrient pool of the fields while providing physical protection against wind and water erosion. Most farmers use animal manure to improve soil fertility and apply mulch from different sources, millet stalks and branches, for soil regeneration. Few farmers employ other strategies such as mineral fertilizer or planting pits. The farmers try to optimize the use of internal and external resources resulting in a mixture of different fertilization and soil protection methods. Internal resources play by far the most important role. Due to the generally limited resource availability farmers concentrate their management efforts on certain areas within each field or on selected fields only. This means a decreased crop production for the individual household and a higher risk of soil degradation because of soil mining or increased erosion risk on the field area where soil fertility management cannot be practised. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Using farmers' knowledge for defining criteria for land qualities in biophysical land evaluation

    I. Messing
    Abstract The objective of this paper is to present a way of complementing empirical results with farmers' perceptions in defining limiting biophysical land properties in a land suitability evaluation using the FAO framework methodology. The farmers' perceptions were identified using rapid and participatory rural appraisal (RRA/PRA) tools. The study catchment, having a semiarid continental climate and located on the Loess Plateau in northern China, covered an area of 3.5 km2. Most of the land users were dependent on subsistence agriculture. There were important topographic variations in the catchment and arable cropping on steep slopes brought about degradation of land due to water erosion. The biophysical monitoring, soil survey and RRA/PRA survey, carried out one year prior to the present investigation, supplied the data needed for identification of preliminary limiting land properties and land evaluation units. The land properties that needed further investigation in the present study were slope aspect, soil workability, flooding hazard and farmers' criteria on choice of land-use type. The farmers were able to give a comprehensive picture of the spatial and temporal variation and the importance for land-use options of the land properties concerned, and thereby complement the information gained from empirical results (measurements). In order to guarantee good production for dry as well as wet years, both south- and north-facing sites were chosen for most crops, and the slope aspect did not need to be differentiated in the final land suitability evaluation for arable crops. Grassland, however, was considered to be more suitable than woodland on south-facing sites. Hard soil layers were found to be important, since they affected soil workability and erosion negatively, giving slightly reduced suitability for the land units in which they occurred. Flooding events affecting crops on alluvial soils negatively were considered to occur once every 5 to 10 years, which is considered to be a low rate, so this property was therefore not included in the final suitability evaluation. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]